Are you in the market for a home security system but don't know where to turn? You're not alone. Many people choose a security company randomly from the phone book while others opt to bypass the help and install a home alarm system on their own.
While do-it-yourself home security system installation is certainly an option, you'll likely save time, money, and hassle by hiring professionals to do it. More importantly, you'll have peace of mind knowing that the system is installed properly and won't fail when you need it most.
So, how do you choose a home security professional?
Determine Your Home Security Needs
Before seeking out a service provider, be sure that you know exactly what it is you're looking for by reviewing your home security. There are many different professionals in the security field: locksmiths, home alarm system installers and monitors, security consultants, even self-defense instructors. Having a thorough understanding of your security risks will enable you to make the best possible use of available resources.
Also, check with your insurance company. They may offer discounts if you work with certain companies. If so, ask if they require proof of installation.
Decide whether you'd like to go with a wired or wireless system and whether you'd prefer standard or cellular monitoring. While wired systems are typically slightly cheaper, they can end up being more pricey after rewiring your home. Wireless systems, on the other hand, can mean easy installation with no additional cost or danger during power outages. Similarly, standard monitoring is typically less expensive, but phone lines could be damaged or cut by an intruder. If that is a concern for you, cellular monitoring is a great option. The possible savings and increased security are worth taking the time to determine the right solution for you and your home.
Do Your Research
Once you've established your security needs, compile a list of potential service providers from the phone book or internet and do a little research. The last thing you want is a security company with questionable ethics providing security for your home!
- Find out how long the company has been in business. Have they left a trail of satisfied or dissatisfied customers? There are multiple ways to search for this information: contact your local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency, or Chamber of Commerce, and of course, consumer reviews on the web.
- Consider the company's qualifications. Inquire about licensing, certifications, memberships, training, experience, and status among professional peers. The best way to go about this? Call around and ask.
- Inquire whether they monitor the system as well or if they utilize a monitoring company. If they use an outside company, research that company as well.
- Ask whether they install the equipment, and what to do if there is a problem with any of the accessories.
- Once you've narrowed your search to a few providers, call to set up a consultation. Many companies will send a representative to your home to offer a customized appraisal and advise you of areas of need, limitations, and potential solutions.
- Obtain detailed price quotes, including setup, equipment, monthly monitoring fees, and warranty options.
- Most companies have one to two year contracts. Inquire about length of contract.
Choose the Security Company That's Best for You
Choosing a home security professional based solely on price, convenience, or by random selection without doing your own research is a big risk to take. When your family, your safety, your home and your belongings are on the line, you'll want to be sure that you weigh your options carefully before making a decision. With such a wide array of services and products available in the market today, by following these steps you'll be able to rest assured knowing that you made the best choice for you and your family.