Keeping the most valuable things in your life safe comes naturally to most. We teach our kids about “stranger danger” and we teach employees how to lock safes and buildings. Yes, keeping our family members or work associates aware of their surroundings helps protect them in public; but what can we do at home or in the office to keep everyone safe? Sometimes locking a door isn’t enough to keep someone from breaking into your building. What can we do to keep your valuable assets safe?
Currently, one third of U.S. broadband households have a security system. That represents an 18% increase from 28% in 2018, according to Parks Associates. According to Resideo’s research, 60% of consumers believe a professionally installed system is the way to go. We agree. Here are five tips on what to expect when shopping for a professionally monitored system.
1. Do your research!
This isn’t just a t‑shirt purchase; your safety depends on this decision. This is a life safety system that needs to have a trusted, reputable company standing behind it. Seek input from family and friends on anyone they’ve worked with. It’s especially important to make sure you choose a professional who is a member of the Electronic Security Association and has gone through its National Training School. This program requires that the dealer completes extensive training in electronic security, thus making the dealers more efficient and knowledgeable. Security professionals who are members of the ESA produce higher quality work than those who are not certified.
2. Schedule a consultation.
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential dealers to one or two, you’ll want to schedule an in-person, phone, or video-based consultation so they can provide tailored solutions to meet your unique needs. A reputable dealer will have a no-contact solution during the coronavirus. Likewise, Bates Security has implemented virtual security consultations. Before your consultation, you’ll receive a bio sheet of the security expert who will be assisting you so you are informed. Bates Security will also provide a bio sheet for the technicians who will be installing your system so you know who to expect.
3. Get ready for some questions.
This consultation is not like an uncomfortable first date, but it may feel overwhelming at first. Rest assured that a good security expert will ask many lifestyle, business, and family questions and is trying to get a sense of what your system should include. The goal of this consultation is to find the exact solutions to fit your unique needs. A good security dealer also will be skilled in home-networking and will ask you about your Wi-Fi network to ensure any wireless devices, like a video doorbell, will stay online and give you what you need.
4. Monitored video is usually a must.
While it may add a small amount to the monthly monitoring fees, video monitoring is a must-have for most systems today. Does the property have a backyard with no line-of-sight from neighbors? While that’s great to have, it also means the home has a blind spot that is vulnerable to break-ins (your security expert will identify this during consultations). Motion sensors and viewers may be a fit for this location.
5. Save yourself some money!
Did you know working with a local professional means that they will know about any potential reductions in home insurance rates for your area? They will provide your insurer with a certificate of installation. Discounts can range from 10 – 20% for a whole home, professionally monitored system. USAA offers a 20% discount, again only if the system is professionally monitored.