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Common Questions Security Companies Receive

August 5, 2014
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Consumers purchasing a home security system for the first time often have many questions. So to help alleviate some of the ambiguity that we often face, here are five of the most common questions new clients ask home alarm companies in Santa Monica—and their answers!

How does an alarm system work?

Residential security systems generally comprise of three core aspects: the control panel, a series of sensors and monitoring service. The control panel is essentially the heart of the system. It is the central access point for the user, and it manages all sensor activity, alerts and alarms. The sensors are the devices placed throughout the home that sense unusual activity, and monitoring service ensures that all alarms are responded to appropriately regardless of the circumstances or time of day or night.

What is “crash-and-smash” and are modern alarm systems susceptible to it?

A “crash and smash” is when a burglar enters the home and smashes the control panel, thereby disabling it. Some systems are still susceptible to this technique, which is one reason why monitoring is so essential. When an alarm system is monitored, the call station expects the system to maintain contact in a specific manner. If that communication channel is broken, then the call center knows that the system is no longer operating properly.

What happens when I lose power or the Internet?

Most systems either use local battery power primarily or have local battery power available in case of an outage. If the system uses a telephone or a network connection to contact a call station or police department, then the system will generally have a built-in radio that allows it to connect via a cellular network just like a smartphone or other mobile devices do.

Are wireless security components actually better?

The proper security component for a particular job depends entirely on the environment, the circumstances and the objective. With that said, wireless security components generally are superior to wired version for a number of reasons. An important reason is that they are much easier to install, which not only softens the installation cost but also makes it much easier to alter, upgrade, and move the security system as the needs of the family change.

Do I require monitoring and is it expensive?

Few residential security systems demand monitoring, and most security companies will install their hardware without requiring you to commit to monitoring. Monitoring, however, is very important for the reasons stated above and for other reasons. Imagine a home invasion, a fire or a CO2 event where the family was incapacitated and unable to react to the alarm. What then? What if the neighbors do not hear the alarm and respond? With a monitored system you get the security that the call center will recognize the alarm, confirm the danger, and dispatch the appropriate local authorities.

Does a home security lower insurance rates?

Generally speaking, having a security system does lower insurance rates but you should contact your insurance company to learn the specific details. If you determine that there is no discount available, then you may want to consider shopping around for other insurance companies. In most cases, you should be able to lower your rates by several hundred dollars a year.