Editorial Guidelines and How We Review

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Our Beginnings

You and your family’s security and personal safety matters. Whether you’re looking for home security, home automation, identity theft protection, or even a medical alert system for a loved one — there are countless so-called “experts” out there.

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know where to turn for honest and accurate research and recommendations. That’s why we started SafeHome.org. We are committed to publishing unbiased, fact-based research on home security and personal safety solutions.

Sure, we started out with a focus on home security. But over the years we found that we could help people live safer and more convenient lives on many different levels. So we began to recruit highly-qualified experts in the fields of identity theft protection, medical alert systems for seniors, and smart home automation. Without a doubt, our safety experts and editorial team have helped SafeHome.org become the leading authority in home and personal safety.

While our company is always growing and expanding, our focus remains on helping you find peace of mind. At SafeHome.org, we continue to raise the standard to help you find the safety, security, and convenience you deserve. And we do it with rigorous research, honest recommendations, and practical guides that you can trust.

Testing the ADT Control Panel

Testing the ADT Control Panel

Our Mission

We are driven by a simple but powerful mission: to educate people and help them find the best products and services to protect themselves, their homes, and their families. We accomplish this by publishing home and personal safety research such as product recommendations, guides, tools, and other helpful resources.

Our content is guided and often created by our team of safety experts. Our panel of experts has a combined 260+ years of experience in law enforcement and security, with 20,000+ cases of burglary and theft to their names. They share their experience and expertise to help you and your loved ones remain safe and secure.

Our Code of Ethics

At SafeHome.org, we follow a strict code of ethics. These are not mere principles, static in nature. Rather, they are active and dynamic throughout our company; these ethics are at the center of all we do.

Our Code of Ethics:

  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accuracy
  • Honesty
  • Service
  • Education

We understand that educating our readers is a great responsibility, not to be taken lightly. So we serve our readers with these ethics at our core. In a sense, this code of ethics serves as our ‘true north’. It guides our editorial team in a direction that will help to create a safer society.

Our Commitment to Transparency

We are 100% committed to transparency in all we do. With this in mind, our readers will find open disclaimers and earnings disclosures on our site.

We also strive for transparency in every piece of content we publish — whether it’s a review, guide, or other resource. We tell the full story of a product or service. And we highlight both the pros and cons of each safety solution.

We equip our readers with everything needed to make a wise investment. Our commitment to transparency is an asset to the people we serve.

Wyze Sense Camera View

Wyze Sense Camera View

Why We Only Focus on Home and Personal Security

Many companies try to be everything to everyone. But in most cases, this lack of focus cheapens a brand and keeps it from truly helping people. At SafeHome.org, we only research and cover a handful of topics: home security and home automation systems, identity theft protection, and medical alert systems. We know these topics best, and it’s where we deliver the highest value to our readers.

Why We Do Not Sell Products or Services

At SafeHome.org, we do not make products or provide security/safety services. Nor do we sell products directly on our website. Doing so would undermine our mission of educating readers on available options to secure their homes and keep their families safe.

In many cases, we recommend products and services, and we link to the maker/provider’s website (see ‘external relationships’ section). However, we are decidedly not an online retailer; rather, our company is a trusted source to find the information you need to make a wise buying decision.

Our Methodology & Editorial Standards

Our Approach

Everything we create at SafeHome.org (research, product comparisons, guides, tools, etc.) undergoes rigorous fact-checking and editing. Our safety experts and editorial team adhere to our high editorial standards for accuracy and objectivity. In conducting in-house research, we only use legitimate, credible, peer-reviewed studies and statistics.

When it comes to communicating our findings, we aim to be professional and relatable. With this in mind, readers will sometimes find a colloquial voice/tone in our research and guides. This serves to engage the reader and make our research come alive. After all, SafeHome.org is not an industry association site. Rather, our company is geared toward serving real people looking for real solutions to stay safe.

Installing the Ring Floodlight Cam

Installing the Ring Floodlight Cam

How We Find the Products & Services that Keep Our Readers Safe

Our safety experts and editorial team are deeply embedded in the home and personal security industries. They are among the first to know about new safety products and services. They know which options are worth a closer look, and which options should be dismissed as inferior.

Also, our safety experts and editorial team are always researching the market — looking at security websites and forums, and searching for customer reviews, third-party ratings, and other valuable insights. This comprehensive research enables us to share a full and accurate picture of the products and services that we cover.

Installing Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

Installing Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

How We Research and Test Products & Services

Once we identity which products and services to cover, our safety experts learn them inside and out. This means poring through spec-charts, manuals, product pages, user reviews, and other resources. Our team has over 10,000 hours of research under our belts. And our approach is to begin with a wide-angle lens, and then zoom in to cover the features, benefits, and details that matter.

In many cases, our safety experts will personally test the products and services. Hands-on testing is always the ideal, but sometimes it’s simply not practical or possible. What’s most important is that we gain an extremely thorough understanding of how the products function, as well as the value they bring to our readers. Fortunately, this can be accomplished through a variety of overlapping methods.

Testing out SimpliSafe's keypad.

Testing out SimpliSafe’s keypad.

How We Rank Products & Services

We consider a range of factors when ranking products and services. These include:

  • Pros and cons
  • Key features and technology
  • Ease of use and installation
  • Equipment options
  • Customer service
  • Value for the money
  • Current sales and discounts
  • Insider tips for making a purchase
  • Available packages, plans, and pricing

About Our SecureScore™

At SafeHome.org, we use a proprietary system to give every safety solution a numbered ranking, from 1 to 10. This ranking is called the SafeHome.org SecureScore™. It takes into account all research, testing, statistics, and other important factors regarding the product/service. Our experts have found the SecureScore™ system to be the most objective and effective way for readers to compare products and services. It also allows readers to see our research at-a-glance.

Our SecureScore™ rankings are never inflated. While many companies claim 5-stars for several products, our readers will (likely) never find a perfect 10 SecureScore™. This is because we research and report on safety solutions accurately, and no solution is perfect. When a product or service falls short of our standards, we are honest in communicating this in our SecureScore™ and throughout our research.

You can read more about our unbiased review policy here.

Rob Gabriele Using ADT

Rob Gabriele Using ADT

Fact-Checking and Page Updates

Fact-checking is an integral part of our process. We go to great lengths to avoid misrepresenting products and/or misleading our readers. Therefore, our safety experts and editorial team are expected to carefully conduct and communicate their research, with a sharp eye for accuracy and fact-checking. Also, every bit of our research undergoes rigorous editing from our Senior Editor.

Our safety experts and editorial team are constantly fact-checking and looking to ensure:

  • Any information and claims are directly from the source, and not a third-party site.
  • Any info and claims are recent and/or the most up-to-date available.
  • Any info and claims are carefully communicated (no misspellings or errors).
  • Any info and claims are relevant, not superfluous, and serve to educate the reader (not confuse them).

If and when an inaccuracy is found on our site, we seek to correct the information and update it immediately. Accuracy matters to our readers. And while we are not always perfect, we are committed to publishing the most accurate and up-to-date research on home security and personal safety available.

Testing ADT Environmental Monitoring Equipment

Testing ADT Environmental Monitoring Equipment

Our Policy On Taste and Tact

When it comes to the language we use, we adhere to the highest standards in the industry. Therefore we do not use:

  • Profanity or edgy slang
  • Sensational language (i.e. Your home could be burglarized tonight!)
  • Flippant or too-casual phrasing
  • And we also do not make promises that a product/service will perform in a particular way or deliver a specific desirous outcome

Plagiarism Policy

At SafeHome.org, our research is always our own and always original. In rare cases do we use exact verbiage from outside sources. For instance, technical specifications and proprietary features of a given product must be written word-for-word (verbatim) for the sake of clarity and accuracy.

Our Plagiarism Policy is strictly enforced. We have zero tolerance for plagiarism. Thankfully, we have never had a problem with plagiarism, as we take great pains to put the proper safeguards in place.

Who We Trust and Why

SafeHome.org Safety Experts

Our team of safety experts includes retired Burglary Detectives, Private Investigators, Security Directors, Identity Theft Experts, Elder Care Professionals, and other safety professionals. With over 260 years of collective experience, our panel is perhaps the most qualified team of safety experts. This means that readers can trust the research, recommendations, guides, and other resources we create and publish.

Insights On SafeHome.org Safety Experts:

  • Our growing team currently includes 23 safety experts from various specialties
  • Carefully selected and vetted for expertise on home security and automation, ID theft protection, or elder care safety
  • Worked on 20,000+ cases of burglary and theft
  • Thousands of criminal and home invasion investigations
  • The brightest minds in home security and personal safety
  • Responsible for guiding our editorial team and educating our readers on all things home and personal protection

We have soaring standards for our safety experts, as their position comes with great responsibility. They are to research, recommend, guide, and advise with reader safety as their top priority. For instance, our safety experts will never recommend an inferior product/service simply based on price. While price and value do matter, finding a deal should never come at the expense of safety and security.

While they are experts, they are still human. So we challenge our safety experts and editorial team to ask questions like:

  • In conducting research, am I using credible sources and relevant statistics?
  • Would I use this product/service to protect my family?
  • Do I have a personal bias toward this product/service?
  • Do I have a personal prejudice against this product/service?
  • Have I done everything to accurately communicate the features, benefits, value, etc.?
  • And other questions in this vein.

The Home/Personal Security Companies Themselves

We also trust the companies behind the products we research and report on. We believe the majority of these companies make their best effort to remain compliant with the entities that govern things like an accurate portrayal of offerings, false advertisement, and the like. For instance, when we find pricing on a home security company’s website, or included features with a given identity theft protection plan, we must trust that the information is up-to-date and accurate.

FBI Crime Stats (FBI.gov) and Other Reputable Sources

In conducting our research and creating guides and other resources, we often reference sources like FBI.gov, PewResearch.org, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and others. At SafeHome.org, we strongly believe in “showing our work.” That is, we back up our claims with real research and peer-reviewed studies and statistics where necessary. We refrain from using sensational marketing tactics, and instead, we espouse real professional insight and hard research from true experts.

Verified Customer Reviews

Our safety experts and editorial team sometimes use “verified” customer reviews in researching home security or personal safety solutions. Not all reviews are created equal. A verified customer review means we are selective about a) where the review is sourced, b) the validity of the review, c) the reviewer’s intent, and d) the recency or date of the review. We then contextualize the review to ensure it will help to support, and not harm, our editorial efforts.

Third-Party Companies and Websites

We also trust verified third-party sources. But again, we use great caution and discernment in choosing which sources to trust. Unfortunately, many third-party companies and websites have an agenda, are not objective, and show an obvious bias in their content. However, there are a small handful of credible companies and websites that we do reference and trust.

Sources We Do Not Trust

At SafeHome.org, we do not trust companies, websites, and other sources that are not decidedly objective and unbiased in nature. We do not trust:

  • Most user-review sections on online retailer sites
  • Most home security or personal safety online forums
  • Personal blogs on home security/home automation, identity theft, or medical alert systems
  • Outdated information, regardless of the source
  • Any source that does not openly list credentials and authority on the topic

How We Keep SafeHome.org Free For You, And Sustainable For Us

We do not overwhelm visitors with advertisements. In fact, unlike many websites, our site does not have any annoying ads that detract from the user experience. With that said, our company must keep the lights on, so-to-speak. So we do monetize with links and phone numbers where it makes sense.

External Relationships

As outlined in our Earnings Disclosure, we do earn affiliate commissions in some instances. When a user clicks on (or buys through) an affiliate link, we might make a small commission.

However, we prioritize objectivity and fact-based research. And we would never jeopardize reader trust by publishing biased research, comparisons, guides, etc. We believe the method in which we monetize our site has the least impact on our readers. And it allows us to continue conducting and publishing high-quality research and other rich resources — free of charge to our readers.

We also do not have any:

  • Sponsored content on our site
  • Paywall or fees for our readers
  • Digital or physical products for sale
  • And we do not accept gifts in any form

Listening And Responding To Our Readers

Our readership is our company’s biggest asset. We try our best to respond to reader questions, comments, and concerns in a timely manner. Oftentimes, we reply to readers immediately.

We value our readers’ insight, input, and comments. So our readers can trust that our team is making every effort to reply to inquiries as quickly and as thorough as we possibly can. If a reader has a particularly time-sensitive inquiry, we recommend getting in touch with us directly (see section below).

How to Get in Touch With Us

Readers can use this form to contact us. We hope that you continue to enjoy our in-depth safety studies, research, guides, data analysis, and other resources published on SafeHome.org. It is our sincere pleasure and duty to serve our visitors today and for years to come.

Written By
Andrew Garcia
Lead Security Editor

As Lead Security Editor, Andrew strategically guides SafeHome.org and the resources we publish. He holds a BA in business, and has 10+ years of experience in content development. Today, Andrew edits and publishes articles, guides, and other resources to meet our rigorous standards. Learn more about Andrew here