Safe At Home

For most people, their home is their castle. It is the place where they feel safe and secure. But the world is not always a safe place. Adding a home security system gives many people peace of mind. Before you invest in a home security system, here are few things to consider.

First, do your homework. Talk to friends and families who already have a home security system. What do they like about it? What do they dislike? Most importantly, how do they feel about the security company that operates the system? Research can also be done on the Internet. Look for reviews of security companies—a company’s reputation is key. Once you have a list of reputable companies, it’s time for a home inspection.

Any security company worth your time and money should offer a free home inspection. They should come to your home and give you an honest assessment of what you need. But remember, these folks are salespeople by nature. Don’t be swayed by fast talk and promises. A good inspector should take the time to explain what you need and why. They should be willing to answer all of your questions, no matter how many you pose.

Be sure to ask about packages or special offers. Also, 24-hour monitoring is a must. Crime, fire and medical emergencies don’t have a timetable. Make sure your system covers all of these. Some systems can tie into existing smoke alarms. Once smoke or fire is detected, the company’s monitoring station is alerted.

Another important feature is the panic button. In a medical emergency, a panic button can save lives. Imagine someone in the home having a heart attack. You hit the panic button and are not only connected to the company’s monitoring station but are given instructions on what to do while emergency response is contacted. The minimum components of a system should be a control panel, door and window sensors, a key pad and a siren.

Once you have “auditioned” a few companies, compare them. Price should be a consideration, but how you feel about their customer service and their system should be the ultimate factor in your decision. Once you have made your decision, it’s a good idea to run the company through the Better Business Bureau. Make sure they have an “A” or high rating and a good record of resolving complaints.

You will need to sign a contract, and as with all contracts, you should read the fine print. Consider the length of the contract and make sure prices don’t go up after a certain length of time. Make sure you also understand the specifics of renewing or canceling the contract.

Thanks to ever-improving technology, home security systems are becoming more sophisticated every day. Take your time, do your homework and determine what system is right for you. A home security system provides peace of mind, and for many people, that is priceless.

By Craig W. Armstrong

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