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Five Steps to Simple Home Security

A sign reading "Simplify"

We’ve spent time in several of our posts discussing the latest innovations in home security technology. However, many potential alarm customers find all of this new technology overwhelming. Some homeowners do find the newest and flashiest technology the most intuitive and easy to use. For others, installing devices with all the bells and whistles just leads to more chances to make a mistake. We touched on this topic in our post Tackling Ten Common Home Security Myths. Lately, alarm commercials have done a good job highlighting technological advances within the industry. This can make those more “tech-averse” homeowners wary of installing home security. In this post, we share some tips to finding simple home security equipment that does not intimidate users.

We will begin by discussing how to effectively shop for an alarm system. Many alarm companies, including our own, give potential customers hands-on alarm trials. This can help you choose the most comfortable security system for you. From there, we will discuss how professional installation can cut down on headaches down the road.  We will also detail how having your alarm system monitored can help you quickly address any issues with your alarm. Your central station can act as a safety net, quickly alerting you to any alarm issues. Finally, we will also look at adding key fob or smartphone-based alarm control. Both of these options can greatly simplify alarm use. Let’s begin by examining how to find the alarm system that suits you best!

A QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 Alarm System

The QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 offers cutting edge security and technology, as well as a sleek design and intuitive user interface.

Choose a Security System That Works Best for You

Just as with most technology-driven products, security systems provide a variety of models and user experiences. Additionally, different people find different types of security system technology comfortable for use in their homes. For example, many people find the QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 with its touchscreen-based interface (pictured) intuitive to use. However, some homeowners prefer to not have a touchscreen keypad. We also offer more traditional security systems that feature old-school keypad technology instead.

When we meet with homeowners, we often bring an alarm keypad or two with us to demonstrate different alarm options. After all, we want to make sure customers feel comfortable with the equipment we install in their homes. If you are in the market for home security, ask the companies you contact if you can try out the different alarm systems they offer. Having this experience will ensure you feel comfortable with your alarm system even before installation. Of course, you also want to feel comfortable with the company that installs your home security as well as with the alarm itself. Now, let’s take a look at choosing a security company that will improve your overall home security system experience.

Have the Right Security Company Install Your Alarm System

As with many services, your experience with your security provider makes as much of a difference as your experience with the product itself. Therefore, choosing a security company that provides a good fit will make you feel more comfortable and secure with your new alarm system. Make sure to research the companies that you call and ask them the right questions. For example, a dependable security company should have someone available for support at all times. The ability to talk to a real person to sort out potential alarm issues adds both security and peace of mind.

Additionally, make sure you know what you are signing up for when choosing a security provider. Will your new alarm company look to tie you into a long-term monitoring contract? Sometimes, these long-term commitments can lead to issues when customers end up moving. Furthermore, we encourage alarm shoppers to ask companies if they subcontract repair services. Occasionally, this leads to delays in service calls as well as confusion due to “too many cooks in the kitchen” if multiple companies end up working on one alarm. For more information on choosing the right security company, check out our 6 Important Questions to Ask Security System Providers. Now, let’s look at how the right monitoring service can make your alarm system experience as simple as possible.

Take Advantage of Available Security Monitoring Options

For a variety of reasons, we always recommend that our customers have their security systems monitored. For starters, connecting your alarm to our central station will create a police or fire department dispatch if needed. Additionally, this service keeps you up to date with any issues that your alarm may experience in your absence. This allows you to address any issues right away, saving the headache of returning to a beeping or disabled alarm system and wondering what went wrong.

Call center employees taking calls.

A professionally monitored security system ensures that help is only a phone call away — and that someone will always be there to make that call. CC Image courtesy of Diana Verisova on Wikimedia Commons. Used under the CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

Of course, you will want to know immediately if your alarm detects a burglary or fire emergency. Additionally, taking advantage of our central station monitoring also allows you to receive other important notices. For example, monitored alarm customers often add environmental sensors that detect extreme temperatures or basement flooding. You may also wish to receive a phone call if the security system itself needs attention, such as when your power goes out or one of your sensors stops communicating with the alarm panel.

In the past, homeowners required traditional phone lines to monitor their alarm systems. However, we now offer cellular dialers that monitor your security system through cell towers, rather than a phone line. Our customers who do have phone lines still often install these dialers in case their phones go down. Burglars often cut a home’s phone lines before breaking in as a precaution against monitored security systems. Installing a cellular dialer will ensure that your alarm still sends a signal if this happens to you. We suggest reading our post answering the question “Should I Have My Security System Monitored?” for more information on adding this security. Now, let’s look at simplifying home security by controlling your alarm system without using your keypad.

Explore Options for Code-Free Security System Controls

Many new alarm customers ask us how to operate their alarms by pressing “as few buttons as possible.” Especially right after installation, new alarm users want to minimize their chances of making a mistake. We offer multiple ways to accomplish this feat. In this section, we will discuss how our alarm customers can operate their security system without having to use their keypads at all. Now, let’s look at how remote key fobs can simplify home security system use.

Key fobs for Arming, Disarming, and Panic Security

People find key fob technology simple for a couple reasons. First and foremost, key fobs usually only contain a couple of well-labeled buttons. Alarm customers can use the “lock” and “unlock” buttons on the pictured fob to arm and disarm their security systems, respectively. Additionally, holding down both buttons at the same time creates a panic button response, which activates the alarm’s sirens and causes the central station to notify the police of a potential emergency situation. Furthermore, most car owners use a similar key fob to lock and unlock their cars. This familiarity helps makes key fob arming and disarming an easy way to break in a new alarm system.

A DSC 2-Button Key fob

Alarm key fobs, such as this one by DSC, gives alarm users a simple means of controlling their security system.

In addition to creating more simplicity, key fobs also help add security. After all, allowing house sitters to borrow a key fob often proves a better option than providing an alarm code. Upon returning the fob, these individuals can no longer disarm your security system. The same cannot be said of alarm codes, which homeowners often find difficult to keep track of and delete after the codes should no longer be used. In addition to key fobs, many alarm users control their security systems with their smartphones. Let’s take a look at this modern security feature next.

Utilizing Interactive Cell Monitoring for Ease of Use

As we discussed earlier, cellular monitoring provides even customers without landlines reliable alarm monitoring. Some cellular dialers, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, provide users interactive cellular monitoring. This unique monitoring service allows users to turn their alarm systems on and off with their smartphones. Smartphone technology is so prevalent that homeowners of all ages often feel comfortable using them. Every one of our interactive cellular dialer customers can use the free Alarm.com app to control their alarm system. Furthermore, they can grant this same control to anyone they wish to have it. This allows workers or family members and close friends to use their phones to control the alarm system as well.

Installing our interactive cellular dialer also provides other unique benefits. For example, the Alarm.com app allows users to activate a panic response from their cell phones. Alarm.com users can also set up customized security alerts to keep them informed of any security system activity. This means that events such as alarm activations, low system sensor batteries, and users arming our disarming your security system will send you instant alerts if you elect to receive them. The extra security, convenience, and simplicity provided by this service make it increasingly popular with our customers.

Creating the Most Simple Home Security Experience Possible

We hope that this post has given you some ideas for creating a simple home security experience. The importance of home security is impossible to overstate. Unfortunately, many homeowners shy away from installing an alarm system due to fear. If you do have any questions about the material in this post, we encourage you to contact us. We provide free site surveys for homeowners. While on site, we can explain to you the differences between different types of alarm systems. Additionally, we can provide hands-on experience with our preferred security system models. Together, we can help you design a security system that gives you as much security and as simple a user experience as possible.

 

Feature Photo Credit: Paul L Dineen on flickr. Used under the CC BY 2.0 License.