April 4, 2019 Read More »
New Home Security System Shopping
This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Godson 6 years, 4 months ago.
September 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm #1132
I have a niece that just graduated college. She has a young child and lives across the country, so they don’t have the same security needs that I do. What can I tell her to look out for when she’s shopping for a home security system? She’s doing well for herself and her child. She has purchased a home for them and has a good job, so I’m not talking about a tiny apartment security system. They need a standard system.
They are also a woman and child living alone and I am concerned about that too. I know that she has to grow up sometime, I just worry about people watching them come home alone and their routine and stuff. I want them to be able to get in the house fast if they have to. I have all of the normal concerns I’m sure most family members have. I want their windows secure, doors secure, alarms loud, a huge 24 hour body guard, you know, just the basics.
September 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm #1134
I think your niece should start out by shopping around. She should go ahead and have a few salespeople come out of the house and give her quotes. That way she can see how each of them looks at her property and how each of them would approach securing her home. This will also allow her to visualize what she feels her personal security needs are.
Tell her that before she makes her choice, she should take additional fees into consideration. Additional fees typically include fees for service calls (where the companies usually charge by the hour) and the monitoring fees. She should also make sure she understands how long her contract is for and what the cancellation fees might be should she choose to change.
She needs monitoring. There's no budging on that. She should also go with a larger company if possible since they are a young woman and child living alone. Monitoring is done by people in an office. When you get a small, cheap system, you risk only a few operators being on staff when you need someone to answer your call. Tell her to find out how many operators are working each shift as monitors and to make sure that she is comfortable with that number.
Some smaller companies will only have one person working per shift and what if something happens and the monitor has got headphones on and doesn't realize that you're calling in for help for 5 an extra minutes, is going to the bathroom or doing something else? You want a company with a decent shift of monitors regularly.
She also must make sure that she does whatever she must to keep her equipment up to date. Sometimes it breaks or gets old. Sometimes they give you a used system. She has to vacuum out smoke detectors regularly, dust all her equipment, call and get stuff replaced immediately. If she has mice or other little visitors in her home, she has to eradicate that problem because certain animals will chew wires. When mice do that too, it can lead to false alarms and other things like that.
When the wire is chewed or not communicating the signal because of being pinched, the monitoring station will receive a trouble signal and they will send someone out to her house. Technicians can cost over $50 an hour and that's an expense that SHE has to pay, so make sure she understands that going in.
September 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm #1135
A lot of companies will have specials running that sound better than they really are. Before she gets excited, she needs to look under every single hood with these guys. Free installs would be great if you weren't locked into a 2 to 4 year contract that will cost you $500 to break. That is a serious agreement and that's a serious fee for breaking the contract. You have to face the fact that a security system might not work out for her, and she might not find out until several months later. A $100 to $200 cancelation fee is common and of course, $100 or lower is much better and is indicative of a more reputable company.
Make sure also that all of her doors and entrances are covered. Sometimes you'll get a security system and sign the contract, only to find out that all of your entrances are not secure. You might have 4 doors in your home, and only two have motion sensor protection. You might only have a few other devices as well and be locked into a very long term contract. If the agents tell you that you don't need the additional coverage and you feel weird about anything in your gut, follow your gut. If you feel like your home needs more security than they are offering, then it probably does and you need to make sure you feel comfortable before you sign a contract.
Most people have several doors in their home including the front door, a basement door a patio door and often a garage entrance. Can you really stop and choose two doors to secure? Would you feel safe if only two or three of those doors were secured? If a company offers you that level of security, run, because they don't care about you. They care about making a sale. If they cared about their customer's security, then they would offer a decent system.
You should also try to make sure to get glass break motion detectors. They will go off if a glass plate breaks. They are sensitive and if you are in an emergency, you want a sensitive alarm so that it will quickly alert the monitoring center of your situation. One other thing about the glass break sensors is that though sensitive, they don't often produce false alarms, so they're sensitive, but not a pain in the behind, you know.
December 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm #1136
Captivating and quite interesting. You may need property insurance but you need to get the right information before you apply for a policy.
March 1, 2013 at 11:27 am #1133
This website actually has some tips and recommendations that I found really helpful too. In reading through this, I think it might be good for anyone considering getting a home alarm system to read the home security systems reviews as well as learn all the complicated terms used in this world before you invite anyone into your home to poke around and overcharge you. Be cautious and take the time to make the right decision because contracts can get you for sure!
Home Security Systems Reviews & Awards
Have a Home Security System?
We want to hear from you. Impressed? Disappointed? Either way, we want to know—share your thoughts here.Leave a Review