Friday, November 27, 2015 / by Bill Berning*
As a homeowner, you want to make sure that your home and its occupants are protected in the event of an incident or emergency.
A home security system is a necessary upgrade for maintaining the safety of your family and to protect your home. As a homeowner, you want the features that you need at the best price. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which offer is best. Here are some things to consider as you shop for a home security system.
As you search for a home security company, you may find that there are many options available. It can be difficult to decide which company is the best option unless you do your research first.
Start by talking with family and friends to find out which home security providers offer excellent service. You should also read up on the various types of home security systems that are available on the market so that you know the options that are available to you.
Here are some tips that can help you ensure that you select the right home security system for your needs.
Home Security System Options
There are many options for home security systems. The type of home security system that you install in your home should depend on your specific needs, the ease of installation and the costs. Here are a few questions to ask before deciding on a security system for your home.
? Do you have young children or elderly family members living in your home?
? Do you need other services such as fire detection, video surveillance, carbon monoxide detection or emergency medical assistance?
? If you have an older home, will you be able to install a hardwired system at a reasonable cost?
After you have decided on the answers to these questions, take a look at the areas of your home that need to be secured. Start by reviewing doors and windows, as these are the entry points that will be secured by the home security system.
You should also decide whether you would like a hardwired system or wireless system installed. Each type of system comes with its own vulnerabilities. If the cables that power your telephone or Internet service are cut, this could disable the home security system. For wireless systems, an outage of cell phone or Internet services in your area can render the system useless as well. Therefore, you should be aware that home security systems can fail and are not foolproof.
High-tech home security options are also available for wealthy homeowners. These people have unique security needs that may go beyond the basics of a hardwired home security system. However, regardless of the security system that you select, “even the best systems and safeguards can become vulnerable, warns Paul Viollis Sr., chief executive of Risk Control Strategies. He recommends that, “all contractors and household staff should sign nondisclosure agreements and undergo background checks.”
Check Local Regulations
“Some cities and local governments require alarm system permits. Before hooking up your new system, contact your local government offices to inquire about the specifics. If you don’t, you could find yourself facing a stiff fine and a hassle with the authorities.” says Karie Fay of realestate.com.
If you are unsure about the regulations in your area, you can also ask the home security company if there are any permits required. These permits are more likely to be required for hardwired security system since they involve modification of the structural and electrical components of your home.
Check the Fine Print
Once you have narrowed down the features that you would like in a home security system, the next step should be to read the fine print before you sign any contracts. Some items to review and discuss with the home security system provider include:
? installation and repair costs
? monitoring fees
? contract terms
You should be aware of the fact that the setup and maintenance of the system aren’t the only costs that are involved with a home security system. By discussing these other factors upfront with the home security company, you can uncover the real costs of a home security system to determine if the plan being offered is actually a good deal.
Watch Out for Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that some home security systems in America could actually be scams. In Canada, CARP warns the same. Therefore, it is important that you know what to watch out for. During the warm seasons, home security system companies often send out door-to-door sales agents that are looking to find homeowners that are interested in installing home security systems. If you are worried that the home security system is actually a scam, ask the person for identification before you let anyone in your home.
You should also be aware that many of these scams use high-pressure sales tactics in order to guilt you into making a purchase. The sales agent may also try to scare you by saying that there have been burglaries recently in your area. Before you do business with a company, make sure that thoroughly investigate the company via the appropriate regulatory agencies. If you are unsure about a sales person that has come to your home, the best solution is to tell the person that you are not interested or avoid opening the door altogether.
Talk With a Realtor
Having a home security system can increase the value of your home. A hardwired security system also stays in your home if you ever decide that you want to move. If you are planning on investing in a home security system for this purpose, you should speak with a Realtor first.