Posted onChoosing an alarm monitoring company is a very big decision and should not be taken lightly. There are so many alarm monitoring companies out there, it is important to do your research. If you choose the wrong monitoring company, you may be making a big mistake.
By now, you should have found a company that you are interested in having install your alarm system. Does this company have their own monitoring center? If they do, that is good news and is the ideal situation. If they don’t and use third party monitoring, here are questions you should ask:
- Is the alarm monitoring center local?
- How long have they been around?
- Are they UL Certified?
- Do the employees go through central station operator training?
- Is the monitoring center available 24/7 to answer your calls and questions?
These are some of the basic questions you should ask. Personally, third party monitoring is not the best choice. Many small alarm companies or individuals who install alarms usually have their customers monitored by a third party monitoring station. The biggest reason they do this is: cost. A monitoring center is very expensive and very involved.
One of the main problems with third party monitoring is, usually these monitoring centers have more than they can handle. They have hundreds of smaller alarm companies and individual installers running their accounts into their center. Sometimes the center is understaffed and alarm signals usually are not handled quickly. There is also not that much personalization-you are basically a number to them.
Another huge drawback is if the installing company does not pay their monitoring bill or goes out of business without letting you know, you will think your alarm is being monitored when it really isn’t. This seems to happen a lot.
How could that happen? Here is a simple explanation:
Let’s say you pay the installing alarm company $38 a month to monitor your alarm. They will program your alarm to send signals to the alarm monitoring center of their choice and pay them the $8 a month for monitoring. They get such a low price because they send all their accounts there allowing them to pay a bulk rate. For some reason or another, they stop paying the $8 to the monitoring center or close their business without telling you. You are mailing them a check every month thinking you are getting monitoring service but are not. Nobody is telling you anything because your agreement is with the installing alarm company not with the alarm monitoring center.
Usually folks wont find this out until they trip their alarm and nobody calls. This is one of the main reasons we do not recommend third party monitoring.
This does not mean you should not get your alarm monitored. You SHOULD get your alarm monitored. Besides, if your alarm trips in the middle of the night at your office or you are away from home on vacation and someone trips the alarm while breaking into your home, you wont know anything until you return.
Having your alarm monitored will give you extra peace of mind. You just need to find the right alarm monitoring company. Doing your research and finding an alarm company that not only installs your alarm but also has their own central station is the best situation. You want a local alarm monitoring center and you want them to know who you are. There are many out there, you just need to look.
Pull out your local phone book and start making calls. Look for companies that advertise they have their own monitoring center. Not only will this be beneficial to you but you will feel like they know you and your needs every time you call.