As Peter Rogers mentioned in an earlier blog, alarm companies don’t manufacture the equipment they use in their security systems. Manufacturers are usually B2B companies that focus on parts and inventory. Security companies, on the other hand, (if they’re any good) focus on the customer, with excellent technical support, professional monitoring and convenient interactive features. When both the alarm company and the manufacturer are allowed to focus on their own core competency, the consumer benefits. The end result is a better alarm system, and a higher level of security and service.
Peter’s blog explains how recent acquisitions have given us a “Top Four” list of security manufacturers – names that many Americans are familiar with: GE Security, Honeywell, Tyco and Bosch. Most of the top residential security system providers, however, use either GE Security or Honeywell.
So which equipment is best, and why? We did some digging, to see what the industry experts had to say.
Home Security Systems Reviews
Alarm System Report and Home Security Systems Reviews are two of the many online resources that review and rank the best residential security systems. They concur that the top two equipment manufacturers are GE Security and Honeywell. Home Security Systems Reviews takes their commentary a step further, stating that GE Security is the better of the two.
The number one reason Home Security Systems Reviews recommends GE Security is their “Crash-and-Smash” feature. They also cite the robust quality of the GE Security components, and the alliance with Alarm.com, which gives residential consumers many popular interactive features, such as remote access, text alerts, etc.
Crash-and-Smash is an odd-sounding feature for a home security system. But it’s also a vivid description of what often happens during a burglary. The crook crashes through your door and immediately locates and smashes your alarm system control panel. If he finds the control panel fast enough, he can not only silence the audio alarm, but also disable the panel before it sends an alert to the monitoring station. At that point, your alarm system is worthless.
So what does GE Security do to solve this problem? They designed a feature called “pending alarm,” more widely known as Crash-and-Smash. Here’s how it works:
Residential security systems have built-in delays, in order to avoid false alarms. If the homeowner happens to trip the alarm himself, he can go to the control panel and punch in the disarm code, before an alarm goes out to the monitoring station. No one wants our police resources wasted on false alarms.
GE Security equipment has a built-in delay, too, but it can also send a “pending alarm” signal to the monitoring station right away, before the burglar can smash the controls and disable the system. The pending alarm puts the monitoring team on stand-by, waiting to receive a disarm code. If they don’t receive the code, they assume there’s a security issue at the home, and they dispatch the police.
This Crash-and-Smash feature is an important safety advantage of the GE Security Simon alarm control panel, over the Honeywell Lynx system. Note that only a few of the top alarm companies support the Crash-and-Smash feature, so make sure you find one that does. FrontPoint Security, with our #1 focus on safety, offers Crash-and-Smash with both our Interactive and Ultimate monitoring plans.
Cellular/Wireless Residential Security Equipment
For decades home security equipment was hard-wired, meaning that technicians ran wires through your walls to connect the equipment in your home. Communication with the monitoring station was established by integrating the control panel with your home phone line.
Recent advances in wireless technology have given consumers the option of wireless equipment and a cellular connection to the monitoring station. Industry experts agree that the cellular connection is safer, as well as perfectly suited for homeowners without landline phone service. Wireless equipment is also easier to install and use.
GE Security manufactures a wide range of wireless security sensors and video cameras, as well as cellular control panels. The equipment has a stellar reputation for robustness and durability, and comes with a warranty. Customers can install the equipment themselves, usually in less than 30 minutes, and save on hefty installation charges. In addition, since the equipment is not wired into the wall, you can change its location within your house and add more at any time. You can even take it with you when you move to a new home.
Interactive Residential Security Systems
Another extremely popular feature of today’s best alarm systems is “interactivity,” giving customers a higher level of control and awareness, and keeping them connected to events at home. Alarm.com is the recognized leader in this field, and GE Security teams up with Alarm.com to offer these wireless, interactive features in their security systems.
Interactive features include mobile apps for your smartphone, as well as online portals, so you can access your security system from any computer, anywhere in the world. Your system can alert you via text or email any time there’s security-related activity at your home, such as when someone disarms the system, or triggers a security sensor. Other more advanced features include video monitoring, home energy management and home automation.
FrontPoint Security is proud to offer robust GE Security equipment in all our alarm systems, as well as a wide range of advanced interactive features.