How do I Choose the Best Home Burglar Alarm?

I. Ong

A home burglar alarm is considered a necessary investment in many residential areas. Burglar alarms protect a specified area by alerting individuals in that area when trespassers are on the premises. Choosing the best burglar alarm for your home will depend on the layout of your residence, the nocturnal habits of individuals in your home, and the amount you are willing to invest in the alarm system.

All inhabitants of the home should be comfortable interacting with the control panel.
All inhabitants of the home should be comfortable interacting with the control panel.

The first step is to examine your home. Windows and doors that are most accessible will usually need to be integrated into the home burglar alarm system; if you are particularly cautious, you may desire to integrate every opening. Note that more openings to be integrated and wider ranges between these will mean elevated costs. Once you have decided which openings you want to integrate, you can also decide on whether you will prefer a wired alarm system or a wireless system that relies on sensors. A wired system may also require drilling holes in the walls if the routes are too long.

Home monitoring systems vary in quality, from simple alarms to alarms connected to sophisticated motion detectors.
Home monitoring systems vary in quality, from simple alarms to alarms connected to sophisticated motion detectors.

You must next determine the planned location for the control panel and keypads. The control panel will command the burglar alarm system, while the keypads will give you access to turning the system on or off. If you have several locations where you want to be able to access the system, you may want to request additional keypads for your system when purchasing it. Select a keypad that you believe all residents in your home will be comfortable using.

Calculate your budget and determine if you can afford monitoring services by the security company that installs the alarm. Monitoring services means that your alarm system will be watched by the company's agents in shifts around the clock for a monthly fee. If the company should receive an alert from your system, the agent then contacts the closest police station to request assistance for you.

A more economical alternative is the dialer accessory, which you can connect to your security system. The dialer will automatically contact pre-programmed phone numbers when the system is breached. A disadvantage to this function is that it is ineffective if the intruders disable the phone lines before detection.

Another important factor to consider is the nightly routines that people in your home may follow. If they erratically return home late, wander around at night to get a snack, and if there is a pet in your home, these actions could set off the home burglar alarm by accident. These situations will need to be factored in when considering the type of motion sensor you wish to use and how late to turn the alarm on.

Once you have taken stock of these elements in your home, your next step is to gather information on the most favorable security companies. Make inquiries among your circle of acquaintances as to the security system they use, their level of satisfaction with it, and the reasons why. You could also use the Internet to search for well-recommended security companies in your area.

When you have at least three security companies listed, do some background research on the companies. Learn what kind of training and screening their employees go through, check to see the certifications of each company, their business license status, and their records with local consumer-oriented agencies and business bureaus. This can be important because you will need to trust their employees with the location of your valuables and your safety.

Once you have checked on the companies in question, request that a representative from each company visit your home. The representative will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the cost if he can see your home layout for himself. Ask to see the representative's identification before showing him around your home and the locations of your safe and valuables. When the representative has finished surveying the area, request that he present you with a written fixed estimate. If he cannot commit to a fixed estimate, ask him to go into detail about all possible additional charges so that you can better assess your options.

Inquire as to the kind of maintenance and equipment check you will be receiving from the company. If the equipment is leased and not purchased, find out if the company will be responsible for repairs. Take note of the length of the contract, the length of the warranty, and the warranty coverage.

Discuss the monitoring service with the company. Find out their time of coverage and customer service hours, as well as contingency plans set up for power outages or technical issues. The best home burglar alarm for you will be from the company whose credentials you prefer, and with whose answers you are most comfortable.

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