When it comes to home security - GET A BIG FUCKING DOG!
A big intimidating dog. It doesn't need to be aggressive, just needs to bark loud at people wanting to jump your fence.
If you are going away for a while
1. have your neighbor or a friend park their car in your driveway (not garage) every so often.
2. Go to the hardware store and buy timers to put on your lamps so they turn on and off at intervals.
3. Get someone to retrieve your mail (thats a big one).
4. If your going for a LONG time, get someone to mow your lawn.
I worked in the security industry for over 10 years. There is typically a 500% markup on all electronic devices. They are ALL flawed and will either not work properly or be crazy senesitive. Technicians are extremely lazy and expensive, they cost the company roughly $30p/h and you will be charged about $75-80 p/h. As an example - For a monitored security system - you will pay somewhere between $1500-$6000. The actual cost to the company is about $300 (incl installation time charged by tech). Monitoring will cost $300-400 a year. The cost to the company is $25. And after all of this, the alarm will activate like crazy for false alarms (bugs, heat, cold etc) which creates extra charges on your home phone bill and insane charges for having to get a patrol car to respond. The police more than often will not respond to an alarm activation. I had the rare case that they said they would respond to a priority 1 duress alarm, and called back 6 HOURS LATER asking for the address because they lost it and were going to check it out.a
Security systems are NOT preventative measures. The do nothing other than alert you to the fact you have been robbed, at which point, you are helpless. It is an absolute criminal industry, and yes I couldn't take trying to do the right thing in that environment so I left.