Apples to Oranges: How to Compare
Home Security Options
When New Jersey homeowners decide to invest in a home security solutions, the cost is in many cases the most important thing when it comes to deciding which alarm system to purchase. The process usually goes as follows: go online and search for the top companies, then call up a handful and get price quotes for security systems over the phone, then select the cheapest one. Although it may seem very efficient and and cost-effective, this is not the approach we recommend. As with any significant purchase decision (especially involving your home, safety, and you and your family’s security) there are many factors beyond purchase price that should be examined.
First and foremost is the reputation of the different security companies. How long have they been around? Longevity is one indicator that the firm has a positive reputation. Also, you’re going to be dealing directly with their employees, and the fact is, firms with strong overall reputations attract (and keep) better people. In a very competitive industry like home security, being known for outstanding customer service and high quality of product can be a key differentiator.
Security technology has made incredible advances over the past decade. However, this also means that equipment that is soon-to-be obsolete can be offered very cheaply. You don’t need to have an engineering degree – you just have to ask the right questions and perform Apples to Apples comparisons. Do the necessary research and don’t make decisions based on cost until you’re satisfied that the security provider offers innovative products that represent the latest technological developments.
For one thing, not all security companies that offer monitoring actually provide the monitoring service. In order to save money and offer a cheaper product to homeowners, they may outsource these services to another company, sometimes in another state. Also, ask if alarm facilities are certified and inspected by independent agencies such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). If a monitoring center is UL listed, it means that UL conducts inspections and audits of monitoring facilities to ensure they operate within certain standards. The bottom line is that a home security alarm system is only as good as its monitoring center.
Most reputable home security companies don’t provide quotes without sending a representative to note the layout of your home and perform an evaluation of your requirements. One thing to ask is who will perform the installation and monitor the system? Some alarm companies that offer bargain-basement pricing are able to do so because they subcontract this work to a third party.
We don’t recommend buying a system you cannot afford, but price should not be the overriding concern when evaluating home security systems.