There are more security system options on the market today than every before. From DIY to self-monitored systems offered by the cable company and many others, consumers have more options than ever before. We’re thrilled to see these new technologies enter the security marketplace, because now there’s a system out there for nearly any budget or need. There are also some systems that can be moved from one property to the next, which is great for renters. However, there are some disadvantages to these system, and not one of the DIY or cookie cutter packages can truly replicate all the advantages that come with a custom security system.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the advantages and disadvantages to pre-packaged security systems, as compared to custom home security systems.
Advantages of Pre-Packaged Security Systems
The single greatest advantage of the pre-packaged security systems offered by DIY companies, cable companies, or national chain companies, like ADT, is the price. You can purchase a DIY kit from Costco or Lowe’s and install it yourself, and most are pretty easy to install. Some include monitoring, and some don’t. If you go with an option like this, we highly encourage you to pick a system that includes monitoring.
Pre-Packaged Alarm Systems Are Perfect for Renters
Renters can greatly benefit from a DIY system that can travel with them from home to home. Someone moving into their first house may not have the budget to get a comprehensive, custom security system, and a pre-packaged option will provide more protection than not having a system. After all, just having alarm signs or beware of dog signs posted around your home has been proven to have deterring effects on burglars.
Disadvantages of Pre-Packaged Home Security Systems
The single most important disadvantage of a pre-packaged system is the fact that your family and home may not be as protected as you hope. Don’t give yourself a false sense of security about how well these systems work. Does the system include Carbon Monoxide monitoring? Some of the DIY systems don’t provide adequate fire detection, and many don’t offer monitoring. Few of the systems that do provide monitoring fail to offer any kind of back up communication options. It’s highly possible that an out-of-the-box system is going to be missing a crucial element needed for the protection of your unique home, and you’re probably not going to be aware that something’s missing.
Pre-Packaged Systems often Don’t Include Trained Professionals
The other important thing to consider is the human element. Many of the national chains use relatively unknown sub-contractors to install their systems, who may or may not have proper training, licenses, and clean backgrounds. Secondly, much of the equipment is proprietary, which means you can’t switch companies without buying all new equipment. Thirdly, some of these companies have reputations for trapping customers in expensive, long-term contracts that come with huge disconnection fees, while others are involved in class action lawsuits for questionable sales practices.
Benefits of Custom Home Security
Nothing can replace having a trained professional evaluate the overall security of your home and recommend solutions designed to fit your specific need and budget. Installing a custom home security system will give you peace of mind that you really can’t get with a pre-packaged or DIY alarm system. Custom home security systems are monitored by a central alarm station, and the ones installed by Butler Durrell have backup methods of communicating with the monitor station. Having a backup limits vulnerablities to cut phone lines or cellular transmission jammers, or some other unforeseen scenarios.
Professional Alarm Technicians
Trained professionals are more likely to see weaknesses that you might overlook. A basement window, a side porch entrance, a low roof that invites burglars to an easily accessed second story window, or any number of others things might leave your home vulnerable. Custom installers that actually live and work in the St. Louis area know what neighborhoods might need a little extra protection. Working with a custom alarm installer will better protect your home than the pre-packaged options available offered by the DIY companies, cable companies, or the big national retail chains.
If you have a home that you want to protect, we recommend exploring all your options and picking the system that best fits your needs and budget. Contact us if you’d like recommendations about how to best protect your home and family from fire, theft, carbon monoxide, water damage, or other threats.