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Alarm Installation:  DIY vs. Licensed Professional Installation

Professional Licensed Installers

The installation of security alarms that are connected to a central monitoring station and/ or involve electrical wiring can only be done by professional, licensed installers.  Many central stations will not allow any security professionals besides their own trained and authorized dealers to install and set up their equipment.  This means that if you reside in a location that is remote or located far away from any authorized dealers, your selection of security systems will be limited.  Because larger companies, like Honeywell and ADT, are competitive and want your business, their licensed dealers will sometimes travel a substantial distance to provide you with their services, which entail signing a contract for monitoring services, however this is not always the case.  Even if they do accommodate you by setting up the system, if timely maintenance and monitoring is not guaranteed by the same authorized dealer, then the system might be classified as sub-standard and/ or not certified.

Local Security Companies

Even though not all companies extend their coverage and services into every area of the country, you can usually find a few to choose from wherever you’re located - particularly if you’re interested in innovative wireless or web-based products, which you can install yourself.   Local governments have preferred security providers for two reasons: 1. In an effort to reduce false alarm dispatches, they work with product testing and safety organizations to manufacture and promote security systems that comply with false alarm reduction standards and 2.  They partner with local insurance companies who offer discounts to homeowners who demonstrate a genuine effort to secure their home, assets and personal property.  It’s always a good idea to contact your local law enforcement agency or alarm association to see what products they prefer and which companies they partner with.  Your local alarm association will also have a list of licensed security professionals who are local.  

DIY Installation

Many innovative solutions are on the market that allow consumers to skip the third party central station monitoring provider and conduct the monitoring themselves.  This means that you don’t have to sign a service agreement; in addition, installing the system can be done by anyone and is often as simple as logging into an Internet application.  Some wireless systems come with their own software, which once installed, uses Broadband or VoIP technologies to transmit the alarm signal directly to your Smartphone or email inbox.  Some companies provide web-based software that you can use anytime and anywhere to activate and control your security system.  With these remote services, you can provide access, view real-time video footage, control your thermostat or virtually any other electrical devices.

Redundant Monitoring

Some web-based DIY systems allow for  redundant monitoring, so that when an alarm is tripped, the signal will be sent to a central monitoring station as well as to you.  You can customize features like who will be responsible for contacting the authorities to dispatch help to the residence and how many contacts will be attempted before help is dispatched (to protect against false alarms).