Best Home Security Companies: Guide To Choose The Best Alarm Company

alarm companies choice

Choosing an alarm monitoring company is an important decision and will require some research on your part to find the best fit alarm company for your unique needs. Not all alarm companies are equal and they all use different selling points to pull buyers in. It is important to be aware of different selling techniques so you can avoid getting roped into an agreement that isn't the best fit for you.

Below are some factors to look for when choosing an alarm company. It is a good idea to narrow down companies prior to looking at price because the advertised pricing of many systems are difficult to compare and get a true sense of the actual cost of the product/service over its lifetime.

What to Look for in a Home Security Company

  • Good Reputation: You may be able to get a good sense of an alarm companies reputation by talking with neighbors, friends, or your local insurance agent. Some local areas have a specific alarm company that has a well established reputation in your local area.
  • Excellent BBB Rating: Check with the Better Business Bureau and see how their company is rated. If you go on the BBB website you can see how many complaints the company has received and if the company takes action to resolve these complaints. If you don't see the company in the BBB, be skeptical, most legitimate large businesses choose to be listed in there to showcase their legitimate business practices.
  • UL or ULC Approved: UL is short for Underwriters Laboratories, which is a non-profit product safety certification organization. In order for an alarm company to be certified they must pass a strict on site inspection of their alarm monitoring station. Typically if a company us UL certified, you can be assured they are a legitimate alarm monitoring company and that is their sole focus. Also, in order to qualify for home insurance discounts, most insurance companies will require that the company doing the alarm monitoring is UL certified.
  • 24 Hour Service: 24 hour operation is ideal for an alarm company. All alarm monitoring companies offer 24 hour monitoring but it is important to look for those companies that offer 24 hour service in case your alarm system is malfunctioning. Alarm monitoring is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week process and they should have the service available to fix problems whenever they occur.
  • Company has insurance: Make sure the company you use has insurance in case there are errors when installing the system or problems with the alarm's response. 

What to Look Out for in a Home Security Company

  • Bad or no BBB Rating: A company with no or a bad BBB rating can be a sign that they do not have their customers best interest in mind. It is very important that you check with the BBB prior to selecting a company. Even if you are going through a subcontractor of a local or corporate company that is handling the sales and installation, it is important to check up on them as well as the corporate entity that will be handling the monitoring after the sales and installation process is complete.
  • Not UL or ULC Approved: Being UL or ULC approved is a big selling point for many alarm monitoring companies. If a company does not have this certification it is likely that they do not qualify for this type of certification. Not having this certification can mean that their alarm monitoring station does not have the proper equipment, construction, location, or a dedicated team to monitor alarm systems.
  • Offer free alarm system: Well this isn't always bad, but most of the time if the offer is too good to be true, it is... This type of offer is normally tied to an alarm system that isn't the best quality and locks you into a long term contract. When you see these offers it is important to look at the small print.
As you go through the potential companies, make a list of the ones that are potentially a good fit. Narrow down your list to a maximum of 3-4 companies and arrange a time to talk with them or meet with them to asses your current alarm system needs. It is always a good idea to talk with multiple companies so you can get a better understand of what type of set up would best fit your unique situation. Below is a set of questions that can be a good starting point determine if they are a good fit.

Alarm Company Questions to Ask

  1. Is the company UL certified that will be handling the alarm monitoring?
  2. Find out if the company you are dealing with is a subcontractor of a corporate company. If they are, what will happen after the installation and sales process is complete?
  3. Who will handle technical issues after the installation process is complete?
  4. Is the monitoring and technical support for the company available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week?
  5. Does the company that performs the monitoring have a backup monitoring center? (This ensures that if something happens to the main monitoring center that they have a back up to ensure you are always being monitored)
  6. Can they perform a home inspection and a quote in writing for the installation?
  7. What specific recommendations do they have for a home security system for your unique living situation?
After going through this process you should be able to get a good understand of what type of alarm system and monitoring company will fit your location and situation best.

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