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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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You've got questions. We've got the answers! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about home security systems, monitoring services, safety, theft prevention, home invasion and more. This FAQ list is in no way complete but it should give you a good start in your efforts to gain knowledge.

Questions
How much do home security systems cost?
Can I have my existing security system monitored?
Is a Home Security System Necessary?
What if the power is cut to my house?
Won't my dog set off the alarm?
If I am a renter, can I still get a security system?
What happens when the alarm goes off?
Can't a burglar just break a window to get in?

 

Answers

How much do home security systems cost?
The costs can vary by quite a bit. You can buy a fairly cheap home security system and install it yourself for under $100 or you can opt for a fully monitored system from one of the monitoring companies. The initial costs from the home security monitoring companies can range from free to several hundred dollars, depending on the sophistication of the system that you choose as well as the level of monitoring. Monthly monitoring rates usually cost between $20 and $40. In order to offset these monthly fees, you can usually get up to a 20% discount on your homeowners insurance premium, depending on the policies of the insurance carrier that you use.
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Can I have my existing security system monitored?
Yes you can. Many people move into a home that already has a security system in place and they would like to take advantage of that fact without having to get a whole new system. In fact, we have a special section that covers that very topic. Just take a look at our page about monitoring an existing home security system in order to get all of the details.
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Is a Home Security System Necessary?
The biggest and most obvious reason for having a home security system is that it can help make your dwelling more safe for you as well as your family. Research shows that around 90% of burglars have stated that they would try avoid a house that is protected by a home security system. Monitored security systems can also add value to your home and save you money on your homeowners insurance premiums. Keep in mind that no security system available that is entirely burglar proof. However, having a monitored home security system can give you better odds and make your house a 300% decrease in the chance that it will be invaded or burglarized.
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What if the power is cut to my house?
Most home security systems include a battery backup. These batteries should be checked on a regular basis. As long as the battery backup is functioning properly, your home security system will continue to provide protection and alarm functionality for several hours after the power is cut.
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Won't my dog set off the alarm?
Most professionally monitored home security systems include pet friendly motion detectors. These motion detectors can usually be set to 40lbs or 80lbs, depending on the size of your pet. Your installer can usually help you test the effectiveness of the motion detecting devices in order to make sure that they are properly calibrated for your pet.
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If I am a renter, can I still get a security system?
Most home security monitoring companies are not setup for renters. However, you don't need to go without home security just because you rent. ProtectAmerica is one company that offers their services to renters. Another option is to simply buy a wireless home security system and install it yourself (see the products and devices section). More info for renters...
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What happens when the alarm goes off?
With a typical home security monitoring setup, when the alarm goes off, a signal is sent to the Central Monitoring Station. Then the monitoring technicians will call your house in order to verify that there is an actual emergency. If appropriate verification is not received, emergency personnel are then dispatched to your home. If your system comes with a panic button and the panic button has been activated, emergency personnel will be dispatched first and then contacts will be attempted secondly.
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Can't a burglar just break a window to get in?
In general, yes. However, most burglars don't want to deal with the noise that is caused by breaking glass. They also don't want to risk being injured by the shards. Some home security systems do come with glass breaking detectors. Some systems come with motion detectors so that it doesn't really matter how the burglar got into the house. Burglars usually enter through doors.
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Alarm Systems Glossary and Definitions Directory

 


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Home Security Subjects

Choosing an Alarm Company

D.I.Y. Do it Yourself Security System Questions and Answers

Monitoring Company Vs. DIY Home Security System Installation

Alarm System Definitions

Crime Prevention Tips

Various Burglary Statistics

About 'Free' Security Systems

Do I Need a Security System?

Home Security Common Sense

How Home Security Systems Affect your Homeowners Insurance

Information for Renters

Neighborhood Watch Systems

Fire Protection for your Home

More Security Info...

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