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10 things to consider before buying a wireless security system

Published: May 12, 2014 at 12:10 UTC
10 things to consider before buying a wireless security system

You have made the decision to secure your property with a wireless security system. Rather than jumping right in to purchase the first offer that crosses your path, you need to do some homework to ensure that the system that you select is the right one for you. As you can imagine, home security does not come as a one-fits-all solution right out of the box; the options that meet your neighbor’s requirements may not be suitable for your family’s needs. With this in mind, we have collated for you the top 10 things to consider before buying a wireless security system for your home.

1. Reviews of systems and providers

You want to make sure that you are purchasing a reliable system from a reputable provider. Take some time to explore the names of the systems and providers that you have uncovered in your initial search. You can do this online by typing the name of a particular brand followed by the word “review”, or you can simply investigate generally by wireless security systems for recommendations and feedback from current customers. By doing this, you will receive an overall picture of which companies are worthy of consideration and which suppliers and systems to avoid.

2. Customer service standards of providers

When you have narrowed your search to just a few companies, you can reduce this number even further by comparing their responsiveness to your enquiries. Regardless of how effective you rate your alarm system, it is of little comfort if you have an issue and your security provider is unreceptive or unreachable. Begin by testing their knowledge and professionalism with a phone call, and trial their contact details by sending them queries across email and through their website contact form. If you receive a reply that is days later or a general, automated answer, then think twice about dealing with that company. Where possible, take some time also to visit their showroom or factory for a first-hand view of how they operate and their approach to you as a non-committed prospect.

3. Contract guarantee

An important consideration for new wireless security purchases is the contract stipulations and the guarantee that comes with the product. If there is a technical problem or fault, are you entitled to free IT support? Be careful to know your contract’s fine print so that you are not surprised by additional charges or ‘gotchas’. Likewise, is there a trial period in which you can test the system and return it if it is not to your liking or if you change your mind? You do not want to be stuck with a system that is not up to the expectations that you had when you purchased it. You also need to ascertain the company’s position on the validity of the deal if you relocate and take the system with you to install at a different property.

4. Cost considerations

Many people fail to do their sums before installing their wireless security system, and then find themselves in a budget bind for not taking more care about their costs. A wireless system has plenty of options and features beginning from basic upwards to that with all of the trimmings. It can provide the most cost-effective form of protection for your home, but it requires you to be fully aware of the cost of available inclusions and after-installation upgrades. We wrote earlier about the potential home insurance discounts (you can read more here), so make sure you contact your insurance company in advance who may be more than willing to provide you significant insurance discounts and rebates for installing a wireless system in the home. You may be able to use these rebates as a buffer for additional inclusions in your wireless package.

5. Wireless security inclusions

When you purchase your wireless security system, you will want to determine if you need more than just the standard package. Take an assessment of your home so that you know how many door and window breach sensors you require, and if you need extra protection in the form of motion sensors, intercom systems and video monitors. You can investigate the practicalities of having medical alert, child safety door sensors, flooding, smoke and fire detection, child safety door sensors and pet-immune systems to prevent the triggering of false movement alarms. In short, examine all aspects of your requirements to save yourself time and money adding features at a later date.

6. Location location

It is important that you identify the areas of your home that have the strongest signal availability. This is to ensure that the control panel is able to communicate with the installed sensors without losing connection. You need this in order to guarantee that there is no delay when the alarm needs to be activated. You also need to prevent interference with the alarm from other appliances and instruments within the house.

7. Batteries

Your wireless security system will continue to operate during power outages because it accesses its charge functionality from battery power. You will need to remember this so that you can set yourself a regular schedule to check the power. If this is not something that will work for you, then you can obtain battery back-up options that will signal you when the battery power is running low and requires attention. You can opt for the system to advise you via email or text message. Some companies may offer battery warranties with your system, particularly if you have paid additional for a battery that offers permanent backup power.

8. Installation

Find out if the system requires professional installation or if you can connect all parts of it yourself. In any case, you want to ensure that the system you purchase comes equipped with all applications to prevent constant adding of features to a unit that is already installed. If you are installing the system yourself, you can do so without the need for great skill, as most systems are created for the do-it-yourself home owner with little technical expertise.

9. Monitoring

Most wireless services provide or recommend the option to have your home professionally monitored. This will generally entail round-the-clock observation and deployment of emergency personnel if an alarm is triggered. You can however monitor the system yourself from your mobile device by tapping into the wireless system’s cellular signals, or you can employ both options for added piece of mind. As long as you have cellular service, you can connect your cellphone to the wireless security from which you can then alarm your system remotely, adjust your thermostat, and even lock doors and control the lights.

10. Home consultation

Rather than trying to figure out the security details by yourself, request an obligation-free home visit from a specialist wireless alarm provider to run through the details with you. Obtain professional advice about the most cost-effective solution for the layout of your house, and ask for a cost-free quote that covers all of the required considerations. A serious wireless security company would incorporate this service as a genuine part of their business.

Conclusion

Now that you have a list of our best 10 things to consider before buying a wireless security system, you are well equipped to further undertake your own investigations into which package and company has the right features and options for you (You can start by going to our side by side feature comparison table). Remember not to take the first offer that you receive, and be sure to ascertain which service provider is genuinely interested in helping you to secure your home.

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