Selecting the Right Home Security System For Your Home

While it is unpleasant to think about, the fact of the matter is that homes without a security system are two to three times more likely to be broken into than homes with one. To avoid becoming a statistic, it is best to invest in one that is monitored 24 hours a day, whether you are home or not.

A good home security system will have several individual elements that when combined provide total safety and security coverage for your home. One of the most crucial elements is monitoring. This is where your home is protected by a large monitoring center that is manned by trained personnel. When your alarm is triggered, the monitor will call your home. If you do not answer, they will immediately call the police. The monitor can also be summoned by you if you suspect a prowler. Monitored systems are simply the best systems. They are watching your home day and night, whether you are there or not. So when you leave to go on vacation or take a weekend trip, you can take comfort in knowing that your home is being looked after.

Monitoring is just one of the components that make a security system effective. Technology is also critical. The technology that goes into today’s alarm systems is highly advanced and includes window and door sensors, smart motion detectors, a built-in siren and a keypad and a keychain that you can activate or deactivate the alarm system from. The smart motion detectors are a plus, because they can distinguish a pet or an animal from a prowler. Having a smart motion detector in place is part of the first line of protection. Any suspected movement that is not recognized can trigger the alarm and catch a potential burglar off guard.

The keychain remote is also an important feature. While there is a main keypad in the house, the keychain remote can allow you to activate and deactivate the alarm from your car as you are leaving or entering the house. This can cut down on false alarms. Keychain remotes lets you turn your alarm on and off at the touch of a button, making the system user friendly.

Another component to consider is yard signage. Believe it or not, this is actually part of the home security system. These will usually be posted when your system is installed. A sign displayed prominently on your property notifying potential burglars that your home is protected may prove to be a deterrent. Burglars often case out their targets before they actually burglarize them and they are likely to skip homes that have monitored systems installed.

With technology and monitoring in place, having a home security system that will respond quickly to a burglary or emergency incident at your home is something that homeowners should seriously consider. Knowing that police and the monitoring center have been notified of an alarm at you home and will respond within minutes is a comfort to homeowners who want the best security and safety for their families. The fact is that nobody wants to become a statistic. A security system that is complete with technology, quality monitoring, and signage will protect your home and your family from burglars and intruders. When selecting a system, make sure it is complete with all of these elements so you are getting the maximum coverage possible for you and your family.

How Your Home Security System Saves Energy

Yep, you read that right. Not only does your home security system deter would-be thieves, it saves money on your electricity bill. Turn off the kitchen light since no one’s in there right now, and pull up a chair. Here are six reasons to love your home security system even more.

1. Right this way, Goldilocks, for a temperature that’s just right. Your home will never run too hot or too cold again. HVAC is where you spend most of your energy dollar, and a security system can help you heat or cool as efficiently as possible. With your home security system, you can program HVAC to come on and off at your convenience. Cool or heat the house for when you’re going to be home. Raise or lower your thermostat to save money when you’re not.

2. Play the zone, baby, and block high energy bills.You can program your HVAC to actually close a zone off – not heat or air condition an area-when no motion is detected in that part of your house. How cool is that?

3. It’s a tankless job, but someone has to do it. Tankless water heaters save energy, but their disadvantage is that they require a 45-second delay in hot water arriving. Not any more! With a motion detector in the bathroom, a recirculating pump alerts the water heater to start. Voila! Now your hot shower is ready when you are.

4. Choose light duty. You can also program your lights to turn off and on as you choose. Imagine the lights by your driveway and sidewalk coming on as your car turns into the driveway. When you’re on vacation, you can pre-program your lights to turn off and on to make it look like someone’s at home. With one efficient step, you save energy and deter robbers.

5. It rains every third night at 6 p.m. Actually, it’s the sprinkler and moisture system programmed to water your tomato plants. If your area has certain times of the day when water or electricity use is cheaper, your security system can help you take advantage of the savings.

6. Change your mind? Use your smart phone. Maybe the meeting was shorter than you anticipated, and you’re coming home sooner rather than later. Log into the system from your smart phone and change the settings to suit and welcome yourself. Honey, I’m home!

Integrating energy management into a home security system has never been simpler. Questions? Contact the security experts nearest you. Let them help you set up the system that best meets your needs.

A Comparison of the Top Two Home Security Systems

FrontPoint Security vs. SafeMart

In the security industry being on top means providing superior security and using new technology all without ripping people off. So I’ve whipped out my old detective skills to test out two of the top rated new school security companies. Spoiler Alert! I’m not going to pick the best company for you. I am going to give you the facts and then let you decide which company is the best. After you read the facts, be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know who you think should be the heavy weight champion of new school home security.

Old School vs. New School

I need to give you a little background on old vs new school before we get started so you know why I picked Frontpoint and Safemart. Old School companies lock you in to long contracts, they require installation of proprietary equipment, they send hard core sales reps to your front door, and they even reserve the right to jack up your monthly rate as they see fit. New school companies like FrontPoint Security and SafeMart are bringing the cost of home security down because they don’t have egos. Instead of focusing on bringing new innovative technology to the market they focus on security and service. Instead of making their own equipment they use technology that others have already made well which also means that should you decide to breakup with your provider you can start a new relationship with equipment you already own.

Test #1: SOCIAL MEDIA

So many companies shy away from social media by locking down the ability to comment or worse they let you comment but don’t respond. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Social media is a crystal ball that allows you to glance into your future. Does the company respond to all complaints by cutting and pasting, “Hi this is Tom. I’m sorry to hear that. Please email us at… ” Guess what? That’s a really bad sign. You just glanced into your future and your future with this company sucks. Both SafeMart and FrontPoint lead the way with social responsiveness. I monitored both pages for a week and checked responses dating back a couple months. Both companies handled customer questions and concerns quickly online. They gracefully answered everything from where’s my app, to how do I secure my garage, to why should I choose you. Their answers were presented independently without cutting and pasting a redirect to customer care hell.

Test #2: ONLINE RANTS

I’m not sure which online review site is the best so I scoured them all for hours. I read through the BBB, Yelp, PissedCustomer, I fell asleep, then I read through Consumer Reports and just when I thought I was done I looked for claims of fraud or lawsuits. Luckily for FrontPoint and SafeMart I didn’t find anything major. Both companies are extremely clean compared to other home security companies. One major company has hundreds of complaints on PissedCustomer compared to FrontPoint that has 11 complaints. FrontPoint has a healthy B+ rating with the BBB and SafeMart is screaming can’t touch this with an A+.

Test #3: TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Now this is where you and I might differ. To you it might be more important to get the system in the door for the lowest possible upfront cost or you might want the lowest monthly fee so just in case your priorities are different than mine I am going to give you the golden nugget and by golden nugget I actually mean just a bunch of numbers.

FrontPoint

Monthly Fee $34.99
Equipment, Activation, Installation $374.95
Instant Online Savings ($25)

TCO $794.83

SafeMart

Monthly Fee $19.95
Equipment, Activation, Installation $299.00
Instant Online Savings ($300)

TCO $538.40

The TCO. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is the sum of the equipment, activation, installation added to the outcome of the monthly fee multiplied by the required contract length (12 months) subtracted by the spectacular online specials. If SafeMart wasn’t running a $300 online sale during my secret shopping extravaganza these two companies might have come out about the same but there was a sale. With that said both companies offered me a low commitment period of 12 months. That is extremely competitive in the industry as 36 months is the minimum length required by many home security providers.

Test #4: TECHNOLOGY

I put my secret shopping hat on and called both companies to see what the absolute bottom of the barrel equipment package would include. Both companies offered me a GE Control Panel with battery backup, both companies offered a key fob, both companies offered multiple door/window sensors, and both companies offered me a large room sensor that was “smart enough to ignore small animals”. In addition, both companies use multiple locations for their monitoring services which provide extra redundancy and security.

Test #5: Cancellation Policy

Both companies offer 30 day return policies and both companies require that you stick with your contract. If you cancel your SafeMart contract you will be responsible for paying the remaining balance. If you cancel your FrontPoint contract you will be responsible for paying 80% of the balance. Why the difference? I don’t really know but it’s probably due to the fact that you pay a little more upfront for FrontPoint so they have less at risk when you cancel your contract early.

Bonus info! Both companies have a customer friendly moving policy. However, FrontPoint pulls ahead a little in this department. FrontPoint allows you to move the system from one home to another and they only require a phone call. If for some reason you can’t move your system to your new home they also provide flexible options like transferring ownership of your system. SafeMart will allow you to move the system but if you can’t move it then your screwed.

THE BOTTOM LINE

You forgot didn’t you? Like I said in paragraph one, line 3, I’m not going to pick the winner for you. If it’s all about cost than SafeMart might your winner, if you are planning to move soon than FrontPoint might be your winner but I really don’t think you can go wrong with either company.

My biggest complaint with FrontPoint? Their base package fire monitoring isn’t smart. You have to physically walk over and push the fire button on your panel to get help. They have technology that can monitor for fire and smoke but it’s an upgrade.

My biggest complaint with SafeMart? They put me in email jail! To write this extremely riveting article for you, I had to subject my personal information to multiple sales people. After I told SafeMart I wasn’t interested they called me two more times then sent their sales manager in for the hard close. I’ve also received 11 emails in one week.

So tell me, who is your winner?