The annual race to Christmas is on. Department stores have their Christmas decorations up, store Santas are getting their costumes ready, and parents are sitting down for those long discussions about what to get Junior. It is an annual tradition. This year, industry experts suspect a fair number of Americans will be purchasing home security systems as their one ‘big gift’. If you are one of them, there are a couple of things you need to know first.
Monitored home security is a great thing to have if you are interested in deterring burglars. The average base system also offers added protection out-of-the-box by way of monitoring for fire and carbon monoxide. So, for a reasonable investment, you can get a good system that will help protect you against three of the most serious threats facing homeowners.
Before you buy, consider the following:
1. Monitoring Options
There isn’t much point in investing in a home security system if you are not going to have it monitored. A security system without monitoring is nothing more than a noisemaker – and we all know how that has worked out with car alarms. Don’t make the same mistake with your home; get a system that can be monitored remotely.
In addition, do your research so that you know who provides the monitoring for the system you intend to buy. Some systems are professionally monitored while others rely on the cooperation of a central monitoring station and the homeowner.
2. Monthly Service Contracts
When home security was first introduced, it was nearly impossible to get a monitored system installed without agreeing to a monthly monitoring contract. Today, customers have options. You could agree to a monitoring contract or sign up for a month-to-month service. It is entirely up to you. In either case, you do need to be sure to read and understand your monitoring agreement. Should you choose a professional monitoring contract, be sure you understand the policies outlining cancellation and transfer.
3. Hardware Upgrades
If always having the latest hardware is important to you, plan on researching how providers handle upgrades. Your best bet might be a company that offers free annual upgrades on all qualifying devices. If you cannot find one you like, at least consider a provider willing to let you know when upgrades are available. It may be that you should take upgrades into your own hands to ensure you stay on the innovative.
4. Software Upgrades
Software upgrades should be nonnegotiable. These are critical for addressing security issues in the digital world. Before you buy any home security system, do your homework to find out how software updates are provided. You also might want to scour the news for any stories relating to software problems involving the most prominent home security providers.
5. Technical Aptitude
Lastly is your own technical aptitude. There’s a lot to be said about DIY home security and self-installation, but you may run into a ton of trouble if you don’t have the skills and knowledge to set up your own system. If you are going to go DIY, be sure that you either understand how the technology works or you have friends or family members willing to help you.
This Christmas, families all over America will be purchasing home security systems for themselves. Some of them will choose DIY wireless systems while others will go with professional installation and monitoring. Home security systems are deterrents to crime and one of the best ways to protect your family in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.