Installing a home security system is essential in order for you to protect your home, family, and valuable possessions. Having a home security system installed affords you the peace of mind you need in order to live without fear for your home’s safety.
However one of the most important things you need to consider when installing a home security system is the type of monitoring plan you wish to have. Here are a few things you should know when you’re trying to find the best monitoring plan for your home security system.
What is Monitoring?
To put it simply, monitoring refers to the way in which your home security system communicates with a device or center which monitors the information it is receiving. Essentially, a monitoring center processes the information to determine what action or steps need to be taken in the event of a security breach.
Types of Monitoring
When it comes to monitoring for home security systems there are generally two different types of monitoring methods: personal and professional. Personal monitoring is very rare and is usually carried out when you’ve purchased and installed a lower grade home security system. This type of monitoring involves all of the information from the home security system being redirected to you directly. That means you have to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening in your home in order to keep on top of things.
If your attention slips and something happens during that time, nothing can be done because you were the monitoring center so to speak. It was your responsibility to identify a threat and report it to the relevant authorities.
As you can see, this type of monitoring is very cumbersome on the homeowner and can prove to be grossly ineffective in most cases.
The other method of monitoring is professional. This means that the alarm company is the one keeping a tab on all the signals that your house is emitting. If there is a security breach or threat, the alarm company will inform the relevant authorities and help will be sent to your home right away. Alarm companies pride themselves on having fast response times which is what makes them so attractive to customers. The faster the response time, the less likely it is that you and your family will incur serious harm, damage, or losses.
Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for a Monitoring Plan
With respect to monitoring plans, they are typically divided into two broad categories: basic and advanced/interactive. The two different plans differ in how much control you are afforded. The general features of the two plans are outlined below.
Basic Monitoring Plans
If you’ve just gotten a home security system, basic monitoring packages are a great way to start out. This is especially true in today’s day and age because now, the more advanced packages require smartphone and tablet use. If you don’t have a smartphone, basic monitoring is perfect for you.
Advanced and Interactive Plans
These plans are a little bit more complex and give you the chance to be more involved with the monitoring process. If you want to be kept in the loop with everything that’s happening in and around your home, these sorts of monitoring plans keep you updated via your smartphone or tablet. You can expect to get texts and alerts as to the status of your home, remote access to various home security features, as well as access to the cameras and sensors if there are any.
What to Expect from any Monitoring Plan
Generally, all monitoring plans have certain key features. Some of these include:
- 24/7 monitoring and surveillance of your property for everything from break-ins to the state of the environment. This means that your monitoring system is also keeping an eye out for things like excess carbon monoxide, water levels, and smoke.
- Primary contacts – These are generally two numbers which the alarm company calls first in the event of a security breach or problem.
- Secondary contacts – If they can’t get in touch with your primary contacts, the company will attempt to get in touch with your secondary contacts. You can give up to five numbers as secondary contacts.
- Cellular connection – This is the means by which your alarm system forms a connection to the monitoring service. It uses cellular connections as opposed to landlines which aren’t very reliable. A landline can be cut by a burglar to try to cut you off from protection. Cellular connections don’t require wires and are therefore a more reliable way to connect to your monitoring service.
How to Choose Which Monitoring Plan is Best for you
Choosing which monitoring plan is best for you involves a consideration of your personal preferences and circumstances. For instance, are you looking to have more control over what’s happening inside your home when you’re not around or are you comfortable with giving that responsibility solely to the monitoring service?
There are certain cases and situations in which a more interactive/advanced system would be more effective. These include:
- When your kids are at home alone
- If you’re going on vacation and want to keep tabs on the house
- If your elderly parents are living with you and you want to monitor them
In these cases, being able to see and know what’s happening at home while you’re away is very beneficial.
As you can see, what monitoring plan you end up choosing largely depend upon what degree of control you want over the surveillance of your home. If you’re looking to be more involved, an advanced plan is best for you; if not, you can easily settle for a basic plan.