Monitoring your home security system has never been easier but there are several things you need to consider before committing yourself to a long term monitoring agreement with any alarm company. Alarm companies don't make the majority of their profit from selling security systems; it comes from accumulating a large base of alarm-monitoring contracts. If fact, these monitoring contracts are so profitable that they are frequently bought and sold like mortgage notes.
Tip #1 Ask if they are an authorized alarm dealer or represent a marketing company. Marketing companies have learned to flood a market with fantastic offers on security systems with the sole purpose of selling the contracts at a profit. They often use any sub-contractor available, which can lead to poor customer service once the marketing company leaves town. Once you find a reputable alarm company, ask them to come out to your home and give you a quote. You'll find that most will quote you a basic security system at a reasonable price. These basic security systems generally include a control panel, keypad, motion detector, a couple of door contacts, inside siren, a yard sign and warning decals. Tip #2 Make sure the equipment can be monitored by any alarm company, not by just the one selling it to you. If they use proprietary security equipment, you could be left in a bind should you become dissatisfied with their service for any reason. Ademco, DSC, & Caddx are well known manufacturers and can be monitored by any one. Some companies offer a low installation charge of $99.00 or will give you a "FREE" security system. Many do so if you put a security sign in your yard for advertising purposes and commit to a long-term alarm-monitoring contract. Since the installation charge doesn't cover the true cost of the equipment and labor, you are charged a substantial monthly fee to recoup their investment. These "deals" or equipment leases aren't necessarily bad but make it hard to evaluate the true cost to you over time.