In recent years we have seen technology improvement leaps and cost reductions in do-it-yourself (DIY) cameras and security systems. This has contributed to the rising popularity of residential alarms and monitoring. An Angie’s List essay says half of home owners surveyed claimed they want to install a monitored security system.
Some property owners hope to save money with low-cost alarm/monitoring solutions and services. These buyers are going to relatively cheap providers (as opposed to the more traditional national or regional companies) as a Forbes article notes. Other owners are even winging it alone with self-monitored systems.
Both of these groups of consumers may be making a huge mistake.
Facing the DIY Camera/Alarm Headache
Now consider the traditional professional provider/installer. The buyer has the benefit of a company that stands by the products, can maintain them, provides the related monitoring services, and so on. Deploying a top grade system is complex. It involves making hardware connections that must be tight and sound, installing wiring and sensors, and ensuring that all devices are installed in the proper locations to be most effective.
A professional installer can be expected to do these deployments successfully, day in and day out. Additionally, the software and hardware that traditional alarm pros rely on will be professional grade, with the latest in security features, and with top warranties.
Don’t forget, hackers looking to burglarize a house or property will also be professionals who operate daily. They may be highly skilled at internet-based surveillance and detection, and can hack into or otherwise defeat your system. The Forbes writer demonstrates how a popular wireless-based alarm can be hacked by a 25-cent magnet and Scotch tape.
Talk to the Security Pros
Think about the downside of a low-cost or DIY installation glitch. As an amateur installer, how will you know you have a robust and crook-proof system? Success requires the right mix of motion and other sensors as well as cameras, all properly placed and tested. You will most likely have lower grade cameras, very limited service and support, and the like.
If you do have a powerful system, how will you maintain it? Do you want to spend the time, effort and cash regularly upgrading or fixing your alarm and monitoring solution? Will you be able to integrate different sensing devices and connect them with monitoring services and first responders?
If something goes wrong with these solutions, then the homeowner may discover he or she may have lost more than any cash they saved upfront. All it takes is one glitch to let a thief gain entry to your valuables, or a fire in the basement go undetected, and you could be facing a highly avoidable financial catastrophe, or worse.
As the Forbes writer puts it: “There are no free lunches in the alarm business and you get what you pay for.”
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