Today’s home security systems come with lots of various add-ons and smart integrations like key fobs, motion sensors, cameras, and in-app controls. One thing that people consider far less, however, is whether they should have professional monitoring or DIY monitoring. While professional monitoring yields a monthly fee on top of a home security plan, it may be the best option for many. It seems counterintuitive to recommend another fee for something that is hopefully never used, but the best home security systems all have this feature as a part of their plan.
Professional monitoring vs. DIY monitoring
All home security systems come with some type of monitoring system past the initial equipment setup. When a motion detector is triggered, for example, it will sound an incredibly loud siren and a push notification to your phone.
The difference between DIY monitoring and professional monitoring is that with DIY or self-monitoring, that notification or alarm goes straight to your phone without any human interaction. That means it is your responsibility to respond to it. If you are not around to hear the siren and you don’t see your phone, you will not be able to help.
With professional monitoring, you will have around-the-clock human staff that will be notified each time your security system is set off. While you could also get another type of text or push notification for DIY monitoring, professional monitoring means that the alarm company’s employees are providing a valuable service by helping to keep you and your home safe.
What to do when going pro
It is best to go with a DIY home security system like Ring or SimpliSafe when going pro. Customizable security systems like these allow you to choose which parts of the system and pieces of equipment you want to be professionally monitored. For example, if you are worried about only a few doors or windows, you can only pick those sensors to be monitored. Similarly, if you aren’t worried about break-ins but want to have peace of mind regarding catastrophes while you are away, you may opt to monitor smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but no door or window sensors.
Why people go pro
If you end up choosing to go with a professional monitoring service as part of your plan, you will have to pay a monthly fee. You can expect that fee to be around $30-$50/month, depending on the service and your region. That may seem like an unnecessary expense, but there are two big reasons why it’s worth it: 24/7 human monitoring and insurance discounts.
When you get professional monitoring, you can feel comfortable knowing that a trained professional is working to keep you and your home safe. That person will likely be able to call the police or fire department if necessary, or they may simply be able to deactivate the alarm (and notify you) before any potential threats notice it.
As an additional plus, many of these services also partner with local police departments and fire stations in an effort to keep their clients, their employees, and law enforcement safe. By signing up for a professional monitoring service, you may gain access to discounts on home insurance premiums as well.
To conclude, if you would like to be completely secure with your home security, professional monitoring is likely the best option for you. While it can come with a monthly fee, it puts your mind at ease and gives you the ability to choose which parts of your system are monitored, as well as access to discounts on insurance premiums.
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