| Alarm Systems: One of the best investments a homeowner can make... |
by Kathy Scott
Few industries enjoy a high positive customer relationship like that of alarm companies. According to a study done by Dr. Simon Hakim, director of the Center for Competitive Government at Temple University, 94 percent of alarm owners are satisfied with their systems. With one in five homes currently electronically protected, that's a pretty amazing statistic.
According to FBI statistics, a home is burglarized every 14 seconds in the United States. Dr. Hakim's study reported that homes without security systems are nearly three times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems.
Security Systems Save Lives and Property
Alarm systems are no longer simply a first line of protection for burglaries. Many safety related features have been added to the main alarm system like carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, smoke detectors and flood detectors for high risk areas. Even low temperature sensors are available which will alert the alarm company if the temperature within a home drops below a preset level. There is also more sophisticated equipment such as closed circuit television (CCTV), video cameras connected directly to a television or VCR, which provide additional surveillance.
Choosing the Right Alarm Company
With hundreds of companies and plans to cull through, choosing the right alarm company can often be overwhelming. Fortunately, the NBFAA offers help and a checklist on choosing the right system for you and your family. Not all alarm companies are created equal. When interviewing different companies, make sure to follow these simple steps:
- Contact your insurance agent, the NBFAA or your local police department's crime prevention unit for names of security system companies.
- Make sure the alarm company is licensed in the state.
- Ask if pre-employment screening is done on all their employees such as background checks.
- Ask the salesperson for a free security inspection and system recommendations.
- Get a written estimate for the entire system including monthly monitoring fees.
- Compare similar systems and pricing.
- Determine if you will own the system or lease it from the alarm company.
- Make sure your system will be monitored around the clock (24/7) by the central station.
- Negotiate. Most alarm companies will negotiate on system add-ons, providing a free motion detector, additional keypads or even one month free monitoring service.
- Make sure the system you choose is equipped with a battery for backup power.
Once your system is installed, choose a user-friendly code that everyone in the family can remember. Let your insurance agent know that your home is being monitored, and additional insurance discounts may be available. Check to see if your municipality requires homeowners with security alarms to register with the local police department.
Monitored alarm systems are one of the best investments a homeowner can make. Not only does it provide security but it can provide safety-nets.
DID YOU KNOW?
The NBFAA is a valuable resource for homeowners researching systems for their home. Many alarm companies are members of the organization, meaning they adhere to a National Code of Ethics and pledge to render alarm services at the highest level of quality possible. To learn more about home security systems, call the NBFAA Marketing Department at (301) 585-1855 for a FREE consumer brochure or visit the NBFAA on the Internet at www.alarm.org.