Alarm Purchasing Guidelines

Are you considering a home or business alarm system? You may want to refer to the list below to help evaluate the business and products that best meet your needs.

  • Is the company a local business? If so, how long have they been operating in your area?
  • Is the company a member of any local business organization?
  • Does the company have a background check requirement for staff that may have access to your property?
  • Does the company offer 24-hour service in case of false alarms?
  • Will the company work with you to get reduced insurance premiums if you install one of their systems?
  • Is there a warranty or maintenance contract for the system?
  • Is the system electrically operated or battery operated? If electrical, does it switch automatically to battery power without activating the alarm in the event of a power failure?
  • If the alarm system is activated, will it automatically shut off after a reasonable alert period of time?
  • After the system is activated, will it automatically reset if triggered again?
  • If the control switch or box is exposed, will it activate the alert if triggered?
  • If it is a hardwire system (wires connecting to sensor to control to alert), are the wires protected from unnecessary exposure to the elements?
  • If it is a local system (audible to the immediate area), does it ring loud enough to attract the attention of your neighbors?
  • If the system is for a commercial premise, will the company have someone respond to assist the police?
  • Does the system have a time delay to activate and deactivate the alarm without setting off the alert?
  • If the system is monitored by a central station, it is a tape recording or live person? (In some municipalities, the call for assistance to the police cannot be made by a taped message.)

Remember, you can always check the local Consumer Affairs Office or Better Business Bureau to learn more!