Home security equipment is vital to keeping yourself, your home and your family safe.
Security systems can include many varied pieces like motion sensors, alarm notifications, video recording equipment, glass-break detectors, smart home automation, water and carbon monoxide sensors, and more.
Selecting the right vendor, however, is just as important—if not more so—than selecting the equipment itself.
Learn all about high-quality security vendors with the information in this guide:
- How the Quality of Your Home Security Vendor Makes a Difference
- Benefits of a High-Quality Home Security Vendor
- What to Avoid When Selecting a Home Security Vendor
- How to Find the Right Security Vendor for Your Home
- Talk With a High-Quality Security Vendor
Your home is an investment. You wouldn’t skimp on a solid foundation, trusty roof and functional appliances. You should view your home security system the same way…as an investment.
A reputable, high-quality security vendor affords you priceless peace of mind, along with long-lasting equipment, opportunities to bundle services, dependable monitoring, 24/7 support, Internet of Things (IoT) device compatibility, and state-of-the-art equipment.
On the other hand, if you select a low-quality security vendor, you could be in danger and without help when you need it most.
How Can Low-Quality Security Systems Fail?
A lower-quality security system could put your home, possessions and family at risk. Here’s how.
- Power failure: If the components in your system don’t come with a battery backup, a power failure could result in a security liability.
- False alarms: If your equipment is faulty or low-quality, your sensors could register a false alarm. Police calls for false alarms cost millions of dollars annually, and depending on where you live, can result in fees for you.
- No professional intervention: Low-quality security vendors don’t give customers access to professional installation and maintenance. That means you’re left to handle these tasks yourself, which could result in system failure.
- Poorly-functioning equipment: Without warranty-backed equipment, your security cameras, sensors and alarms may not stand the test of time. Worst of all, you may not realize it until there’s an emergency and the security system isn’t working properly.
- Lack of software updates: If your low-quality security system runs on the internet and integrates with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, it should have regular software updates that protect the equipment and your data from bugs and hackers. However, some vendors don’t provide this costly but necessary service for their customers, which leaves them open to data breaches.
These are just some examples. If you’re not willing to take these or other risks, you should consider investing in a high-quality security system.
Why a High-Quality Home Security System Is a Worthwhile Investment
The most important part of a high-quality security system is the peace of mind that comes with knowing it will function properly and keep you safe when you need it most.
To determine whether an investment is worthwhile, you should first consider all of the features and benefits that are important to you.
- Reducing the likelihood of burglary and trespassing.
- Keeping an eye on your home when you’re not there.
- Protecting valuable or sensitive items, like documents, firearms or medicine.
- Having access to a monitoring center.
- Being able to see who’s at your door remotely.
- Carbon monoxide, fire, water and other environmental hazard alerts.
- Making your home “smarter” by connecting with other systems, like HVAC.
- Professional installation and maintenance.
- Access to a mobile app.
- Reducing homeowner’s insurance rates.
- Controlling who has access to your home and when.
- 24/7 support.
- Making the neighborhood safer.
- Capability to arm and disarm your home remotely.
Once you’ve determined what would make a security system worthwhile for your specific needs, you can do better research on the available options and make a more informed buying decision.
When it’s time to buy, however, you’ll need to consider the vendor from which you purchase.
Selecting a high-quality home security vendor can make a noticeable difference in the peace of mind you feel, the overall experience you have securing your home and the long-term cost savings you see.
Learn the benefits of a high-grade security system vendor, what professional monitoring is, and how a DIY solution could fit into the mix.
6 Key Benefits Of Working With A High-Quality Home Security Vendor
1. The equipment is of far better quality.
Usually, a high-quality vendor’s equipment will better stand up to time and frequent use. On the other hand, a lower-quality vendor may not offer warranties on its products, which could result in high replacement costs. High-quality vendors also provide regular software updates for their products to prevent things like security camera hacking.
2. Your devices can integrate.
Because high-quality security vendors are thinking holistically about your needs, their products enable a security ecosystem.
Through setting up a security ecosystem, you can experience benefits like connecting multiple parts of your smart home and controlling them through a mobile app. You can also receive custom notifications to a mobile device. For example, know when the garage opens, a power failure happens or something triggers your motion sensors.
3. You get excellent customer service.
A high-quality security vendor will position themselves as your partner in safety. That means being available to answer questions and provide support whenever you need it.
4. Professional installation comes standard.
Installing your own equipment can be daunting for some customers, and that’s why a high-quality vendor will offer professional installation. This guarantees secure, technically correct use of your equipment.
Professional installers and technicians understand the intricacies of security equipment, like the different types of security cameras, where you should use certain sensors and how each component should be installed to best suit your home’s layout.
5. Gain network security reassurance.
A high-quality vendor can ensure that your Wi-Fi network will support security cameras and other security devices without putting you at greater risk for a data breach.
Your technician and customer support representatives will also inform you of data protection best practices to keep all of your data secure across multiple devices and systems.
6. You can enjoy the reassurance of professional monitoring.
Professional monitoring affords you access to a 24/7 monitoring center, where a live person is always standing by to assist you in the event of an emergency.
Want to learn more about professional monitoring? Start by understanding the advantages it affords homeowners.
What Are the Advantages of Professional Monitoring?
Professional monitoring keeps your home safer than standard security equipment alone. But if you’re wondering what exactly professional monitoring is and how it keeps you safe, we’ll break it down.
Professional monitoring services are an additional layer of 24/7 protection for your home. If an emergency occurs, the monitoring center immediately verifies the validity of the alarm by calling you, and then dispatches the proper emergency response personnel.
Key benefits of professional monitoring are:
- Constant connection to emergency personnel. If the monitoring center can’t reach you after an alarm is triggered, they’ll dispatch police just to be safe.
- Reduce the likelihood of a false alarm, saving money, resources and valuable time.
- Immediate response to environmental hazards, like carbon monoxide leaks, flooding and fire.
- Medical response in case of an emergency triggered through a personal emergency response system (PERS).
- Peace of mind knowing you always have another layer of alarm notification—and someone looking out for your and your family’s safety.
Your security equipment can be connected to your vendor’s monitoring center in a few ways:
- Telephone line: This connection can result in a slower connection and leave equipment vulnerable to tampering.
- Cellular monitoring: This connection creates a faster data transmission using cellular signals.
- Wi-Fi monitoring: Often used as a backup with one of the above options, this method offers easier accessibility and more features.
You should know the difference between in-house and outsourced professional monitoring when selecting a security vendor.
Both in-house and third-party monitoring centers can perform basic monitoring tasks—like notifying emergency personnel—equally.
Customer service and personalization is a differentiator. In-house monitoring centers have access to your security company’s internal departments for questions and other issues, whereas third-party monitoring does not.
No matter what kind of monitoring you choose, ensure the monitoring center personnel have adequate training and certifications. Examples include:
- Police, fire and EMS best practices.
- The Monitoring Association Level I certification.
- Appropriate UL certifications.
- Factory Mutual (FM) training.
- The Monitoring Association Five-Diamond certification.
Another option for integrating high-quality professional monitoring into your home security system is on-demand monitoring, which allows you to turn professional monitoring services on and off as needed.
Benefits of on-demand monitoring include:
- Affordability: You only pay for the services you need.
- Flexibility: You can choose to turn on monitoring whenever you want, such as when traveling.
- Ease of use: It’s simple to adjust on-demand monitoring to your lifestyle.
- Mobile capability: If you choose a high-quality security vendor, you should be able to activate on-demand monitoring from an app on your mobile device.
On-demand monitoring is often paired with do-it-yourself (DIY) security and alarm systems. If you’re considering DIY security, compare it to professional installation to ensure it’s the right choice for you.
Comparing DIY Home Security With Professional Security System Installation
If you’re an avid DIY-er, you may opt to install your security cameras, sensors and other equipment yourself.
DIY equipment is massively popular, and steadily growing. It’s been estimated that in the next 15 years, DIY security systems will represent 62.5% of the multi-billion-dollar home security market.
DIY-capable security equipment offers a number of benefits. For starters, DIY installation can help you save money on installation fees. It provides flexibility in your home security system, allowing you to easily pick up and move products if you’re renting your home or will be moving. Also, you may have access to on-demand monitoring as an added layer of security. Finally, it’s customizable, allowing you to buy only the products you need—and tack on additional equipment in the future.
If you choose a DIY option, there are important safeguards to keep in mind when you install:
- Educate yourself and your family on products. Understand the products’ specifications, capabilities, features and best practices for operation. Learn how to properly place monitoring equipment and security cameras and understand which products are compatible with each other.
- Secure your home network. Wireless security devices are susceptible to hacking, so follow Wi-Fi best practices, use strong passwords (and change them regularly) and be aware of important updates that prevent network security issues and data breaches.
- Complement the system with professional monitoring. You can’t beat the added layer of security that professional monitoring affords. Whether you opt for on-demand or 24/7 monitoring, use this feature as a backup to your alarm and to stay safer.
The bottom line is this: Whether you choose to install your security equipment yourself or use professional installation, purchasing the equipment from a high-quality vendor can minimize the likelihood of installation error and save you time, money and worry down the road.
When it’s time to shop around for a home security vendor, research and vetting is an important part of the process. There are some red flags to avoid and certain factors to prioritize.
Keep these in mind as you search for a vendor.
Red Flags of a Security System Vendor
Some information you uncover in your search for a vendor should alert you to stay away. Examples include:
- It’s a newer company or the company doesn’t showcase its deep experience in the security industry.
- There are few testimonials or reviews available online—or, the reviews are negative.
- The vendor doesn’t offer professional maintenance or installation.
- The equipment brands offered don't have positive reviews online.
- The cost seems “too good to be true” or inexplicably high, with no real explanation of value.
- There are hidden fees baked into the contract’s fine print.
- The vendor doesn’t offer a warranty on products or services.
- The vendor doesn’t offer professional monitoring, and if it does, the monitoring is done by a third-party company instead of in-house.
- There aren’t any “Help” articles or resources online.
- It’s difficult to speak directly to a customer service representative.
Instead of wasting your time with vendors that tick these boxes, focus your search on a different vendor.
When you understand the benefits of a high-quality vendor and you’ve eliminated the options that present red flags, choosing the right vendor for you comes down to a few factors.
3 Steps to Finding the Right Home Security Vendor for You
1. Document and rank the features that matter most to you in a security system. Can the products and services each vendor provides be implemented into your daily life? Consider things like the types of available alarms, security cameras and sensors, an integrated mobile app and availability of professional installation.
2. Create a chart with security features along the left side, and vendors across the top. Then, you can make note of:
- Whether each vendor provides the service or feature.
- If current customers give positive reviews of the service or feature.
- If the vendor provides examples of or resources on the service or feature.
Just because a vendor offers a specific solution doesn’t mean that its equipment is state-of-the-art or its service is of high quality. A thorough review of capabilities, customer satisfaction and performance guarantees that it’s the right vendor for you.
3. Choose your vendor.
When you narrow down the vendors that meet your specific needs, you can make a final decision based on:
- Company stability, reputation and industry experience. Make sure the vendor is insured and certified, evaluate the vendor’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau and research online for customer reviews and ratings. It’s also a good idea to ask for recommendations from neighbors, friends and family.
- Availability of training, customer support and professional maintenance. Choose a vendor that will act as a partner.
- Cost. Make sure the vendor reviews each price factor with you, including installation fees, equipment cost, renewal fees and upgrades.
At this point, you’ll be highly educated on the security vendors available to you and ready to make a decision that benefits you and your family.
Securing your home is a wise investment and a personal decision. We wish you luck with your search for the equipment and vendor that best suits your specific needs.
Do you have questions for a security expert? Vector Security’s customer service personnel are standing by to help you discover the best way to secure your home.
Our decades of wide-ranging experience in the security industry have afforded us the #1 spot in the Home Security Company category on Consumer Affairs, with more than 9,000 reviews.
We’re looking forward to serving you! Contact us today.