Our home is our sanctuary; it is important it is a space we feel is safe, and protected from intruders. There are many measures a homeowner can take on his own to reduce the risk of a burglary, but ultimately, the most effective measure is a security system.
According to the Acadiana Security Plus home security system company, based in Louisiana, a home without a system is three times more likely to be broken into. Those odds are a bit alarming, don’t you think? If you are thinking about getting one for your home, it is important you do your homework. Not all companies and their offerings are created equal. Here are just a few things you want to think about before contracting service.
What are Your Primary Concerns?
What sort of crime occurs in your neighbourhood? When it comes to your home, what are you most concerned about? Is it a break-in, violent crime or vandalism? Think of the greatest risks there are to you and your home to properly evaluate surveillance and equipment.
Evaluate Your Home
Security systems can be much more than an alarm. There are other things you may want to install to ensure your home is optimally protected. What points on your home are particularly vulnerable? This may include certain entrances or windows. If you are concerned about people entering through air vents, or cutting power lines to gain access, you may want to install security cameras in these areas. How is the lighting on your property? Good lighting is a strong deterrent to criminals who want to slip into your home unnoticed. Identify areas of your house where the lighting is poor, and may provide easy cover for a thief—these can be good spots for flood lights or motion sensors.
When talking to companies, express your concerns so they can offer you an accurate assessment of your needs.
What to Look for in a Company
Once you have gathered a list of candidates, do a bit of background checking to ensure they are on the up and up.
Using the following information, check the company out through channels such as the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General of your state, licensing officials and consumer protection agencies:
- Contractor’s name
- Street address (no P.O. Box)
- Telephone number
- Contractor’s license number
- State that issued the license
- Name under which the license is filed
If a company does not want to provide any of this information, cross them off the list of possibilities, and move onto the next one.
Make sure you ask lots of questions and get written estimates. Here are just a few important questions you should ask:
- Who does installation and monitoring—some use third parties
- How long is the monitoring contract for, and are there any penalties for terminating it early?
- What is the total cost of monitoring, and how is it billed?
- What does the warranty cover and how long is it good for? It should be at least one year.
- Whose responsibilities are upgrades and repairs?
- Does the company offer free relocation of the system if you move? It should
Read over estimates and contracts carefully. If any promises were made orally by the sales rep, make sure they are in the contract. If there is anything that is unclear, ask. Do not make any assumptions.
If you take these important points into consideration, you are equipped to make a smart decision when it comes to choosing your security system.