How Much Do Alarm Monitoring Services Cost?

Typical Range:

$178 - $667

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,451 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated March 25, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Alarm Monitoring Service Total Cost

Maintaining a monthly alarm monitoring service costs anywhere from $25 to $200 or more per month, with an average monthly cost of $100. The overall price depends on a number of factors, including your home's size, the alarm sensor types, and any additional services like fall detection devices. You must also factor in alarm purchase costs, initial activation and installation fees, and any yearly required maintenance and repairs when calculating this monthly charge.  

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National Average $422
Typical Range $178 - $667
Low End - High End $35 - $2,200

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,451 HomeAdvisor members.

Estimating Alarm Monitoring Service Costs 

Alarm monitoring services are not “one size fits all,” and most security alarm companies offer service packages that range in price according to several factors. 

Home Size

The primary cost factor when sizing up your monthly service charge is the size of your home. Large homes require more alarm sensors, detectors, and cameras compared to smaller properties. While there’s sometimes a bit of wiggle room when signing a contract with a preferred monitoring service, additional cameras and sensors typically add around $10 each per month. In other words, the more access points that require monitoring, the more you’ll pay. A basic package typically includes front door detectors, back door detectors, a front door motion camera, a monitor detector, and, in some cases, a window sensor or two. 

Sensor Types

Modern alarm monitoring companies go above and beyond motion detection. Some organizations offer advanced services utilizing high-tech sensors.

  • Fall detection sensors

  • Flood sensors

  • Gas sensors 

  • Smoke sensors 

  • Water leak and freeze sensors 

Count on an additional cost of about $5 per month for each additional sensor, with fall detection being the most expensive at around $10 per month.

Monitoring Type

Generally speaking, these services monitor your home’s suite of detectors in one of two ways: landline monitoring and cellular monitoring (GSM). Landline monitoring costs less than cellular monitoring and has the added benefit of extra stability, though it is easily bypassed with a single cut to your outdoor telephone line. Landline monitoring contributes around $10 to $30 monthly to your total bill, while cellular monitoring adds $40 to $60 monthly to your total bill. 

Additional Features and Customization Options

Many companies offer a suite of customization options and additional features for homeowners, including: 

  • Full app control, allowing users to make necessary changes right on the phone or tablet 

  • Remote controls for unlocking and locking doors, resetting cameras and motion detectors, and contacting authorities 

  • Detailed monthly reports on usage and potential security issues 

  • Regular drop-ins by company representatives for maintenance checks 

These additional features often accrue more charges, but these costs range depending on the company and your monthly contract. 

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Home Monitoring Service Cost Factors

There are some external cost factors worth considering when choosing an alarm monitoring service. 

5 costs involved with alarm monitoring systems, including inspections, maintenance and repairs, and hardware fees
Photo: Hispanolistic / E+ / Getty Images

Hardware Fees 

Modern alarms are highly advanced, with advanced price tags to match. A basic alarm equipment package costs around $600 and includes a control panel, various sensors, and a siren. However, most systems are easily upgraded, with each accessory boasting a specific price range:

  • Extra door and window sensors: $15–$60 

  • Additional keychain remotes: $20 

  • Motion detectors: $30–$50 

  • Glass break sensors: $50–$70

  • Fire, smoke, and CO2 detectors: $30–$50

  • CCTV or IP cameras: $100–$300

  • Smart home upgrades (remotely controlled lights and locks): $30–$300

Many alarm monitoring services include hardware fees with a customer’s monthly bill, similar to a smartphone contract. Opting for this payment method adds a $30 to $70 monthly charge with a typical service contract lasting three to five years. 

Activation and Installation 

Hardwired systems cost $800 to $1,600 to install and activate, as they require a professional to drill holes and run wires throughout the home. Wireless systems are less money to install and activate, coming in at $125 to $600. Some companies allow users to install and activate the units themselves, further decreasing these charges. Other companies add activation and installation costs to your monthly bill, at around $10 per month, so they are free at the point of service. 

Repairs and Maintenance

Alarm systems can break down and require repairs and general maintenance like any home appliance. Repairing an alarm system costs $95 to $250, with service companies sending out technicians. These pros charge service call fees of $95 to $150 per hour plus materials. Additionally, wireless systems run on batteries, necessitating annual replacement at around $15 for batteries

Annual Inspections 

Some parts of the country require homeowners to inspect their alarm systems every year to reduce the strain on fire and police services. Other homeowners hire pros for regular inspections to ensure the system is doing its job. Expect to pay a single hour’s rate for these annual inspections, at $95 to $150 per hour.

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Home Monitoring Services Perks and Financial Incentives

Modern alarm systems cost a lot of money, but some of these costs are offset thanks to various perks and financial incentives. 

Insurance Savings 

Adding a home alarm often leads to lower insurance costs. According to the Insurance Information Institute, you’ll reduce insurance premiums by 5% to 20%, depending on your chosen home security products. Insurance companies tend to drop rates if you pay for monthly alarm monitoring services. For renters, some insurance companies offer decreased premiums with the addition of a robust home alarm system. 

Smart Home Integrations 

Security installations frequently pair with smart home products—leading to increased efficiency and a lower monthly energy bill. Some home security systems also offer monitoring of natural gas, water leaks, and flooding, all of which offer the potential to save money in the long run. 

Discounted Rates

Many alarm monitoring companies offer discounted rates when consumers sign up for a service contract of two years or longer. You’ll also experience lowered monthly rates when paying for the hardware and installation upfront instead of wrapping these charges up with your service contract. Additionally, most pros offer a warranty of at least one year, saving you on any repairs or maintenance fees during that time period. 

FAQs About Home Monitoring Services

How do you choose the best alarm monitoring company? 

Just like when you hire a home contractor, start with online customer reviews. Next, look up the monitoring service in the Better Business Bureau's company database, and keep an eye out for any red flags. Finally, give them a call and ask about their pricing model, services, packages, and client testimonials. Feel free to reach out to these clients to discuss their experiences. Be wary when dealing with companies that constantly try to upsell you more equipment and services than you need. 

What should I ask the alarm monitoring service before signing up? 

There are many issues worth discussing with any potential home alarm monitoring technician. Inquire about the terms of the deal and any potential early cancellation fees. Some companies charge high fees for opting out before the service contract terminates. Also, ask how often the price increases and if the current rate lasts the entirety of the contract, how long the company takes to respond to an alert, and whether they lock entrance panels by entering the wrong code too many times. Finally, inquire about any hidden fees and your monthly contract amount. 

Are these systems tax deductible? 

For regular homeowners, a home security system does not qualify for a tax deduction, as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) files them under their list of nondeductible expenses. However, if you claim a home office or use your home for a business—like a child care facility—you could claim a portion of your monthly alarm monitoring charges and the hardware itself. 

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