What you need to know when purchasing a security system. With so many security system providers out there and with each one offering different solutions at completely different pricing, deciding on the right provider can be a bit daunting.
The most important thing when investing in a security system is to understand what level of protection you are receiving. The right level of protection for your needs should be decided first. Our recommendation is to secure all doors as they are the most common entry point for an intruder. Secondly; if you are looking for the utmost amount of coverage while you are home, protect accessible windows so that when arming your security system in the stay mode you have the full perimeter secured.
In addition to protecting the perimeter, motion detectors when properly placed are the most effective way to secure the interior space. Motion detectors do just that – detect motion. It is important to understand that if you arm your alarm while you are in the house in the ‘stay’ mode, you have bypassed the motion detectors which allow you to walk around in your home while the system is armed, so effectively you are only protecting the perimeter and not the interior. But, if you have a keypad in your bedroom or a wireless remote control you can arm your alarm system in the away mode before you head to bed which will enable the motions. However, you must be aware that, as soon as you walk within range of your motion detectors by heading to the fridge for a late night snack, you may trip your alarm.
Your security system must be convenient and simple to use. Keypads should be placed at common entry areas to easily arm and disarm as you enter and exit your home. We also carry wireless remotes that attach to your keychain so that you can arm and disarm your system as you are pulling out of your driveway, or coming into your house with arms full of groceries.
This is where we need to pay attention; let’s talk about the costs. Most providers will provide you with a basic package at no cost or with a small activation or installation fee plus a monthly monitoring service with a term of three to five years. In addition to the basic components, it is common that alarm system companies will charge for additional material over and above the basic package. Some companies offer these additional components for ‘free’ to sweeten the deal. But be aware that they often build these costs into your monitoring fee by increasing your monitoring rate. It doesn’t seem like much but if you are paying $7.00 per month more than the average rate of $24.95 over a ten years term you have spent $840.00 for those few additional components.
Here are some Questions to ask your potential provider: What are the monthly fees? What is my term? Will the monthly fees increase over the duration or following the initial agreement? Do I own my system after the term is complete or am I renting the system? Lastly, I would suggest that you always read the ‘fine print’ and get a quote with details of the equipment in writing.
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Be safe, and always arm your alarm.