A home security system can be a source of comfort or a financial headache to homeowners. This could be the case because investing in a system, getting it installed and getting it monitored could be fraught with a lot of problems like pressuring tactics from salesmen, wild swings in prices and expensive contracts.
Features of an alarm system
Burglar alarms or basic security systems as they are known, are wired to a centralized control panel in a home. Sensors are attached to windows and main entryway doors and hooked up to the control panel – the alarm gets activated when doors or windows are opened while the system is still armed. All the newest and advanced systems have CO2 and fire alarms embedded in the system along with glass breakage detectors as well as motion sensors. Smart systems are now beginning to incorporate home automation like temperature and lighting controls.
Statistics offer good news in the form of homeowners being satisfied with their home security systems – 80% rate them as being highly effective in protecting their property. There are always reports of customers who have problems when they are shopping around for alarm systems. Those looking at getting a new alarm system should get answers for the following questions.
What to ask
Is a home security system necessary? This is the very first question that consumers need to consider. There are a lot of precautions that one can take before investing in an alarm system of any kind. Burglars usually look for unlocked doors and windows – a homeowner should get good quality locks and install them on doors. Windows should also have substantial locks on them so that they are hard to force. Motion sensor lighting also helps.
Many people choose to get dogs and this could be a pricey option. Others put out signs from alarm companies to deter burglars from breaking in. Residents should be more mindful to lock up after themselves when they leave their homes. When on vacation, it is a good idea to have lights on timers and stop newspaper delivery to make sure that burglars are not tipped off.
How to choose equipment installers? There are quite a few alarm companies who do installation as well. Get quotes from a few companies for installing and monitoring services. Checking company ratings with the BBB or any other reputable organization will offer insights into which company to choose.
Is monitoring necessary? Monitoring is a good idea because it can notify the alarm company in case of unauthorized entry. Signals can be sent over a wireless or landline connection. In case of a fire, the police and fire departments are both notified. This kind of monitoring usually costs up to $50 a month – it depends on the features chosen by the homeowner. Often, neighbours usually notify the police in case of trouble – so some people are of the opinion that signing up for monitoring services is not necessary.
When a homeowner gets an alarm system installed, they also have the option of switching monitoring company. This can save them a lot of money – it also pays to shop around and sign just annual contracts without automatic renewal.
Are there any new services? Cable and telecom companies are now getting into offering home security systems and monitoring services. These companies are working on offering a lot of options and prices vary with services offered. Be sure to check around for good prices and a comprehensive package.