If there’s a place where history lives on, it’s Charleston, South Carolina. This historic city is home to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Charleston is also home to America’s first museum — the Charleston Museum — and America’s first playhouse, Dock Street Theater. Visitors and residents who want to explore the creepier side of Charleston’s past can take a ghost tour of the haunted Old City Jail, while others might prefer a tour on the Schooner Pride — an 84-foot-tall ship that operates out of Charleston Harbor. While you’re out and about enjoying all Charleston has to offer, make sure your home stays protected by finding a home security system that fits your needs.
Neighborhood Scout puts Charleston in the 20th percentile when it comes to the safest cities in the U.S., which means that it’s more dangerous than 80% of U.S. cities based on crime data. Still, the crime rate within the Charleston city limits is lower than it is in the rest of the state of South Carolina, and average burglary rates are lower in Charleston than in the rest of the country. Theft rates, on the other hand, are higher in Charleston than the U.S. average. In Charleston in 2018, the FBI reported:
CPI offers three home security packages, with monthly monitoring fees starting at $29.99 for the inTouch Essentials package. This starter package includes a control panel, three door and window sensors, a motion detector and mobile app access. The inTouch Essentials Plus includes a panel upgrade to a SmartHub for home automation devices, and adds on a video doorbell and a smoke detector to the inTouch Essentials equipment. CPI’s highest-tier plan is the inTouch Edge, which adds an outdoor camera to the inTouch Essentials Plus. Package pricing varies, so you’ll have to contact CPI directly for a quote. All of CPI’s home security systems are professionally installed and professionally monitored through its award-winning UL-listed central monitoring station.
Calling itself “the largest privately held security provider in the Southeast,” CPI offers home security solutions in nine different states. The company offers three plans with professional installation and monitoring, and boasts an award-winning monitoring station to help keep customers safe.
ADT is known for its longevity in the industry and its certified monitoring centers. Choose from one of ADT’s four packages or customize to fit your needs.
★ Recommended Plan ADT’s Video Lite Planis 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.
Winner of the 2020 IoT Breakthrough Award for its outdoor camera, Vivint is a leader in home security with its expansive equipment lineup and features.
★ Recommended Plan Vivint’s Smart Home Service has a ton of features and devices to help you protect your home to include the basics plus home hazard monitoring devices. Equipment starts at $599.99. Professional monitoring starts at $29.99 per month.
Flexible equipment configuration
Flexible payment options
Variety of cutting-edge smart home devices and features
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.
Inexpensive professional monitoring
Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
No selection of smart home devices
Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan
Nationally recognized for its customer service, Frontpoint is a top contender in home security with a range of packages you can choose from.
★ Recommended Plan For the basics—a hub, sensors, and signage—Frontpoint’s Safe Home Starter plan comes at an affordable price. Equipment starts at $319.95. Professional monitoring starts at $44.99 per month.
Renter-friendly services and equipment
Good customer service
Outdoor camera, doorbell camera only available as add-ons
Other Local Home Security Providers for Charleston
Charleston has a wide selection of quality local home security providers for residents to choose from.
Sonitrol Security: Founded in 1978, Sonitrol Security is run by a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and offers burglar alarms, smoke and fire protection for homes and businesses throughout the state.
Charleston Security Systems: Home security packages from Charleston Security Systems start at $99 for a basic system with a touchscreen keypad, three door and window sensors, a motion detector and a key fob.
Coastal Burglar Alarm: Coastal Burglar Alarm was founded in 1959 and claims to be the oldest locally owned and operated home security company in Charleston.
QEI: QEI has offices in Columbia, Bluffton, Charleston, Greeneville and Myrtle Beach, and its five-diamond rated monitoring center boasts an average response time of 45 seconds.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Home Security System
Price & Contracts
Are you looking to pay for your equipment upfront or finance over a period of time? You’ll also need to decide whether you want to commit to a contract or have the freedom to cancel your provider’s service without penalty.
Choose between 24/7 professional monitoring or self monitoring. Both have its perks – with professional monitoring, a specialist is available around the clock to help, and with self monitoring, you’ll be in charge and can avoid a monthly fee.
Want a professional to install your security system for you, or would you rather install it on your own? Most providers either require professional installation, DIY installation, or offer a choice of both.
As the brain of your security system, the control panel allows you to arm and disarm your security system, manage smart home devices, and in some cases, speak with a monitoring center specialist via two-way communication. Learn more about the control panels offered by ADT, Vivint, and Brinks.
As one of the sentinels in your home, the motion sensor captures unusual activity, and your system lets you know. Some providers have motion sensors that are designed to be pet-friendly, avoiding pets under 80 pounds to help prevent false alarms. Learn more about motion sensors here in our post.
Door/window sensors are sentinels for your entry points. Most have a discreet profile so they’re not easily seen, but once an entry point is breached, your control panel sounds an alarm to let the intruder know they’ve been caught. Learn more about the door/window sensors offered by Frontpoint, Protect America, and SimpliSafe.
Indoor security camera
If you want to be able to monitor the interior of your home, communicate with family members, and check in on pets, then choosing an indoor security camera is a great option. Most indoor cameras feature HD video, come with night vision, and have two-way communication. Learn more about indoor security camera options offered by SimpliSafe, Vivint, and Abode.
Outdoor security camera
Keep tabs on your property no matter your location with an outdoor security cameras. Most outdoor cameras have weatherproof features, night vision, and some even have deterrence features. Learn more about the outdoor security camera options offered by ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint.
Video doorbell camera
Check your front doorstep without having to leave work with a video doorbell camera. Most video doorbells have built-in two-way communication and night vision. Learn more about the video doorbells offered by Guardian Protection, Vivint, and SimpliSafe.
With a smart thermostat, you can potentially improve your home’s energy efficiency. Most smart thermostats allow you to program them, creating a schedule for when your home’s heating and cooling system turns on. Some will also automatically adjust themselves based on certain conditions. Learn more about the smart thermostats offered by Vivint,Frontpoint, and ADT.
Go keyless with a smart lock, designed so you can easily lock or unlock your door via app. Some smart locks have a keycode feature, allowing you to set unique PINs for family members and or professionals who may need to access your home. Learn more about the smart locks offered by Guardian Protection, Protect America, and Scout.
Can’t decide? Compare top providers side-by-side: ADT vs. SimpliSafe, Vivint vs. Frontpoint, and more.
What home security features are important for Charleston?
With a hot, humid summer climate and a coastal location susceptible to hurricanes, it’s important that your security equipment hold up under environmental stress. Having your home security system installed by a professional is a good way to ensure that it will be able to withstand intense weather situations.
Which home security providers offer professional installation?
Which home security providers allow DIY installation?
None of the local home security providers in Charleston offer DIY installation options, but our top recommended national brands for DIY home security include Cove, SimpliSafe and Frontpoint.
Do home security providers require a contract for service in Charleston?
The only local home security company in Charleston that doesn’t require a contract is CPI, but only when you pay for your security equipment up front. National companies such as SimpliSafe, Blue by ADT, Frontpoint and Cove also have contract-free options.
Which home security providers offer cameras in Charleston?