5 Questions You Should Ask Your Alarm Company before BuyingAugust 20, 2015
There are dozens of alarm companies out there competing for your business, ranging from nationally known names to smaller companies servicing a local area. No matter which company you consider for providing your home alarms, you should always ask them the following five questions to make sure you get the best service possible.
#1 – What Type of Monitoring Will I Receive?
You should always ask this important question regarding home alarms. After all, some systems specialize only in detecting invasion or intrusion, while others also protect you from fire and even carbon monoxide. Understanding the exact type of protection you will receive – and what will happen if something breaches your security system – will help you better understand your level of service and what you should expect from your security company of choice.
#2 – What Happens if Communication is Lost?
Most of today’s home alarm systems forego wireless technologies for more reliable hard wiring, but burglars are always on their toes. Smart crooks know exactly how to snip the wires to disable your alarm system. As such, it is crucial to ask your security company whether they have a backup plan in place when home alarms lose their connections. Ideally, you want a company that can detect an offline system and either sound your alarm remotely or call the police directly.
#3 – Do I Have to Sign a Contract?
Another important part of home alarms is the way you get your service. Some companies allow you to pay as you go a month in advance, and they continue to provide you with service as long as your account with them is current. Others will only provide you with monitoring if you are in a contract with them, and although a contract may save you some money or get you some discounted equipment, you will have to pay an early termination fee if you choose to take your business elsewhere before your contract is up.
#4 – How Long Have You Been in Business?
Many companies that offer home alarms are relatively new to the industry. In fact, one of the biggest trends in North America today involves cablevision and internet service providers offering home security systems to their customers. Although this might sound like a fantastic idea since you can “bundle” your services and save a little money each month, do you really want to put your safety in the hands of your television service provider? It is better to leave home alarms and security to the professionals, who focus solely on your safety.
#5 – What Is Your Average Response Time?
Finally, this question may actually save your life. Many companies advertise fast responses, but the fact is that the “response times” they refer to are nothing more than the time it takes for an operator to reach out to you once your alarm sounds. What you really need to know is the response time for the police or the fire department. Although an operator can help you feel more secure in the event of a crisis, he or she cannot physically intervene. This is up to the first responders, and the faster your alarm company can dispatch them to you, the better.
Home alarms prevent tens of thousands of burglaries each year, but before you sign a contract with the first company that offers you a great price, be sure to ask them all of the aforementioned questions. Some may save you money, but others may very well save your life.