What to Look for in a Security Alarm Monitoring System
Not all security systems are made equal. While some merely alert you to possible unauthorized entries, others provide monitoring by trained professionals, protect your entire house and keep you safe from natural disasters with environmental sensors. When shopping around, ask tough questions about these important security system benefits.
Fast Response From Professionals
Ask your security company what actually happens when your alarm goes off. Some monitoring systems merely sound the alarm, leaving the rest up to you. Others call to evaluate the situation and notify the authorities when necessary. Having an expert on the line not only provides peace of mind, but it also reduces false alarms to the police. Be sure that the company is monitoring all its systems with real people around the clock every day of the year. Ask how fast its average response time is, which varies nation-wide from ten seconds to as long as five minutes.
Contingency Plans and Redundancies
A good security company strengthens its system with contingency plans and redundancies. If you are unreachable, a reliable company is already prepared with emergency contact numbers, such as that of your next-door neighbor. Companies that take their monitoring duties seriously also have redundancies built into your home system, such as backup equipment and power. If a monitoring station goes off-line, trustworthy companies are ready with generator power and disaster centers that take over alarm monitoring duties during an emergency.
Protecting Your Entire Home
Look for companies that provide alarm monitoring solutions for alternative means of entry. Window alarms trigger your system when the window is opened. When paired with a glass break sensor, which detects the sound of breaking glass, your windows and patio are as secure as your front door. Motion detectors provide defense by monitoring from the inside. Look for models that are sized correctly for each room, easy to disarm and immune to your pet’s activities.
Protection From Natural Disasters and Environmental Dangers
A security system is capable of monitoring more than just possible intruders. Look for integrated systems with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors and water alarms to protect you from a broad range of dangers. Good companies use the best equipment available, including photo-electric smoke detectors which respond better to slow-burning fires and register fewer false alarms. In the event of a carbon monoxide leak, dangerous levels can build up within minutes, so look for electrochemical sensors for fast and accurate detection. Water alarms notify you in case of flooding in your basement or laundry room to prevent structural damage. Unlike traditional detectors, these incorporated sensors connect to your system and alert you when you are not home.
Quality security companies offer plans that protect not just your front door, but your entire home. Look for companies that take monitoring duties seriously with fast response times from trained professionals, contingency plans and system redundancies. Advanced systems use environmental sensors to warn you in case of fire, carbon monoxide and flooding.