The need for a burglar alarm system has never been higher. According to statistics released by the FBI, there were over 9 million property related crimes amounting to a loss of over $156 billion in 2011 alone. Although this is a drop from the previous years, the number is still staggeringly high enough to make it important for you as a house owner to deploy proper safety measures to prevent burglaries at home. Here are some guidelines you need to know about a home alarm system before you pay for one.
Every burglar alarm system comes with a control panel, keypad, siren, motion detector, door/window contacts and a Central Monitoring System. The control panel is the centralized location that houses all the equipment and battery backup. This is where all the action happens in the background. The keypad is located somewhere on the outside of the monitored area from where you can arm or disarm the alarm. The siren is located at a convenient place inside the house to alert you or the neighborhood whenever there is a break-in. The motion-detector is usually an infrared beam to monitor human presence while the door/window contacts monitor movements along the door or window. The Central Monitoring System monitors signals from these various sources like doors, windows, motion detector, etc. and transmits an alert warning to the police and the keyholder.
Before you start reviewing home alarm system providers, check out the alternate products to see which one suits you better. Apart from traditional burglar systems, there are also mobile alarm systems which offer a variety of security services over your smartphone or tablet. According to the guide on mobile alarm system from SafeSoundFamily.com, such devices will let you monitor the sensor activity and stream video from home right on your mobile phone. In addition to this, you will also be able to control the various sensors, thermostats and appliances besides arming/disarming the alarm system from any part of the world using your smartphone.
Other products that you could look into are glass break detectors, closed circuit TV, pressure mat alarms and panic buttons.
Picking The Right Provider
One of the best ways to start your research is to visit the Better Business Bureau website (www.bbb.org) and research for burglar alarm providers in your area. While doing so, check for their accreditation from BBB, outstanding customer complaints and complaints resolved in the last 12 months. This will give you an idea about the after-sales service provided by the company.
Next up, find out if the company only provides installations or also offers monitoring service. While the latter is expensive, that is pretty necessary if you want to make full use of your alarm system. Once you finalize a couple of providers, arrange for an appointment and get a quotation and a list of full range of products and services you will be availing for the price. This will give you a complete picture of all that you will be receiving for the price. In addition to this, check if the company will also help you with a basic operation demo. It is important that all family members get training on this before you deploy the alarm. False alarms are quite common when you have an alarm installed and your house may be blacklisted in case of 3 false alarms.
Is there anything more you would like to know about a picking a burglar alarm? Tell us in the comments.