When a person installs a home security system in his home, he often opts for home security monitoring as well. This typically takes the form of a home security monitoring service that is notified through the security system when an alarm sounds. The monitoring service calls for emergency help when it is warranted. In most cases, a person must pay a fee for home security monitoring. For example, he may pay a set monthly rate for this service.
Home security systems typically include a number of mechanisms for notifying residents of intrusions. For example, doors and windows are usually equipped with devices that trigger an alarm if they are opened while the system is armed. Often, home security systems also have motion detector devices that are designed to detect motion when the residents are away. In the event that one of these entry points is opened or a motion sensor detects motion, a loud alarm usually sounds and the home security monitoring system is automatically notified.
Once a monitored alarm sounds, a security monitoring service typically calls the resident's home right away. While it may seem logical for the service to alert the police first, the initial phone call is normally made to the home in order to rule out false alarms. If the resident answers the phone and says it was a false alarm, the police are not notified. If the resident does not answer the phone, however, or indicates that there is an intruder or other security problem, the security monitoring service typically calls the police.
Many people like the peace of mind having a home security monitoring service can provide. They know that in the event of an intrusion, they don't have to worry about getting to a phone in time to call the police. Likewise, residents may feel more comfortable about going on vacation, as they know the monitoring service will call for emergency help if the alarm sounds when they are not at home. Some people might expect their neighbors to call the police if an alarm sounds, but many people fail to act on others' alarms because of the frequency with which false alarms occur.
The main drawbacks to having a home security monitoring system may be the cost and the fact that the police may be called to false alarms. Home security monitoring systems usually require residents to pay a monthly fee, and individuals on a budget may not want the added expense. Additionally, these services call the police if the resident doesn't answer the phone and confirm a false alarm in time. In many places, police departments charge fees for responding to a resident's frequent false alarms.