Having a good security system in your home can make the difference between a scary situation and an outright disaster. Protecting your valuables and, more importantly, the people inside your home is one of the most important things you can do. But how do you choose the right company when so many options are available? These eight tips can help you decide on a company.
Tip #1: Make sure the company is licensed. Most states require companies to have a license to install a home security system. Unfortunately, some companies try to skirt these laws. One of the first things you should do if you're considering a company is to find out if they are licensed.
Tip #2: Consider the response time. It may sound obvious, but make sure you consider a company's average response time when you're deciding. With a little research, you'll see that some companies are clearly faster than others.
Tip #3: Find out if you're eligible for an insurance discount. In most cases, having a home security system will enable you to get a discount on your home insurance. However, this only applies to certain components and certain brands. Before you choose, call your insurance company and determine which choices will net you a discount.
Tip #4: Do a little research. One of the fastest ways to make sure you're dealing with a reliable company is to make sure they're a member of the Electronic Security Association. You can find your local ESA members here. A company that's a member of the ESA will be aware of the newest technologies in the industry and will likely have nationally certified training. They also must adhere to a strict code of ethics.
Tip #5: Decide which "extras" you need. Some home security companies offer only bare bones monitoring, while others offer features such as live video monitoring, mobile access from a cell phone or tablet, and even home automation, including your lights and thermostat. Be informed about what extras each company offers.
Tip #6: Wired or wireless? In today's market, you'll find both wired and wireless systems. Wired systems can be a little cheaper initially, but they involve extensive work inside your home to run wires and drill holes. That additional work is often expensive. In addition, an intruder can cut these wires, disabling your system. Installing a wireless system simply involves plugging in the devices and syncing them on the network.
Tip #7: Find out about warranties. Some home security companies offer a lifetime warranty for systems, while others just install the system and charge extra for service calls. Before you choose a company, know what you'll pay if your equipment goes down.
Tip #8: Know your power outage plan. Power outages can be dangerous. Intruders know there won't be many lights, and they know that many home security systems won't work. However, some systems work in a power outage, depending on how they operate. If your area is prone to power outages, make sure your system will work even if the power isn't on.
If there's one decision you want to be informed about, it's the security and safety of your home. Choose the right company, and you can rest easy knowing that you're protected.