8 Questions to Ask Your Home Security Provider

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated October 25, 2021
A homeowner discussing with a security provider
SDI Productions/E+ via Getty Images

Choosing a home security system can be daunting, but these questions help demystify the process

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A home security system helps to ensure your home is protected both when you’re hanging out there and when you’re away. So when it comes to choosing a local home security system company, you’ll want to ask these eight questions first. This way, you can have some peace of mind knowing there’s an entire company backing you up when you need it the most.

1. How Long Has the Company Been in Business?

One of the first questions you should ask is about the home security system company’s history. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean a new provider should be out of the question, but it does create an extra sense of security when a company has been operating for several years.

Years of operation also correlate with more people having the system and can lead to more reviews and references. Reviews often speak louder than advertisements but do keep in mind that peoples’ experiences can vary.

2. Who Will Install the Security System?

While you’re talking to someone who handles sales, you’ll want to ask who will be installing the security system. Ideally, they’ll have an in-house team that handles the installation, and the company will maintain liability the entire time.

If the business contracts someone out to do the installation, request that the salesperson be present during the installation process. This way, they can check that everything is in working order and that there was no miscommunication between the contractor and the home security company.

3. What’s the Average Response Time for Alarm Triggers?

Close-up of an automated security system
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One of the most important questions is about the typical response time once the alarm is triggered. Typically, the alarm has to hit a certain time before it’s considered a trigger. This way, you can avoid accidentally setting it off yourself. The average time that an alarm allows before being triggered is around 60 seconds.

Once the time is up, the company should call to contact you while also sending authorities to the home. Home security systems are often considered a high-priority call, so officials tend to arrive pretty quickly. However, the response time from authorities is out of the hands of the business itself, so do keep an open mind.

4. How Often Is the Home Security System Tested?

While it’s important to monitor your home security system after installation, you should also routinely get the system checked. The company you choose should run checks on their end every month or so to ensure everything is in working order.

If you want to test the system yourself, make sure you call your provider ahead of time. This way, you don’t accidentally trigger the alarm and have the authorities sent out.

5. Does Your Security System Come with Additional Features?

The exterior of a contemporary suburban house
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Many companies are upgrading to the 21st century and offering additional features that increase safety while also increasing usability. Be sure to ask about any additional features they recommend and their costs. Items that are often tacked on include:

  • Cameras

  • Remote monitoring from a smartphone

  • Remote disabling from a smartphone

  • Detailed information in a notification

6. Is the Company Licensed and Certified?

A licensed home security system company will have the credentials to prove they’re operating within the law. These licenses will vary from city to city, so once you have the license number, call your local municipality to double-check.

Also, check that the company is certified by a national organization. This third party backs up the claim that the provider is trustworthy and meets the association’s standards.

7. How Does the Company Handle Damaged Equipment?

Electrical components can fail, even when they’re coming from the best company possible. Ask your company how they handle damaged equipment, what’s covered under their insurance, and what you would have to pay.

Always ask for a written guarantee on any claims they make, such as how long the system should last and what they would cover when it comes to damages.

8. Can the Company Provide Proof of Security Installation?

Adding in a home security system is a great way to increase the safety of your home. By getting a proof of installation letter, you’ll be able to send it off to your home insurance company. This letter may net you a discount, but it’s mainly to show that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your home.

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