There are roughly 13,000 alarm companies in the US. That’s right – 13,000, and new ones are springing up all the time as established companies merge, close, or are bought out. One reason for the big number: it’s easy to start an alarm company. While the reputable providers are licensed, insured, and even bonded, there are plenty of small companies (we call them “Trunk Slammers”) – and even some large companies – who play fast and loose with the rules. I’ve even posted here about some of the bad boys. That’s one reason why you need to research any alarm company you consider for on-line reviews, licensing, and the monitoring center they use. After all, it’s your safety and peace of mind that are at stake. Here’s some great intel from a leading industry research group on how the alarm services pie is sliced up, based on market share of monthly monitoring revenue:
As you can see, over half the alarm industry’s monthly fees are controlled by the “little guys” – the 12,900 traditional regional and local companies, mostly family owned, who have been offering the same thing the same way for years. Don’t look to them for innovation, but they do offer good service.
We all know who numero uno is: ADT, especially after they swallowed #2 Brink’s/Broadview earlier this year. Who are the new 2, 3, 4, and 5? You’ve never heard the names, unless you’re a customer. And who is creeping up in the rankings? Those often-pushy door-to-door summer sales programs I have posted about here continue to make their mark. And let’s not forget the ADT authorized dealers as a force to reckon with, even though they sell your monitoring contract to ADT as soon as they finish installing your system. It’s quite surprising that the industry protecting the lives and property of roughly 20,000 million American families is really a mystery to most people – but I hope a little less so now.
What’s it Mean to You?
As I’ve said before, in this industry biggest does not mean best – and over half the alarm subscribers in the US clearly agree. At the same time, bigger should not mean worse, and I can personally attest to the fact that many of the Top 100 companies are completely reputable and compliant, and offer excellent service. And a few even innovate! The important thing is that you equip yourself with all the information at your disposal, and make the right choice when shopping for security.
FrontPoint Security does in fact occupy a spot in that “Next 95 Companies” category. We’re a relatively young company, but we’re not small anymore. The combination of safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable home security has enabled us to grow, but always with a keen eye on exceeding the expectations of our customers. It’s never been our goal to be the biggest – but we’ll certainly settle for the best.