Home alarm systems are an important line of defense to protect your home and your family in case of burglary or emergency, but getting one means navigating all of the options and features that are out there.
Before buying a home alarm system, there are a few questions you should ask to make sure that you get what you need and that you select the right alarm company to stand with you in defense of your property and loved ones.
1. Why are you buying a home alarm system?
The answer might seem obvious, but there are as many reasons to get an alarm system as there are features. Are you getting a system primarily to deter intruders? Do you need one that will monitor special areas of your home or be able to secure valuables? Do you need to be notified of other types of urgent incidents like fire, flood or carbon monoxide leaks?
2. What features do you need?
Basic alarm systems involve sensors placed at probable entry points around your home, but all good companies provide a lot more than that. Video surveillance, remote monitoring, home automation and more are all possible benefits of alarm systems.
A home alarm system can add a lot of security and convenience to your life, if you get the features that will are most beneficial to your lifestyle.
3. Who will have access to the system?
If your home alarm system will need to be accessed by multiple people, there are options for making sure you are not forced to hand out the same security codes and access to everybody. Systems that allow you to program multiple codes will give you added control over how the system is used and allow you to monitor who is using it.
Giving your children codes that allow them to disarm entryways, but keep the entertainment center guarded will help you monitor what they are able to do when they get home from school. A housekeeper or other occasional visitor can have a code that will register when they arrived and disarmed the system and when they left and rearmed the system behind them. This will help you keep track of who is in your house, and when.
4. What is your budget?
There is a wide range of alarm systems available and many can be customized to fit your budget, no matter what it is. Some companies have a flat monthly monitoring fee, others provide a la carte pricing to give you the most customization. Many times, special discounts or offers are available that can help you stay within your budget. Either way, the more you know about what you are looking for, the better you will be able to compare pricing of top alarm system providers.
5. Are you willing to sign a contract?
Contracts can range in length, features and provisions. Still, there are some alarm companies that don’t require a contract at all. Your situation and what type of alarm system you need both affect whether finding a company that requires a contract or going with one that does not is the right fit for you.
Ask the Alarm System Company
1. Is there are contract and, if so, what are the terms of the contract?
Some of today’s best alarm system companies do not require a contract of any kind. Paying your monthly fee is all you need to maintain service with them. These companies also allow you to move your system from one location to another, increasing your overall return on investment by providing longevity.
Still, some of the top alarm companies do require a contract and it is always good to know what it includes. How long are the terms for? What should you expect from the company and what are they expecting from you? Early termination fees and other provisions are also good to review before signing.
2. How do they provide their protection?
Your home alarm system will be connected to a monitoring center that watches for indications that something is happening at your property that needs attention. Getting the signal from your home to that monitoring center is a vital part of any alarm system.
Some companies send signals through landlines, while others use cellular or wireless transmission signals. Ask your alarm provider how they receive notifications and what back up levels of protection they offer in case those signals are interrupted or power is out.
3. What happens if you move?
Hardwired alarm systems that are installed in your home by running wires through holes that have been drilled throughout your property are still very common, but they can’t be moved if you are relocating.
Wireless systems can be uninstalled and reinstalled at a new property in some cases. Your provider will be able to tell you what their policy is on moving and how it affects your contract, if you have one, whether there are any fees involved in relocating your alarm, or if you need to notify them to be involved in the process.
Depending on what home alarm system is right for you at this moment, the moving process might prove easier than you could imagine if your alarm company helps you install a great system at your new place for no extra charge.
4. How can you customize your system? Can it change as your needs change?
Alarms for homes and businesses today are often able to be fully customized and are able to grow and change as your needs grow and change. It is possible that you could install a system that will allow you to add features as you need them really easily.
The best alarm companies offer a lot of customization and options for growing with your system. Knowing this information can help you plan for your future needs and install the system that will fit you and your life for the longest time.
Compare and Buy
By asking these questions to know what you need and what options are offered by top alarm system providers in your area, you can rest assured that you will select the best option to protect your home and that it fits your needs and budget for the long-term.