Choosing an Alarm Company

Once you have decided to purchase an alarm system for your home and/or business, you need to decide on an alarm company. As with any major purchase, do comparison shopping, get references, and educate yourself about the product you're spending money on.

Assessing your needs will narrow your search. Do you need an elaborate system of motion sensors, glass break detectors, hold-up buttons and screen alarms? Or do you need a relatively simple system limited to door and window contacts? For sophisticated systems, choose a company that specializes in sophisticated alarm equipment.

Make sure your company has proper licenses and permits, and is insured. Find out what type of service they provide after installation. You should expect yearly inspections, battery replacement, and customer service around the clock. You should also receive thorough training in the use of your alarm system, no matter how basic the system, at installation.

If you install a monitored system, make sure the company has procedures in place to update contact information immediately. Ask about the methods used for alarm verification; the more methods, the better, to prevent false dispatches. Your company should be available for after-hours repairs.

Ask your company about the industry standards they follow, both in equipment and in installation. There are industry websites that will help you learn more about alarm standards.