In most cities, a few minutes of research reveals a constantly growing list of local alarm companies. More and more people are turning to these alarm companies to protect their homes and their families. Choosing among them can seem to be a daunting task.Source
If the decision is approached in clearly defined steps, it becomes more manageable and far less overwhelming:
Understand Your Needs
What do you need from a security system? Do you want to make your house a fortress, or do you want to install enough to create a ruckus if someone tries to break in? Do you want to monitor any part of your home or property?
Who or what are you trying to protect, and from what? Are there children, someone with a disability, elderly family members? Are you most concerned about people or possessions?
Decide Which Alarm Companies to Interview
Ask everyone you know, who has alarms, what kind of experience they had with various alarm companies. Are they happy? Why? Why not? Call your insurance company and ask for recommendations. Contact the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and request a list of member companies in your region. Consider which companies you have heard about and what you heard. Rule out those for which you received bad reviews.
Do you want to focus on local and locally monitored alarm companies or national businesses? Do the companies offer equivalent equipment and equivalent monitoring and notification?
Interview at Least Three (preferably five) Companies
Ask enough questions to be sure you trust the company. Find out how they can respond to each of your needs. Consider who has the best equipment. Will they require you to buy or rent the equipment? How soon can it be installed? Who offers the best monitoring? Which alarm companies have the systems in place to allow you to monitor from another location?
Which alarm companies offer specialized services or equipment to meet your needs for protecting each member of your family? How expensive are these additional services? It is a good idea to make some notes as you interview so you can refer back to them when you are making a decision. As you ask each of the alarm companies the same questions, it can become difficult to distinguish between the answers.
Choose the Best of the Alarm Companies for Your Needs
Review all of the information you have gathered and compare it with your needs. Narrow down your list of companies.
Compare prices and eliminate any companies that are priced beyond your budget. Also rule out companies priced extremely high or extremely low. Compare the security offered, customer service, your level of trust, and the time until the system can be installed and operative. Ask about warranties on equipment and installation.