Is Your Home Secure?
When you go to sleep at night, do you lose sleep worrying about whether your home is safe and secure? If you leave for vacation – or even just to go to work for the day – do you fear that your home will be the target of thieves?
There are many steps homeowners can take to protect themselves and their property from theft or damage. Consumer Reports has produced a list of the top seven ways to burglar-proof any residence and boost your home security. Along with kick-proofing your doors, choosing the right door locks and lighting up exterior areas of your home during evening hours, a home security system is ranked among the top ways to keep you and your valuables safe and secure.
But how do you know which system is right for you? A quick search of the internet reveals numerous companies offering home security systems, many touting theirs as “the best home security system” around. So how do you decide which option is best for you?
First and foremost, before choosing any security system provider, determine the specific needs for your property. How many doors and windows do you want to have tied to a wireless security system? Do you want only the main doors of the home – as well as all windows on the first floor – to be secured? Or would you prefer to have every possible entrance into your home covered? Do you want a home security camera system, or a basic home security system that notifies the provider when the alarm has been triggered?
Once you decide how many entrances you would like to be included in the coverage, as well as the type of system you prefer, the next step is to decide where to place the control panel for the device, as well as the keypad(s) to operate it. Placing a keypad near common entryways – such as a front door or garage door entryway – is probably a good idea. It also is recommended to place one near your bedroom for ease of access should the alarm activate during the nighttime hours.
After the basic decisions have been made, it’s time to start reviewing the various security systems for the home that currently are available on the market. One of the best things to do is to search for and read home security system reviews. Not all home security providers are created equal. A great resource for help in selecting a company can be found by calling your homeowner’s insurance provider. Many insurance companies offer a discount to clients whose homes are covered by a security system for the home. Your agent will be able to tell you which companies and products qualify for the discount.
The following home security companies have been listed as among the best and top-performing companies on the market today:
ADT – This company consistently ranks first among all home security system providers. It offers burglar monitoring, fire monitoring, medical monitoring, carbon monoxide monitoring and flood monitoring to its clients. Among the benefits of choosing this company is that it offers wireless security systems with lifetime warranties on the equipment. Cost for service with this company starts at $35.99 a month.
Brinks Home Security Systems – This company has been bought out by ADT, so they are one and the same. It offers the same services as its parent company, ADT.
LifeShield – This company frequently tops the list of best home security system providers. It offers alarm monitoring, fire and smoke monitoring, carbon monoxide monitoring, medical monitoring and environmental monitoring. Unlike some of its competitors, LifeShield offers mobile security apps and a cellular security system. Service through this company starts at $24.99 per month.
FrontPoint – Burglar and intrusion, fire monitoring, environmental monitoring and life safety are the specialties of this home security system provider. It offers wireless security video, remote alarm access and redundancy safeguards as part of its more popular package. Prices start at $34.99 per month.
When choosing among a selection of providers, it is a good idea to ask if the company is a member of your state’s Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. Members of this association agree to maintain a specific level of conduct and standards under state and national ethics codes. Companies also should be asked if they are licensed providers through your state’s Registry of Contractors. Never hire an unlicensed provider. Most states keep a record of complaints made against licensed contractors, which can be a helpful resource when choosing a provider. The Better Business Bureau also is a good resource for checking whether a company has significant customer complaints against it. Companies that are members of the Better Business Bureau are required to handle customer complaints and concerns in a timely fashion, according to standards set forth by the bureau.
Before settling on one company, arrange for a visit with representatives from three to four providers. Ask for a qualified home inspection, demonstration and a quote covering all costs and services in writing. For additional review, you also may wish to request references from each of the providers. Most quality home alarm companies will be happy to provide potential clients with references from former or current customers.
Still need help choosing the company that’s right for you? Find the best home security systems and get free quotes with HomeAlarmFinder.com.
Article by Shari Berg, HomeAlarmFinder.com