So you're thinking of getting a home alarm system. You've done your homework. You know you want great technology at a competitive price and you're close to making a decision. Before you do though, here are 4 things to avoid when choosing a home alarm provider.
Avoid Signing A Contract
Most home alarm company will make you agree to a long term contract when getting their services. The industry average for a contract is 3 years. Some contracts can go for as long as 5 year terms. It's important to understand that contracts are unnecessary. They only benefit the alarm company.
Alarm companies will say they are necessary for service. They'll say that it's the only way you can get a "no cost" alarm system. The truth is that contracts will lock you up long term. This way if you're unhappy you'll be unable to cancel service. Plus companies that force you to sign a multi-year contract, all have high monthly monitoring fees. This ends up being significantly more than if you just paid for the system upfront. Plus all contracts have a clause where the company can raise your monitoring rates at anytime!
Never sign any long term contract with a home alarm company. ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint Security, CPI Security, Livewatch and the cable providers all require multi-year contracts for service. Ackerman Security has a one year contract that auto-renews. There are two companies that don't require a contract for service - Think Protection and Simplisafe.
Never Pay Extra For A Mobile App (They Should Be Free)
Most home alarms now come with a mobile app. This technology allows you to arm/disarm your system through your smartphone from anywhere. Mobile apps are fantastic, as they allow you to have more interaction with your alarm system. If you're away from home and think you may have forgotten to arm your system, simply go online and check through the app. If you did, then at the push of a button you can arm your system remotely. Awesome technology... but some companies though charge extra if you want to add their mobile app.
Companies like ADT and Simplisafe charge a premium for their mobile app. Never pay more for a security mobile app. This should be included free in any new system. If the company is charging more for it, then it's a cash grab. If the mobile app isn't included for free, then stay far away.
Avoid Installers At All Cost
Want to save money on your home alarm system? Then choose one that doesn't require a professional installer!
Technology has improved dramatically over the past 5 years. With simple, easy to install equipment, installing a home alarm system requires no technological background. Some systems can be installed in less than half an hour. So why do most alarm companies continue to send installers to do alarm installations?
The reason is multi-pronged. First it's because they have old technology still in the field. These older systems do require technical acumen. So the company can't completely get rid of installers. So since the company has to employ installers, they try to market them as necessary (when in fact they're not). Now the issue though is that installers don't work for free. In fact they are expensive. The company now has to roll those costs over to the customer. This means high monthly monitoring fees. That's why if you want to get the best value, choose a company that won't send an installer to your home.
Don't Get A Hardwired Alarm (Wireless Systems Can Do Everything And More)
Thinking of getting a hardwired alarm system? Think again! Hardwired systems require the alarm company to run wires all over your home. They are expensive and require days of labor by an installer. They're unnecessary, as a wireless system can do everything a hardwired system can do. They are far less expensive and require minimal drilling. They can also be relocated if you decide to move.
Wireless systems are better priced, won't ruin your walls, can be moved with you and do everything a hardwired system can do. So why would you ever go with a hardwired system? Don't be conned by someone telling you that you need a hardwired system. You don't.