Home security business booms: more companies offering more features

Team 10 compares features and cost

SAN DIEGO - More people are installing security systems in their homes to keep them safe, and more companies are getting into the home security business.

Experts predict the number of homes with security systems will jump 64 percent in the next five years.

As the systems offered go more high-tech, the price has moved into a range that is more affordable for more families.

Even cable companies now offer home security.

For example, Cox and Time Warner recently began offering customers home security packages in the San Diego market just in the last several months. The new systems by cable companies are in addition to traditional home security companies, such as ADT.

Each system features access to control the home system through a touch pad or smart phone app.

"You're able to customize it based on what best fits your life," said Bret Picolli with Time Warner, who showed his company's system to Team 10.

That convenience means a lot to customers.

"Anywhere in the world, you can arm the system and disarm the system," said Ryland Madison with Cox, who showed his company's system to Team 10.

Traditional home security company ADT also has "smart" security features.

"Well, I'm a gadget freak, so I do love it," said Tafike Benamejale, who has had ADT for two years.

Home security today goes beyond safety features. Picolli and Madison said families use the systems for remote controlled lighting and temperature adjustment.

Also, some customers get creative and watch their dog while they are away, or watch the kids when mom and dad leave them with a baby-sitter.

As a consumer, Benamejale said being able to see all parts of the house at any time is worth the price.

A feature ADT offers is remote-controlled locking access, such as when the kids forget the keys, or to let cleaning services into your home.

And remember those sensors on doors and windows? The companies said some customers put the sensors on the refrigerator to see who's going back for seconds.

AT&T currently does not offer home security in the San Diego market, but a spokesperson told Team 10 the company currently is in the testing stages and could offer a system to customers in the coming year.

Cox’s “Home Security” starts at $29.99 a month, with installation at $99.

Time Warner's "Intelligent Home" costs $33.99 a month, and installation prices start at $99.

ADT's "Core" system costs between $28 to $50 a month depending on the features, and installation starts at $99.

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