The economy is on the fritz. People are losing their homes. New crime is cropping up in cities and neighborhoods where there previously wasn’t really any to note. In many communities home security companies say they haven’t been busier. For good reason people are feeling the need for extra protection. A recent study has linked foreclosures to lawbreaking, citing that in areas with low foreclosures crime rates actually dropped, whereas areas with high-foreclosure rate experienced the opposite. Looters have capitalized on empty houses capturing whatever is resalable. The families that remain in high-foreclosure neighborhoods are thus left feeling insecure, in the shadow of abandoned homes and displaced residents.
With so many external variables at play economically, many families are looking to secure their home (and the assets within it) with a home alarm system. Families who have unfortunately fallen victim to recent crime are also looking for extra protection and a returned sense of security. When researching companies and providers, there are some important features that should be present.
First, choose an authorized service provider for a well-known company.
While there is no price for peace of mind, you certainly don’t want to be dealing with a company that is taking advantage of your need for it. Look for affordable monthly rates that minimally includes landline based monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, high-decibel alarm, decals of your home security system, and if you have pets, a pet sensitive motion detector. Get price quotes from at least 3 companies to be sure you are dealing with a reasonable estimate.
Wireless technologies make additional features and upgrades available that might be of interest. Gadgets like keychain remote allow homeowners to arm and disarm their entire systems from their fingertips. If hands free is a priority, be sure to ask about wireless upgrades. Specifically if you have an elderly parent living in the house, or a child with a disability, options like hands-free intercoms allow family members to communicate directly with a monitoring center dispatcher. In the case of injury, this could make all this difference.
Ask friends for referrals for home security system companies; if a neighbor or is using them, they probably are legitimate.
For some people it is also important to work with a company that has multiple domestic monitoring centers. Two great questions to ask your potential providers are: where their centers are located and how many of them there are? Also ask them how they handle contacting you if there is a problem. If the system gets tripped, do they call you? Email you? At what point are local authorities notified?
Companies dealing with home alarm systems may be the experts, but you still need to feel comfortable with their policies. Are they prudent and timely, thorough and fair?
Before signing a contract, be sure to read it carefully and double-check with your provider about any items that do not seem clear. Ask about guarantees and company policy in case of a systemic problem on their end. Will you be covered if one of their centers goes down?
These are just a few considerations before signing-up with a service provider. With a little homework beforehand you will surely choose well, and by doing so, you will be signing up for much more than an alarm. You will be signing up for an increased sense of security, and there are few things as valuable.