Shopping For a Home Security System

One of the steps you can take to raise the level of security of your home is to invest in a good home security system. With so many options out there today, it can get confusing which one is the right choice for you. Do some research first before you decide to spend your hard earned money on this, or better yet ask the advice of a professional locksmith.

If you want to get started now, however, here are the basic things you should consider when shopping for a home security system.


Purchasing an alarm system is a big investment. When you’re researching different pricing options, keep these five common fees in mind: the monthly fee, the activation fee, the service fee, the relocation fee, and the cancellation fee. These charges will vary based on the company and the package, so you may want to create a spreadsheet that tracks the differences across each brand.

There are also companies that let you lease or own your equipment: both options have their benefits, but it’s another thing to factor into your decision. If you purchase the equipment, you can reuse it on your own or with another company, whereas if you lease it, it’s usually a lower up-front cost because the equipment fee is rolled into your monthly payment.

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So before you decide to invest in a home security system, sit down and determine what your budget will be and stick to it. Make sure to consider the five common fees mentioned above.

Size Does Matter

Although some security companies may tell you there is only one kind of security system for everyone, this is not true. In fact, several types and sizes are available, each of which can be customized to fit your needs. Sure, doing so will cost more; but it also will provide you with a higher level of security, as it will be designed specifically to fit your home and your way of life.

A small system might be fine for an apartment or small home. If you have a larger home, you’ll need a system that can handle a larger amount of information and monitoring. A large home requires a system that covers all the doors and windows, as well as the grounds.

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Professional Installation vs. DIY

Professional installation offers a hands-off approach for homeowners. After your home’s assessment, a trustworthy technician will install your new system, walk you through the steps to successfully operate the system, and answer any lingering questions. Security companies that are members of ESA employ highly-experienced technicians who install complex security systems every day, so you can be sure that your system will function properly.

If you’ve chosen the DIY route, it’s time to open the box and get down to business. Setting up a DIY system isn’t rocket science, but getting the components of your system to communicate with one another may make you wish you had a degree in engineering. It’s imperative that you follow your system’s instructions closely, since a faulty installation can leave your home vulnerable to break-ins.

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In the end, deciding on whether to seek the help of a professional or to do it yourself all comes down to your ability and availability. Ability to handle technical procedures might be necessary with some complex home security systems. Availability to spend some time figuring out how to do the installation correctly is also key to a 100% working home security system.

Beware of Ripoffs

Unsavory players in the home security field have come up with a new way to rip you off. Here’s how it plays: When you sign a contract, you’re not given a physical copy. What happens instead is you sign on a tablet or smartphone. The terms and conditions are in tiny type and you sign with either your finger or a stylus.

That’s bad for obvious reasons. They can promise anything and rip you off for multiple years and you signed your name to it! I know people don’t like to deal with lengthy contracts. At the very least, skip past the legalese and read the part about what you’re agreeing to at what price and for how long. The second part you must familiarize yourself with is under what conditions you can terminate the contract.

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If you’re one of those that don’t have time to read lengthy contract pages, it wouldn’t hurt to ask the salesperson you’re in contact with to point out where in the contract the price is stipulated, the lock-in period and the conditions which allows for the contract to be terminated.


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