Reading the Fine Print of Home Security System Contracts
Before buying a home security system read the fine print. Some security providers require a binding contract for a number of years for the lowest pricing or discounts. There are a few points to keep in mind when reviewing your home security provider’s contract:
- Some providers may charge you a termination fee costing hundreds of dollars if you break your contract early – some cost more than $700.
- Contracts may include installation and equipment fees. If you’re not satisfied with the equipment, you may not get a refund.
- Understand what your provider will and won’t cover If you experience a burglary or damages with your home security system installed. Some offer a money-back guarantee for burglaries, while others state in their contract that they will not be held liable.
- Your home security provider may allow you to rent or lease the equipment instead of owning it regardless of how long your contract is. And if it’s not working properly after returning it, you may incur a fee.
If you don’t understand or have questions regarding your contract, reach out to your security provider before signing. After all, it’s a legally binding and long-term investment to help protect your home.
Expectations for Home Security System Customer Service
To learn more about home security system providers, consider giving them a quick phone call to get all of your questions answered. Purchasing a home security system is a long-term investment so don’t just rely on their website and reviews to protect your home. Here are a few questions to ask about any home security system. By the end of the call, you should have a better understanding of the security provider, their offerings and how they help keep your home safe.
- What security measures does your company take to help protect my home?
- How much does the security equipment cost? Is there a warranty?
- What customer service or tech support is available?
- How is your home security system installed?
- How does your equipment work in the event of a power outage?
- Can I add more equipment to my home security system over time?
- Do I have to sign a contract for equipment or professional monitoring?
Shopping for the Best Home Security System Equipment
All home security systems come with the basics including a control panel or base station to manage all equipment and a ‘Panic’ button in the event of danger not detected by sensors. Each security system provider offers different equipment and packages to meet your specific needs. Here are the top security accessories homeowners find most helpful.
- Glassbreak sensors – Many home security system providers offer glassbreak sensors to help protect your home. Glassbreak sensors are used to detect any glass cracking or shattering within a certain range including windows and front door glass. The sensors use a microphone to listen for the unique sound of glass breaking and sound a loud high-decibel alarm.
- Door and window sensors – Most home security systems include door and window sensors to instantly alert you when someone enters your home. Door and window sensors come in two pieces – one side is a reed switch and the other is a magnet to create a closed circuit. If the two ends are more than two inches apart if a window or door is open an alarm will sound to alert you.
- Security camera – Security cameras are your home security system’s extra set of eyes to watch over your home. They’re placed indoors and outdoors and are designed with motion and sound sensors to record motion detected activity. Today’s security cameras automatically send a mobile alert for you to see your camera’s live footage using your smartphone. Some cameras include two-way audio for you to speak to your home’s guests when you’re away or scare off burglars by the unexpected sound of your voice.
- Video doorbell – Video doorbells are made to show you who’s at your door without leaving your couch to answer it. When your video doorbell detects motion or sound, it will automatically send a push notification to alert you that someone’s at your door and a live view from the doorbell’s camera. Some video doorbells allow you to send a pre-recorded message telling guests your unavailable and many include two-way audio to speak to guests using your smartphone.
You’ve got everything you need to make your home safe and sound. Ready to pick the perfect home security system for your humble abode? We’re here to help. Check out our list of home security system providers, plans and features available today.
Home Security System FAQs
How much can I save on my homeowner’s insurance with a home security system?
Homeowner’s insurance can cost up to $1,000 annually, but you may be able to reduce the cost with a home security system. Installing home security equipment can save you up to 20 percent depending on your home security and insurance providers.
Is a wired home security system better than a wireless one?
Neither option is better than the other, both have pros and cons depending on your home security needs. To determine which option is better for you, determine whether you’re owning or renting your home, what security equipment you need most and the cost. If you’re renting property, you’ll want to consider wireless home security depending on your leasing terms and conditions in regards to wiring any hardware.
Is a professional home security installation better than DIY installation?
It depends on your circumstances. If you’re renting an apartment, you may find it easier to self-install your equipment. Most DIY installation is installed using standard wall outlets and removable adhesive instead of wiring and drilling. However, if you’re worried about not installing your equipment correctly, ask the home security provider about professional installation options, videos or guides to assist.
How does my home security system work during outages?
Oftentimes, most home security systems include a backup battery to keep the system and equipment on during power outages. However, some features may not be available without connections to send the signals.