Monitored home alarm systems provide the ultimate level of protection. By reading this article you are taking the first step. Hopefully you haven’t waited until AFTER the burglary or fire to consider your need for a home alarm system.
The first thing you will want to do is to think about what are your home security risks and what you can do about them. Even before you install an alarm system, you can lower your security risks by simply using common sense.
With the FBI reporting that over a 10 year period about 1 in 4 homes were burglarized, most local police departments recommend a monitored alarm system, especially for homes containing high value items. (Is there any item more high value than your family?)
Residential burglars are mostly creatures of opportunity. They look for obvious vulnerabilities like poor lighting, shrubs to hide their activities, unlocked doors and windows, ladders lying around to help them gain access to upstairs windows, and predictable patterns of homeowner behavior. Just by taking a few sensible precautions, you can lower your risk.
Monitored home alarm systems typically take care of you once the burglar is in the process of breaking in or is inside the house. It’s your job to provide the “ounce of prevention” which hopefully means the monitored security system will not be called upon.
Learn not to put out invitations to burglars. Don’t make it easy for them.
Contrary to popular belief, more residential burglaries happen in the daytime while people are at work or running errands than at night. If your car is always parked in the driveway when you’re home and not out of sight in the garage, you are leaving a signal for the burglar. If you leave your garage door open with your expensive tools lying around, you’re putting out the welcome mat and forgetting home security.
Evaluating a Home Alarm System
In evaluating a monitored home alarm system, you should compare both features and quality, together with the company’s business reputation within their industry.
Since you may be dealing with a local affiliate of a nationwide company like ADT, you will want to ask for information on the local business’s insurance, business license and how many years doing business in your community. Also ask if monitoring is done locally or from outside the state.
One feature you should look for is sensors on the windows and doors so that when the connection is broken the alarm is activated. Sometimes just the sight of a sign or sticker indicating your house is protected by a home alarm system is enough to deter a burglar. It is important for you to remember to activate the system when you leave the house and when you re-enter the house.
A home security system provides no home security unless it is turned on!
It is equally important for you to de-activate the system after you enter the house. If you break the connection on your alarm sensors by opening the door and fail to give the monitoring company the “all clear,” they will start their procedures for a potential burglary in progress.
If your system has the audible alarm feature, you’ll be reminded when the loud shrieking alarm goes off alerting the neighbors of a potential burglar at your house, too.
Many monitored home alarm systems also include a motion detector. Motion detectors only protect AFTER a burglar is inside the house, so it’s wise to have sensors on windows and doors as well.
Usually, there is a manual police/fire emergency button which you can use to directly call for help.
Some monitored home security packages include both home intrusion and fire protection.
Pricing typically includes a one-time installation fee, or a one-time telephone connection fee and a monthly monitoring contract. Other charges and fees may apply depending on the particular plan or package you choose. Different companies have different pricing approaches.
Do your own homework and decide on a company you feel will provide the kind of coverage you need. Your next step is to request a quote or a consultation for a home alarm system. Every house is different, so you will want to be sure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs.