Living in a large urban area, like New York, you probably live in an apartment or similar attached swelling. If you’re lucky, your building has a doorman or a locked entry that will give you some measure of security.
You have probably also taken steps to make your space safe for you and your family. If you own your space, or have the landlord/co-op board’s permission, you may made permanent upgrades like installing safety treads on any wooden stairs, and changing the locks. If you are a renter you may have installed temporary measures like child-proof caps on your electrical outlets, or keeping your valuables in a safe.
Unfortunately, a locked entry and doorman, and interior updates can only do so much. One of the downsides to living in a large urban area is that you don’t always know your neighbors; neither do you know the people they choose to bring into their homes and, by extension, your building.
What you may not know is that, even if you live in an apartment, condo, or co-op, you can also use services such as Protect Your Home, and prevent unwanted intruders, with an alarm system. You can also think about adding a doorbell camera.
Your Protection Options
If you own your space and the building owner, or co-op board, allows you access to the electricity and phone lines outside of your unit, you could have an alarm company install a wired system. In fact, if you are a member of a co-op, you could even suggest that the entire building be wired for an alarm system. If you are a renter, or if you do not have access to the utilities outside of your unit, your best option is a wireless system. Your need for different systems is based on how each system works.
The Wired Alarm System
A wired alarm system uses your home’s electrical current to operate the system. If you have remote monitoring, the system may also use your existing land lines to provide phone service to the alarm system. That way, if the alarm sounds, the alarm monitoring company can call you to determine if you need help. If your unit has its own self-contained electricity, you might not need to use the building’s electricity to power your unit. The same goes if your phone lines are not somehow connected to the house phone. Ultimately, it depends on the age of your building, how the utilities were initially configured, and how much the owners have upgraded the systems over the years.
Wired alarm systems are permanent, which means you can’t take them with you if you sell your unit. However, having a system installed could increase the resale value of your unit.
The Wireless Alarm System
A wireless alarm system has its own power supply, so that it does not need to tap into the electricity in your unit or your building. If you have remote monitoring, these units also use wireless technology to call out to the monitoring service. Because these systems do not need to tap into an electrical source, it could be easier to get permission to install them if you do not own your apartment.
Wireless alarms systems are not permanent, which means you can take them with you if you ever change residences.
Whether you go wired or wireless, if you share a building with a lot of strangers, it’s a good idea to protect your home with a reliable alarm system.