Home Security Tips

5 Tips for Home Security
-written by Consumers Advocate

Maybe there’s been a recent uptick in home invasions in your neighborhood, or you just moved into a new home. In any case, it’s time to think about safety and home security. 

The first thing to consider is your home itself, since its size, type, and location will all determine what’s needed (and what’s actually possible). Some apartment complexes or condos will have strict rules about drilling into exterior walls, renters will likely have to follow their landlord’s specifications, and a two-story home will need different equipment than a 12th story studio, to name just a few examples. However, once you’ve figured out which security system is best for your needs, there are a few other considerations to look into.

  1. Do your research! We cannot emphasize enough the importance of being an informed consumer. It can mean the difference between paying too much for equipment or monitoring you don’t need, and finding the right for your circumstances. So make sure you understand the difference between self- and professional monitoring, what’s involved with DIY vs pro installation, and whether you truly need all the bells and whistles. This is a good place to jumpstart your research.

  2. Only get the equipment you need. Once you know exactly what each device is and what it does, it only makes sense to eliminate companies with packages that include a whole lot of extra stuff that doesn’t make sense for your home. For instance, if you live in that 12th-floor studio, you probably don’t need a glass break sensor on every window.

  3. Be prepared to answer questions — and combat upselling. Whenever you call a home security company, the representative is going to ask a series of questions about your home, so they can give you an accurate quote. They may also try to convince you to get equipment or other elements (like smart devices) that you may not really need. This goes back to our previous two points. If you’ve done your research, and know what makes sense for you, it’s likelier you won’t overpay.

  4. Get more than one quote (preferably three or more). This is advice that applies to every major decision, from home security to loans to insurance.

  5. Read the fine print! This may seem like obvious advice, but you’d be surprised by the number of complaints we find (for most industries) which are never resolved, simply because the consumer didn’t really read their contract. Make sure you know what a company’s cancellation policy is, whether you’re locked into a contract, what happens if you move, and every single fee that your system might include.

 

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