When you're looking for a security system that will protect your home and your family, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all the available choices. That can lead to making a less-than-ideal decision about what's best for your security needs. Here's what to avoid when you search for security companies that are a good fit for you.
1. Door-to-door sales.
While some reputable companies do sell door-to-door, the truth is that most unsolicited sales have the potential to be a scam. People who knock on your door and try to sell you a security system or change to a different security monitoring service may not have your best interests at heart.
In fact, the Electronic Security Association's current code of ethics bans security companies that belong to its organization from engaging in door-to-door sales. That's because many use tactics that are designed to confuse you or make you think they're from a different company than they actually are.
2. Sight-unseen recommendations.
A reputable security company will come out to your home, walk around your property and talk to you about your security needs. They won't try to sell you security system without assessing your home environment first.
You also want to make sure that the company you're considering can answer all your questions. You want specific answers about how the alarm system works and whether the company is providing monitoring services as well, and you want to have written information about the installation and monthly costs.
3. One-size-fits-all packages.
It's true that you can get some basic "starter kits" for home security that include a few cameras and alarms, but to really know you're protected, you want a security company to set up a system that is designed for your home. Like the people who want to sell you a system without even looking at your property, be cautious about companies that want you to purchase a specific bundle or package of items.
If the company does offer packages -- and some reputable ones do -- find out how much you can customize the offerings. For example, can you add an additional camera? If you're particular worried about windows in one part of the house, can you add additional glass break detectors in that area? Make sure your company is willing to put together the best and most cost effective solution for your property.
4. Lack of familiarity with local laws.
Your local fire department or law enforcement agency should have specific regulations about how to register your security system with them and whether they assess fines for false alarms. Any company you deal with should have a strong knowledge of the local regulations for residential security. It's not a bad idea to also call the non-emergency number for your area police and double check what your security salesperson has told you.
Talk to the security companies you're considering and know exactly what you're getting, what it will cost and how to discontinue service if you're not satisfied. That can save a lot of wasted time and money later, and keep your home and family safe.