DIY gets an A: The Compelling Case for Self-Installed Alarm Systems

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I have written before about how alarm systems are evolving, especially with “next-gen” features that offer you a lot more. These systems are more reliable and user-friendly, and may even cost less, but do things that most of us never guessed they could. This is all great news for you, the end-user. Today I want to talk about a more recent phenomenon, and that is the easily self-installed alarm system.

First, let’s be clear on what I mean by self-installed. The term “DIY” (Do It Yourself) has a long history, and often means you buy the same materials used by the professionals, and do the work in their place. Think home renovation, like adding on a deck, or tiling the bathroom. In my day kids used to build crystal radios with parts they bought from a catalog (wonder if they still do that!?!). DIY wasn’t necessarily easy, and usually required tools and some skill – but, you were doing it yourself, and along with saving money, you got a sense of accomplishment.

Flash forward to 2010, and now all of us are setting up DSL routers in our homes and getting our new computers fired up in minutes – because smart product and service providers have made it easy. Modern technology allows people who can follow basic instructions to do things that we would have thought unlikely (or impossible!) just a few years ago. The same is true for alarm systems, and there are several companies pushing this frontier in a big way. I have even seen a prediction that over the next five years, self-installed alarm systems will catch (and may even pass) the inconvenient “old school” method of having an installer come to your home.

What’s Changed?

There are several innovations that have made this all possible, and here are the important ones:

  1. 1. Wireless Sensors: most systems being installed today use them. These sensors communicate with the control panel, and are regularly monitored for low battery (3-5 years!) and consistent operation. They work – and a child can put them up in minutes!
  2. Safer Cellular Monitoring: built-in cellular radios communicate with the monitoring center, so there’s no phone line required (and none to cut). Avoid the Internet-based alarm systems – they are just as vulnerable to a line cut as your phone line, plus you have issues when you lose power… Cellular monitoring should be the core of any alarm system, especially DIY.
  3. Smarter Interactive Features: the best alarm systems can “talk” to you regularly, via text or email, so you know what’s happening with your system – and when.
  4. Programming & Remote Support: the system should be fully programmed when it arrives. No assembly required, or programming – today’s DIY should be a true “plug & play” solution. And, the good providers can access your system remotely to confirm it’s all working when you’re done – plus troubleshoot any issues should they arise. Expect world-class support, you deserve it.
  5. Adding and Moving Flexibility: you can add sensors to these systems at any time. Think smoke, carbon monoxide, low temperature, water, even cameras and smart home features. You want a system that grows with you, one that you can even move with you to your next home. Look for the service providers with the best reputations – and the best prices for additional equipment.

Pretty compelling, right? A system that not only does more for you, but that you can set up in minutes, by yourself, on your schedule. You can also add to it at any time, and it even moves with you. Now that is a DIY approach that should get an “A” from any professor!

FrontPoint Security is the leader in interactive, wireless security systems, and has led the way with the easiest self-installation in the alarm industry. We even have a short video that shows how easy it is to set up a FrontPoint system – and here is an easy link so you can check it out. You can also find plenty of on-line reviews by customers on just how easy it is to Do It Yourself.

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