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How Much Does A Home Security Alarm System Cost?

National Average Change Location | View National
$666
Typical Range
$332 - $1,036
Low End
$85
High End
$1,850

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Nationally, the average installation cost of an alarm system is $666 but can range anywhere from $85 to $1850. Besides installation, you’ll also have to account for the basic equipment package – a control panel, sensors, and a siren – that range from $332 and $1,036. Upgrading the systems equipment further with cameras, additional sensors, and even smart home features add additional expense.
You will also need to decide on a monitored or unmonitored system. With hundreds of options and dozens of monitoring services available, it’s best to consult a licensed professional first. Thoroughly research both equipment and monitoring/installation services before making a purchase. Also, check with your insurance company before purchasing or hiring a service provider. Most give a discount for security systems, and some even offer discounts on the systems themselves.
However, the real costs go beyond installation, equipment, and fees. There is a burglary every 13 seconds in the US, and homes without security systems are 300% more likely to experience a break in. Peace of mind is priceless.

Home Security Equipment Costs

A basic home security system is comprised of a central control panel, window and door sensors, motion detectors, a remote keychain fob, and an audible siren. This basic package will run about $600 and increase as you add extra components for more security. Additions include:
  • Extra Door and window sensors - $15-$60
  • Extra keychain remotes - $24
  • Motion detectors - $30 - $50
  • Glass Break Sensors - $70
  • Fire, Smoke, and CO2 detectors - $30 - $50
  • CCTV or IP cameras - $100 - $300
  • Smart home upgrades - $30 - $300 including remotely controlled light, heat, and locks.
With so many options available, contacting a qualified professional for a free consultation is your best bet in determining what components fit your home and needs.

Hardwired Systems

Hardwired systems require drilling holes and running wires, which means contacting a professional installer. This type of system is typically more expensive to install, averaging between $800 to $1600. Hardwired systems typically have larger upgrade costs – as components wear out, break, or become outdated, a professional installer will usually be needed to upgrade components. Thoroughly hardwired systems use existing phone lines, which can be cut, rendering the system inoperable. Most newer systems use cellular communication as the primary mode of communication or as a backup for a landline.
Advantages of Hardwired Security Systems
ProsCons
  • Lower Maintenance Needs
  • Less Expensive Components
  • No Wireless Signal Interference - can’t be hacked
  • Higher Installation Costs – wires need to be ran & holes drilled by a pro.
  • Immobile Components – can’t be moved after set in place.

Wireless Systems

Wireless systems are easier to install, making these the choice for DIY and renter installations. Upgrading its components are also simple and straightforward.
Advantages of Wireless Security Systems
ProsCons
  • Easy DIY install at no cost
  • Easy to upgrade, and move, components
  • Great for rentals or small homes – no holes or structural changes needed.
  • Signal interference – from appliances and sophisticated criminals.
  • Independent power source – batteries need to be monitored and replaced.
  • Increased Maintenance – more technical maintenance and software upgrades.

Alarm System Installation Costs

Though the typical range to install a system is about $120 to $600, each install will depend on the complexities of the system you choose. Choosing wired over wireless will increase installation costs but decrease component costs. The layout of your home will be the largest factor in a home alarm system. Since a basic system comes with 2-3 window/door sensors, you may need to add additional sensors at about $40 each. Add on smart home features, like heat and light controls, and equipment and installation costs rise.
Call a Security Alarm Installation Pro Today

Unmonitored Home Security System

These are not monitored by a security service. They are typically DIY installations that alert the homeowner to an event through a smartphone app. Since there is no monitoring, there is no monthly service fee.
The biggest drawback is that they aren’t monitored, requiring you to alert the authorities when a break in or another event occurs. A monitored security system is typically recommended, but these are still better than no system at all.

Monitored Security Systems

Monitored Systems are watched 24 hours a day by a professional security service. If your budget allows, a monitored system is recommended. These run between $10 and $65 a month. They constantly protect your home no matter where you are. They automatically alert police, fire, or other professional services. Beyond alerting police to criminal activity, they can also alert you to:
  • Changes in temperature
  • Basement flooding
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detection – including alerting the fire department
  • Power outages
  • Natural gas leaks
While both systems have the same components, monitoring services often give discounts on equipment and installation costs with long-term contracts and monthly fees. The actual discount varies by company.

Activation Fees

Monitored systems usually have an activation fee in addition to other expenses. These fees range from $0 to $200 depending on the service company and plan you choose. Though some services do offer no activation fee and reduced costs on installation or equipment, they often charge more per month or have other hidden fees written into the contract. Read contracts over carefully before signing. It’s also a good idea to compare different security monitoring service agreements before selecting one.

Landline Monitored Service

Landline services use the existing telephone line running to the home to monitor the alarm system. The components and monthly fee of a landline service are typically less expensive than wireless services, about $20 to $35 per month. Landlines have been the go-to for monitoring for decades. However, as consumers have moved from landlines to cellular as their primary phone, monitoring services have followed. Since landlines are easily overcome by simply cutting the phone line, most of these services offer cellular as a backup.

GSM Chip Monitored Service

Most monitoring services now offer wireless monitoring over cellular networks through a GSM chip located in the central control panel. Since the components cost more, wireless monitoring is often slightly more expensive. These services range widely from $10 to $65 per month. Cellular systems have quickly become the dominant type in the market. They are easier to install – no searching for a landline plug. However, they can suffer from both signal interference and hacking.
Consult with a Security Alarm Professional

Other Services and Fees

It’s worth repeating: read your contract in detail. Most security companies follow basic advertising principles, offering their least expensive package to grab buyers’ attention. But the basic setup may not be the best system for your home. You’ll need to look at the upgrades and add-ons and weigh cost with safety. With additional equipment and services come higher fees – not always immediately visible.

Duress Signals

Typically included with most pricing plans, this feature helps in the case of a break in while you’re in the home. A duress signal is a secondary deactivation code for your system which silently alerts the monitoring service that you’re being forced to turn the system off by an intruder.

Surveillance Monitoring

Many security agencies offer video surveillance monitoring with higher tier monthly packages, usually in the $40 to $65 per month range. Some even include the camera as part of the service, while others require those be purchased separately for anywhere from $50 to $300.

Smart Locks and other Smart Home Features

Smart locks, thermostat, lighting, smoke, fire, CO2, and even freeze warnings come as upgrades to a smart home security service. While there are many useful and affordable upgrades for a modern smart home, only a couple are essential for home security.
  • Smart Lighting – This upgrade is usually included in the higher tier packages for monitoring services or as a separate upgrade ranging from $15 to $90. Most criminals will simply skip a seemingly occupied home. With smart lighting, you can put lights on timers when you’re on vacation or adjust the lights through a smartphone app from anywhere in the world.
  • Smoke, Fire, and CO2 Alarms – $35 - $100 – Burglaries aren’t the only threat to your safety. Catching a fire before it gets out of control can mean the difference between a little damage and a complete disaster.

Panic Button

A simple button to push when you can’t get to the control panel. Usually an additional $30 that immediately alerts the police or security company of a potential threat. These can be wired or wireless and placed anywhere in the home. Typical spots are bedrooms and kitchens, where people spend the most time.
Hire a Home Security Alarm Installation Pro

Savings on Home Insurance

Home insurance savings will reduce component and installation expenses, though it probably won’t pay for them fully. These discounts can save you up to 20% off your home insurance policy. They may even be able to steer you towards the best types of upgrades that offer the best savings. Some insurance companies even offer discounts on the services themselves. Contact your insurance company for details.
Remember to read all contracts and fully investigate security services and products before purchasing or signing anything. Check with your local and state authorities for licensing requirements. It’s not a bad idea to look online for customer reviews of both the service and the components.
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