Home security systems provide peace of mind for every type of household. Single people feel more secure knowing that their homes are protected, particularly when they arrive home after dark. Retired people find that a home security system lets them enjoy their independence more during their golden years. And families with children that are always coming and going like knowing they have a security system should they forget to lock a door in the rush to get everyone where they need to go.
But sometimes people aren't happy with their home security systems. They may feel committed to a certain company, or they may stay with a company thinking it would be too much trouble to take out an old system and install a new one.
Here are 5 signs that it's time to change home security systems.
1. You have non-monitored security only.
Not all home security systems are monitored. So-called "bells only" systems make loud noises when triggered, and can alert neighbors that something is up, but they don't automatically elicit a police response as monitored systems do. While these systems will save you slightly on home insurance premiums, switching to a monitored system saves you more -- sometimes up to 20% on your homeowner premiums.
2. You don't want to be locked into a long term policy again
. If you think you might be selling your home in a couple of years, you don't want to be locked into a five-year policy with your home security provider. If it's time to renew and your provider only offers long-term policies, then you should shop around for a contract that's of a more reasonable length. Be sure to read the fine print so that you know your provider's policy for early termination should that become necessary.
3. Too many false alarms
. When home security systems are not installed properly, false alarms can be triggered by the most mundane things, like falling branches or household pets. Many municipalities fine homeowners for false alarms, and they can be a big hassle if you end up coming home from work in the middle of the day only to find out that a rattling window was the source of the "problem." Another problem with false alarms is that homeowners can get so desensitized to them that they may assume a real situation is only a false alarm.
4. Your system is connected to phone lines which are easy to cut.
Many of today's monitored home security systems are wire-free, and that means that an intruder can't overcome your system simply by snipping the phone lines connected to your house. And many of the latest systems install quickly and with little upheaval.
5. Warranty problems made worse by bad customer service.
Make certain that you understand the terms of the warranty for your home security system. If, for example, your home is struck by lightning, rendering your security system non-functional, is repair or replacement covered under the warranty? When you call customer service, are the representatives courteous, professional, and committed to helping you? People have found themselves continuing to pay monthly charges for a system knocked out by natural disaster because of the terms of the warranty. When you have a problem with your system, you have the right to expect prompt, courteous, and effective customer service.
Your home security system should make you feel more secure and your home security system
provider should be able to work with you about length of contract, the type of system you need, and what happens when you move. Additionally, they should only send out highly qualified technicians who are capable of ensuring that your system is installed correctly and that you know how to use it properly.