What you need to know when buying a home security system

Jul 10, 2014

KY3, an NBC affiliate in Missouri, recently reported that one person never received a response to her security system’s alarms. Though it was accidentally triggered each time, the homeowner said that the most she ever got was an automated phone call and was prompted to enter the type of emergency by pressing the keypad.

To ensure that you don’t buy a faulty system and receive immediate action to any alarm, even a false one, follow our tips for purchasing a home security tool.

Weigh your options

You wouldn’t buy the first house you looked at, so why would you do that with a home security system? As with all technology, you shouldn’t just purchase something based on a commercial or online ad.

There’s a vast array of residential security options, so you should take your time to compare them. The LaCrosse Tribute recommends researching how fast authorities respond to alarms. This is should be the top factor when considering various systems. After all, time is of the essence during an emergency, no matter how minor it may be.

In terms of how you should conduct your research, you can do it almost anywhere. The news source points out that your friends and family members can likely provide good insights if any of them have security systems in their homes.

Additionally, you should go online and see if there are any reviews about the tools you’re considering. However, you need to exercise some caution with that approach. Be sure that you only go over information from objective websites and don’t take branded or sponsored posts at their word.

Plus, some key questions to ask about alarm companies, such as “Are there any hidden costs?” or “Have your friends or neighbors used their services?” These questions can help you evaluate whether or not a security provider is reliable or a good fit for you.

Be aware of scams

According the Federal Trade Commission, some security companies, or at least their sales teams, scam consumers into buying alarms. The government agency says to watch out for:

  • Limited time and free offers because both will likely have some kind of catch.
  • Extreme pressure from sales people.
  • “Scare tactics” such as mentions of “a rash of supposed burglaries in your neighborhood.”

If someone from a security company comes to your door, the FTC explains that it’s better turn them away before they come inside. Never make a purchase based on a cold call, both over the phone and in person. Take the time to do your own research so you can make an informed purchase.