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Burglar and Fire Alarm Systems

What is the Best Security System for You?


A principal concern of people has become their own safety, and that of their property. Years ago, business people worried only about profits, now their main worry is that they get through the day without being robbed or losing their lives. Ordinary citizens, too, are taking similar measures, hiring private guards and buying all kinds of security devices.  Burglary insurance, when available, is extremely high in cost. Insurance companies feel they cannot absorb the losses that have soared with the advent of drug abuse.


Local citizens are voluntarily paying large sums for intense street lighting. ‘Block associations’ and even vigilante groups are forming for community protection from burglars and rapists. Vehicles are also supplied with security devices in an attempt to reduce auto thefts.  All of these happen out of a great fear.


Unsafe Protection

Intent on protecting themselves and their families from burglars and rapists, many have installed “burglar bars” on doors and windows. But those people are also subjecting themselves to great peril. They are protected somewhat from an intruder on the outside, but they have also locked themselves up inside. Fire officials note that such bars have been the cause of “many fatalities in home fires.” For that reason, bars without a release mechanism or that require a key to operate are illegal in some large cities. If you make use of such devices, how can you and your family easily get out in case of fire?


Bars VS Alarms

One result is a booming burglar-alarm business. Instead of “burglar bars,” many settle for “burglar alarms.” But looking for an alarm system that would be best for your home and office is not that simple. There are factors that need careful consideration before getting one.  Some may say that tight security depends on the price.  The more you pay the less chances of burglary.  But is this always for real? Often times, the least expensive security system is the one that you need.  So, you don’t have to pay more and later realize that it is not worth the need. The best security is the one that accommodates your lifestyle and the things you want to protect regardless of the price. 


Security Options

These are the types of security system: 1) burglary and fire alarm system (monitored by an off-site central station); 2) burglary-only alarm system; 3) fire-only alarm system and 4) various non-monitored burglary and fire alarms (don't notify authorities but sound an alarm). The non-monitored system, though it does sound an alarm, can leave your home and family vulnerable. Non-monitored alarms are more like battery-operated and wired smoke detectors. It’s better than nothing, but not the best option available. The monitored system is more advantageous than the nonmonitored system because it is capable of contacting the authorities in case there’s an emergency without being awakened by the audible alarm.


For car security, you can look for “m otion sensors” that allow you to leave the windows open or the top down. For cargo areas in vans and trucks, they are also ideal. When they sense a window breaking, “glass-break sensors” sound the alarm. There is also “driver's side priority unlock” that unlocks only your door without unlocking the others. Lastly, “remote outputs” that let you expand the alarm's capabilities by adding some features such as remote starter or window controls.


Educate Yourself

Ask yourself these questions to make a wise choice:   Am I going to settle for security system sold in retail stores to save me money? If so, is the "price" worth the "cost"? Which do I prefer, hard-wired security system or wireless security system? If I choose hard-wired security, do I now have full access to run wires? If I choose a wireless security system, could I afford all of the sensors to protect all my doors & windows fully or maybe just protect 3 or 4 of the most accessible for breaking in? Should I monitor my home security system myself or let national monitoring company do the job?


Other Things to Consider

In case of power outage, find out if your alarm system offers a battery backup system and how long the batteries will last.  There should be guarantees and warranties available. Some of the systems come with maintenance plans, while others offer normal wear and tear warranties only. Also, there should be a radio backup unit in case telephone lines are cut or unavailable. A radio backup unit will keep your alarm system and central station in communication.


It would be better if, besides fire and intruders, it can monitor other things. For instance, some security systems are designed to monitor high and low temperatures, natural gas, carbon monoxide, and even flooding. How about the length of your monitoring contract? Mostly, contracts last for 3-5 years. Ask about your rights before you get into a long-term contract. What if your security company is acquired by another company? If you're not satisfied with their services, can you cancel the contract? When it comes to prices, compare them for alarms with similar features and services before you decide on the one that would best suit your needs.


Choose Wisely

Consider these things before choosing a security alarm system for your home, office and vehicles. Don’t make your decision in a rush. Take your time to plan ahead carefully. Dig deeper and make a wide research. Talk to people who have alarm systems. They may be your friends, relatives, or neighbors. A sk about their other options in case they plan to get another security alarm. Lastly, talk to professionals who can share their knowledge to you.


Whichever type of alarm you would choose, quality and proper installation is the key. Even the state of the art central station monitored alarm system could leave your safety in jeopardy if it is not installed properly. Get a reputable seller and alarm company. Be sure to choose the company that is licensed by their respective state. Check it with the Better Business Bureau and local authorities.