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How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Alarm Monitoring Service?

National Average Change Location | View National
$309
Typical Range
$102 - $519
Low End
$42
High End
$1,100

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Protecting the safety and security of family and loved ones is on the mind of any homeowner or renter. They know that they cannot be home every minute of the day, and they also know that robbers or natural disasters can strike at any moment. Adding home monitoring lets them know there is someone watching out for them and that they can get help as soon as an emergency occurs.

What Is an Alarm Monitoring Service?

A home alarm uses sensors placed around the house that inform residents when someone opens the doors and windows. Many alarm companies offer a larger package that includes an alarm system placed near or on the front and back doors. This system lets those living in the house decide on a security code and decide when they want to turn the alarm on or off. When armed, the alarm will sound when anyone opens any of the doors without first turning off the alarm.

Alarm monitoring systems add an extra layer of protection to the system. These systems have a permanent connection that exists between the alarm in the house and an off-site monitoring company. The company hires workers to keep track of those homes 24 hours a day. Many systems have a panic button that lets users press the button to instantly get in touch with someone. The monitoring service will contact the authorities during a home invasion, a fire or any other emergency situation.

Does an Alarm Come with Home Monitoring?

Though many people assume that home monitoring comes with any alarm system, this isn't necessarily true. Many companies will offer home alarms and alarm packages for a set rate, but those who want 24/7 monitoring need to pay an additional fee. Some companies charge a monthly fee, but other companies offer a discounted rate for those who pay one year in advance.

There are also different levels of home monitoring available. Packages designed for the elderly often include a small remote that users can carry with them. This lets them contact help after falling down the stairs, when suffering chest pains or during other emergencies. Some systems include various buttons on the main door panel that let homeowners press one of the buttons to get in touch with the fire department, police department or the alarm company.

Questions to Ask Before Making a Change

There are a variety of questions that those interested in purchasing alarm monitoring services should ask before signing up with a new company or before switching to a different company. One of the most important questions is about the terms of the deal. Several prominent companies make new customers lock themselves into a deal that comes with high fees if the customer terminates the contract within three years after signing the contract.

Customers should also ask about possible rent prices and how often those increases occur. A good company will give a customer the same rate for several years or longer. Others will want to ask about how long it takes the alarm company to respond to an alert and whether the company is a UL Listed Certified Station, which means that the company will respond to calls promptly and has backing from UL.

Those with children in the home will want to know if the company ever locks the panel due to entering the wrong code too many times or changing the code too often. Other questions that customers should consider asking include how long the contract lasts, if the company charges any hidden fees and if the company is affiliated with the Better Business Bureau.

UL Certification

UL is an organization that tests electronic products to ensure those products meet certain standards. This means that the products will operate for an extended period of time without suffering any mechanical failures or other errors. Those searching for a new alarm company must make certain that the products offered by that company have UL certification. This lets shoppers get the best alarm products and ensure that the products will keep their homes safe.

UL also offers certification for monitoring stations and monitoring services. The UL audits every station listed within the organization at least once a year, and it also conducts a new audit on stations applying for inclusion. The services offered by the company, the monitoring it offers and the station itself must meet a long list of requirements before UL will include it. If the company contracts out its monitoring services, UL requires that both companies use dependable products and agree to keep customer information secure.

Insurance and Home Alarms

Adding an alarm to a home often leads to lower insurance costs. Those who have a mortgage will find that they can bundle insurance into their mortgages or will need to pay for the policy separately. Many insurance companies will offer a lower rate for those who have a professional alarm installed. Those who rent can purchase policies that will cover damage done to the property by natural disasters and other issues, and those policies will also cover the cost of their own belongings. Many insurance companies will drop the rate on policies for homeowners and renters who pay extra for home monitoring.

Cost of Home Monitoring

Many companies contract out to individuals and companies living within a specific area, and geographic location plays a factor in determining the cost. Some companies charge higher rates but let homeowners monitor their own homes from their smartphones and computers. Generally, the more services that are included in a monthly plan, the higher the cost.

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