What is alarm system monitoring and how does it work?
Burglars can strike any time and often go for homes that are unoccupied. If you have an alarm system installed in your home, though, you don’t have to worry!
Alarm system monitoring is a service that keeps an eye on your security system 24/7, ensuring that if there’s ever a break-in or other emergency, help will be on the way. But how does it all work? Let’s take a closer look.
What is alarm monitoring?
As the name suggests, alarm monitoring is a service provided by alarm companies to monitor your alarm system.
Your security system has sensors that detect burglary, fire, carbon monoxide, and flooding inside your house, and it will transmit a signal to your monitoring company if triggered.
The alarm monitoring center will contact the police or fire department and notify you of the event that triggered the alarm system when this happens.
How does this service work?
Your security system reports to the monitoring center at all times. If your security system is activated, either through a fire alarm sensor being triggered or by someone entering your home, it will send a signal to the monitoring center. This communication takes place via telephone line or cellular network.
The communication method used depends on your security system and its configuration.
When the signal is received at the monitoring center, a trained professional will check whether it’s a false or real alarm. They’ll contact you if it’s a real alarm, and appropriate emergency personnel will be dispatched immediately.
If you have an alarm monitoring service in place, you can rest assured that if your alarm system is ever activated, help will be on the way.
What is the monitoring service watching for?
The most common signals sent to the alarm monitoring center are burglary and fire. For instance, if your smoke detector senses smoke, it triggers the alarm system to transmit a signal to the monitoring center indicating that there is a fire at your home.
The monitoring center then contacts the premises to ensure that it is not a false alarm. If you answer the phone, they tell you that they’re receiving a fire signal and ask you if everything is ok.
Suppose no one answers the phone, the monitoring center contacts the local fire department to alert them that there is a fire at your home. They will then contact either you or a person on the emergency contact list to notify you that the fire department has been dispatched.
What do I get for my monthly fee?
Some security systems may be limited when it comes to what is offered in alarm monitoring services, but there are some standard features that you can usually expect. These monitoring services include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Natural gas leaks
- Low temperature
- Medical emergencies
What do I need to get started?
When you sign up for an alarm monitoring service, you will need to provide some information about your house. This is so that the emergency responders can get there as quickly as possible if required. This information includes:
- Your home’s address, contact number, and password.
- A description of someone who can come to your house and check out what is happening.
- This may be a spouse, neighbor, or another person you trust to follow up with information if needed.
Alarm monitoring for your home is beneficial because it gives you peace of mind. You never know when an emergency can happen, but having someone to watch over your house for you while away lets you feel more at ease.
Keep reading to learn more about alarm monitoring and what you get in return for your monthly fee.
Types of home security systems
Alarm monitoring services are offered with many different types of home security systems. Some have limited options, while others have more features to choose from.
Depending on what you are interested in, you can find an alarm system that fits the needs of your home and your lifestyle.
Most security systems are equipped with alarm monitoring services. This means that you can rely on another person to check up on your house if needed.
Types of alarm monitoring response
Self-monitored alarm response
Self-monitored alarm response does not require a professional security company; it means that you, the owner of the alarm system, monitor the alarm system through a mobile app.
While this is typically cheaper than professional monitoring, you will need to check up on the situation yourself if an alarm goes off.
When choosing an alarm monitoring service, it is essential to decide what you want from your system. If you are looking for financial savings, it may not make sense to go with professional monitoring services.
However, having a central station company monitor your alarm can give you peace of mind knowing that you are not solely responsible for the safety of your belongings.
How much does professional alarm monitoring cost?
The cost for alarm monitoring varies depending on the provider you use, the type of devices being monitored, and the communication path to the monitoring center.
The cost ranges from $15 for a DIY system to $65 a month for full-service monitoring.
The national average for professional full-service monitoring is $25.99 per month for phone line monitoring and $35.99 for cellular monitoring.
The cheapest options typically only offer a limited response, monitoring your home for only burglary and fire.
As you go up in price, typically the more features your home will have available at its disposal.
Additional monitoring is available for:
- Carbon monoxide sensrs
- Natural gas detectors
- Flood sensors
- Low temperature monitoring
- Medical alert
You should speak with various providers to get an idea of your monthly fee. This way, you can find out which alarm system is the best fit for your needs and budget.
What are some companies that offer alarm monitoring?
All alarm companies offer alarm monitoring. However, the quality of service and the features you receive will vary.
Security alarms can help protect something from potential threats, but there must be someone available to respond if an alarm goes off.
Some companies specialize in self-monitored alarm systems, while others focus on professional full-service monitoring.
When choosing an alarm company, it is important to decide what you are looking for in an alarm system.
Below are some popular alarm companies that offer a variety of alarm monitoring services.
- Simply safe
- FrontPoint Security
- Protection 1
- Broadview Security
When choosing an alarm company, it is important to do your research. Make sure to read reviews and compare prices so you can find the best deal for you.
Full service alarm companies
Full-service alarm companies offer installation, service, and monitoring of your alarm system.
They typically have a more professional response team, so if you need to be certain that your home will be completely protected at all times, then this may be the right choice for you.
DIY alarm companies
DIY security companies do not provide any installation and repair services. You buy the alarm system equipment online and install it yourself. They only monitor your alarm system and keep you updated if anything goes wrong.
If something breaks or malfunctions, it is up to you to fix it. These companies typically charge less for their services, but you do not receive the same high level of protection that you get with full-service alarm companies
Do I have to sign a contract for alarm monitoring?
Some online alarm services don’t require a contract to monitor your alarm system. Online monitoring companies offer monthly payment options that you can cancel at any time.
On the other hand, professional alarm companies all require you to sign a contract. Depending on where you live and what company you choose for monitoring services, contracts typically run between one to five years.
Are there any fees involved if I break my contract early?
Before canceling your contract with an alarm monitoring company, you should find out whether or not there are any penalties or fees involved. Knowing how much the penalty is before you sign the agreement will help ensure no surprises later on.
If you sign a monitoring contract, you’re responsible for making monthly payments for the full term of the contract.
Almost all alarm companies will enforce the contract if you decide to cancel early.
Typically, the penalty for breaking your contract is 80% of the remainder of the contract term. Make sure you know what these fees are before signing your agreement.
Alarm monitoring is a service that provides surveillance and security for your home or business. Surveillance, or the act of watching over someone/something, is important to people who are interested in protecting their assets. Security alarms can help protect something from potential threats, but there must be someone available to respond if an alarm goes off. There are different