10 Tips for Choosing a Home Alarm System
When you are planning to purchase a home alarm system, there are many different things to consider as you compare your options. Below are listed ten tips that can help you through that decision process.
- Hardwired or wireless. If you are living in an existing home, a hardwired system would be expensive and difficult to install. However, if you are constructing a new home, a hardwired system can easily be installed as part of the construction process. Because of the wiring involved, the materials and labor to install a hardwired security system will often times be more than a wireless system.
- Integration with your home smart system. If you are planning a ‘smart’ home, one with integrated intercom, temperature controls and lighting controls, you may want to investigate including your security system as part of this smart system as well.
- Sensor types. Ask about the types of sensors used in the security systems you are considering. Are their sensors for the windows as well as the doors? Will the sensor monitor whether doors or windows are left unlocked or open?
- Audio alarm. What type of audio alarm goes off in the home if the alarm is triggered? Do you have options to choose from?
- Video surveillance. Are there video cameras included as part of the security system? If so, how are they monitored and how obtrusive looking are they? Can you purchase cameras for outside the home as well as inside?
- Ease of install. How simple is the system to install? Can you do it yourself or must it be installed by a professional? This can make a big difference on your overall costs.
- Remote monitoring and control. What options do you have for controlling the system? Some systems can only be set and turned off manually. Other systems will allow you to set them, turn them off and monitor their statistics from remote locations.
- Monthly monitoring costs. There are security systems that simply make noise to scare intruders, but most systems include a monthly monitoring package provided by the security company. Not all monitoring packages are the same. Check to see what is included with the package, such as who will be contacted in the event of an alarm, will it just be the security company or will it also include contact to the local law enforcement agency?
- Alarm response. What is the anticipated response time to an alarm? This is another important question to ask. A reliable security company should be able to give you a reasonable answer to this question.
- Overall price. Make sure you have all the costs involved when receiving a quote from a supplier, installation, the system itself and the monthly monitoring fees. Compare system carefully. Are they all providing the same amount security coverage, or does one system have many more sensors than another? Do lower monitoring fees make a higher priced system a better deal than another?
There are lots of different types of systems available. In addition, many of those systems can be customized to provide as much or as little coverage as you would like. Take your time to compare all your options.