Home alarm monitoring is a system that alerts the appropriate people and/or authorities if your alarm goes off. You will need to determine your home security strategy based on your own needs.
Knowing your strategy can determine the type of monitoring that is best for you.
One option of monitoring is to have the alarm call your cell phone when the alarm gets triggered. HomeSecurityReviewer.com does NOT believe this is a good option for most homeowners.
Any type of trouble with your alarm system will cause the alarm to call your cell phone repeatedly. Various things that would cause your alarm to call your cell would be battery trouble, log full, and cancels. These are just examples, but there are more.
After receiving these alerts, it is very difficult to distinguish between a real threat to your residence and a system issue. Would you call the police because you thought someone broke in? Or would you think that the system lost battery power and is alerting you?
If you are in the house when your alarm gets triggered, it is important that someone gets alerted off-premise. If your cell phone is in a different room when a criminal enters, what good is it that your cell phone gets alerted? Also, if you are able to get to your cell phone in an emergency situation, will you have the time and savvy to be able to get a call off to the appropriate authorities?
A Central Station Company uses special phone lines, computers, and specialized staff to monitor a home security system. Your security system gets connected to a RJ31X jack on a phone line. If the alarm gets triggered, the security system gets priority use of the line.
The security system reports its signals to the home alarm monitoring company. The Central Station then notifies the appropriate authorities if an alarm goes off. You will have to pay a monthly fee to use the service.
There are a variety of monitoring companies that you can choose from.
In choosing a home alarm monitoring company, you should find out if the monitoring station is UL (Underwriters Laboratory) certified. You should find out if the monitoring station is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Also, make sure that the customer service department is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
You also should check to see that the monitoring station has back-up contingencies in case anything goes wrong. If the station has a power loss, it would be beneficial to have a back-up monitoring center. Also, there should be back-up systems in place for computers or phone lines.
You want the peace of mind to know that your monitoring company will always be able to watch over your house in case of emergencies.
The bigger security companies such as Broadview or ADT provide both the installation of a security system and the monitoring after the alarm system has been installed. With these companies you are generally dependent on their services.
They keep your panel and installer codes so it is difficult to have them install your hardware and use a different company for monitoring. Also, if you are looking to expand and add to your security system, you will need to work with the security company.
The second type of monitoring company focuses on monitoring after the system and hardware has been installed. They can work with all types of installed security systems. These type of monitoring companies work very well with DIY home security products. The monthly fees for these types of companies can be about 1/3 of the price of the bigger security companies.
These type of companies can keep the price so low because you maintain the hardware of the security system. If something goes wrong with the system or hardware, they will not send someone out to fix it. This should not be a problem with do-it-yourselfers since they should know the system pretty well.