The price of security: Balancing cost of equipment with added protection at your home

BOSTON — Brittany and Susie Piotrkowski along with their three-year-old daughter, Rew, have lived in Boston’s South End for 3 years. They said after months of research they decided to get home security cameras to protect their packages.

“I travel all the time for work and for us it’s just a privilege to own a home, but it also comes with a responsibility,” said Susie.

They say the cameras also provide some freedom.

“I think that having a toddler and letting her go out on the deck and play while I’m inside doing the dishes, just little sense of security with that. And also, I have heard, neighbors having people climb up on their decks,” said Brittany.

The couple decided on SimpliSafe, a home security company based in Boston, to install their cameras. Installer David Atkins walked the couple through the installation process and showed them how to use the equipment.

“So, just stick this up. It locks in place, and then we can angle it right down there and we’re done,” said Atkins.

The Piotrkowski’s got both outdoor and indoor cameras to keep an eye on their pets. Indoor cameras can make some people feel uncomfortable but their new cameras have a special feature.

“It’s got a privacy shutter. So when the system is armed in off mode, when you’re just walking around the house, it can’t even see. There’s no chance it can see you,” said Atkins.

Local smart home expert and Vice President of Business Strategy for Cedia, Mitch Klein said cameras provide a lot of advantages to homeowners.

“I am definitely for cameras, and I love the fact that they’ve come down in price and they’re accessible to those that really want the benefits of having a security camera,” said Klein.

He said costs vary depending on whether or not you want to install the cameras yourself, and the quality of the video. And how much storage you want. He said doorbell cameras start as low as $25, while SimpliSafe said pre-built systems range from $250-$450.

Klein said your best bet is to bring in a professional and tell them what you want, to get some options.

“Outdoor perimeter protection, you have the physical connections with doors and windows, but having cameras now adds a distance to it so we can see someone pulling up in the driveway. If there’s someone lurking around looking in your windows, a lot depends on the environment,” he said.

The Piotrkowski’s said they like how both the cameras and the company’s signage, act as a deterrent.

“I think people see this equipment and maybe move on, and I think that’s certainly something that we would welcome it,” said Susie.

If you’re unsure where to start, Klein suggests looking at the following websites that compare companies and cost.

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