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Your home is your most valued investment. It’s meant to keep you—and your family—comfortable and safe, and it protects you from the elements. But what is protecting your home? When it comes down to it, the security of a home lies on the shoulders of the homeowner. While 911 is the standard go-to response in home emergencies, you can’t count on the police for round-the-clock protection.

“While the local police may be the first to reach the scene of the crime, and perhaps they will be able to catch the perpetrator, they can’t keep the crime from happening,” says Todd Hetherington, CEO of Century 21 New Millennium. So what can you do? You can protect yourself. Luckily, technology has made that task a bit less daunting.

Do your doors and windows lock correctly? This is your first place to start when considering your home’s security.


Burglars enter through an unlocked door or window in approximately 30 percent of robberies. Before you even start thinking about an alarm system, make sure your doors lock efficiently. All exterior doors should have keyed passage locks as well as deadbolts. “All windows, garage doors, Bilco doors and sliding doors should have sturdy locks as well,” Hetherington recommends.

Lighting is the next item on the list. Burglars attack under the cover of darkness where they can hide. They won’t want to break into a well-lit home where any neighbor or passerby might spot them. Motion-detecting spotlights are particularly effective because they surprise the thief and scare them off.

Home Alarm Services

Alarm services are essential. “Many homeowners shy away from them because they think they’re expensive or unnecessary. But anyone who has had their home broken into knows that any precaution taken is well worth it in the end,” says Hetherington.

Not only do these systems scare off the bad guys and tip off the authorities, but they can also deter break-ins before the burglar has even entered the home. Alarm companies will provide you with a sign to post outside your home, so that all prospective burglars know you’re protected.

Here is a run down of a handful of the best security systems out there, according to Hetherington.

Brinks Home Security – This company is rated a Consumers Digest best buy. They have low basic prices, although their premium cost is a bit on the pricier end. One of their touted features is a simple one-button turn-on, instead of requiring a sequence of button presses.

ADT Security Services – ADT offers a key chain that lets the homeowner arm and disarm the system from anywhere in the home. “This is helpful if your child or spouse accidently sets off the alarm coming in; you don’t have to scramble to the panel with an obnoxious noise blaring in your ear,” says Hetherington. Their prices are extremely affordable.

GE Security – GE is another home security standard. They offer basic home security systems, as well as protection products for multi-unit dwellings and offices.

Guardian Protection Services – Guardian’s main advantage is that they integrate burglary protection, fire protection, and personal emergency protection, as opposed to offering them separately like most of the other companies. Their prices vary regionally.

“Once you have chosen and installed a home security system, don’t forget to use it,” Hetherington reminds us. Consumer Reports found that 43 percent of people with home security systems fail to consistently use their systems when they leave home. “Turn it on whether you’re heading out to do errands for a few hours, or going on vacation for a few weeks,” Hetherington says. “Keeping your home safe should be a top priority, and knowing it’s protected will help you relax when you’re out, regardless of where you’re going or how long you’ll be away.”

For more information on home security systems, please contact Century 21 New Millennium at 800-382-1101 or Century 21 New Millennium.


CENTURY 21 New Millennium.  Smarter.  Bolder.  Faster.


CENTURY 21 New Millennium,, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. In addition to its newest Washington D.C. location, the Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Columbia, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park, Lusby and Waldorf. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.