Are you currently trying to decide between a traditional or self-monitored alarm system? Self-monitored alarm systems are usually installed by a homeowner or renter and then monitored via smartphone or other mobile device. They are designed to send alerts through text messages, phone calls, or dedicated applications in the event that a suspicious event occurs. Self-monitored alarm systems tend to be fairly easy to install and extremely affordable, but there are also some drawbacks when compared to conventional monitoring.
1. You Can't Always Be Watching
One of the critical benefits to a traditional alarm monitoring service is that they are monitoring your home 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Most homeowners simply cannot monitor their home this often. When was the last time you turned off your phone for a movie? Or your phone went dead? Though you may check in on your property frequently, it's not likely that you can have your phone in your hand all the time.
2. You Have to Deal With Incidents On Your Own
Traditional security personnel are trained regarding the escalation of incidents at their customer's home. They can immediately direct police, fire, and other emergency services to your property when they detect issues. A self-monitored security system simply alerts you regarding triggered door sensors or movement within your home. After that, you'll have to figure out what steps to take, and you'll have to handle them quickly. This could range from trying to quickly call the fire department to trying to figure out whether it is a raccoon or a burglar on your porch.
3. You Won't Get Professional Maintenance or Installation
A traditional security system is installed by professionals and periodically inspected to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. If something does happen, such as an alarm malfunctioning, the alarm company will send someone out to service it -- with a self-monitored solution, you'll need to troubleshoot the device yourself. Further, an improperly maintained or incorrectly installed security system may not be working properly but may seem to be.
4. You May Not Get Insurance Discounts
Many insurance companies offer discounts for the installation of a security system, and these discounts can be significant enough to somewhat offset the price. Self-monitored alarm systems usually aren't factored into these discounts because they do not reduce the risk to the homeowner or resident significantly enough.
With all that in mind, self-monitored systems can be more affordable. Homeowners trying to decide between a traditional alarm system and a self-monitored security system may want to acquire quotes from their local monitoring service to determine whether the potential downsides are worth the savings.
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