One of the first questions many people ask a security provider is “How much does it cost?” To answer this simple question, let me explain some general guidelines for pricing a security system.
Investing in a security system is much like purchasing a new car. Depending on what you want, the price can change dramatically. You can purchase a new basic model Chevy Silverado for $25,000. Now add the comfortable options, such as power windows, air conditioning, MP3 player capabilities, heated seats, leather interior and built-in navigation and the price can quickly reach $40,000. Why would someone invest in these additional options considering they may sell or trade the vehicle in 5 years? Americans spend an average of 2 and 1/2 hours a day in their car, and they want to enjoy this time. They understand that they are making an investment and they don’t want to regret their decision down the road. Likewise, you are making an investment on keeping the things you value secure. A security system should be built to not only be accommodating to the user, but do the job in the worst case scenario. Unfortunately, many people just focus on the price per month. They want the cheapest, quickest system possible, sacrificing quality equipment, quick system communication to authorities and great customer service if these problems arise. There really is no such thing as a cookie cutter price if you are truly interested in a system that works. You need the best security system!
Now let’s look at some security system options that you may want to investigate before you purchase a system:
Choose the way you want your system to communicate
- IP – Also know as internet protocol. If you have high speed internet this method is for you. It eliminates the need for a phone line. Communications are automatically tested every 15 – 30 minutes to ensure an alarm will be properly received.
- Cellular – Also known as cell. If you have a cell signal where you want to install your system, this is another excellent way to communicate alarms. You can’t cut a cell phone line. If you go with IP or dial-up, a cell backup is an excellent option to ensure alarms have back-up communication.
- Dial-up – If you do not have internet or cell signal in your area, you will need a dial-up panel. Make sure you get one that sends a test signal once a day to your central station. Otherwise, you risk not having your system communicate until your provider’s next test which could be up to 30 days.
Keys or no keys – access
All systems today, from a simple home system to a complex office building can take advantage of this option. Users are provided with key fobs, similar to the one pictured here. You can use these fobs to open your home or business. You can arm and disarm your system in one small wave. You can also have them scheduled to only disarm the system at certain times. So if you have a business that doesn’t require your employees to be there after business hours, or you just want to keep your teenagers honest, these fobs are an excellent idea for you.
Cameras have played an important part in our society in the last few years. From catching the suspected Boston Marathon bombers to busting the teenage party while mom and dad were away, cameras are becoming a popular security option. And with recent technological advances, a person can view live footage from their computer, laptop or smartphone. Investing in a good quality camera, with a great warranty versus the cheap warehouse store version can save you money, time and hassle down the road.
Water and Fire
Along with security, cameras, and key fobs, many companies also offer fully integrated systems that allow you to add fire and water monitoring to your business and home protection. While you may not want these options now, check to see that the system you are installing will support your complete wish list if you decide you want to add them later.
Whether you are installing a system in your home or business, you can not put a dollar amount on true peace of mind.
If we can answer questions about our systems, please feel free to contact us.