- On September 14, 2016
- In Alarm.com, Alarm.com Installation Australia, Alarm.com Monitoring Australia, Home Alarms, Home Automation, Home Security
- By Felicity Sweeney
What’s Better a Self-Monitored or Professionally Monitored Alarm?
Professionally monitored alarm or self-monitored alarm? The best place to start when making this kind of decision is understanding the differences.
What are the differences between self-monitored and professionally monitored alarm systems?
The most obvious difference is the fact that if your alarm is professionally monitored and the system is triggered, the signal from your alarm is sent to a monitoring centre where there are professionally trained operators ready to respond instantly. Armed with the skills to assess the situation and with military precision activate the procedures they have been trained in. For example, if the police are needed the trained operators know the correct protocol and procedure to get the process underway as soon as possible.
If you have a self-monitored alarm, the system will alert the home owner. As long as they have their phone on, not on vibrate, aren’t on a plane, or in a movie, or find themselves otherwise occupied, they receive and alert. Even in today’s society, where people are more contactable than ever before, there are still times when we are unavailable. Even if the home owner does receive the alert, usually via email, SMS message, or automated phone call, what do the they do with the information? Many people’s automatic reaction is to call a neighbour or family member if they’re away. The problem lies in the fact that you are potentially putting these people in danger. Not only that, they have no relationship with police or security patrols. The police tend to respond to calls from a well-known monitoring centre faster because the trained monitoring centre staff know when the police are necessary.
Is there are best of both worlds?
As people, we usually like to have our cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, that’s not really possible. It would be great to have all the benefits of a monitored alarm with none of the costs, but there isn’t a product on the market that can provide this. There are companies, such as Alarm.com, that offer both options. Saying this, the self-monitored option doesn’t come with an assurance that any alert will be immediately dealt with. It’s similar to taking out insurance, when an accident occurs you want to make sure that you are covered. The great thing with Alarm.com is that you always have the option to upgrade to a monitored system. Even better, you can integrate home automation into the whole package.
Although professionally monitored alarm services are ongoing, so are the benefits associated with it. First of all, you don’t need to worry that your phone has gone flat. Even in today’s world of smartphones and email, we are not contactable all the time. Nor should we be. Professional monitoring helps to alleviate some of the pressures of being constantly available. There are countless stories of people who have self-monitored alarms but have missed crucial alerts because they were sent to a phone that was flat or out of range. What if your home internet is down and your DIY alarm signal can’t connect? If the signal can’t connect no alerts will go out. With a professionally monitored alarm, the monitoring centre will regularly run tests to confirm there is no interruption with the signal. Some systems, especially those that communicate over a sim card like Alarm.com, can be programmed to run a test every day.
With a professionally monitored alarm you get the piece of mind that any systems triggered are going to go to the right place. You also get the peace of mind that someone is going to be there to receive it. With the alert going to a professional monitoring centre you get a 24 hour a day response, 365 days a year. Especially when you use a company with a Grade A1 Monitoring Centre, like Security Alarm Monitoring Service. Grade A1 is the highest possible standard for a monitoring centre in Australia. As such, Grade A1 Monitoring Centres have the most stringent rules, which include the most highly trained staff.
Always check that the installer you have chosen to install and monitor your alarm system uses a Grade A1 Monitoring Centre. Then you will know that you are in the best possible hands.
Talk to us about options.
By now, I’m sure, you are thoroughly convinced that a professionally monitored alarm system is the only way to go. While there are other options out there, professional monitoring is still the safest and best value you are going to get. If you are interested in a home alarm system, why not give us a call on 1300 252 767 and we can help you find a local installer.