Insurance companies know a lot about home security – and increasingly they are making recommendations. After all, they do offer discounts of 15% – 20% to homes with monitored protection for intrusion and fire, so it only makes sense that they would stay on top of the latest advancements in how to secure your home and family. And as this link from the State Farm Insurance website clearly indicates, at least one major carrier is giving informed advice.
Investing in an alarm system is a good option for added home security because it provides proven theft deterrence options as well as peace of mind. Taking the time to understand the types of security alarm systems available and exactly how they will improve your home security is important so you can purchase a system tailored to your needs and budget. Alarm systems can be wired or wireless. You must decide if you wish to install the system yourself or contract with a licensed installer.
State Farm is off to a great start – recognizing that alarm systems can use wired or wireless equipment, and that you can easily install a wireless system yourself. And, you should buy your wireless alarm equipment from a fully licensed and compliant alarm company – such as FrontPoint.
Monitored or Unmonitored
Monitored systems are those where a private company watches your system 24 hours a day, every day, alerting the police if something goes wrong and you cannot be contacted. The best security comes from monitored systems, because their vigilance is constant. They typically function in the following way:
- The system’s sensors are triggered in some way, such as a door opening.
- The system waits 30 to 45 seconds to give the homeowner a chance to deactivate the system to prevent false alarms.
- If the alarm is not deactivated, the security system sends a message to the monitoring company over telephone lines or by a wireless device.
- The monitoring company receives the message and verifies the alarm, generally by placing a call to the home or homeowner’s mobile phone. If they do not receive the proper passcode or do not receive an answer, the company calls the police.
- The police respond.
Bravo! This is a first-rate description of the “alarm cycle” – offered by an insurance company that is really not in the business of home security. Somebody did their homework!
Choosing an Alarm Company
If you’re looking to get a security alarm system, do your research. Get quotes from three different alarm companies and compare detection coverage and features. When speaking to company representatives, make sure to ask them about the criminal screening process for their employees. Beware of long-term contracts from these companies, because they may be difficult to break if you decide to cancel service or move from your home. Inquire about warranties and safety guarantees. Verify whether the equipment is to be purchased or leased.
More great advice. It does pay to shop, and read all the reviews you can find. Some alarm companies force you to decide on the spot, like the door knockers or a few of the on-line companies. Steer clear of high pressure sales. Also, some companies do offer shorter terms contracts – be sure to ask what your options are. And a system you install yourself can be moved with you, preferably at no charge: make sure you own the equipment on day one.
Even with the advent of wireless technology, many systems still need a hard telephone line to dial out. Make sure to ask your alarm company exactly how the system will contact them in the event of a security breach. If you are using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for your phones and internet, be sure to tell the alarm monitoring company, as transmission of alarm signals over these lines is often unreliable and other steps should be taken to ensure proper reception. If the hard line is still utilized, realize that many burglars know how to cut a telephone line before infiltrating a home. An alternative is to purchase a cellular alarm system, which will not allow thieves to tamper with the transmission of the alarm signal.
I could not have said this better myself. Cellular is definitely safer, and has become the standard for smart home alarm shoppers. Even if the alarm does work over an internet phone line (and many don’t), it’s just as easy to cut an internet line as a phone line.
FrontPoint knows that insurance carriers provide meaningful discounts for monitored home alarms – just one more reason to protect your home and family with the best. And remember, we also recommend fire monitoring for every system we sell, so you get the biggest insurance discount. Since we don’t charge extra for fire monitoring (the way some companies do), the extra savings are all yours – and so is the peace of mind. Just part of being the leader in wireless home security – and the #1 rated alarm company in the US.