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Pro. monitoring starts at
|Professional||Professional||Professional||DIY or Professional||DIY|
|36 months||39 or 60 month agreement||42-60 mos. or pay for equipment in full||None||None|
Smart home compatibility
|Option to extend limited warranty||Not specified||120-day equipment warranty||3-year limited equipment warranty||3-year limited equipment warranty|
Home Security in Charleston
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.
Charleston Crime Statistics
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:
- 2,163 incidents of larceny-theft
- 360 incidents of burglary
- 259 incidents of aggravated assault
- 325 incidents of motor vehicle theft
- 89 incidents of robbery
Local Spotlight: CPI Security — Local Security Provider
CPI Security is licensed to serve the southeastern states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. CPI’s website calls it the “largest privately held security provider” in the region, and the company strives to be active in the communities it serves, participating in projects supporting the YMCA, local police organizations, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities and more. CPI has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
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.
- Southeastern Provider
CPI SecurityOur rating7.4Starting at$29.99/mo
CPI offers a wide array of equipment packages, award-winning professional monitoring and the personalized customer support you want from a local company. Month-to-month plans are available with an upfront equipment purchase, and all CPI systems are cellular-based.
Recommended Plan: inTouch Edge features the most of CPI’s intelligent video alert notification cameras, as well as fire detection and full security features.
- Month-to-month contract option
- Can use existing equipment
- Intelligent video notifications
- Contract is required if equipment is not purchased upfront
- Must call to find out specific pricing
- No DIY installation option
- Best home security for industry experience
Our Take on ADT Home Security
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- $500 theft protection guarantee
- High-quality equipment
- Must pay for an extended warranty
- Lengthy contracts
- More expensive than competitors
- Best smart home security
Our Take on Vivint Home Security
Vivint is our top choice for smart home security with an extensive line of equipment filled with smart features. The control panel also doubles as a smart hub. The only downside is that Vivint requires a long-term contract if you finance the equipment. Professional monitoring and installation are also required.
- Smart Hub to connect and control smart home and security devices
- Extensive smart features for security equipment including package detection and Smart Deter
- Wide range of security and smart home equipment
- Contract required for service and financed equipment.
- Professional monitoring and installation required
- Expensive equipment compared to other providers
- Best overall DIY security system
SimpliSafe Home SecurityOur rating9.9Starting at$14.99/mo
Our take on SimpliSafe Home Security:
SimpliSafe Home Security is our top pick for inexpensive monitoring, durable equipment, and reliable services that simplify home security. You’ll have all the right devices and features to give you peace of mind — even when the unexpected happens.
- Inexpensive professional monitoring
- Wireless equipment
- Cellular monitoring
- Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
- No selection of smart home devices
- Smart home capabilities not available in the basic monitoring plan
- Best pet-friendly home security
Our Take on Frontpoint Home Security
- No lengthy contracts
- Excellent customer service
- Variety of equipment to choose from
- Monitoring fees are relatively expensive
- Short trial period (30 days)
- No professional installation option
Best Home Security Systems of 2020
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.
Surrounding Areas for Charleston
Charleston home security providers also provide service to the following Charleston areas:
- Cranston, South Carolina
- Warwick, South Carolina
- East Charleston, South Carolina
- Pawtucket, South Carolina
- Kingston, South Carolina
- Central Falls, South Carolina
- Westerly, South Carolina
- Johnston, South Carolina
Common Home Security Equipment and Features
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
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.
Frequently Asked Questions 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.
Local Charleston home security providers offering professional installation include CPI, Sonitrol Security, Charleston Security Systems, Coastal Burglar Alarm and QEI. ADT, Vivint and Guardian Protection are our top picks for national companies offering professional installation.
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.
All the local home security providers we researched in Charleston offer camera systems, including CPI, Sonitrol Security, Charleston Security Systems, Coastal Burglar Alarm and QEI. ADT and Nest also offer quality camera options with their home security systems.