The home security industry has offered a simple two-part package to consumers for many years. This timeless combo consists of the equipment to monitor your property and 24/7 professional monitoring. The equipment is typically a one-time upfront expense, which can range anywhere from budget-friendly to scary expensive. Most consumers quickly forget this expense regardless of the price tag on the equipment. On the other hand, the monitoring expense often proves to be a thorn in the side of many consumers. Some consumers are simply morally opposed to the monthly charge. Others simply fail to comprehend the value of a professionally monitored system. This may lead one to wonder, will my home alarm work without professional monitoring? If you’re thinking about doing the same, you best stop whatever you’re doing and continue reading about how this could be one of the worst decisions you could possibly make.
Why Do Customers Stop Paying for Monitoring?
It is a common practice in the home security industry to attract prospective customers with jaw-dropping low up-front costs (E.g. equipment and installation). However, the thrifty spirit dissipates the moment monitoring comes up. Most minds would conclude that security companies make their money through the monthly monitoring charges, which is true to a point. However, the monitoring component of each home security package is without question more valuable than the hardware.
Take Ring and their three-tiered Protect Plan lineup for example. The three tiers – free, Basic and Plus – cost $0, $3 and $10 respectably per month. All of the plans, even the free option, feature the same hardware. The $3 price tag on the Basic plan seems to account for the ability to record and review every event captured via the devices. The big price hike from the $3 Basic to the $10 Plus plan is justified by the addition of an extended warranty, a 10% discount on equipment, and – yes, you guessed right – professional monitoring!
If the dollars and cents approach doesn’t do it for you, let’s try this viewpoint on for size. In many cases, when customers call to cancel the service, the home security company has no interest in removing or recovering the equipment. However, customers are also told that they cannot use the equipment without monitoring. Once the service is canceled, the home security equipment often displays an error message. In some cases, the keypad may beep every 30 seconds or every minute. In order to stop this beeping, customers often have to unplug the panel and remove the batteries.
Will Home Alarm Work Without Monitoring?
Depending on the company, a home alarm may continue to work without monitoring. Customers who cancel their monitoring service can try resetting their home security equipment. They may find that their home security system is still mostly functional. However, even if the equipment is in perfect working condition, what purpose does it serve when the house is empty and your self-monitoring approach is hundreds of miles away?
Without professional monitoring the following scenarios could become very real, very fast:
- the police will not be called if the alarm system goes off;
- the fire department will not be notified when your connected smoke alarm detects the heat radiating from your ancient electrical wiring in the cedar closet; and
- you’ll have no idea that your sump pump has failed and a torrential rainstorm is now turning your basement into a swimming pool.
If you can live without this feature, you may find it more advantageous to stop paying the monthly fee and continue to enjoy most of the functions of the home security system. This is particularly true if you believe you’ve paid for your home security system many times over and have dealt with multiple false alarms when it comes to calling the police for burglaries.
Keep in mind that the police in many states charge homeowners a fee for false alarms. The first time the alarm goes off, many homeowners are paranoid and want the police sent to their home. However, after a few false alarms, many homeowners prefer that the police aren’t automatically sent to their home. Therefore, if all you’ve experienced are false alarms with your home security system, it may not be worthwhile to continue paying a monthly fee.
Self Monitoring Checklist
Are there any upsides or downsides to having a home alarm without monitoring? In short, it depends on what your family’s wants and needs are. Obviously, a major attraction to avoiding professional monitoring is savings. However, there are a few other pros and cons to consider before taking the monitoring in your own hands.
For example, maybe you decide you no longer want a piece of security equipment in your laundry room. Moving your device to another room won’t take much work because self-monitored security systems are designed for the user to uninstall and move on their own. However, self monitoring your security system isn’t a great option for homeowners living in parts of the country where there is a poor internet connection. This is because most self monitored security systems need strong Wi-Fi to properly function. Therefore you won’t receive important notifications. Keep in mind that some self-monitored systems don’t even include alarms that sound when an intruder has made their way inside. Some might see this as a major security flaw.
Find the Right Security Options with Protect America
As you can see, it is possible for a home alarm to continue working without monitoring. For more information about home alarm systems and monitored home security, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also reach out to us here at Protect America for a free quote.