So, you’ve decided you want a security system. With so many features and new technologies, it might be confusing trying to figure out what you want and need. Take a look at this guide for some quick tips on what to consider first.
DIY or Professional
Are you handy, wanting to purchase online or in-store and looking to monitor your alarm system yourself? Then a DIY option might be a good fit for you. If you are looking for a custom-tailored system with professional installation and monitoring, then you will want to find a reputable security company in your area to install your system.
Wired or Wireless Security System
Most companies are going to install wireless security systems these days – no hardwired lines means less mess and a quicker installation. If your home is pre-wired for a security system or is a new build, you may decide that you want a wired security system. Having a hardwired system means you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries and it may be more reliable if you don’t have a good Wifi or cellular connection.
Do You Need Fire and Life Safety Alarms?
Make sure you have fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Most houses come with these already installed, but make sure your central station monitors them and they are sending and receiving signals.
What Features Are Important To You
Security systems now come with many features for you to choose from. You can decide which are most important to you and will fit your security and lifestyle needs.
Touchscreen Keypad: Do you want a touchscreen keypad, or are you fine with other options such as a simple alpha-numeric keypad or Key Fob arming/disarming?
Cameras: There are so many different types of cameras that can protect your home these days. Security cameras can record every minute of video and save it on a DVR or just record when there is movement in view. This allows you to go back at a later time and review the footage. Many security companies also offer live viewing of your camera footage from an App, so you can check in on your home or family while your away.
Home Automation: Do you want the ability to control your lights, thermostat, door locks, garage door and many other features remotely? Then you might want to consider home automation in your security search.
Mobile App: Many security companies now offer mobile access for your smartphone. You can arm/disarm your system, view live camera footage, turn down your air conditioner or lock that door you forgot to lock on your way out.
What is Your Budget?
While you can’t put a price on you or your family’s safety, how much you can and are willing to spend on installation and per month will play a factor in the decision making process. DIY systems will most likely be an upfront cost with the possibility of monitoring with a monthly fee. Professional security companies will either allow for an upfront payment with no or added monitoring or a contract where you payment is spread out monthly over a certain amount of time.
When looking at different alarm providers, don’t look at price alone. Instead, look at what that price includes. Some alarm providers may seem like a cheaper option up front, but hidden fees, high service call charges and unresponsive customer service may have you wishing you went with a company that provided much better customer care.