Every homeowner, every parent wants to ensure their home, their family, their children, and their possessions are safe and secure. Some parts of the world, even various regions or parts of countries, states, and cities, are more reliable than others. Whether you live in an unsafe area or want the peace of mind that they offer, many homeowners turn to home security services and alarm monitoring services providers. These home security services companies provide security systems and ongoing monitoring for residential properties. Many home security services companies are also participating in the commercial security business, providing security and monitoring for businesses and industrial spaces as well.
There are benefits to having a home security system, and people choose home security services and alarm monitoring services for different reasons. For some, it’s about protecting their family. For others, especially those who live alone, it’s about personal safety. Others like the sense of security and protection they provide. Still, others have valuable possessions, or other material considerations that they want to ensure are protected. And others are higher-value targets, such as celebrities, which require the added level of security to keep themselves safe.
Regardless of the reason, consumers continue to rely on home security services and alarm monitoring services to keep them safe. Below, we’ll talk about what these companies do. Specifically, we’ll look at the process of installing a security system, what’s involved in ongoing monitoring, the benefits of having a security system and continuous monitoring, and some of the newer alternatives on the market, and how they stack up to traditional home security services and alarm monitoring services.
The first and most essential part of having a home security system is, unsurprisingly, having a home security system installed. Alarm monitoring services need something to monitor, after all, to be effective. The installation course varies depending on the type of home security system that is being installed, and the scope of the work, as well as the layout and features of a home or property.
In general, home security services offer various levels of protection or pre-arranged packages to consumers. Basic systems typically are linked to doors and require inputting a code within a certain amount of time after entry through the door when the home security system is armed, or the alarm monitoring services company is alerted. Others incorporate many more sensors, such as those linked to windows, such that if a window is shattered or opened when the system is armed, the alarm is triggered. Still, others employ motion and heat sensors as part of their home security package. Some include advanced environmental sensors that can automatically alert authorities if a fire or water leak is detected in the home. There is no shortage of options and scope of protection when it comes to home security services.
Following a consultation with the consumer, and choice of scope and type of home security system, home security services will usually arrange the installation itself. That typically involves setting up the keypad systems near the central doorway or doorways and wiring all the relevant sensors in the home. There may also be a networked backend to the system, that contains the “brains” of the home security system, or this may be integrated into the controllers. The system is connected to electrical and some form of network. In days gone by, this was traditionally a phone connection but now is often an Ethernet connection through a cable modem or similar Internet access device, mobile network.
The home security services company needs to perform some light contractor-type work for the installation, which may include mounting the home security controller hardware, running lines behind drywall, drilling holes in other parts of the drywall or floorboards, and finding and wiring the connections to the network and electrical. So, they perform the tasks of a handyman, an electrical contractor, and a bit of home improvement work, in addition to their IT-style duties.
Following the physical installation, the home security services company will test the system. They will turn over the system to the customer and provide them with the literature on troubleshooting. Typically, they will also walk the customer through the process of setting up code, arming the system, and disarming the system. They will ensure the alarm is appropriately linked to the alarm monitoring service, and that any disruption, dirt, and debris in the home from the installation process is cleaned and removed.
Then, the ongoing monitoring phase can begin. Alarm monitoring services may or may not be affiliated directly with the home security services company that does the home security system installation. There are off-the-shelf systems and independent home security companies that can provide security systems, and then the alarm monitoring services – with universal system connections that, like most Internet-enabled devices, require the consumer to provide a network address or serial number on the device to link it to their system. Other home security services companies may be exclusive dealers for one alarm monitoring service company. Still, others may be one and the same, working directly for the alarm monitoring services company.
The alarm monitoring services typically provide the service on an annual contract basis, in the form of an annual or monthly subscription fee. Any triggering of the home security system results in immediate notification to the alarm monitoring services company. They typically will have a 24/7/365 staffed command center that monitors any alarm triggers, as well as any of the other monitoring services the systems may provide (e.g., fire detection, carbon monoxide detection, and so forth). Still, other alarm monitoring services provide integrated senior care functions as well, with panic buttons or devices that can alert alarm monitoring services if the senior is in trouble, has fallen and can’t get up, etc.
Upon receiving notification of a problem of any type through the alarm system, the alarm monitoring services company will take the appropriate action. They will either call the consumer’s registered phone number on file to confirm with them if they are having an issue inputting the wrong code, or if there is a system malfunction. They will contact the police depending on the outcome of that conversation, or in cases if they are unable to reach the homeowner. If the alarm trigger indicates a fire or someone in distress, they will contact the relevant emergency services locally. Security and peace of mind are what home security services and alarm monitoring services are all about.
The obvious benefits of home security services and alarm monitoring services are the level of security and peace of mind that they provide. Knowing your home is safe from burglars or trespassers, can be a big relief for many people. Knowing that family is safe when you are not there, or kids are safe if parents are at work, is equally important. The protection of your home, the people who live in it, as well as your possessions are all-powerful psychological motivators, and can be sources of high stress – stress that home security services and alarm monitoring services can take off your shoulders.
At the same time, advanced services that provide a lifeline for seniors, or fire or CO detection, can supplement other measures to ensure the quality of life and guard against emergencies. When something does occur, having home security systems such as these can help mitigate the situation quickly and more efficiently and get the relevant authorities to your home faster. Additionally, though they cost money, security systems can help save you money in the long run. Many homeowner’s insurance policies provide substantial discounts to homeowners who have a home security system with an active alarm monitoring services subscription.
In recent years, many cable and telephony providers have also gotten into the security arena. Independent and traditional home security services and alarm monitoring services companies have new competition. Since these cable and telephony providers often provide network/Internet access to a home, selling their own devices and monitoring that integrates with their existing network makes total sense. However, whether or not these perform as reliably, or the staffing organization behind them is as robust and professional, as a traditional security alarm monitoring services provider.
At the same time, there are also more and more consumer options available for do-it-yourself type home security systems, that can be networked and linked to a smartphone or tablet and managed remotely. There’s certainly an appeal there, and most are very easy to install, and relatively low cost. The drawback is there are no alarm monitoring services behind most of these devices – they merely allow consumers to monitor their home security and receive alerts if the alarm is triggered, or the cameras sense motion on the porch, and similar functions. It may be a good middle for consumers who cannot afford professional security, but it is no replacement for professional home security services and alarm monitoring services.