Really, it is probably best to read this over before you go out and buy into an alarm system. They say that a sucker is born every day, so don’t be one. It’s very easy to sign up with an alarm company. They will be competing for your business and you will be bombarded with marketing to get you signed up. Take your time and look over reviews to see what your best options are. Look everything over and make sure you are really making the best possible decision regarding you and your family’s safety.
There are some simple questions that everyone needs to ask before they go and buy. It is best to be informed and have answers to your questions so we’ve gone ahead and drawn out what we think are the most important things to consider when purchasing a home security system or monitoring coverage.
- What are my options?
- How much will it cost and when will payment be due?
- Is this DIY or do I need a professional?
- Am I going to be locked into a contract?
- Do I need a landline phone?
- What happens if or when I am broken into?
- What is the best Alarm system for me?
1. What are my options?
There are so many options available when considering a home security system that you might feel a little bit overwhelmed. That’s okay though, it is pretty easy to pick out what you need and make the right choices, provided you have an understanding of how much you want to protect yourself. Some people want to get crazy, adding cameras, motion sensors, trip wires (just kidding), but you can get a VERY secure home nowadays with minimal effort. Most likely you will want door and window sensors with a basic monitoring package. This will not cost very much and is likely to stop or catch the majority of burglars that will try and break into your home. If you are willing to spend the extra money and want other features, you can get the cameras, remote monitoring, etc. For those of you that are interested in traveling or having a second home, it is a really good idea to invest in some sort of climate monitoring for the temperature and moisture content within your home. This can prevent some costly accidents with flooding or frozen pipes (just to name a few).
2. How much will it cost and when will payment be due?
This is probably one of the reasons why it is important to do your research and due diligence when selecting what your course of action will be regarding your home security system. Some plans might look great on paper and have tons of goodies to boot. However, you need to think of some of the networks and companies you are working with, why would they offer you a sweet system at such a low price? It is similar to a cellphone, you are paying for it over time. That is sometimes a great idea, but you need to understand the terms and conditions of any and all contracts you get yourself into. Will you be moving? Will I need to pay for the system after I move? These are great questions you need to ask your home security professional.
3. Is this DIY or do I need a professional?
While most of the things during the installation are easily done by a handy man (or woman), I would advise that you try and use a professional. The reason being is that you cannot screw this up. Most people are not very aware of how much wiring or intricacy is involved and it could eventually (even a few years from now) bite you in the behind because you did not do something correctly. So, for your own safety and peace of mind, just have a professional install your system. It also probably includes some sort of warranty so you’re not on the hook in case something breaks.
4. Am I going to be locked into a contract?
This is a similar question to #2 above but the reason I am bringing it to your attention again is due to the fact that it is so important. DO NOT GET LOCKED INTO A CONTRACT THAT YOU WILL BE PAYING INTO FOR YEARS TO COME. There, I said it. Really though, there are a lot of companies out there that will compete for you, so don’t get into a contract unless you are 100% sure it is in your favor to do so. Don’t listen to the salesman, check their reviews online, make sure you’re working with a reputable company.
5. Do I need a Landline phone?
While a landline phone is a good thing to have for something like this, nowadays a lot of people have gone to using their cellular phones only. This has made it less common for the system to use the landline phone for a communication method for their security system. I would suggest having your security system hooked up to the cellular network. No fuss no muss.
6. What happens if or when I am broken into?
Most times, people with a security system are pretty safe. The burglars break in, the horn goes off, they leave. While every company is different, some do have guarantees and response times to which they are required to adhere to. If you think your company has done a bad job at protecting your home, you need to find out if you are eligible for some sort of compensation.
7. What is the best alarm system for me?
This question is the basic one, which everyone asks, and I really do not have a great answer for you. The only thing I can suggest is to look at your needs. Unless you really want to spend a ton of money, don’t go and setup a huge/expensive/crazy surveillance apparatus. Your best bet is to simply provide your home with the basic door and window sensors (and monitoring). If you travel a lot, get yourself some temperature and flood sensors as well. It could save you thousands.