The need for home security in Dallas has hit such a frenzy that it's making headlines and is the most popular topic in local real estate and politics. At the beginning of September 2007, the local neighborhood of Jubilee asked the city to install surveillance cameras to help police and local residents manage crime there. Locals often talk about the Dallas housing market and why property values have stayed flat where they've jumped in many other cities throughout Texas: crime is the answer. In southern Dallas, home security has become such an issue that many home builders simply won't build housing developments there. Los Angeles-based KB Home is one of the few companies still building in southern Dallas and even they won't touch some areas with the highest crime rates.
South Dallas, North Dallas: Violent and Property Crimes
Violent crime makes all the headlines. Murder, rape, and other violent crimes may show each day on your evening news, but property crimes are a huge problem as well. Violent crimes also follow impoverished areas, while property crimes cast a wider net. Experienced burglars looking to make a score are just likely to scout out a nice, quiet Dallas neighborhood. The reputation as a crime-ridden city eventually saddles everyone. Police response times are slow across the city by national standards. Police Chief David Kunkle himself has said: "We've abandoned the people and the neighborhoods." As bad as the situation has become, you have to take it upon yourself to help protect both your own home and your community.
Home Security Systems in Dallas Communities
No one home security system is right for everybody, but almost anyone can benefit from some form of home security. The difference between violent crimes and property crimes is far more than academic. The community where you live will decide how you choose your home security system.
Installing a security bars or shutter over your windows will send a clear signal to this opportunistic intruder that your home is all but impregnable. In a quieter, more secluded neighborhood, a more sophisticated system involving cameras and/or 24-hour monitoring will help signal a more experienced burglar to find a more convenient home to attack.
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The Cost of Home Security in Dallas
There is no easily quotable number for the cost of home security in Dallas or anywhere else. The best idea is to look at your needs and your financial resources. If you don't have a lot of savings but have a steady income, a home security monitoring system can be installed for $100-$200, plus a monthly fee for the monitoring service. An independent home security system will probably run just under a thousand dollars. It may not include a monitoring service, but it will give you a larger degree of control over your home security. For extra security against purely property crimes, a security safe will protect your most important possessions and documents from burglars and fire, separate from any other security system you install.
Security bars tend to run around $1000-$1500 in most cases. Security shutters are more like $2500-$3500, but protect your home against intruders and severe weather. Surveillance cameras can vary widely depending on number and complexity. You can be looking at anywhere from $800-$5000, but these systems can help you keep tabs on your children and pets, along with any intruders approaching your home.
Before you run away and convince yourself you can't afford these protections, check with your insurance companies. Most insurance companies across the nation offer discounted premiums for people who install home security systems. In Dallas, home security systems are nearly guaranteed to catch your insurance company's eye.
Other than security bars which might take up to a week or more to have in place, none of these home security systems should take more than a day or two to be up and running.