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Self-Monitoring Home Security Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages

Homeowners have plenty of options when it comes to security systems. They can choose hard-wired or wireless. They can also choose from a wide variety of security features such as video cameras, motion detectors and smoke and fire alarms. Now, they also have the choice of paying a monitoring company to monitor the system or choosing to self-monitor the security system.

Smartphones, tablets and laptops have made it easy and convenient for homeowners to self-monitor security systems. With self-monitoring, the security system notifies the homeowner either through e-mails or text alerts when the system detects a break-in or other problem such as fire or smoke. Feed from video cameras can also stream to the homeowner’s mobile device. The more features a system has, the more the homeowner can control and monitor. For example, with the right features, the homeowner can monitor and control lights, appliances and thermostats.

With today’s high-tech systems, homeowners are able to monitor their security systems just as well as a monitoring company. In addition, the homeowner can do it from wherever he is, whether at work or on vacation.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to monitoring your own security system.

Advantages of self-monitoring include the following:

  • Cost. Self-monitoring saves money. With self-monitoring the homeowner does not pay a monthly fee to a monitoring service. While the monthly fee of $10 or $20 may not seem like much at first, over a period of a year or several years, that monitoring fee starts to add up.
  • Control. With a self-monitored system, the homeowner is responsible for making the decision on whether or not to call for professional help such as police. This can save money in fines or other costs incurred when a monitoring service sends the police or fire department when it’s a false alarm.
  • More choices. There are many do-it yourself alarm systems that allow for self-monitoring available at a number of price points. Go online to find the system that suits your needs.

Disadvantages of self-monitoring include the following:

  • Unreliable. With a monitoring company, someone is monitoring your system 24/7. With a self-monitoring system, you are the monitor. There's a chance you may miss the call, text or e-mail alert from your security system notifying you of a problem at your house. In the case of burglary or fire, this could have devastating consequences.
  • Next steps. Once the security system has notified you of a problem, you’re left to decide what steps to take next. If you’re too far to get home quickly, you’re left deciding whether to not act, to call a friend or family member to check on the problem or notify authorities. However, in many cities and municipalities, police and fire departments may not come at all or at least not come as quickly if the homeowner reports a security breach as they will if monitoring system reports the problem.

To find out more about security systems that can be self-monitored, go online and compare features and prices.

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ADT Disclaimer:

$99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month ($1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Licenses: AL-15-1104, AK-35221, AZ-ROC217517, AR-2008-0014, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, DC-602513000006, GA-LVA205395, HI-CT30946, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL-127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, IA-AC-0036, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1082, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, ME-LM50017382, MD-107-1626, MA-1355C, MI-3601205773, MN-TS01807, MS-15007958, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 89767, MT-247, NE-14451, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NJ-34BF00021800, NM-353366, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Dept. of State UID#12000286189, #12000286451, NC-1622-CSA, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA22999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD-1025-7001-ET, TN-C1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VT-ES-2382, VA-115120, WA-602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WV-042433, WI-City of Milwaukee: PAS-0002640, WY-LV-G-21499. 3750 Priority Way South Dr. Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46240 ©2014 Defender Security

 

Vivint Disclaimer:

Activation Fee and 42-Month Monitoring Agreement at a minimum of $49.99/mo., home ownership, and satisfactory credit history required. Local permit fees and/or sales tax may apply. Services not available in all areas.

 

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