If you have made the decision to look at having an alarm system installed, it is important that you research all the possible alarm companies carefully, especially before you sign a contract with them. Most alarm companies require that you to sign a monitoring contract and it can be very hard to get out of this contract if you are dissatisfied with their service.
Here are some questions to ask any company you speak to:
- Is your monitoring center UL Approved?
- How many dispatchers are on duty at any time? The reason you ask this is because some smaller companies only have one or two on duty. If there are a lot of calls coming into the center at the same time, it means some calls could be lost.
- Do you send a report of alarm activations?
- Is your company licensed by the State?
- What kind of security checks does your company perform on their personnel? Is the sales representative licensed by the State? What about the installing technician? In most states, the governing agency performs a criminal background check on all alarm company employees and requires them to update this annually or bi-annually.
- Is the equipment you install UL approved?
- Is an alarm license required by the City you live in? If so, what penalties does the community impose for multiple alarms? For false alarms?
A good starting point may be contacting your local police department and ask them what alarm companies find have the most reliable alarms. They cannot recommend a specific company, but they can tell you what companies do inferior work or who have the most false alarms. You can also ask your neighbors who have an alarm system installed why they chose that company. The one thing to remember is that the cheapest company is not always the best company. If there is one place you want to pay for quality service, it is in protecting your home, and possibly your family and pets.