Purchasing an alarm system is a great step to take to boost your home security, but sorting through all of the information available about the type of system to get and how much you should pay can get confusing. The industry’s reputation for shady sales tactics and outright scams doesn’t help to ease the mind either, so let’s talk about some ways to make sure you are getting a great deal on that new alarm system while avoiding all of the scammers.
1. Decide if You Need One
The first step is to sit down and decide if you need one. Avoid making this decision after watching the nightly crime report or in the spur of the moment from a salesman trying to scare you. In fact, avoid door to door salesman altogether unless they are from a reputable company, and you’ve already done your research. Instead, think about how protected your home is already. Do you have a dog that works just as well? Or, do you have a tendency to forget to lock the door? Will you remember to set the alarm, and how much maintenance are you willing to do yourself? In other words, approach the purpose logically, taking all factors into consideration before making a purchase.
2. Get Quotes from Multiple Companies
Prices tend to vary considerably, so be sure to get multiple quotes from different companies. Remember that there are multiple costs associated with buying an alarm system, including the cost of the equipment, installation costs, and monitoring costs. Ask for each cost specifically because many times the cheap advertising costs only covers the equipment, and you’ll end up shocked by the monitoring bill that you get later.
3. Check Reviews
Be sure to look into each company’s reputation as well. A good price doesn’t mean anything if the company has faulty equipment or poor service. Online review sites are a good place to start, as is the Better Business Bureau. If you have friends or family with alarm systems, ask them about their experience, and ask for references from the companies that make the top of your consideration list.
4. Decide How Much Protection You Want
Be aware that you don’t have to purchase the entire package in order to have a functioning alarm system. You may decide that you don’t need a monitoring service or that the upstairs windows don’t need sensors. On the other hand, perhaps you are concerned that you’ll forget to turn the system on, so an automated system you control from you iPhone would be a good idea. Take the time to sit down and really think about what would be best for your situation, and more than likely there is an option available that meets those needs.
5. Mix and Match
Homeowners don’t have to use the same company for monitoring that they used to install an alarm system. In fact, shy away from any long term contracts, so you can easily make a switch should a better option come along. Some cable and phone companies are even getting into the home security business and might be able to offer a more affordable package from a company you already have experience with.
Author Boi: Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.