When purchasing home security systems, you need to decide if you want a system that provides 24/7 offsite monitoring, like what you'd get with a traditional or hybrid system.
Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision:
What Is Professional Monitoring?
Picture this: You have a security system in your home. You have installed window sensors, door sensors, motion-detecting security cameras, and environmental sensors. All these parts are connected to a control panel in your home. The control panel can send signals, often through your telephone line, to a central monitoring station.
If your home security system is set to “armed” on your control panel, the monitoring station’s access is activated. When a door or window is opened or a camera detects motion, your security system’s control panel sends a notification to the monitoring station.
The professional monitors then attempt to call you to confirm if the notification was a false alarm. Sometimes kids forget to disarm the system after school, for example.
If they can’t reach you by phone, it’s considered an emergency. Your monitoring service will contact the police and request they go to your home.
What Are the Benefits?
One benefit of professional monitoring is having a second set of eyes watching your home. Some home security systems also include environmental sensors, like smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. If the central monitoring station receives an alert a dangerous situation exists, it will immediately notify a nearby fire department.
Having professional monitoring offers around-the-clock alarm monitoring. This gives you peace of mind if you are at work, away on vacation, or in bed asleep in the event of something like a fire or a break-in.
If You Don’t Want Someone “Watching” You…
Some people feel a little funny about professional monitoring. In actuality, the only time you are “monitored” is if your security system is armed. Your indoor cameras don’t need to be “on” while you’re home; you can choose to disable them.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of professional monitoring, you may want to choose another solution. DIY (do-it-yourself) and some hybrid home security systems allow you to self-monitor your home using smartphone apps.
If an alarm is triggered, you are notified on your cellphone. You would then be responsible for contacting the police or fire department on your own.
Learn more about security systems here.