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Best Home Security Systems for the Deaf and Blind

Home security systems and products are designed to extend your eyes and ears – so how do they work for people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing? Start here for an introduction to the best home security products and protocols for the deaf and blind.

Best for Money-Back Guarantee

ADT Home Security

Starting at $45.99

8.3 out of 10

Best features

  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • $500 theft protection guarantee
  • High-quality equipment

Best for Smart Homes

Vivint Security

Starting at $29.99

7.7 out of 10

Best features

  • Month-to-month contract option if equipment is purchased up front
  • Backup battery included with the Sky Control panel
  • Extensive equipment features, including Vivint Car Guard

Best for Customer Service

Frontpoint Security

Starting at $44.99

7.6 out of 10

Best features

  • No lengthy contracts
  • Excellent customer service
  • Variety of equipment to choose from

Best Overall

SimpliSafe Security

Starting at $14.99

9.3 out of 10

Best features

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Cellular monitoring
  • Free self-monitoring

Best Landline Monitoring

Protect America

Starting at $19.99

7.2 out of 10

Best features

  • 25+ years of industry experience
  • Price-match guarantee
  • Mobile app access & control
Best Home Security Systems for Deaf and Blind

Best Home Security Systems for Deaf and Blind

Understanding Home Security Systems

Understanding Home Security Systems

To start, it helps to understand the standard components and functions of a home security system. At their most basic, they usually include a hub or keypad to arm, disarm and configure the system, in addition to a number of sensors depending on the provider and package. These can include door and window sensors, glass break sensors, smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and/or flood or water leak sensors. Most systems are scalable, so you can always add on more peripherals if necessary, such as additional sensor or cameras.

If the system is professionally monitored – which requires a subscription to a paid monitoring plan – then a triggered sensor issues a signal to a monitoring center. The monitoring center will then call the homeowner and/or emergency services depending on the nature of the alarm and whether or not the homeowner answers the call. If the system is self-monitored (i.e. you’re not paying for a monitoring service) then the homeowner is usually alerted via smartphone app.

Accessible Home Security Features

Accessible Home Security Features

The components and configurations of home security systems vary greatly, and that’s a good thing: it allows people to cater to their selections to their needs and priorities. Luckily, there are certain widely available features that may increase utility and peace of mind for those who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. Here are the recommended features for a robust, effective home security system:
  • Door sensors

    Door sensors on all main entryways; flood/water detectors in bathrooms, kitchens and basements; and glass break detectors on windows, especially large ground-floor ones. The more sensor coverage you have, the better informed you can stay about your surroundings. Door sensors sound alerts every time a door is opened for the blind. Those hard of hearing or deaf can receive instant mobile alerts specifying which door or window is opened so they’ll always know when someone’s entering or leaving their home.

  • 24/7 professional monitoring

    With a monitoring plan, security professionals respond to triggered sensors in your home and call emergency services if you are unable to do so. Most security providers install strobe lights for customers hard of hearing to signal an emergency from professional monitoring specialists. You’ll also receive mobile alerts. 

  • Mobile apps

    Mobile apps are available through all of the leading home security providers, but note that some basic monitored plans do not include mobile app access. Mobile notifications can be incredibly important because they instantly alert you about changes in your surroundings without needing to see or hear them yourself. For the best home security systems for deaf individuals look for one with a vibrating mobile notification and text alert can convey emergency information much more quickly than phone calls. People who are blind can also benefit from mobile apps with the help of screen reading software, which is built into the operating systems of most smartphones.

  • Professional installation

    Why wonder if your system is set up correctly? Let a trained technician handle it. It won’t be necessary for all circumstances, but it’s good to have the option. Deaf and blind customers will get in-person assistance to show them how to use their security system and special features before the technician leaves so they’re comfortable.

  • Voice control

    Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Siri (with their current technology) don’t provide much value to the deaf community, but they can be game-changers for people who are blind. If you’re already using a voice assistant, a home security system that’s compatible with your other devices will likely be the easiest to use.  Those that are blind will benefit from the voice assistant giving verbal alerts and responding. Those that are deaf can use their mobile app to read Amazon Alexa responses and receive alerts.

  • Sirens

    Most systems have a built-in audio alarm that sounds when the system is triggered. This can scare away intruders, but a strobe light is better for alerting homeowners who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some companies have optional strobe light configurations to alert them of emergencies.

Compare Home Security Systems

Compare Home Security Systems

SimpliSafe Security

Learn more about
Sensors available 5 5 5 3
Siren type Audio Audio Internal Audio
24/7 professional monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes Yes Yes
Professional installation Yes No Yes No
Voice control Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant Amazon Alexa
  1. Best for Money-Back Guarantee

    ADT Home Security

    Our rating 8.3

    Starting at $45.99/mo

    Our Take on ADT Home Security

    ADT is a well-recognized name in the home security business thanks to its top-notch equipment, award-winning monitoring centers and commitment to customer service. For people who feel like you get what you pay for, it’s hard to beat ADT.

    ADT prefers to provide a brief consultation before quoting a custom package. Contact ADT to get started.

     

    Recommended Plan
    ADT’s Video Lite Plan is nothing minor — you’ll get motion detection, smart home capabilities, and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $599. Professional monitoring starts at $54.99 per month.

    Pros

    • 6-month money-back guarantee
    • $500 theft protection guarantee
    • High-quality equipment

    Cons

    • Must pay for an extended warranty
    • Lengthy contracts
    • More expensive than competitors
  2. Best for Smart Homes

    Vivint Security

    Our rating 7.7

    Starting at $29.99/mo

    Our Take on Vivint Home Security

    Vivint really shines when it comes to equipment. Perhaps no other provider has such an extensive catalog, which makes it an excellent provider for those who plan to install new equipment over time.

     

    Recommended Plan

    Vivint’s Smart Home Service is our recommended plan because it unlocks a larger selection of smart home devices, as well as video monitoring.

    Pros

    • Month-to-month contract option if equipment is purchased up front
    • Backup battery included with the Sky Control panel
    • Extensive equipment features, including Vivint Car Guard

    Cons

    • Long contract if equipment is financed
    • Installation can take 3-4 hours
    • Short (120-day) equipment warranty and service guarantee (unless you purchase Premium)
    • Short (3-day) trial period
  3. Best for Customer Service

    Frontpoint Security

    Our rating 7.6

    Starting at $44.99/mo

    Our Take on Frontpoint Home Security

    Frontpoint recently changed its billing model to month-to-month contracts, which we believe shows that the company strives to stay on top of industry trends and cares about customer service. We also appreciate that Frontpoint’s equipment is compatible with the major smart home hubs.

     

    Recommended Plan

    Our recommended Frontpoint plan is the Safe Home Starter equipment package combined with the Ultimate monitoring plan, which will give you access to a smartphone app for monitoring your security devices.

    Pros

    • No lengthy contracts
    • Excellent customer service
    • Variety of equipment to choose from

    Cons

    • Monitoring fees are relatively expensive
    • Short (30 days) trial period
    • No professional installation option
  4. Best Overall

    SimpliSafe Security

    Our rating 9.3

    Starting at $14.99/mo

    Our Take on SimpliSafe Home Security

    Keep those pesky burglars away with a SimpliSafe security system. Choose from a range of packages and equipment, and get inexpensive professional monitoring.

     

    Recommended Plan
    We recommend The Barrington if you’re interested in SimpliSafe. This package combines intrusion detection and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $388.93. Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month. Self-monitoring is free.

    Pros

    • Inexpensive professional monitoring
    • Wireless equipment
    • Cellular monitoring
    • Free self-monitoring

    Cons

    • Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
    • No selection of smart home devices
    • Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan
    • Research SimpliSafe
  5. Best Landline Monitoring

    Protect America

    Our rating 7.2

    Starting at $19.99/mo

    Our take on Protect America Home Security

    Protect America stands out for its low-cost landline monitoring and great coverage for rural areas. Their professional monitoring has over 25 years of award-winning service and monitoring plans that are based on connectivity type. If you’re looking for a capable no-frills home security system you can install yourself, Protect America is a good choice for your family.

    What we like

    • Price-match guarantee
    • Smart home devices and features
    • Mobile app access & control

    What we don’t like

    • Contract required
    • Must upgrade to get video surveillance, smart features and smoke detection
    • Cellular monitoring is the most expensive plan
Smart & Remotely Monitored Security Cameras

Smart & Remotely Monitored Security Cameras

Security cameras are more popular than ever, but they have limitations, especially for people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. First of all, most home security cameras work on a self-monitored basis, meaning that it’s up to the owner to watch them. These cameras provide footage to help find and prosecute criminals or intruders after the fact, but they don’t do much to prevent incidents in the first place (apart from their presence deterring would-be intruders).

It’s best to have your security cameras professionally installed so they’re placed legally, securely and hassle-free. Some professional technicians can show you special features to meet your personal and security needs. 

Best Security Camera Features for Deaf

For maximum impact, the best home security systems for the deaf should include cameras with artificially intelligent (A.I.) features like motion detection, people detection and, even, facial recognition. Wireless cameras with these features issue smartphone alerts via their accompanying apps. Even if you can’t hear a bang on the door or someone rummaging in the garage, the camera will detect activity and you’ll receive a notification on your phone. Then, you can tune into the live feed to see exactly what’s going on. Here is a roundup of several great cameras to choose from.

Best Security Camera Features for Blind

It might sound counterintuitive, but the best security systems for the blind should include security cameras as well. Today’s best wireless cameras have mobile apps that make it easy to grant access to someone you trust. It’s also best to check with your security provider to see if their app supports voice alerts for easier monitoring. You set up a camera or video doorbell, allow a trusted friend or loved one to opt into mobile alerts, and then they can tune in if there’s activity detected. Thanks to motion detection and person detection features, a camera can also help you independently determine details like when cleaners, dog walkers, maintenance people or other service professionals arrive and leave, or if someone is intruding in your yard. It also may gather evidence of crimes. Even if you miss the alerts or can’t see the activity, the camera will catch it, and law enforcement or loved ones will be able to review what happened after the fact.

Consider Remote Security Camera Monitoring

Some security companies offer remote camera monitoring to issue verbal warnings or alert authorities of suspicious activity. “Remote CCTV monitoring technology features a PA system that allows for verbal warnings to ward off criminals that may be stepping onto the property,” explains John MacMahon, Managing Director of the UK-based remote monitoring company Re:Sure. “With this, the operators assigned to your home will be able to call the police as soon as there’s a threat.”

There is a privacy concern here – after all, a remote professional will be able to check-in and see the outside of your house. For this reason, we only suggest remote camera monitoring for the external, non-private parts of your home.

Note that camera monitoring is different than the 24/7 system monitoring described earlier in the discussion of home security systems. Home security monitoring centers receive signals from the system’s collections of sensors, but do not have access to your video feed. This helps protect your privacy, but it does mean that your cameras have to be self-monitored (or monitored by a loved one) even if you have a monitored home security system.

Smart Home Security Products

Smart Home Security Products

Additional ideas for products that can aid home security for the deaf and blind:
  • Smart Speakers

    For people who are blind, these handy voice-controlled speakers can integrate with smart home products to set home automation configurations that dramatically enhance safety and convenience.

  • Smart Lighting

    Lighting is a major burglary deterrent. With a few strategically installed smart lights, you can set your lights to automatically turn on and off according to a schedule, which signals that the home is occupied and helps convince intruders to find an easier target.

  • Driveway Alarms

    These devices provide early notice when people are approaching your house. Unfortunately, most of them only have audio alarms, so they’ll better serve those who are blind than deaf.

  • Video Doorbells

    Oftentimes, video doorbells are not included but can be added to any system at the upfront cost. Many let you listen clearly to what’s happening outside of your home using your doorbell’s mobile app without going to the door. You’ll hear a chime or get a notification on your smartphone if your doorbell notices someone at your door. And, you’ll also be able to save videos for your family to review later. The American Foundation for the Blind recommends that when shopping for a video doorbell make sure it is screen-reader accessible like Ring and SkyBell.

  • Smart Lock

    Those that are visually impaired could benefit from having a keyless smart lock to easily open the door without looking for keys or fidgeting with the lock. Look for a smart lock with a keypad instead of a touchscreen to make locking and unlocking easier. And they’ll never have to worry about being locked out with keyless entry. Just enter the custom code or use your phone to unlock your door. Keep in mind that most smart locks aren’t included in home security packages, but can be added.

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Emily Ferron

Written by your home security expert

Emily Ferron

Emily is an experienced writer passionate about covering topics at the intersection of tech, health, safety and humanity.