“Top Ten” lists are pretty common – and at FrontPoint we have developed a few of our own. But when it comes to picking an alarm company, I have boiled it down to just three – the three most important questions to ask any alarm company, including your existing company. After all, you want to make sure that the system you have is the right one to protect your home and family, or business! So, here’s my list!
Question #1 – Safer: Does the system use cellular monitoring?
Remember that all wireless alarms systems are not created equal: most of the time when an alarm system is advertised as “wireless,” that just means the sensors are wireless. Here we focus on a cellular connection to the monitoring center – the only truly safe and reliable method. That means your alarm system is not dependent on the traditional telephone landline or broadband cable connection. A potential burglar can no longer disable the system, simply by cutting the phone line or cable. Additionally, cellular is more convenient. On average, there are 700,000 phone lines being eliminated each month across the US, as consumers switch to VoIP or cell phones as their primary voice communication.
Question #2 – Smarter: Does the System Offer Interactive Features?
Alarm systems do a lot more today – at least they should. That is one reason more people are getting a system than ever: to take advantage of these new features and services offered by the smaller and more advanced companies. Here is a good sampling of what your system should offer – and what you should ask for:
- Remote arm/disarm capability from any web-enabled device.
- Special apps for iPhone, Blackberry, Android.
- Email & text notifications on anything happening at home: doors opening, system armed or disarmed, loss of power, etc.
- Video services – live viewing from any web connection (including phone), plus motion-activated clips that are stored and can sent to your phone, real-time.
- Smart home – remote lights, locks, and thermostat control.
Question #3 – Simpler: How Hard is the System to Set up – and Maintain?
Tired of scheduling appointments and missing work or other obligations? Most alarm systems require technician installation and maintenance, but that’s changing as well. The true next-generation companies don’t just offer cellular monitoring and interactive services – they also offer the convenience of easy-installation, with fully programmed sensors and table-top control panels. In fact, these systems take about half an hour to set up, and are checked remotely to insure they are working. And, you can add sensors at any time, and even move the system with you.
There are several companies that meet these requirements, and I think the list will grow. Of course we consider FrontPoint, the nationwide provider of interactive wireless security systems, to be a leader in all three critical areas – and here is a link to a helpful short video that explains how. For now, make sure you check the reviews of any company you consider, and shop hard for the best combination of Safer, Smarter, and Simpler – when it comes to alarm systems, good things really do come in threes!