Home Security System An Insider Guide To Saving You Money

Monitoring your home security system has never been easier but there are several things you need to​ consider before committing yourself to​ a​ long term monitoring agreement with any alarm company

Alarm companies don’t make the​ majority of​ their profit from selling security systems, it​ comes from accumulating a​ large base of​ alarm-monitoring contracts. in​ fact these monitoring contracts are so profitable that they are frequently bought and​ sold like mortgage notes.

Tip #1 Ask if​ they are an​ authorized alarm dealer or​ a​ represent a​ marketing company.
Marketing companies have learned to​ flood a​ market with fantastic offers on security systems with the​ sole purpose of​ selling the​ contracts at​ a​ profit. They often use any sub-contractor available, which can lead to​ poor customer service once the​ marketing company leaves town.

Once you find a​ reputable alarm company ask them to​ come out to​ your home and​ give you a​ quote. You’ll find that most will quote you a​ basic security system at​ a​ reasonable price. These basic security systems generally include an​ control panel, keypad, motion detector, a​ couple of​ door contacts, inside siren, a​ yard sign and​ warning decals

Tip #2 Make sure the​ equipment can be monitored by any alarm company not by just the​ one selling it​ to​ you. if​ they use proprietary security equipment you could be left
in a​ bind should you become dissatisfied with their service for​ any reason. Ademco, DSC,& Caddx are well known manufacturers and​ can be monitored by any one.

Some companies offer low a​ low installation charge of​ $99.00 or​ will give you a​ “FREE” security system. Many do so if​ you put a​ security sign in​ your yard for​ advertising purposes and​ commit to​ a​ long-term alarm-monitoring contract.

Since the​ installation charge doesn't cover the​ true cost of​ the​ equipment and​ labor, you are charged a​ substantial monthly fee to​ recoup their investment. These “deals” or​ equipment leases aren't necessarily bad but make it​ hard to​ evaluate the​ true cost to​ you over time.

The best way to​ evaluate your contract is​ to​ ask the​ salesman to​ give you a​ quote to​ purchase the​ security system outright and​ show the​ home alarm-monitoring fee separately. Most of​ the​ time you are better off buying the​ alarm system because your monitoring fee will be much less.

For example. Say for​ $99 your monitoring fee is​ $35 per month for​ 3 years
you total cost for​ monitoring your home alarm is​ $1359.00 Your fee
will remain $35 per month or​ even increase.

On the​ other hand say you pay $599.00 installation and​ $20 dollars a​ month your total cost is​ $1319. Not only is​ your overall cost less but from year 3 on your will be saving $180 per year. This savings would be better spent on upgrading your alarm system to​ include fire monitoring and​ added perimeter protection

Tip #3 Don’t pay additional charges for​ medical or​ fire monitoring.
It’s ok to​ pay for​ the​ equipment needed but some companies charge $2-$5 extra for these services. These options are easily programmed into the​ alarm system and​ don’t require any additional effort to​ monitor.

Is a​ Basic Security System for​ You?

The answer is​ probably not. Basic systems only cover your doors and​ are supplemented by the​ use of​ a​ motion detector. This detector is​ usually mounted in​ the​ main hallway to​ catch a​ burglar crossing the​ center of​ the​ home. if​ they come through a​ bedroom window and​ never pass by the​ motion detector, the​ alarm system will never sound. Imagine being home at​ the​ time this happens. Basic security systems are best used as​ a​ deterrent to​ a​ break in​ and​ to​ notify the​ authorities an​ alarm condition exist.

Adding perimeter protection such as​ window contacts or​ glass break detectors should be high on the​ list of​ upgrades. These types of​ upgrades not only activate the​ alarm system instantly but also will give you piece of​ mind while you are home.

Protect Your Financial Interest Not Just Your Home

Get all quotes in​ writing and​ make sure the​ quote is​ a​ binding quote.
At a​ minimum the​ following should be included in​ your contract.

Length of​ contract and​ if​ / how it​ renews. Does it​ renew automatically?
What type of​ notice do you have to​ give to​ terminate the​ monitoring agreement

Will your fee increase and​ is​ there a​ limit on the​ increase. if​ at​ all possible lock in​ your monitoring fee for​ the​ entire contract otherwise you could see an​ increase every year.
Don’t be afraid to​ walk away on this point alone.

Do you own the​ equipment or​ is​ it​ a​ lease? a​ lease means lower initial installation cost but high monitoring fees.

Most of​ the​ alarm equipment comes with it’s own warranty in​ addition to​ what is​ offered by your company. Specify the​ warranty for​ each item so that you aren’t charged if​ it​ fails.
Also specify how long the​ warranty on labor is. Expect to​ pay some labor cost for​ replacing under warranty items

Service Calls
Alarm technicians are usually well trained to​ diagnose and​ fix problems with your security system. Be prepared to​ pay in​ the​ neighborhood of​ $55 per hour. the​ fee can seem high when compared to​ your original installation cost but is​ not out of​ line. Think about how much you pay for​ your car or​ computer to​ be worked on.

How long is​ the​ response time to​ service your alarm system.
48 hours is​ a​ reasonable time.

Do they provide an​ installation certificate for​ your home owner’s insurance
Many insurance companies offer a​ discount for​ monitored home security systems.

Don’t Wait Until You Have a​ Break-In to​ Get an​ Alarm System!

You can replace most things but you may never replace your sense of​ security in​ your own home.

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