Buying a Home Security System FAQ’s

How do I know what to buy?

Unless you’re comfortable taking all the responsibility for your family’s security and you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, your best bet is to call a professional. Most security companies provide a no cost evaluation and will make appropriate recommendations for your home.

How expensive is a home security system?

Home security equipment costs can range from nothing upfront to well over $1,000. It depends on the features that you want and whether you are buying the equipment or leasing it along with a monitoring agreement. Some security companies will provide the basic equipment for free or a minimal fee when you sign a contract for their monitoring service but have additional charges for additional sensors and functionality. Comparison shopping for the specific features that you need can save you a bundle.

You can also buy a variety of home security equipment from home centers and electronics stores. There are single window/door alarms for as little as $10 or you can custom design a system to fit your needs. Just as using a security company, each window, door or other area of protection will generally cost more money.

Are there recurring costs for a home security system?

If you go for a monitored system, you’ll incur a monthly fee that will range from as little as $6 to well over $50 depending on the company and the options that you choose.

There are many companies in this business and they all offer a variety of plans. There are also differences in the reliability and type of monitoring from company to company. Monitoring plans are offered for basic burglary protection to live video from anywhere in the world and everything in between. The largest companies with great reputations tend to have the highest prices but generally offer the best overall service.

What do I need a monitoring service for?

Since most burglaries occur when your home is empty, your security system may not do any good without a monitoring service. A loud siren may scare off a burglar but you can bet that they’ll silence the alarm quickly if they do stick around. Some do-it-yourself systems are capable of dialing out, but beware as a telephone line won’t work after the burglar cuts it. Since most of the monitoring services use cell phone technology as the main or back-up communication method, you are protected even when your phone line is cut.

Do I have to sign a contract with a monitoring service?

Maybe; since there are so many different companies out there, they all have different terms and conditions. Generally speaking, the largest companies in the business as well as any company providing discounted or free equipment will require a contract. Three year terms are typical and I know at least one company that uses a five year contract. These are similar to cell-phone plans as they typically carry hefty penalties for an early cancellation.

If I invest in a security system, what happens if I move?

Most of the security systems installed today are easily moved. As hard wired systems are not cost effective to install, chances are you would get a wireless system that can easily move along with you. Some of the larger security companies have provisions for reinstallation upon moving built into their contracts. If you own the equipment, you can include it when selling your home as a security system does add value to a home for sale.

Can I get a security system if I rent my home?

Absolutely; in most cases the security company would require permission from your landlord prior to installation. I don’t know too many landlords who wouldn’t welcome the idea.

Do I lose my protection if there’s a power failure?

Any decent security system has a battery back-up that would power the system for hours, if not days. So when lights and other things that rely on electricity may not benefit your security during a power failure, you can have peace of mind with a security system.

Does a security company cover any losses from a break-in?

That would be a no. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers any losses beyond your deductible. The only exception to this is in the contracts of a few companies where a few hundred dollars may be payable if losses are a direct result of negligence on their part. This would usually cover your insurance deductible. The good news about insurance is that you’ll get a discount on your premium after a security system is installed!

Can a security system do more than guard my home from burglars?

Today’s security systems have matured to the point of home automation. Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection are very common and thermostat and lighting control are available in many systems. Communication technologies and the internet allow monitoring and complete home control from anywhere in the world.

FREE Home Security Systems – Are They Really Free?

When it comes to, so-called “FREE” home security systems area, I’m reminded of the parable of the wise king who wanted to give his subjects the wisdom of the ages. He called all of the scholars in his kingdom together and told them he wanted to gather the wisdom of the ages. They worked for a year compiling a great work, volumes and volumes of the best wisdom the kingdom possessed. They presented it to the king and he was impressed, but he said it was too vast, that his subjects would never be able to read it all and asked them to condense the wisdom. They worked and debated and finally got the “wisdom for the ages” down to just one book. The king, again was impressed, but said it was still too long. They worked even harder and got the wisdom for the ages down to a chapter, and then to a page, a paragraph, and finally to just one sentence. The king looked at that one sentence and finally proclaimed, “You’ve done it! This is truly the wisdom of the ages.” That sentence; “There ain’t no such thing as a FREE lunch!”

When it comes to home security systems, in spite of what companies claim, “There ain’t no such thing as a FREE lunch!” Sure they tell you that your home security system is free,(and worth $850) but lets look at the facts. First, what kind of quality can you really expect to get for less than the price of an iPod? And, for that matter, what level of security can you get for your family for $100? We’re talking about protecting your home, and family and I’ve had customers in the Scranton area get a second quote on a $99 home security system. Instead of looking at the quality of the panels and the design of the security system, they were comparing prices on FREE-$99 systems. You have to wonder what was his family was worth to him.

Before I go any further let me add a disclaimer, and I tell this to all of my customers; “The home security system you can afford is always better than the one you can’t afford.” That is to say, any home security system is better than none at all, because a burglar doesn’t know what you have. If you’re on a fixed income or money is extra tight then go for the $100 system, just make sure you own the system and you’re not getting an entry level panel. Now that that is out of the way lets take a closer look at just what you’re getting for “FREE” or $99.

Anytime someone is offering you a “FREE” home security system you can take it to the bank that it isn’t free, and you don’t own it. To start with, they usually hide a $99 installation fee so that they can advertise the home security system as “FREE”. The biggest secret about so-called “FREE” security systems is that in 9 out of 10 offers you don’t own the security system. It is what is called, a leased system. They don’t tell you it’s a lease, but ask them if you own the panel. Ask, “If I cancel my monitoring will your company remove or disable my home security panel?” The strategy behind a leased security system is if you try to cancel your monitoring they will threaten to take the system out of your home (leaving a big hole with wires hanging out). You may have spent $1000.00 on additional devices to protect your home, but when they take out your control panel those security devices are worthless. So your stuck with a security company you don’t want and can’t afford.

That brings me to the monitoring. The place where these companies make their money is on the back-end of the sale, the monitoring fees that you pay each month. You may have saved a little on the so-called “FREE” home security system that you still paid $100 to have installed, and that you don’t own, but you’ll pay an extra $75-$100 more per year for that FREE home security system. During the life of the panel you would have paid $1,500-$2,000 for a very low-end, entry level security panel. This method of selling low-end (a nice way of saying “cheap junk”) home security systems has proved to be very effective as shown by some of the biggest names in home security. Many of the big names in home security, including the biggest names, got there by selling cheap or “FREE” home security systems and charging higher then average monitoring fees. Of course, in most cases, you are not getting any better monitoring for your money. (I’ll have to discuss the differences in the monitoring differences in monitoring companies in a another article.)

Finally, what can you expect to pay for a quality home security system. In the Scranton, PA area, you can get a good wireless panel and a perimeter home security system for $1,000-$1,500. As I said before, you can get the basics for $99 and if you get a good control panel, you can always add devices to it in the future. I had a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barron’s (now a Yankees farm team) pitcher purchase 7 window devices each year for three years until every window in his home was protected. Some of my customers take their tax return to upgrade their system. If you have a good panel then you can always add to it in the future. If you’re starting with junk, then junk is all you’ll ever have. As the quote goes, “It’s like putting lipstick on a pig, its still just a pig.”

Why You Need the Skylink SC-100 Home Security System

Improving the security of your home can be done in a couple of ways, the most popular being with a monitored alarm system. However there are those who can not, or do not want to pay the expensive monthly fees that are required if you choose to go this route. We have been brainwashed into believing that the only way to protect your home is by signing up with ADT, Broadview Security, or one of the other big players in the alarm industry, but this is no longer true. If you want to add some solid security to your home without the monthly monitoring fees, then you need to know about the highly rated Skylink SC-100 home security system. Most owners of the SC-100 find that it is a great way of adding an extra layer of protection to their home without adding another monthly expense.

One of the benefits of purchasing the Skylink SC-100 is that it can be installed by anyone that can handle a hammer, or a screwdriver. You will not have to pay to have this system installed. Usually having a home security system, automatically means having to pay for a professional to install it, this is in addition to the cost of the system itself. But with the Skylink SC-100 home security system, if you can follow simple directions you can install the system yourself.

Another benefit of the Skylink is that it utilizes wireless technology. With hardwired home security systems, you are always fighting a battle with the systems wires. The hardest part of installing these systems is having to conceal the wires. This is not only done for aesthetic reasons, but to ensure that criminals can not find and disable the system by cutting the wires. With this system being wireless it is not going to be a problem.

Something else that you will love about this home security system is that it can be easily upgraded. If you ever decide that your home needs more coverage, or if you reinstall the Skylink SC-100 in a larger home, the alarm sensors can be increased by up to thirty modules. Most people purchasing a system like this do so with the belief that they are going to be limited by the items that are included in the box. This is only partially true because as your circumstances change you can very easily ad to and customize this home security system to fit your current security requirements.

We are living in the computer age, and the current generation of criminals have learned a few tricks. In the past it was sufficient to use a randomly generated code for a wireless alarm system, but burglars started getting smarter, and have begun to utilize devices that can intercept and decode the security codes being used on a particular system. Not to be outdone, the Skylink SC-100 utilizes Rolling code technology. You have probably seen at least one movie where a homes security system was being bypassed by a device that steals the access codes. However, with the Skylink SC-100 home security system this is not going to be an issue since the code is constantly changing and only recognizes the remote that is included with the system. The rolling code feature is going to be key to keeping the professional burglars from breaking into your home.

If you happen to own a dial alert system, it is absolutely compatible with the SC-100. Using this feature is going to add an additional layer of safety to your home. Rather than having to make your way to the alarm panel and dial for help, the system can do this automatically for you in the event of an emergency, this may very well end up saving a life.

If you can read English you will find the key-pad very easy to program. Normally with most alarm systems, assigning user codes can be one of the most difficult things to do, but with the Skylink it is relatively easy since all that is needed is the pre-set pin number. Once that is entered, you can put the entire system either into the enabled or disabled mode quickly and easily.

Adding some protection to your home does not have to be an expensive proposition. The problem is that many people think that the only way they can get the protection they need is by paying a alarm monitoring service. I hope that this article has made you aware of all the benefits that come with owning the Skylink SC-100 home security system, and has shown that real home security does not have to come with monthly bill attached.