How to Choose a Home Alarm Monitoring Company
Choosing a home alarm monitoring company system can be expensive and difficult. You’re making a decision that could have a huge impact on the security of your family and your home, and there are a ton of choices. To make your search for a home alarm monitoring company easier, figure out your home security needs well in advance, before you even schedule a consultation with a house alarm monitoring company.
What Kind of Security Do I Need?
Look around your home — how many windows and doors do you want protected with your home alarm? Most people don’t place switches on every window, but it is a good idea to alarm every door leading in and out of your home. The size of your home is the biggest factor in determining how many switches you’ll need.
Do you have a spot in mind for the alarm control panel? Many people find it’s best to place the keypad close to the door they use to enter the home — that way there’s less chance of a false alarm. You may have the option of installing extra keypads throughout your home, in bedrooms or upstairs. The control panel controls your home alarm and connects to the home alarm monitoring company, so having quick access to it is important for responsible home alarm use.
Home alarm systems now commonly offer the option of 24 hour monitoring, wherein your home is “watched” by the alarm system’s computers twenty-four hours a day. This has its own fees and other headaches attached, including a tax paid to your city or municipality in most cases for a “home alarm license.” The main alternative to a 24 hour monitoring system is a sensor that connects to your home telephone and dials a predetermined number if the house alarm “goes off.” This is far less expensive, but generally more prone to cause expensive false alarms. It is also seen as less sophisticated a security method, and since it doesn’t generally require monitoring, isn’t offered by larger home alarm companies.
The final consideration you should make before you start shopping for a home alarm monitoring service — does your family have any special needs in terms of an alarm system? If you have a large dog that stays indoors when you’re at work, or if you and your family are late-night snackers, these could actually alter the kind of home alarm monitoring you need. Figure out your night-time and “away time” habits so you can give the alarm company a good idea of what sort of alarm is best for your family.
Choosing A Home Alarm Monitoring System
If you aren’t using one of the major home alarm monitoring services (ADT, Fidelity, etc.) make sure you are working with a reputable company. Look into their business history at the Better Business Bureau or other consumer group. Ask around your neighborhood, church, or at work.
You should choose a home alarm monitoring company that gives you a control panel you know how to use. You’ll be using the control panel every day, so find one that is easy for you. A basic alarm system is capable of controlling eight zones in your home, and you can go up as high as 40 zones with some alarm monitoring company, but you can expect to pay a much higher price.
Look for a home alarm monitoring company that can monitor for fire, carbon monoxide (CO), gas leaks, low-temperature switches, and flood detectors. If your home alarm monitoring package included all of these plus a security alarm, you’d have a top-notch security system. Since most people can’t afford this, go with a monitoring company that lets you pick and choose your own monitors.
The final step in using a good home alarm monitoring company — make sure everyone in your family is able to use the keypad. Make sure the whole family tries the keypad out and knows how it works in case the alarm goes off accidentally.
Installing a home alarm system is a great idea — in some cases you can save money on your home insurance by using home monitoring. When it comes to choosing a home alarm monitoring company, the thing you need to worry about most is how well you can use it and how well it fits your family’s lifestyle.