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When It’s Time to Buy a Medical Alert System

Best Medical Alert Systems - 2019

Best Overall Value

A one-stop provider of medical alert solutions, with 24/7 monitoring center, and best-in-class customer service.

​1-800-799-6917

Overall Score: ​4.7 / 5

Best Customer Service

LifeFone Saves Lives Logo

40+ years of reliable experience and the first service provider to have customer friendly service policies.

​1-866-249-2371

Overall Score: ​4.4 / 5

Most Chosen

bay-alert-medical-logo

Consistently ranked one of the top choices in the industry. Their systems use GPS, and can be set up for “geofencing” purposes.

​1-855-617-1826

Overall Score: ​ 4.3 /5



Countless surveys have found that one of the biggest fears seniors have is of falling or becoming very sick, and being unable to call for help. This concern is often shared by family members and friends, particularly if the person in question has a medical history that makes them highly vulnerable to medical emergencies.

These risks don't arise exclusively with age-related problems, however. For example, people with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's might easily wander off or otherwise become confused and need assistance. Even in younger people, illnesses such as Parkinson's and Epilepsy might suddenly leave some sufferers in need of urgent help.

Even if there is no obvious existing medical condition, medical alert systems can be reassuring for a large number of people. For example, statistics show that more than 91 million Americans are living with cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of a serious medical emergency such as a stroke.

But this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Ordinary trips, slips and falls may also require medical attention. And depending on the severity of injuries, they may leave someone unable to call for help when it’s needed most.

Medical Alert Systems operate on a very simple principle: they allow someone who is unable to move to call for help. While there are many types available, most involve pushing a button on a pendant or wristband that is being worn. In some cases, there may also be a box attached to a belt that can detect someone has fallen, even if they're unconscious.

In any of these scenarios, a wireless signal is sent to a device located in the home, which instructs it to make an SOS telephone call for help. Sometimes these calls go to the system provider, which is manned by a 24/7 call center. Other times, they are routed directly to 911.

Although basic versions of these systems have been around since the 1970s, today's products are incredibly sophisticated and offer a range of functionality, depending on needs and preferences. There are also more options than ever.

To help you sort through the options, we’ve put together our top picks for medical alert systems in 2019.


1. Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian is a PA-based provider with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau that takes a “family-first approach.” Unlike many other medical alert providers, they offer both home-based and travelling medical alert systems, which are easily carried and/or worn, as well as light and waterproof.

In addition to contacting emergency response teams in the area, the monitoring center can also place phone calls or send text messages to individuals on the person’s contact list in the case of an emergency.

While fall detection is only offered on certain plans, necklaces and wristbands will function for up to 1,300 feet away from the base station, which clocks in on the higher side in comparison to most competitors. The system requires a landline for the base and cellular service for the pendants and other devices.

It offers nationwide service both while in the home and away from it. Its mobile plan comes equipped with a GPS device and has an unlimited range.

Pricing starts at $29.95/month, and systems come standard with a dialogue feature so that users can converse with the call center through the base station if able.

Medical Guardian supports 200 languages. They require a 90-service agreement, but do not require a long-term contract. The company also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, and offers discounts for members of AARP, USAA and AAA.

Rating:  4.7


Pros:

✓   A well-known solutions provider

✓   The device is easy to install and use, which is perfect if you’re a technophobe or just don't like reading manuals

   No long-term contractual commitments, nor special “activation fees”

   The power supply backup is good for up to 32 hours

   There's long-range distance from the base station

   They offer a mobile plan with a built-in GPS for unlimited range


Cons:

✗   No automatic fall detection on every plan

   Some people have commented that the font size used in the manuals is rather small, making it difficult to read for people who may have aged eyesight or other vision impairments

   No pill or activity monitoring functions




2. LifeFone at Home

LifeFone is a veteran in the medical alert system space, and has been around since 1976. It has earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

LifeFone offers a variety of options and add-ons from which customers can choose, providing an a la carte-like service. The At Home Landline package starts at $24.95 per month and provides a base unit with a 1,300-foot range and a 32-hour battery backup in case of a power outage. The At Home Cellular package starts at $30.95 per month and doesn’t require a landline in the home. The At Home and On-the-Go package is a combination of the two, and starts at $36.95 per month.

In addition to other packages, LifeFone offers ad-ons such as a daily check-in call ($19/month), medication reminders ($6/month) and location service ($9/month).

The variety of options are great for customers, but they can also get a little confusing, too. Customers can see all the wonderful options available to them, but will need to make sure they are subscribing to the right plan to get the features they want.

The At Home medical alert system has a signal range of up to 1,300 ft from the base unit with an enhanced 32-hour backup battery if you lose power. LifeFone offers waterproof pendants and speakerphone capability so you can answer incoming calls with the press of a button on the pendant, allowing you to talk to the other person through the base unit.

Rating:  4.4


Pros:

✓   Fall detection is standard

✓   There’s also a “free for spouse” option

✓   There are no activation fees, nor long-term contractual commitments

✓   Lots of additional features are available

Cons:

​✗   Expensive pricing for some options

​✗   The variety of plans and add-ons can be confusing

​✗   Response times from the service centers that are only average in industry terms


3. Bay Alarm Medical + GPS Medical Alert

Bay Alarm Medical has been in the business of saving lives for more than 70 years. The company has built its reputation over those years and is consistently ranked one of the top choices in the industry.

Bay Alarm offers three main packages – an In-Home, Mobile GPS, and In-Home Plus GPS Bundle. The In-Home package starts at an affordable $19.95 per month, with no long-term contract required. In fact, the service is that price whether you decide to pay month-to-month, quarterly or semi-annually.

Their systems use GPS, and can be set up for “geofencing” purposes. This is particularly important for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, since notifications can be sent to a designated person if the wearer of the device leaves a specific location. The range from the base to the wearable pendant is unlimited, which offers additional piece of mind.

The In-Home option comes with a base station with a 32-hour backup battery and a necklace button. The device is waterproof and has a range of 1,000 feet, with a lifetime warranty. A landline is required for this option, unless you select the cellular network option.

The Mobile option comes with a hand-held device that is about the size of a page and connects through a cellular connection. The device is water resistant, has an unlimited range and comes with a one-year warranty. It also provides a backup battery life of 72 hours, which makes it a great feature.

Rating:  4.3


Pros:

✓   Excellent customer service, and supported by several call centers

✓   GPS and fall detection options are available

✓   No long-term contracts

✓   Affordable starting prices, plus additional upgrades available

✓   Loud two-way communication

Cons:

   Call centers are operated by a different partner company

   Some customers have complained about customer service company

   Equipment itself is a little outdated


4. Mobile Help

Mobile Help, which also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, touts itself as the leading provider of solutions involving “M-PERS” (Mobile-Personal Emergency Response System) technology. The company offers coverage in all 50 states and is the industry’s first fully integrated medical alert system based on GSM/GPS technology.

System users can speak to the service provider through the base station, as well as the activator pendant and/or wristband. This allows for seamless two-way communication, regardless of where someone is located around the home in relation to the base station. Its devices offer a range of 1,000 feet from the base monitor while inside the home, and 600 feet from outside the home.

Mobile Help’s devices include a Samsung SmartWatch, pendants and wristbands, a home base unit and a mobile base unit – all of which offer two-way communication. Cellular serve through AT&T is used for mobile connectivity.

In addition to emergency notification, Mobile Help offers a variety of other health care features such as monitoring a person’s blood pressure and providing medication reminders.

Wristbands and pendants are waterproof and come standard with GPS tracking, which is helpful in situations where emergency personnel aren’t exactly sure where someone is.

Mobile Help’s base package is $20 per month. The Samsung SmartWatch package costs about $25 per month. Payments can be made quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Customers must sign a service agreement, but aren’t required to sign up for a long-term contract.​

Rating:  4.3


Pros:

✓   Competitively priced package

   No long-term contractual commitments and its associated obligations

   Optional fall detection is available for an extra fee

   Provides a “connect alert” feature that will text a specified care provider when the wearer has pushed the alert button

   Offers Samsung SmartWatch option for on the go

Cons:

   The audio quality is sometimes lacking when talking to the solution provider

✗   The mobile devices are a little larger than some

✗   Home buttons require a “mobile device” to be taken with them when outside of the normal home address


5. ADT Health

ADT has been in business for 140 years and currently has more than 8 million customers. It’s important to note, however, that this includes both home security and medical alert systems. The company operates from roughly 200 locations throughout the United States and Canada, and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of all the providers on this list, ADT is the most well-known and recognized.

Unlike several other providers, ADT offers a dedicated medical alert system. It’s not just an afterthought of their home security systems.

ADT’s medical alert systems are available in three options, and features vary considerably depending on the equipment selected and desired functionality. It’s important to look closely at the details of each option, however, since ranges vary from the base station, there are a variety of different types of pendants available, and communication technologies differ.

Fall protection is available, and ADT’s devices also allow you to speak to the call center directly, rather than having to make your way to the base station for two-way comms. Panic pendants and other similar devices are also available.

Other bonuses include free equipment and activation, although it’s a DIY installation. No long-term contracts are involved, so it’s a true pay-as-you-go solution. Discounts are available for quarterly and annual contracts, and if you’re already a customer of ADT home security systems, you’ll qualify for a further discounts.​

Rating:  4.1


Pros:

   There are no activation fees or long-term contracts

   Home temperature monitoring is included

✓   Plenty of service packs/options to choose from in order to match your exact requirements

Cons:

   Slightly limited in additional features and upgrades

   Slightly limited in additional features and upgrades

✗   Limited range from the base station, unless you opt for the “on-the-go” GPS solution

✗   Many people feel more comfortable with a dedicated healthcare alert specialist than with a company that’s best known for its property security services


6. Protect America

Quite a few home alarm systems providers try to “bolt on” some form of lackluster medical alert support to their offerings – and it’s sometimes not a happy marriage.

Fortunately, Protect America is not one of them. This provider offers a nice and powerful medical alert system as part of its overall protection. It started in Texas in 1992 and its accumulated experience shows.

The provider uses Alarm.com equipment and mobile app support for its medical monitoring system. Most of that comes with a lifetime warranty, though you don’t own it. Its medical pendants and wristbands come with a two-year warranty.

The solution can connect to emergency stations via cellular, broadband or landline network. The Life Safety options include smoke and carbon monoxide detection, disaster sensors, and a panic pendant that can also be worn as a wristwatch.

The panic button is easy to use, with just one red button on it. The casing of the button is water- and shock-resistant, and can handle temperatures from 0 degrees to 120 degrees.

When triggered, the panic button sends a message to the control panel, which then alerts the monitoring station. Protect America doesn’t specify the range on the panic button, just saying it needs to be “near” the control panel to work. Another nice feature is that the panic button sends hourly supervisory signals.

Protect America also provides some interesting gadgets for medical alerts – such as a GPS tracker. The device is primarily used to track vehicles if they get stolen, but they could potentially also be used to track family members who are, for example, prone to wandering.

The system offers a basic landline-only security package, with no mobile app, for $19.99 per month, with a $19.95 activation fee and a $99 equipment fee. They also offer a $37.99 per-month that includes 10 sensors and a motion detector, and $42.99 that comes with 15 sensors and a motion detector. Medical pendants are not included with the basic setup, though, so you’d need to ask a sales agent about them.

Rating:  3.5


Pros:

​   Low initial equipment purchase cost

​   Reasonable monthly fees

​   GPS tracker

​   Easy-to-use medical pendants

​   Water and shock-resistant pendants

Cons:

✗   Longer-term contractual commitment

✗   100% early termination fees

✗   Medical pendant has an unspecified range to the console

✗   Medical pendants are not included with the basic setup


7. Vivint

Vivint offer a sophisticated system that manages to bridge the gap between home security and medial alter requirements. It offers medical pendants and Vivint's wireless alarm control panel. It is far from being the cheapest system but is highly regarded.

Vivint’s system is sophisticated, and it all stems from its “SkyControl” seven-inch touchscreen panel. The system comes with medical pendants that can be worn, as well as a wireless alarm control panel that can serve different functions such as locking doors, calling emergency services or adjusting the lights in your home. The control panel allows two-way communication. When the panic button is pressed, the monitoring station contacts you directly to confirm whether you need police or medical help.

The Panic Pendant is temperature- and water-resistant, is compact, light and discreet. It can be worn as a necklace, belt, wristband or lanyard, and also can be attached to a wall or car visor. It also comes with an impressive 300-foot range around the control panel.

Vivint offers both contract and no-contract options. With no-contract, you purchase the equipment up front and pay for the security and medical monitoring you want on a month-to-month basis, with no early cancellation fees. The other option is to enter into a 42-60 month contract where you pay for equipment in monthly installments, but it comes with a 100% cancellation fee for whatever is left on the contract.

There are also two monitoring plans, one without video ($39.99/month) and one with video ($49.99/month). The medical pendants need to be purchased separately, at $34.99 each.

The company has technicians that install the system for you, at a cost of $49.99.

Rating:  3.4


Pros:

​   Good-looking equipment

​   Medical pendant with a panic button and LED light, and great range from base

​   Wireless options

​   Very speedy emergency response

​   Flexible contract-less or financing options available

Cons:

✗   Bizarrely, replacing a pendant is more expensive than buying a new one

✗   Some of the up-front equipment costs are expensive

✗   There is some history of negative customer reviews

✗   You may be tied into lengthy contracts


8. Frontpoint (Life Safety Facilities)

Frontpoint is essentially a home security system that uses elements of its technical infrastructure to deliver a medical alert system. The company has been operating in this space for 10 years, and has built a solid reputation during that time. It’s based on reliable GE equipment that’s widely available and easily replaced.

Frontpoint is a home security system that provides burglary prevention with professional monitoring. Life Safety is a feature of the home monitoring that comes integrated with all of its plans. With Frontpoint, you’ll be paying for a home security system and getting a medical alert system “free of charge.”

The system comes with a recessed panic button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband, which must be pressed for two seconds to activate. Once activated, the services provider will call to see what the emergency is. If they do not receive a response, they will initiate an agreed upon action as discussed when you purchase the system. The pendants are water - and shock -resistant.

Frontpoint’s security system comes with a touchscreen control panel that has a camera configured to take a photo of anyone triggering the system or trying to disarm it. It also permits two-way voice comms for verification of identity. The system is fully home automation and Alexa compatible.

The system itself is DIY installable, and is easy to do, and the equipment is both ergonomic and attractive.

The pricing proposition involves equipment purchase (e.g. the panic pendant is $39.99) plus a service sign-up fee. Prices start at $34.99 per month. One of the downfalls is that Frontpoint only offers one- and three-year contracts, and a cancellation fee applies.

Rating:  3.4


Pros:

✓   Can be purchased and installed as part of a total package of wider personal and home security

✓   Although their call centers are outsourced, the company providing service has specially trained medical alert staff available (with Spanish language support)

✓   Easy, DIY installation

✓   Based on high-quality GE equipment

Cons:

✗   Not a dedicated medical health alert system

✗   Must lock in to a one- or three-year contract, and early termination fees apply

✗   No landline options are available, so not a great option if your wireless service is unreliable and/or spotty

✗   Requires a hard credit-check

✗   Only one medical call button is included


9. Armorax

Armorax is a system based around what is essentially a home alarm and security infrastructure that’s supplied by 2GIG and Alarm.com.

Unlike many medical alarm providers on our list, equipment must be purchased upfront. The good news is the kit is compatible with the hardware of other suppliers. The kit itself comes with a three-year warranty, while panic buttons and key fobs fall under a two-year warranty since they are produced by an outside supplier.

If DIY isn’t your cup of tea, you can pay to have someone do the installation for you for $199. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re in any way unhappy with the service.

Armorax’s product is packaged alongside a wide range of home security options and is wireless, so it’s portable and easy to carry with you. Because of this, however, having good wireless service in your area is a must. If you’re prone to “dead zones,” this might not be the best option.

The wireless equipment has a 150-foot range indoors and 300 feet outside the home, which is on the lower side in comparison to others on this list. Activation is through a pendant wristband or key fob. What’s more, the panic button can be set to generate medical alerts only, which is helpful during medical crisis.

What you get for your money is touchscreen control panels with two-way voice comms plus a panic button pendant and key fob. The pendant is showerproof, and documentation states it’s waterproof down to one meter.

The batteries should keep things going for four-six years, the highest on this list, but they are not replaceable.

Prices start at $34.95 a month for service.

Rating:  3.3


Pros:

✓   Can be purchased and installed as part of a total package of wider personal and home security

✓   Wireless devices work with several carrier systems

✓   Flexible key fob that can be programmed

Cons:

✗   Armorax does not sell its proposition primarily on health alert provisions. This may suggest a slightly ambiguous service orientation that might be of concern to some customers.

✗   Early termination fees apply in scenarios where you wish to close the contract ahead of its expiration (though there is a “pay-as-you-go” option)

✗   It's relatively new and unproven company

✗   It lacks transparency (e.g. difficult to find manuals) and relies very heavily on sales and technical support staff to deal with client inquiries


10. Link Interactive

Like Lifeshield, Link Interactive is not a specific and dedicated medical alert service provider. It is a home security company that provides medical alert monitoring as part of its packages. It would probably be appropriately described as offering a “basic” medical alert system as part of its wider home security focus.

With Link Interactive, you must buy the equipment instead of leasing it. The downside is it forces customers to pay for the equipment upfront, although it is competitively priced ($22-$122). The upside is the equipment is yours to keep, allowing you to switch monitoring companies if you wish. The equipment comes with a two- to three-year warranty.

The customer will choose the components of the system that they need. For medical alerts, there is a wearable panic button and keychain remote available. The panic button comes with a number of accessories that allow you to wear it as a necklace cord, a wristband, a belt clip or in other ways with multi-functional clips. The panic button is water-resistant, so you can take a shower with it, and has a nice range of 350 feet around the base.

To activate the panic button, you have to hold the button in for five seconds, and it will initiate a help call through the system’s console. The button can be programmed to call for police or medical help and the system panel offers two-way dialogue.

Monitoring plans range from $29.99 to $40.99 per month. Plans cover 12-, 24- and 36-month time periods and early cancellation charges would apply in appropriate circumstances.

Rating:  3.2


Pros:

   Nice and easy “DIY” installation

   Flexible contract options

   No-quibbles 30-day money back offer

   Widely regarded as easy to use and based upon top-quality equipment providers such as GE

   Panic button has a variety of ways to wear it

   Panic button has a nice range

Cons:

✗   No broadband or landline connectivity – that might be a concern if you have iffy cellular network connections

✗   You have upfront equipment costs

✗   Lacks some of the higher-function features such as fall detection

✗   Company isn’t dedicated to just medical alert protection


11. LiveWatch

LiveWatch offers DIY home security equipment and monitoring packages. This is another system that is primarily designed for home security, but offers limited medical emergency support for its customers.

The security system’s control panel comes with a built-in panic button that can be pushed to set off an audible or silent alarm. In addition, it also offers a pendant panic sensor that is water-resistant. While the company doesn’t specify how far it works away from the base console, it does say that it should work “just about anywhere.”

To activate the alarm, the panic button has to be pressed for two seconds. The battery should last up to five years, which is nice, but it is also bulky, resembling a plastic doorbell more than a panic button. It can be worn around your neck, on your belt or attached to a wall. There is an additional option of activating the panic button through the remote key fob, which is semi-waterproof and has a range of 500 feet around the control panel, which is a nice distance.

The system does offer two-way communication, which is a great feature, allowing customers to communicate directly with the monitoring company through control panel.

With the LiveWatch solution, you’ll purchase the equipment up front. The company offers a $599 package and a $699 package for equipment, but neither include the panic button or keyfob. Both will need to be requested and purchased separately.

Monthly plans start at $19.95 and go all the way up to $49.95. There is a one-time activation fee of $19.95, and you have to sign a one-year contract. However, you can cancel at any time with no early termination fee.

Rating:  2.9


Pros:

​   As soon as possible (ASAPER) support center standards

​   No early termination clauses and fees

​   Part of a wider security system that can kill two birds with one stone

​   Key fob and panic button with nice ranges

Cons:

✗   Must pay for pricey equipment up front

✗   Panic button is chunky to the point of being bulky

✗   Not renowned for easy or streamlined installation and setup – e.g. oddly complicated manuals

✗   Lacks some of the higher-function medical alert functions such as fall detection


12. Nest Secure

Nest is a relatively new company to the security space. While it has been lauded for its innovation, it falls short in many areas as a medical alert system.

Their basic equipment looks modern and sleek. The Nest system overall is focused on using the latest technologies and trends in the industry to provide its services. While that’s good on some ends, it’s not great for medical alerts.

There is no available panic button or keychain remote, meaning someone needing assistance would need to make their way to the central systems console to press a button to activate the medical alert.

Theoretically, the Nest-Secure system it could be used by someone seeking medical assistance, however, it is not advised in the context of seeking a peace-of-mind type solution for senior citizens, those who are infirm or those with significant medical conditions. It doesn’t have an ease-of-use as a medical alert system.

Nest-Secure just doesn’t offer the necessary minimal requirement equipment to count as a serious contender for medical alert provision with professional monitoring services.

If you have a medical emergency, you’d need to:​

  • Make your way to the base station to send a medical distress signal
  • Respond to a phone call and confirm/discuss the nature of your emergency
  • Or wait until the monitoring station service reaches your emergency contacts

In many situations, that might not be feasible.

The basic equipment is purchased up-front at around $499. Monitoring is $19.99 per month on a three-year contract or you can pay as you go for $29 per month.

Rating:  2.9


Pros:

​   Easy and intuitive installation

​   Fairly modern-looking kit

​   Reasonable monthly fees

Cons:

✗   Unsuitable for real medical alert scenarios

✗   Only help call button is on the console. There is nothing that can be worn or carried

✗   Help button cannot be configured to differentiate between types of help required

✗   No two-way voice communications


13. Lifeshield Home Security

Lifeshield is a wireless-based solution system. As with several other medical alert providers, this company majors on home security with a limited degree of medical alert provision built in.

The company manufactures its own equipment. You’ll get a free lease on the basic equipment when you sign up, or you can buy the equipment but you’ll then get only a 12-month limited warranty.

The solution is wireless-based, which has the advantage of mobility, but it does necessitate a good cellular coverage location. When you sign up for Lifeshield’s services, the equipment you are provided with includes a control panel, fire and CO detectors, a keypad, a keychain remote, a wireless security tablet, one motion detector and door/window sensors.

The Life Safety features of the system, however, are not as impressive. There is a panic button on the control panel and another one on the keychain remote, but the company does not provide a medical pendant or wristband. A person must either interact with the control panel or have the keychain remote on them to activate the medical alert. One other potential downfall is that you need to be no further than 30-50 feet away from the control panel to trigger the medical alarm.

Lifeshield offers a $20.99 per month offering, but that doesn’t come with the medical alert system. To get that function, you have to opt for the Security Advantage package, which is $24.99 per month.

The one nice feature is that all of the equipment will come preconfigured, and the installation is simple peel-and-stick adhesives and a mobile app with easy-to-understand instructions. A professional technician can also install the system for you for $99.99.​

Rating:  2.8


Pros:

✓   Reasonably priced

✓   The "DIY" flavor will appeal to those who don't like tradesfolk in their home

✓   Equipment costs are included in the monthly service deals

✓   Comes with home security monitoring

Cons:

   No direct contact with support technicians – calls must be requested via an automated service

   Longer-term contracts that bring with them a 100% early termination fee (though there is a no-contract option too)

   There are no medical pendants or wristbands


14. Simplisafe

Simplisafe is very well-known as a provider of home security systems. In 2018, the company rolled out SimpliSafe 3, which includes a panic button that is configurable to activate specifically as a medical alert device.

The Simplisafe system comes with two options for medical alert monitoring – either through a mounted panic button or a key fob. The panic button needs to be mounted on the wall somewhere, but unfortunately cannot be worn. The key fob can be carried around with you, but only has a range of 50 feet from the base station.

The panic button can be configured to send an audible or silent alarm and can alert either medical, security or fire. One nice feature about the key fob is that you can program it to work only as a panic button by disabling the arm/disarm system features of it. This protects your home’s security in case the key fob is lost, stolen or misplaced.

The company manufactures its own kit which comes pre-configured and benefits from a one-three year warranty (subject to your equipment). If you wish, you could buy new or refurbished items at a discount and construct your own system. You’ll also get a 60-day money-back guarantee.

The pricing is built around the idea of budget costs. The equipment comes in pre-packaged bundles ranging from $374-$499 depending upon the components you require. The panic button costs $19.99 and the key fob $24.99. Monthly monitoring costs range from $14.99-$24.99, with mobile control available on just the higher-priced option. There are no fixed contracts.

Rating:  2.7


Pros:

​   Easy DIY installation

​   Very affordable solution

​   Avoids long-term and difficult to get out of contracts

​   Fast response rates

​   Professional installation available if needed ($199)

Cons:

✗   The panic button needs to be fixed and can’t be worn

✗   The key fob panic button is portable but only has a range of 50 feet from the base station

✗   No medical wristbands or pendants

✗   Need to purchase the equipment up-front


medical alert system_header

Best medical alert systems - how to find a medical alert 

Say you have an aging loved one who needs additional help getting around the house but isn’t necessarily ready to make the move to an assisted living facility. This might be a grandparent or even a parent. They’re still able to get around on their own and live independently to a degree, but maybe they’ve fallen once or twice, and you’re concerned about their safety when they're alone.

Understanding medical alert systems

Medical alert systems provide that protection and peace of mind for both you and them. However, there are quite a few things to know before making your purchase. You’ll discover several different system types on the market - and they’re not all created equal. This guide breaks down your options to help you better understand what’s available on the market and how these systems work so you're enabled to make an informed choice as to how you'll protect your loved one.

Uses and statistics

Medical alert systems are designed to provide additional safety for aging or infirm individuals living alone. They’re used by seniors, as well as by those with physical and/or mental health conditions that are not severe enough to warrant a supervised living arrangement, but there is still cause for concern over individual safety.

According to the National Council on Aging, up to one-fourth of Americans aged 65 and older will fall at least once per year. This equates to one senior being treated in an emergency room for a slip or fall-related accident every 11 seconds. A senior will die from a slip or fall every 19 minutes, and falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and non-fatal trauma in American seniors. Obviously, there is a significant need for improved safety, and medical alert systems provide exactly that.

Brief history

While you’re no doubt familiar with the concept of medical alert systems, chances are that you don’t know the specifics about them or how they’ve evolved over time. Today’s systems are very different from those of yesteryear and offer advanced functionality and features. The first medical alert systems actually debuted back in the 1970s as very simple devices. A person wore a pendant with a push-button around their neck, and in an emergency, they pushed the button to summon help. The pendant communicated with a base station tied into the home’s phone line and would send a signal to the monitoring company in an emergency. Many of the systems available today retain this style, but other options have also emerged.

System types and features

While medical alert systems were once very basic, today’s systems offer more advanced features. There are several different types on the market, as well as additional equipment that can be used to expand the protection offered by some systems. All systems include at least one remote device designed as a pendant to be worn around the neck or as a bracelet on the wrist. Some systems offer a remote device that can be attached to a belt, as well. All systems use a base. This is attached to the home’s landline and is responsible for connecting the senior to emergency help when the button on the pendant or bracelet is pushed.

In most systems, the base allows two-way voice communication between the fallen senior and the monitoring company. They should be tied into the home’s power system and use batteries in case of a power outage. The base should also send an automatic alert if the user is unable to speak. In addition to the ability to summon basic help via the push-button, other features available include the following:

Cellular Connectivity

This is useful for ensuring protection if the landline is down. This also allows the system to be used outside the home. For instance, it could be used when the senior is shopping or traveling. Note that cellular connectivity does require an additional charge.

GPS

This ties into a GPS chip in the pendant/bracelet, or a user’s smartphone and allows monitoring outside the home. GPS technology is also very helpful in monitoring the activities of individuals with mental health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Automatic Fall Detection

This feature is less common than others but provides an automatic notification to the monitoring company if the user falls and is unable to push the emergency help button. The monitoring company can verify the emergency with the individual, or in the case of no response, can automatically send help.

Range

This refers to the distance a user can travel from the base station and still be able to summon help with the push button on their bracelet or pendant. The minimum range is around 300 feet, but some systems can offer a range of up to 500 or 600 feet.

Mobile 911 Phone

Some systems provide a mobile 911 phone for an additional charge that will automatically call 911 in an emergency situation if the user is outside of the covered area or is traveling.

Smartphone Enabled

Some systems tie in with a user’s smartphone, allowing GPS tracking, fall detection, and 911 calling. In addition to the features above, some medical alert systems can be tied into sensors around the home which provide greater safety and protection for your loved one. For instance, some can be connected to carbon monoxide sensors or smoke detectors. Base stations can also detect temperature extremes (without a smoke detector) and send a notification to the monitoring company.

When should you consider a medical alert system?

Most medical alert systems are purchased for aging single parents or grandparents who live alone and are at risk for falling. However, some systems are purchased for aging married couples, as well as individuals with poor eyesight, or those with mental health conditions like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Really, these systems can benefit anyone who needs additional protection and fears that help will not be available in the case of an accident. A medical alert system may be a smart purchase for anyone who:

  • Has fallen and may fall again, particularly if there is no help nearby.
  • Is forgetful or has a dementia-related mental health condition.
  • Lives alone and needs additional protection in the case of an accident.
  • Is recovering from surgery at home and needs additional monitoring.
  • Takes medications that cause dizziness.
  • Has a disease like epilepsy or even diabetes and would benefit from additional protection.

Purchasing a medical alert system

You’ll find that purchasing a medical alert system might be easier said than done. Some can be found in brick-and-mortar stores, including drugstores. However, others are only available from the manufacturer and must be purchased online or by phone. Below, you’ll find website links to some of the most popular systems on the market:

Cost, effectiveness, and installation

The purchase of any medical alert system is dependent on several different factors. Obviously, the cost will be a significant concern, but you also need to consider the effectiveness of the specific system in question, as well as the need for installation. Cost is one of the most difficult criteria to pin down when it comes to medical alert systems, simply because it varies significantly from one system to another. There are also additional factors involved, such as whether or not the company charges a device fee or only a monthly service fee. Additional features and advanced functionality like automatic fall detection and GPS will also drive the price up.

For those on a limited budget, it might be best to consider a system that does not require a monthly fee. In this instance, the device itself might cost $300 or $400, but it’s a one-time charge. However, note that these types of systems do not come with monitoring. They are usually designed to be programmed to call one or more phone numbers when the user presses the emergency help button.

For 24-hour monitoring, you’ll pay a monthly fee. This can range from as low as $29 per month to $35 or even $40 depending on the company in question. You may also have to pay an additional monitoring fee for non-landline monitoring. For instance, Life Alert charges $50 per month for landline monitoring, but that cost rises to $60 per month if you want cellular connectivity. If you want GPS mobile functionality, the monthly monitoring fee rises to $70.

It’s also important to note that some companies only charge a monthly fee, while others will charge a device fee, as well as the monthly monitoring fee. For example, Life Alert only assesses a monthly monitoring fee. LifeStation, on the other hand, charges a monthly monitoring fee plus a device fee. However, that monthly monitoring fee is lower than Life Alert. Finally, you should understand that some companies charge additional fees, including the following:

Activation Fee

This is generally a smaller fee, but must be paid prior to the system being turned on. Many companies don't charge an activation fee, but some do, including Life Alert and Phillips Lifeline.

Cancellation Fee

Some companies charge a fee if you decide to cancel the monitoring plan. For instance, Rescue Alert charges up to $25 depending on the plan you choose. Other companies charge you the cost of the remainder of your contract (Life Alert, for instance).

Contracts

Most companies require that you sign a contract when you purchase the system. Some are as short as 90 days, but others are as long as 36 months. Life Alert’s contract is a minimum of 36 months and is only voided if the user dies or enters an assisted living facility. LifeStation requires a 30-day minimum contract, and Medical Alert requires a 90-day minimum contract.

Effectiveness

The effectiveness of a particular medical alert system comes down to several different factors. One of those is the range of the base unit. Obviously, a system with a range of only 300 feet will be less effective than one with a range of 600 feet. However, if the user doesn’t usually go very far from the base station, that might not be a concern.

Another consideration here is user error. The single most common reason for medical alert systems to fail in providing protection is the user not wearing the pendant or bracelet. Obviously, if the pendant is on a nightstand while the user is in the shower, it cannot provide protection. Likewise, if the power goes out and the user hasn’t changed the batteries in the base station, then the system will not operate.

Installation

Installing most systems is very simple. It requires nothing more than finding a central location in the home for the base station and then connecting it to the landline and the power (and installing batteries in case of a power outage). Most systems come with the pendant or bracelet preprogrammed to communicate with the base station, as well. However, if you purchase a system with additional peripherals, such as smoke detectors or carbon monoxide sensors, additional steps will be required. In some instances, you might require professional installation.

Further reading

Medical alert systems can be highly beneficial, providing vital protection for seniors living on their own, and others who might be at risk for injury in an accident around the home. However, there is a great deal to know about these systems prior to making a purchase decision. You can find further information about important features and functionality, use case scenarios and more at the following sources:

The Safest Cities in Rhode Island, 2017

Officially known as the "State of Rhode Island, "Providence Plantations," and nicknamed "The Ocean State," Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character and historical richness. While it's not actually an island, it's the second-most densely populated state, and it was the first colony to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown. And while Rhode Islanders might get attention for their accent—a cross between Bostonian and New Yorker—there have been plenty of famous people who hailed from the state, including authors H.P. Lovecraft and Cormac McCarthy, and actor James Woods.

College education is a big deal in Rhode Island, and the state boasts several institutions of higher education, including Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University, Bryant University, the New England Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Naval War College. This smartypants tradition can also be seen in some of the state's pioneering decisions, including enacting the first law prohibiting slavery in North America, and being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. Additionally, the state saw the country's first gaslight-illuminated street, NFL night game, woman-joined strike, nine-hole golf course, and lunch wagon. It's exactly this kind of pioneering spirit that draws people to move to Rhode Island.

30,436 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
14 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  GLOCESTER

Located adjacent to Connecticut on the western border of Rhode Island is Glocester, a troublemaker-averse town. It's the safest city in the state, experiencing just 4 violent crimes and 50 property crimes last year. And if you're thinking that it sounds mighty similar to Gloucester, Massachusetts, you're right—the town voted to change its name in 1731, making things a lot less confusing in the region. Glocester also has a long and proud history, hosting the Ancient and Horribles Parade since 1927, and being home to several spots on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Harmony Chapel and Cemetery, Glocester Town Pound, and Manton-Hunt-Farnum Farm.

9,980 Population
4 Violent Crimes
50 Property Crimes

2. SCITUATE

Rich in history while also offering access to pristine streams and unspoiled forests, Scituate is a town that also happens to be conveniently located just west of the state capital of Providence. It's also the second safest town in Rhode Island, seeing only 3 violent crimes and 84 property crimes last year. Its name is derived from the Native American word “satuit,” which means “cold river” or “cold brook.” The name is actually quite appropriate, considering that the Scituate Reservoir is the largest body of freshwater in Rhode Island. Every Columbus Day weekend, the town draws up to 350,000 visitors for the annual Scituate Art Festival, but history buffs also stick around to check out its bounty of National Historic Places and National Sites.

10,543 Population
3 Violent Crimes
84 Property Crimes

3. PORTSMOUTH

The second-oldest municipality in Rhode Island (after Providence), Portsmouth is a town of roughly 17,377 residents and was settled all the way back in 1638. Portsmouth is known as a safe place to live, and the town experienced a mere 8 violent crimes and 7.94 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Visitors will probably be thrown off by the fact that most of the town is located on Aquidneck Island, as well as some smaller islands such as Prudence Island, Patience Island, Hog Island, and Hope Island. Besides its islands, the town is know for being the headquarters of US Sailing (the National Governing Body of Sailing), and the site of the Battle of Rhode Island (1778).

17,377 Population
8 Violent Crimes
138 Property Crimes

4. BURRILLVILLE

Located directly north of Glocester, and bordering both Connecticut and Massachusetts, lies this town of about 16,318 people. It's one of the safest towns in the state, seeing just 16 violent crimes and 7.54 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. It was originally named after United States senator James Burrill, Jr. and settled sometime around 1662, when Europeans came onto the lands of the Nipmuc.

16,318 Population
16 Violent Crimes
123 Property Crimes

5. BRISTOL

Found on a peninsula in Mt. Hope Bay, Bristol was named after Bristol, England. Its major industries include boat building and manufacturing, and it's also one of the safest towns in the state, seeing 13 violent crimes 8.83 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Many people recognize Bristol for being home to Roger Williams University, as well as the boat company Herreshoff, which built five America's Cup winners between 1893 and 1920. However, probably its biggest claim to fame is its Fourth of July parade, which is the oldest continuously celebrated Independence Day festivities in the United States. And if parades aren't your thing, Bristol offers plenty of notable spots and locations on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Herreshoff Marine Museum, Coggeshall Farm Museum, the America's Cup Hall of Fame, and the Bristol Ferry Lighthouse.

22,194 Population
13 Violent Crimes
196 Property Crimes

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The Top 30 Safest Cities in Rhode Island, 2017

1. Glocester

11. Cumberland

21. Johnston

2. Scituate

12. North Kingstown

22. Coventry

3. Portsmouth

13. West Greenwich

23. Middletown

4. Burrillville

14. East Greenwich

24. West Warwick

5. Bristol

15. Smithfield

25. Westerly

6. South Kingstown

16. Charlestown

26. Cranston

7. Narragansett

17. Tiverton

27. Lincoln

8. Barrington

18. North Providence

28. Warwick

9. Richmond

19. East Providence

29. Warren

10. Hopkinton

20. North Smithfield

30. Woonsocket

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Rhode Island, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Pennsylvania, 2017

The second state to be admitted to the union, Pennsylvania is a place where its motto, “Virtue, Liberty and Independence,” rings true. Home to many historical sites and the country's original capital, the state boasts the fifth-largest population in the U.S.A. It is a gateway to the Midwest from the East Coast (and vice versa), and its terrain stretches from the shoreline of Lake Erie to the Appalachian Mountains that run through the middle of the state.

Ranked sixth in gross domestic product among states, Pennsylvania's two biggest business and population hubs are Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the latter of which is also the fifth-largest city in the country. Once a big coal mining hub, these days Pennsylvania has a balanced economy that would rank 18th in the world if it were its own country. Part of its success is due to the higher education in the state, which is provided by notable schools such as the University of Pennsylvania (an Ivy League school), the Pennsylvania State university, Carnegie Mellon, Lehigh University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvanians are also huge sports fans, rooting for major teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins, as well as the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and 76ers. And to top it all off, Pennsylvania has some of the safest cities in the country.

19,611 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
17 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  REDSTONE TOWNSHIP

Located south of Pittsburgh, in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, lies Redstone Township. A friendly town, Redstone Township isn't the biggest metropolis around. However, it's overflowing with history, boasting several locales listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the historic Brier Hill district, visitors can see 75 structures and 18 buildings that contributed to the local coal mining community. Or, they can visit historic taverns such as the Peter Colley Tavern and Barn, the Johnson-Hatfield Tavern, and Wallace-Baily Tavern. However, perhaps Redstone Township's greatest claim to fame is being the safest town in Pennsylvania, each year experiencing just a single violent crime and seven property crimes.

5,445 Population
1 Violent Crimes
7 Property Crimes

2. SOUTH PARK TOWNSHIP

A part of the Pittsburgh metro area, South Park Township is often recognized for its famous name. However, what is should really be recognized for is its safety, since it's the second safest town in Pennsylvania. This community of 13,516 residents sees only 2 violent crimes and 35 property crimes each year, making it a great place to live. The town was originally named Snowden Township, after a prominent politician and businessman, but was eventually renamed after South Park, a county park that offers a golf course, tennis courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, and much more. Fun fact: the surrounding area is where the first shots of the Whiskey Rebellion were fired in 1794.

13,516 Population
2 Violent Crimes
35 Property Crimes

3. SOUTH HEIDELBERG TOWNSHIP

In eastern Pennsylvania, just outside Reading, you'll find this town of roughly 7,329 residents. A quiet place, South Heidelberg Township is also an exceptionally safe place to live, reporting only 3 violent crimes and 17 property crimes last year. The township is also located near several state game lands and is home to the Grand View Dairy Farm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On it, you'll encounter a dairy barn, ground cellar, butcher house, and other turn-back-the-clock structures.

7,329 Population
3 Violent Crimes
17 Property Crimes

4. SPRING TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY

Located in the middle of the state is an outdoor lover's paradise. It's surrounded by nature, including several state game lands, as well as Rothrock State Forest, Bald Eagle State Forest, Bald Eagle State Park, and Little Mountain. Spring Township, Centre County is also very safe, experiencing just a single violent crime and 23 property crimes last year. Not into trekking through nature? Check out nearby State College, which is home to Penn State University and offers plenty of entertainment for college sports fans.

7,612 Population
1 Violent Crimes
23 Property Crimes

5. UPPER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP, DELAWARE COUNTY

Settled and formed as a township in 1683, to this day Upper Providence Township remains a safe community that experienced only 1 violent crime and 35 property crimes last year. Early in its history, water was tapped extensively to power local mills, including the Robinett Grist Mill (1687) and Malin's Grist Mill (1770). These days, residents enjoy access to Evansburg State Park and Valley Forge National Historical Park, as well as a 30-mile drive to Philadelphia. Check out the Old Rose Tree Tavern, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and remains a local favorite.

10,379 Population
1 Violent Crimes
35 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Pennsylvania, 2017

1. Redstone Township

11. Upper Yoder Township

21. South Fayette Township

31. Newtown Township, Bucks County

41. Castle Shannon

2. South Park Township

12. Vandergrift

22. Upper St. Clair Township

32. Northern Lancaster County Regional

42. Peters Township

3. South Heidelberg Township

13. West Cocalico Township

23. Reading Township

33. Northwest Lancaster County Regional

43. WrightTownship

4. Spring Township, Centre County

14. Whitehall

24. Penn Township, Westmoreland County

34. Upper Nazareth Township

44. Kennett Township

5. Upper Providence Township, Delaware County

15. Butler Township, Schuykill County

25. Warwick Township, Bucks County

35. Old Forge

45. South Londonderry Township

6. East Marlborough Township

16. Brighton Township

26. Clarks Summit

36. East Pikeland Township

46. Baldwin Borough

7. Lower Salford Township

17. Adams Township, Butler County

27. East Fallowfield Township

37. Upper Dublin Township

47. O'Hara Township

8. Millcreek Township, Lebanon County

18. Fox Chapel

28. Turtle Creek

38. Lititz

48. Tunkhannock Township, Wyoming County

9. Buckingham Township

19. West Earl Township

29. West Lampeter Township

39. Northampton Township

49. Neshannock Township

10. Franklin Park

20. East Brandywine Township

30. Willistown Township

40. Indiana Township

50. Southwestern Reigonal

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Pennsylvania, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

A Buyer’s Guide to Home Security Cameras

home security cameras_header

Surveillance cameras: security cameras explained

The home security camera market is teeming with all kinds of options and features, which makes the process of choosing the right one a bit overwhelming. This buyer’s guide will help make the research and purchase process much easier by cutting through the manufacturer jargon and providing relevant information for the everyday consumer - regardless of technical background. Readers of this guide should feel more equipped and confident when choosing a home security camera.

Brief history

The first home security video system was created by Marie Van Brittan Brown in 1969. She patented a system of cameras which could look through one of four peepholes and then transmit the video to a remote monitor.

As advances in technology provided smaller cameras with higher resolution, the “Nanny Cam” was introduced in 1992. It allowed parents to discreetly monitor their children and child care staff.

IP cameras (or internet protocol cameras) debuted in 1996. Instead of transmitting images to a monitor, IP cameras sent their videos to computer networks and the internet.

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What home security cameras do

The primary function of a home security camera is to capture video of what’s happening in its field of view to be watched in real-time or later. In recent years, technology has made it so security footage can be monitored online. These cameras can be placed within the interior and/or the exterior of a home. Home security cameras act as a second pair of eyes when the homeowner or other family members aren’t home. Whether it’s to check on the babysitter, children, a pet, or the overall safety of the house, they give peace of mind and assurance that a residence is safe.

Security cameras and surveillance (CTTV) cameras

Security cameras and surveillance cameras may be used interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two. Security cameras actively monitor a home (usually through motion detection) and then send alerts via text/email to the homeowner and/or law enforcement about suspicious or unexpected events. Surveillance cameras or closed-caption TVs (CCTVs) do not scrutinize the videos found in their field of view. They provide a passive live feed that's recorded for later viewing or monitored by someone such as a security guard.

Home security and crime

The FBI reported that in 2015, there were over 1.5 million burglaries, with 71.5 percent occurring on residential properties. These crimes were expensive, costing the average victim over $2,300 or an estimated $3.6 billion in property losses.With those statistics in mind, home security cameras are a crime deterrent. When criminals scope out a home to burglarize or invade, the very presence of a security camera can discourage intruders from trying to break in. Even still, the more determined and experienced burglars can disarm or block visible security cameras, so the installation of both visible and hidden security cameras can strengthen the security of a home.

Common types of home security cameras

Generally speaking, there are two types of home security cameras: indoor and outdoor. The key difference between indoor and outdoor cameras is that outdoor cameras were created to withstand the outdoor elements of temperature fluctuations, precipitation, the wind, and dirt. Besides indoor and outdoor home security cameras, there are other ones that serve different purposes (see below). Usually, most allow for monitoring while one is outside of the home with either a mobile app or web browser.

IP Cameras

These connect to the internet via Ethernet cables or through WiFi. Video can be viewed locally on a computer or sent to a cloud-based application or database.

Wireless Cameras

Although this can be a synonymous term with IP cameras, wireless cameras can send video and audio over a radio band through a wireless receiver (analog) or digitally.

Pan-and-Tilt or Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Cameras

Unlike fixed cameras, which have a stationary lens and show the video of a fixed area, pan-and-tilt cameras show different parts of a room or place. Many come with zoom features, with optical being a more optimal choice (vs. digital zoom) since that allows for the resolution to remain the same. These types of home security cameras are ideal for large rooms or areas.

Doorbell Cameras/Video Doorbells

Fairly new to the home security market are doorbell cameras, which show who's at the door. These cameras send video and notifications to the cloud when no one is present. Not only can video and images be sent, but audio can also be sent and received so homeowners can talk to visitors in real-time.

Dome Cameras

More often used in businesses, dome cameras are a type of surveillance mounted on the ceiling for a bird’s eye view and monitor hard-to-reach places. There are indoor and outdoor versions, as well as infrared night-vision and vandal-proof versions.

Desirable features to consider in home security cameras

With the countless features and options for home security cameras, there are a few general things to consider that will make having a home security camera helpful and not burdensome.

Resolution

The current standard video resolution is 1080p, and although 4K resolution is a newer innovation that can be found in televisions, it has not yet crossed over into the home security video market. A higher megapixel count will improve the digital zoom of a home security camera. Although optical zoom has better picture quality, it isn’t as common as digital zoom.

Field of View

Not only does the video quality matter, but so does how wide a home security camera can see, or the field of view. The range of what wide-angle lenses can view is from 100 to 180 degrees. If a larger space is being monitored, a lens with a wider field of view will be needed.

Placement

Where a home security camera is placed -- indoors or outdoors, small or large area -- will depend on the type of camera chosen. Some cameras are more discreet than others, yet some cameras, such as outdoor surveillance cameras, might mean to be seen as a way to deter theft.

Ease of Installation and Use

How easy or difficult it is to install a home security camera depends on where the camera will be placed as well as its connectivity— whether wired or wireless. Professional installation might be a better option, depending on the camera, the number of cameras, and home security needs. One’s technical comfort level is also a factor. The mobile app or web browser interface should be considered as they can be complicated or straightforward and user-friendly.

Connections: Internet, Bluetooth, and More

Most home security cameras are IP cameras that utilize WiFi connections. Some also add Bluetooth to aid in setup while others use networks to connect and interact with other devices. Most cameras have a mobile app for a cellphone or tablet, and/or a web portal to receive video and alerts.

Cloud-Based Video Storage

Though some home security cameras have onboard storage capabilities, such as a microSD card slot, most send video footage to a cloud-based database. Storage amounts will vary, as well as how long video can be stored.

Motion Detection

A home security camera equipped with motion detection can alert homeowners of anything suspiciously or unexpected found in its field of view.

Sound

Some home security cameras contain a microphone for sound recordings. They can also come with a speaker and act as a video intercom. This is more common with doorbell cameras or video doorbells.

Night Vision

Since criminals typically operate under the cover of darkness, having a home security camera with night vision can greatly aid in viewing events that happen in low levels of light or no light at all.

Costs of home security cameras

Home security cameras can vary widely in pricing, depending on the kind of camera, its features, and additional subscription services. Many home security cameras are a part of a package, which can come with multiple cameras as well as startup and monthly fees. Pricing can also depend on whether a homeowner chooses to install a system or a professional company. The size of the area monitored will also impact pricing. The following are general pricing guidelines and ranges. Prices are per item.

IP cameras Low-range: $30-50; Mid-range: $75-$250; High-end: $300-$1,000

CCTV kits (self-install) Low-range: $200-400; Mid-range: $500-$100; High-end: $1,000-$1,800

Separate home security components Cameras: $50-$250; Concealed cameras: $200-$400; DVRs: $250-$1,000+; Monitors: $100 to $4,500; Cables $15-$50

Security company design and installation (CCTV) Basic: $1,000 to $2000; High-end: $2,000 to $9,000.

Home security cameras can offer peace of mind when homeowners are away from home. They can also provide a defense against terrorist activity as shown in the video below from the FBI. With a large variety to choose from, homeowners can find a home security camera system that fits their needs and budgets.

The Safest Cities in Oregon, 2017

Ask someone about Oregon, and they'll probably paint you a rosy picture of cheery, shorts-wearing hikers hustling up a mountain, munching on granola, and collecting banana peels for compost. Maybe that's because compared to many Midwestern locales, Oregon's lush forests, rushing rivers, and towering mountains really do seem like another world. Oregon offers a veritable bounty of nature, but the Beaver State also offers a strong economy supported by the 27th-biggest population in the country.

The state produces 95% of the country's hazelnuts, ranks third in the number of wineries, and historically has been one of the major timber-production and logging states. Additionally, Nike is headquartered in Beaverton, while Adidas has its American headquarters in Portland. As for education, Oregon is home to several known public and private colleges and universities, including University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, and others. Between the economy, education opportunities, and access to nature, Oregon is a very appealing place to live, and the safety of its cities only adds to the draw.

26,455 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
38 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  BROOKINGS

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean, located just a stone's throw from the California border, lies Brookings. It was originally established in 1908 and named after John E. Brookings, who was president of the aptly named Brookings Lumber and Box Company. Besides stunning coastal views, Brookings also boasts the safest crime statistics in the whole state, seeing only 7 reported violent crimes and 78 property crimes last year. In addition to keeping an eye out for any shenanigans, many locals work at South Coast Lumber, which has been making Doug Fir lumber for the Socomi Brand for more than 50 years.

6,428 Population
7 Violent Crimes
78 Property Crimes

2. UMATILLA

Take the Columbia River east from Portland and you'll eventually run into Umatilla before crossing over into Washington. Named after the Umatilla Tribe, this scenic town became a hub during the gold rush of the late 1800s. These days, it's the second-safest city in the state, seeing only 17 violent crimes and 84 property crimes last year. Locals here love enjoying the outdoors, but when they're working, there's a good chance they're punching the clock at Boise Cascade (makers of wood chips), Oregon Rustic (pine furniture), or Gilroy Food (dehydrated onions).

7,026 Population
17 Violent Crimes
84 Property Crimes

3. NEWBERG-DUNDEE

Located adjacent to Dundee, Newberg can be found in the Portland metropolitan area. The city's motto is, “A Great Place to Grow!” and its flag features a red rose on a field of white, which gives it major style points. The city is also home to George Fox University, but its underrated claim to fame is its safety— Newberg experienced 0.92 violent crimes and 16.14 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Its other claim to fame is being the home of President-to-be Herbert Hoover, who lived with his uncle and aunt while attending Pacific Academy. (The home where he lived has since been designated as the Hoover-Minthorn House museum.)

26,022 Population
24 Violent Crimes
420 Property Crimes

4. SILVERTON

Named after Silver Creek, which flows through the city from Silver Falls, the town changed its name to Silverton in 1855. It's one of the safest cities in Oregon, seeing only 0.52 violent crimes and 20.82 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. And although Silverton isn't a huge city, it does boast several notable points of interest. It's home to Silver Falls State Park, which is the largest state park in the state, as well as the Oregon Garden. The only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in the Pacific Northwest is located here, as is Norman Rockwell's The Four Freedoms mural. Those looking for a safe place to live with access to nature and historical sites should feel right at home here.

9,559 Population
5 Violent Crimes
199 Property Crimes

5. HOOD RIVER

Located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Hood River is nicknamed the “Windsurfing Capital of the World.” Established in 1895, it's one of the safest cities in Oregon, last year tallying just 0.40 violent crimes and 24.09 property crimes per 1,000 people. Besides the fact that the town offers stunning views of Mt. Hood on the horizon, it has amassed many accolades from print magazines and media, being called the “coolest small town” and one of the “great riverfront towns” in the United States. Hood River is also home to Hood River Distillers, Full Sail Brewing Company, and more than a dozen wineries. So, basically, it's a great place to be.

7,556 Population
3 Violent Crimes
182 Property Crimes

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The Top 40 Safest Cities in Oregon, 2017

1. Brookings

11. Winston

21. Albany

31. North Bend

2. Umatilla

12. La Grande

22. McMinnville

32. Springfield

3. Newberg-Dundee

13. Central Point

23. Woodburn

33. Eagle Point

4. Silverton

14. Independence

24. Baker City

34. Lebanon

5. Hood River

15. Bend

25. Redmond

35. Madras

6. Keizer

16. Corvallis

26. Eugene

36. Roseburg

7. Talent

17. Hermiston

27. Milton-Freewater

37. Florence

8. Monmouth

18. Sutherlin

28. Stayton

38. Ontario

9. Pendleton

19. The Dalles

29. Salem

39. Grants Pass

10. Dallas

20. Ashland

30. Klamath Falls

40. Astoria

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Oregon, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Oklahoma, 2017

Commonly referred to as “The Sooner State,” Oklahoma joined the union as the 46th state, making it one of the last to do so. The capital is Oklahoma City, and residents often go by “Okies,” so you betcha that the people around here have pride for their state. Interestingly, the name Oklahoma is originally derived from Choctaw words "okla" and "humma," which mean “red people,” and the state still has a significant Native American population. And even though the state is pretty large, coming in as the 20th biggest in the union, about two-thirds of Oklahoma's population resides in the metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, its two largest cities.

The state has a lot to offer partially thanks to its healthy economy, which is a big producer of oil, natural gas, agricultural products, and biotechnology. But when residents aren't punching clocks and cashing checks, they're probably outside enjoying the state's natural bounty. After all, Oklahoma is home to 6 national parks, 50 state parks, 2 national-protected grasslands or forests, and several conservation and wildlife preserve areas. There's plenty to see here, and the fact that it has some very safe cities only adds to the draw.

33,076 avg population
4 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
30 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  PIEDMONT

Located just outside Oklahoma City on the northwest side, Piedmont's residents are served by a council-management government. Local authorities are definitely earning their paychecks, because Piedmont also happens to be the safest city in the state of Oklahoma, experiencing a mere 2 violent crimes and 35 property crimes last year. It's also a place where people want to move, as evidenced by its rapid growth rate. And if you see any fleet-footed youngsters around town, don't fret—the Piedmont High School girls' track team won the state championship in 2009 and 2010. Better whip out those running shoes.

6,996 Population
2 Violent Crimes
35 Property Crimes

2. OWASSO

A suburb of Tulsa, Owasso was originally settled in Indian territory in 1881, but was eventually chartered as a city in 1972. It has since flourished with a sizable population, nearly doubling since the 200 census and today boasting over 34,814 residents. Unsurprisingly, the safety of the Owasso is a big draw, since the city saw only 1.03 violent crimes and 10.05 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. And while Owasso offers access to Tulsa and outdoors areas such as nearby Oologah Lake, Mohawk park, and the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch, locals are quick to share the fact that it was used as a filming location for The Outsiders.

34,814 Population
36 Violent Crimes
350 Property Crimes

3. VINITA

Vinita holds the distinction of being the first city in Oklahoma to have electricity, and today remains the location of the world's largest McDonald's location (by square footage). That's pretty impressive, but Vinita piles on the praise by also being one of the safest cities in the state, experiencing just 7 violent crimes and 53 property crimes last year. Because the city rests at the base of the Ozarks Highlands, residents have access to a topographical area that's a mixture of forest and prairie. Additionally, there are several National Register of Historic Places highlights in the area, including the Vinita Inn on Route 66, Randall Tire Company, Craig County Courthouse, Attucks School, and Carselowey House.

5,505 Population
7 Violent Crimes
53 Property Crimes

4. LONE GROVE

Located about midway between Dallas and Oklahoma City, Lone Grove is located in the south of Oklahoma. Most residents actually work in nearby Ardmore, but that doesn't mean Lone Grove isn't a great place set one's roots. In fact, Lone Grove is one of the safest cities in Oklahoma, last year experiencing just a single violent crime and a total of 69 property crimes. Outdoors enthusiasts can also get their nature fix at nearby parks such as Lake Murray State Park, Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, and Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

5,248 Population
1 Violent Crimes
69 Property Crimes

5. COWETA

A suburb of Tulsa, Coweta was first settled in 1840 back when it was part of the Creek Nation and Oklahoma was not yet a state. These days it's known for being a very safe town, since it saw 16 reported violent crimes and 94 property crimes last year. Fun fact: 1903 was a big year for Coweta, during which it saw the establishment of its first school, telephone line, newspaper (The Courier), as well as the arrival of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

9,536 Population
16 Violent Crimes
94 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Oklahoma, 2017

1. Piedmont

11. Collinsville

21. Claremore

31. Clinton

41. Wagoner

2. Owasso

12. Edmond

22. Perry

32. Bartlesville

42. Grove

3. Vinita

13. Weatherford

23. Harrah

33. Sapulpa

43. Stillwater

4. Lone Grove

14. Choctaw

24. Skiatook

34. Elk City

44. Sand Springs

5. Coweta

15. Guymon

25. Glenpool

35. Cushing

45. Enid

6. Blanchard

16. Broken Arrow

26. Moore

36. Holdenville

46. Warr Acres

7. Tuttle

17. Alva

27. Newcastle

37. Altus

47. Woodward

8. Mustang

18. Yukon

28. The Village

38. Bethany

48. Chickasha

9. Bixby

19. Tecumseh

29. Sulphur

39. Guthrie

49. Midwest City

10. Blackwell

20. Noble

30. El Reno

40. Henryetta

50. Purcell

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Oklahoma, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

Burglary Statistics: The Hard Numbers

burglary stats_header

Burglary crime statistics and facts

According to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, property crime rates - including burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft - have seen a significant decline in the last few years:

  • ​The 2015 property crime rate was 14.4% less than the 2011 estimate and 25.7% less than the 2006 estimate.
  • The rate of property crime as a whole decreased from 13.9 victimizations per 1,000 households in 2014 to 11.2 per 1,000 in 2015 - a 19% change.
  • Burglary, specifically, dropped from 701 per 100,000 people to 542 per 100,000 people - a 22% change.
  • In comparing 2015 vs. 2016, preliminary data shows a 3.4% decrease in burglary crimes, with larger cities reporting a greater decrease at 5.9% than their nonmetropolitan counterparts at 4%.
  • Keep in mind that statistics do vary significantly by region, for example, the Northeast showed the greatest decrease at 5.9%.
  • If you want to know how where you live compares, you can find the most recent crime statistics for your area here.

While today's burglary statistics show an overall decrease in burglary rates, thousands of homes (roughly 325,000) are still being broken into every year - often in plain view, during the day. In fact, property crimes in 2015 resulted in losses estimated at $14.3 billion.

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There are roughly 2.5 million burglaries a year, 66% of those being home break ins. 

Police solve only 13% of reported burglary cases due to lack of a witness or physical evidence.

325,000
2.5 million

When do burglaries occur?

  • There are 1,495,790 burglaries during the day. Break ins are 6% more likely to occur during the day between 6am and 6pm while people are at work or running errands.
  • There are 1,324,090 burglaries during the night. The cover of night brings security for intruders but also means people are more likely be home.
  • Snow and cold are also a significant deterrent. The lowest amount of burglaries happen in the month of February.
  • A report from the U.S. Department of Justice showed that from 1993 to 2010, on average, burglary rates were highest in the summer, with about 9% lower rates in spring, 6% lower in fall, and 11% lower in winter.

How do they break in?

  • Burglars are most attracted to homes that do not have a home security system, but only 17% of houses have a system in place.
  • Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized.
  • 95% of all home invasions require some sort of forceful entry, be that breaking a window, picking a lock, or kicking in a door.
  • The most common tools used for breaking in are pry bars, pliers, screwdrivers, and little hammers. All easily concealed and very common tools, making them harder to trace.

Who's breaking in?

A study on the habits and motivations of burglars conducted by the UNC Charlotte found:

  • Burglars are most likely to be male and under 25 years old.
  • 85% of break ins are by amateurs and done out of desperation, which some might suggest makes them more dangerous.
  • Most spend time considering factors like proximity to traffic and possible escape routes; 12% admitted to planning in advance while 41% said it was an impulsive decision.
  • 83% admitted that they specifically look to see if there's an alarm; 60% would change their mind if there was one installed.

Is anyone home?

A report on Victimization During Household Burglary found that:

  • 27.6% of the time, a person is home while the burglary occurs; 26% of those people home are harmed. That means 7.2% of burglaries result in someone being injured.
  • 65.1% of the attackers knew the victim and 27.5% were strangers.
  • 60.5% of burglaries involved no weapon; 30.1% did involve a weapon; 9.3% of victims were unsure if a weapon was involved.
  • Homes with an income of less than $7500 annually were most subject to being present while being burglarized, at 65.7 out of 1,000 homes. As you climb to higher and higher annual incomes, your chance of being present goes down.
  • You are more likely to burglarized if you rent than if you own your home.
  • It seems as though burglars are less intimidated by people being present during an attack when they are either a single female, an American Indian or Alaskan Native, or if the house is owned by anyone young, between the ages of 12-19 years old. Perhaps they feel less intimidated by groups of people.
  • What is most likely to be taken? High-value items like electronics and personal items (including stamps, collections, recreational equipment, clothing, luggage, bikes, or animals). Also, anything that is small, easily pocketed, and can return a quick turn-around at a pawn shop.

What are my protection options?

Not surprisingly, burglars will typically avoid a house if it is too difficult or risky. The following are steps you can take to prevent home intrusion:

  • Make your house less appealing by removing overgrown brush or other structures that can provide cover.
  • Get metal doors or at least solid core wood on exterior entrances. Pair with a beefy deadbolt for good measure.
  • To go the extra mile, install a heavy duty strike plate with screws that go deep into the frame.
  • Add a dowel or board into the track of sliding doors or windows. This prevents it from moving, even if it's unlocked.
  • If you’re keeping a window open, make sure it isn’t more than 4 inches wide.
  • Keep the entryway or porch locked, too. An open porch provides cover for those breaking into the main door.
  • If someone you don’t know knocks on the door be loud - make your presence known.
  • If you choose to answer the door, do so while on the phone with a friend or pretend you’re on the phone. This tells the potential burglar that someone will know if there's a break in.
  • If you’re sure a burglary is in progress, call 911 and shout loud statements like, “Honey - get the gun!” When they know you’re aware and have self-defense measures in place they are much less likely to follow through.
  • If you've just moved in, make sure you change the locks on all exterior doors to be safe.
  • Get to know your neighbors. They're your first line of defense - you watch their house, they watch yours.

What are my protection options if I'm going on vacation?

  • Stop your mail delivery or have a neighbor grab mail and packages until you return.
  • Have your neighbor park their car in your driveway so it looks like someone is home.
  • Hook timers up to your televisions and lights. The same goes for outside lights - keep them on a timer or put them on motion-activated sensors.
  • Hire a house sitter. Not only are they physically occupying your home but they can also keep up on mail and trash for you and water your plants.
  • If you have a large dog, that is a very common deterrent. However, dogs can also give away whether or not a person is home by their behavior. The bigger the dog, the less likely a thief is to attempt a break-in.
  • Even if you don’t have a dog, put a “Beware of Dog” sign up to suggest that you have a bully-breed dog that a robber should, in theory, be afraid of.
  • Just the presence of an alarm system is enough to make a potential burglar reconsider. This is why security systems offer you a sign to put in your yard to warn the thieves.
  • Leave a key and the alarm code with a trusted neighbor that is usually home when you’re not so they can help if something happens.
  • For particularly expensive or tempting items, carve your driver’s license number and state somewhere inconspicuous so police can more easily match your stolen item.
  • Create a shortlist of make, model, serial number and value of important items.
  • Taking photos of your valuables. Keep a copy at home and give a copy to a trusted friend or family member, too.
  • Check with your home insurance agent to make sure specific items are covered. You don’t want to be caught in a loophole because of a technicality.

The Safest Cities in Ohio, 2017

Commonly known as “The Buckeye State,” but also less-commonly known as “the Birthplace of Aviation,” Ohio is kind of a big deal. It's the seventh-most populous state in the country and home to sizable cities such as Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, and Dayton. Meanwhile, Canton remains home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sandusky boasts the beloved Cedar Point amusement park. Ohio also has the nation's tenth-largest highway network, and its central location makes it a transportation and business hub.

Named after the Ohio River, which was in turn named after the Iroquois word for “great river,” Ohio technically did not become a state until August 7, 1953. It was then that president Eisenhower finally signed the papers to retroactively declare March 1, 1803 as the state's admittance to the union. Since then, Ohio has become the birthplace of seven different presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, James A. Garfield, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Residents are proud of this rich presidential tradition, as well as the state's many sports teams, which include The Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals. Additionally, Ohio has a reputation as a safe state, as evidenced by its five safest cities.

26,353 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
25 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  RUSSELL TOWNSHIP

Located about 20 minutes east of downtown Cleveland, Russell Township is a classic Middle American town - people remember your name and keep an eye out for funny business. Perhaps that's why it's also the safest town in a state full of them—Russell Township experienced a mere 9 reported property crimes and 1 violent crime last year. You might need a microscope to dive into those crime stats, but instead of doing that you should probably check out the headquarters of ASM International, formerly known as the American Society for Metals. The stunning building features a huge geodesic dome, which looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.

5,262 Population
1 Violent Crimes
9 Property Crimes

2. CHESTER TOWNSHIP

Also located east of Cleveland, and within a buckeye's throw of the previously mentioned Russell Township, lies Chester Township. This town is actually one of five Chester Townships found statewide, but locals will tell you that this one is by far, 100%, for sure, the best Chester Township in Ohio. It's also the safest, seeing only 1 violent crime and 35 property crimes last year. Originally established in 1801, Chester Township today boasts more than 150 miles of roads, as well as a water system that's composed of individual water wells.

10,393 Population
1 Violent Crimes
35 Property Crimes

3. DOVER

A great American football town, Dover loves its Friday night lights. This city of 12,867 people and its Dover High School Tornadoes football team have been battling it out with the nearby New Philadelphia Quakers every year for more than a century, a feat that's known as the third-longest football rivalry in the state. That's pretty impressive, but Dover also piles on the accolades by being known as the third-safest city in Ohio, experiencing only 7 violent crimes and 47 property crimes each year. Besides throwing the pigskin around and being super safe, locals look forward to attending the Tuscawaras County Italian-American Festival in the summer.

12,867 Population
6 Violent Crimes
38 Property Crimes

4. BAY VILLAGE

On the freshwater shores of Lake Erie, just 15 miles west of Cleveland, you'll find Bay Village, which feels so safe that it may as well have put padding on all its street signs. And while it hasn't, it still only saw 7 violent crimes and 47 property crimes in an entire year. The city is also home to Bay High School, which has received praise as one of the best high schools in the country. Besides boasting about the beautiful beach sunsets, locals will likely brag about how Bay Village was home to the famed Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham, as well as the legendary Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who led “The Untouchables” against Al Capone.

15,387 Population
7 Violent Crimes
47 Property Crimes

5. BELLEVUE

Named after James H. Bell, a railroad official, the city of Bellevue has remained a railroad hub since the first half of the 1900s. These days, it also has a reputation for its safety, as evidenced by its tiny crime numbers—only 1 reported violent crime and 31 property crimes last year. Bellevue and the surrounding area boasts several attractions, including the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, which opened in 1976, and Seneca Caverns, a fascinating geologic wonder consisting of underground caves. History buffs can also check out the Heter Farm, Tremont House, and the John Wright Mansion, all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.

8,025 Population
1 Violent Crimes
31 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Ohio, 2017

1. Russell Township

11. Hamilton Township, Warren County

21. Clearcreek Township

31. Canfield

41. Twinsburg

2. Chester Township

12. Olmsted Township

22. Independence

32. St. Clair Township

42. Campbell

3. Dover

13. North Ridgeville

23. Pepper Pike

33. Munroe Falls

43. Springfield Township, Mahoning County

4. Bay Village

14. Powell

24. Sylvania Township

34. New Philadelphia

44. Lawrence Township

5. Bellevue

15. Sagamore Hills

25. Springboro

35. Berea

45. Shawnee Township

6. Hinckley Township

16. Ada

26. Brunswick

36. Cortland

46. Madison Township, Franklin County

7. Poland Township

17. Carlisle

27. Marysville

37. Brookville

47. Mentor-on-the-Lake

8. Hudson

18. Germantown

28. Grafton

38. Sunbury

48. Dublin

9. Brecksville

19. Aurora

29. Solon

39. Orrville

49. Indian Hill

10. Seven Hills

20. Kirtland

30. Fostoria

40. Bellbrook

50. Uhrichsville

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Ohio, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in North Dakota, 2017

Known as the "Peace Garden State" and the "Roughrider State," North Dakota is a place where rugged individualism is the norm and agriculture and natural resources generate much of the economy. As the fourth-least populated state in the union, North Dakota stretches from the hilly Great Plains and striking Badlands, to the Red River Valley and Missouri Plateau. It also contains several large Indian reservations, and these days more than 5% of the state population is composed of Native Americans.

A religious place, North Dakota has the highest percentage of church-goers, as well as the most churches per capita of any state. And even though it remains the least-visited state, its economy keeps firing on all cylinders, resulting in the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The combination of a strong economy and churchgoing folk only adds to the North Dakota's reputation as a safe state, as evidenced by its five safest cities.

36,429 avg population
3 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
27 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  BISMARCK

As the state capital and second-biggest city in North Dakota, Bismarck remains one of the most-popular destinations in the state and is recognized as one of the fastest-growing small cities in America. Perhaps surprisingly, it also holds the title of safest city in North Dakota, which is pretty impressive for a city of its size. How impressive? Bismarck saw 1.47 violent crimes and 13.04 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Originally named Missouri Crossing and later Edwinton, the city eventually came to be known as Bismarck when the Northern Pacific Railway named it after German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, in the process hoping to attract German investment and settlers. (It was the discovery of gold in the Black Hills that was much more successful in drawing people to the area.)

70,873 Population
104 Violent Crimes
924 Property Crimes

2. WEST FARGO

One of the state's fastest-growing cities, West Fargo is the fifth-largest city in North Dakota and lies just west of (you, you guessed it) Fargo. West Fargo still makes sure its neighborhoods are plenty safe, and the city experienced only 1.50 violent crimes and 15.31 property crimes per 1,000 residents last year. West Fargo was named the City of the Year by the North Dakota League of Cities in 2013 and to this day maintains a significant number of descendants from Germany and Norway. In the summer, residents look forward to Big Iron, an annual fest held on the West Fargo Fairgrounds which draws more than 87,000 attendees and showcases farm equipment at more than 900 exhibit booths.

33,433 Population
50 Violent Crimes
512 Property Crimes

3. WAHPETON

Located on the eastern border of the state adjacent to the Bois de Sioux River, the town of Wahpeton is one of the safest in North Dakota. Last year, the town experienced 10 reported violent crimes and 181 property crimes, making it a great place to enjoy a quiet life. It originally attracted settlers because of the richness of the nearby river valley, so much so that it was originally named Richville. The town was later renamed to Chahinkapa, and again to Wahpeton, the latter of which is an adaptation of a Dakota Indian name. In their free time, many locals take part in exploring the outdoors and hunting, and the local area is a draw for migratory waterfowl hunters.

7,940 Population
10 Violent Crimes
181 Property Crimes

4. VALLEY CITY

Less than four square miles in size, Valley City is a close-knit community that also happens to be one of the safest in South Dakota—the town saw a total of 19 violent crimes and 160 property crimes last year. Valley City is also home to Valley City State University, and boasts many bridges that stretch over the Sheyenne River, motivating some people to call it the “City of Bridges.” Additionally, the city is home to the annual North Dakota Winter Show, which draws around 30,000 people annually, as well as The Vault, a unique coffee shop where there are no employees and customers serve themselves.

6,692 Population
19 Violent Crimes
160 Property Crimes

5. JAMESTOWN

The ninth-largest city in North Dakota, Jamestown is also home to the aptly named University of Jamestown. It squeaks into the top five safest cities ranking, experiencing just 3.30 violent crimes and 25.05 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. That's almost as safe as having UFC legend and Jamestown native Ronda Rousey watch your back. Jamestown is also home to the world's largest buffalo statue, which is composed of mostly stucco and cement, and weighs 54 tons. This tourist attraction is also the source of the city's nickname: The Buffalo City.

15,447 Population
51 Violent Crimes
387 Property Crimes

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The Top 12 Safest Cities in North Dakota, 2017

1. Bismarck

11. Mandan

2. West Fargo

12. Watford City

3. Wahpeton

4. Valley City

5. Jamestown

6. Dickinson

7. Grand Forks

8. Fargo

9. Minot

10. Williston

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in North Dakota, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.