The Choice is Endless
By CSI Security
Choosing the right alarm package for your home or business
Finding a company to install a security system in your home or business can be as easy as talking with homeowners in your neighbourhood and friends who may have a security system.
Take a look around your home or business and decide what you need before you ask for an estimate.
- Do you want alarms on your doors, windows, basement windows or other entries?
- Do you want to protect your inventory?
- Do you want to protect against water damage or flooding?
- Do you want motion sensors?
- Do you Video Surveillance?
Once you know what you want, choose three companies and talk with their representatives so you can compare their prices and their services to see which one best suits your needs.
Many security companies sell a residential package that includes a basic alarm control, a keypad, a couple of door contacts and a basic motion sensor. This package may or may not include an installation price, or it may be “no money down” with so much a month for a term that can be from 36 to 60 months.
As a consumer, you should understand this package is just that, basic; it is what some alarm companies use to get your business with the prospect of signing you to a monthly contract for a term. Anything above this basic package is considered an extra and you will have to pay for any extras up front.
Cost should not be the only factor that you consider when choosing a security system. You should check the reputation of the company with the local police and the Better Business Bureau. As a rule, a good security system will cost about 0.5 per cent the value of your home; for example, for a $300,000 home it will cost you about $1500.00 or more depending on your particular needs.
Things to remember when buying an alarm system
It costs money to have a good alarm technician, with a truck and tools to come to your house to install an alarm system. And the alarm company has to buy its parts from a supplier and make a profit when it sells the parts to you.
Here are some rules to remember when purchasing a security system:
- Always get at least three quotes. If you have a friend who has an alarm system, ask them about it. Would they recommend their company? Why or why not? A recommendation for a company says a lot.
- Compare your quotes. Look at the equipment and the number of devices to be installed. Have they offered you a true security system or just a basic system? Does it cover what you wanted or did the salesman say it was all you needed?
- Fire, Low Temperature, CO Detectors and Sump pumps are all extras that can be added to your alarm system. Do you need any of them? If so, how much will they cost and does the alarm company charge more to monitor them?
- Never be pressured into signing. Do not sign unless you feel comfortable with the price and terms you are offered.
- If you have pets, make sure the pets are not in an area where the motion sensor is, or get a pet type motion sensor.
- If you want to check the value of the equipment being installed, ask if they sell better quality equipment. If they do, how much more and what are the differences and why is not offered up front? Usually you cannot get the better equipment in a no-money-down package.
- Nothing in life is FREE and neither is a good quality security system.
Why a Dedicated Cellular Connection Matters
For your security system to reliably protect you in an emergency—a fire, a break-in, medical emergency—it's essential that you choose one with the most reliable technology for communicating with the outside world.
Cellular or Interactive Technology
The emergency signal that will save your hone or business will be transmitted over our dedicated cellular connection: a secure, wireless connection linking your security panel to our monitoring station.
Because it doesn't piggyback on your home or business broadband connection, it communicates reliably when you need it to—even if your phone line, cable, broadband, Wi-Fi and power are down.
Here's what makes a dedicated cellular connection or our interactive Technology an essential feature of a reliable security system.
- It's exclusive to your security system
The safety of your family or employees should never compete for bandwidth with entertainment and other services. CSI’s cellular connection is reserved solely for your security system to communicate with CSI’s monitoring station. It's not shared with other services and it doesn't depend on your home's networking and WiFi router.
- It can't be physically cut
The most sophisticated broadband or cable-connected security systems can be defeated in seconds on the outside of the home, using a pair of wire cutters. A cellular connection has no cable to cut. Should an intruder attack the security panel itself, CSI’s systems patented Crash and Smash technology will still signal our monitoring station for help.
- It works even when the power's out. Even if your home or business loses power, your CSI system will continue to communicate. Our security panels feature 24-hour battery backup so you'll stay secure until the electricity comes back on.
There are many types of motion sensors on the market today. Over the years, motion sensors have evolved enough to be able to protect any type of situation.
These devices have pulse counters, dual sensors, harsh environment settings, curtain motions, long range, short range and ceiling detectors to name a few; there are sensors for every application out there. Large and small corporations make use of these technologies; they realize that, when their premises need to be protected, there is a cost to do it right.
For most homeowners and businesses, it still comes down to price and they end up buying a basic alarm system that is prone to false alarms.
When you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for your home, business, or warehouse, though, you should buy a good alarm system that will effectively protect your investment without the nuisance associated with false alarms.
A motion sensor is something you should be prepared to spend some money on - spending a few dollars more for a good motion sensor will save you the cost of upgrading and service calls in the few short months after your installation.
Pet motion sensors are now available to protect a home that has pets, eliminating a problem that has existed for years.
A pet motion sensor looks at a view of pixels. As the sensor scans a room it has a view of, for example, 1000 pixels. Unless 200 pixels or more are broken at any one time, there are no alarms. Cats will most likely use about 20 to 30 when walking around and dogs will use 50 to 100; as long as they stay below the number provided, the sensor does not see the pet.
You should consider dual motion detectors from the beginning; they cost more, but you will have peace of mind with better equipment.
All motions should be installed and tested on site by a technician. They can take a few minutes to set up, but when installed properly you should have no worries.
Glass sensors have come a long way over the years. The original method used to protect glass was a conductive metallic tape or foil that was applied directly to the glass. If the glass were broken, the cracks would cause the foil to break.
While this was a reliable method of detecting glass breakage, it was labor intensive to install and prone to extensive service from scratches and breaks in the foil.
Today, most glass break sensors are acoustic devices that are visually attractive, less expensive to install and maintain and can be set to trip to only the sound of breaking glass. Newer models of quality glass sensors are less prone to false alarms.
Glass sensors do not actually sense glass breaking; they listen for a frequency of sound caused by the crash or crack associated with breaking glass. Therefore, it is important to have glass sensors installed by trained professionals.
The number one brand for this type of device is Sentrol that, when they are installed correctly, will give you the protection you need with no false alarms. However, glass sensors should not be installed in a room where there is normally a lot of noise, such as a kitchen.
The kitchen may be a good location for a glass sensor when you are not home. But if the system is on when you are home, any glass touching, breaking or clanging will set off the alarm. If you decide to install glass sensors in your kitchen, they should be activated only when you are away from the home or not in the room.