If you move into a new house equipped with a security system, you can use it as is or customize it to suit your needs.
If you want to use it the way it is, then simply use the same monitoring company, the previous owner used. This means sticking with the same equipment and the same pricing package.
However, if you want to customize it, that’s possible, too. If the system is made by Honeywell or General Electric, you don’t have to use the same monitoring company, but can choose another one if you like.
Assess the Situation
The first thing you should do before deciding whether or not to keep the same equipment and monitoring company is to check out the equipment. Is it still in good shape and does it have all the necessary features? If the home security system gives you the comprehensive protection you need and it’s backed by a reputable monitoring company, then there is no point in switching anything out. You’re all set. Just inform the monitoring company that you are the new homeowner and would like to work with them.
On the other hand, it may not be as good as you would like, in which case you should customize it to suit your needs.
How to Decide
If you’re not familiar with security systems, you may not know how to make the right decision.
In that case, here is an 8 step checklist of things to review:
- · Is the equipment modern and fully-functioning, or do you need a more upgraded version?
- · Does the monitoring company require a long contract period?
- · Is there a better package the monitoring company can offer you?
- · Are you working with a UL-Listed monitoring service? This means that it has an Alarm Service Certification established by UL in collaboration with the alarm industry, as well as with code authorities and user groups.
- · Are you getting 24/7 protection?
- · Does the company have a good reputation for providing excellent support?
- · Is all the equipment and support fully compatible?
- · Does the company offer a return if you’re not satisfied?
Features of a Good Security System
The technology for home security systems continues to evolve over time.
Here are some of the basics you should have in place:
- A control panel that operates as the security system’s primary hub.
- Motion sensors to detect when someone enters your home.
- Sensors for doors and windows.
- Electric door locks for all the doors.
- Signage (yard signs, as well as window stickers).
These are the basics, but there are many more security systems you can put into place. For instance, you can also monitor your home from your smartphone or tablet, get cameras that can remotely pan and zoom in on a room, get tamper resistant sensors or pet sensitive sensors, and so on.
Activating Your Existing Alarms
Assuming that you’ve got it all sorted out. How do you activate your existing alarm system?
Here are the steps to take.
- You and your family should have your own unique password because you aren’t using the same security code, but have changed it.
- If there are batteries in any of the components, change them all, so that you have fresh, new batteries. Don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, too.
- Inform the monitoring company that you are now ready for activation. You want to run a full-test with them to make sure that everything is working properly.
- Make sure you have enough window stickers and yard signs to deter anyone from even trying to trigger off your alarm system.
- Get a city permit for home alarms if it’s necessary, and call your home insurer to check to see if you qualify for a discount.
Benefits of a Home Security System
Home security systems do much more than just protect your house from intruders, they can also monitor your home for natural disasters or environmental hazards like fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, or flooding. In addition, if there is a disabled or elderly family member, you can get an emergency alert system if they should fall.