Choosing an Alarm Company
There are several
steps that you should take when choosing a home
security system monitoring company. It is basically like shopping
for anything else. You need to do your homework so that you are
prepared for what you will find. You need to come up with a 'short
list' of candidates. Then, you just need to use your own common
sense, personal tastes and given budget in order to choose the security
company that is best for your needs.
Some people prefer
to contact the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. You can
ask them to provide you with a copy of their brochure which is titled
"Safe and Sound: Your Guide to Home Security". You can also ask
the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association for a list of member
companies that are located in your area.
Doing your own
research, like you are right now, you can scour the internet until
you come up with a list of national home security monitoring companies.
Fortunately, we have given you a headstart in that arena by listing
those companies on this website.
What to Look
For: What to do...
You can 'drive
by' each of the home security
alarm monitoring company websites and 'kick the tires' so that
you can get a feel for their operations. If you like what you see
then you can add them to your 'short list' for further review. After
you have narrowed down your list, you can then make an appointment
with your top picks and they will send a representative out to your
house in order to do a site survey, introduce you to their home
security monitoring company and answer any questions you may have.
You should ask
them how long they have been in business, if they are 'UL' (Underwriters
Laboratory) listed, and if they are listed with the BBB (Better
Business Bureau). It is also a plus if they are a member of the
National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. Be sure to inquire
about their home security monitoring station. Is it open 24 hours
a day, 365 days a year? It might seem obvious to you that they should
always be open but you never know.
Ask if the monitoring
center has built-in redundancies for its power, computer and phone
lines. Do they have a backup monitoring center? Other considerations
include warranties, cancellation policies, maintenance plans and
length of contract. If possible, it might even be advisable to actually
visit their security monitoring center so that you can witness their
operations first hand. Also note that it is advisable to ask the
home security representative if their company screens employees
before they are hired. This can go a long way in the trust factor.
First, be sure
that your quote is in writing and is very detailed. Some home security
alarm companies just want to offer the lowest quote so that they
can get their foot in the door. Then they will nickel and dime you
until you would have been better off going with the most expensive
quote you received. It may seem obvious, but make sure that the
details of your installation costs and monthly monitoring fees are
detailed in writing. Be sure that the representative signs the estimate
that he or she gives you.
of having a sales representative come to your home is that each
home is unique and each home security monitoring company is unique.
Getting an in-person price quote allows you to get a better feel
for the company and it also lets the company get a better feel for
your home and your unique security needs. In the end, you should
go with the alarm company that you feel the most comfortable with.