Installing a home burglar alarm system is no longer considered a luxury item in many locations. As the need for increased security around the house has become common, many people are taking steps to identify systems that will work for their particular needs. However, not just any system will do. Here are some tips to help choose the right home burglar alarm for your family.
Identify several companies in your area that sell and install home alarm systems. Contact each one and verify they are certified. Make sure to obtain proof of the certification. If a vendor balks at providing proof of certification, cross that vendor off your list.
Verify that the remaining companies on your list have valid local and state licenses. This can usually be accomplished by contacting the local probate office. If any of the service providers on your list lack a local or state license, remove them for your list of potential vendors.
Clear the remaining vendors through consumer agencies like the Better Business Bureau. The idea is to confirm that in the event of a consumer complaint, the company takes reasonable steps to resolve the issue. Issues outstanding for a significant amount of time indicate the company may not stand behind its work or products.
Contact each vendor on your reduced list and arrange for them to conduct an on-site inspection and submit a quote for the purchase and installation of a system. Make sure each quote is presented to you in writing and signed by a representative of the company. You also want the quote broken down into components and service options included in the purchase price and monthly service.
Compare the quotes received by each company. Weed out the quotes featuring a higher cost while offering no additional security features. Focus on two or three vendors who offer everything you need, have reasonable monthly terms, and have the equipment on hand to do the installation in the near future.
Solicit references from others that have utilized each company remaining on your list. The companies themselves are usually willing to provide the names of a few clients who are open to giving a reference. Contact those references, but also ask questions of neighbors and friends. There is a good chance they either have done business with one of the three companies, or know someone who has.
Narrow your list to two potential vendors and contact each of them to see if they will offer you a discount on the quoted price. If they know you are seriously considering a major competitor, you may be offered some type of discount on the alarm system or the installation charges. Once you have the most favorable quote in terms of services and price, make a commitment and arrange for the installation of your new alarm system.
Pay attention to how much time each representative takes to inspect your home, and what type of questions he or she asks. This is an indication that the representative is vested in matching you with the right type of burglar alarm system and not just looking to make a quick sale.
Finally, don't do business with vendors who lack certification or the proper operating licenses. If the system does not function as promised or if the level of service provided is below par, it is much harder to legally pursue the uncertified or unlicensed vendor.