Keeping oneself, one’s family and home safe is without a doubt any house owner’s number one concern.
Considering this, house owners opt for home security systems to guard themselves against harm’s way whether it is a robbery, flood or a fire outbreak.
However, in order to get maximum protection, it is crucial to know what kind of security systems exist and which one to go for and acquire peace of mind.
The two major types of home security systems that exist include monitored and unmonitored security systems.
Both of these systems come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
In this article, you will learn about these pros and cons in order to make an informed decision and opt for the best possible choice of a security system for your home.
Defining Unmonitored & Monitored Security Systems
Unmonitored security systems primarily comprise of technology, such as: sirens, video cameras and similar equipment that work by alarming the house owners the moment something unusual takes place.
However, this type of security system does not alert authorities automatically and requires the house owner to do it manually.
Unmonitored security system can be further divided into two categories which are self-monitored systems and completely unmonitored systems.
Self-monitored systems connect to your cellphone and sends you notifications through that.
Completely unmonitored systems, on the other hand, use security cameras to merely record video footage or trigger an alarm in case of any trespassing.
In contrast, monitored security system utilizes the same equipment as unmonitored security service such as alarms, security cameras, etc. in conjunction with expert home security technicians who provide their service and monitor your home security system round the clock and act in response to any unusual activity on the spot.
Affordability of Unmonitored Vs Monitored Security Services
The fact that unmonitored security systems are less expensive compared to monitored security systems makes it one of its biggest benefit.
The primary cost comprises of the security equipment, which can be easily assembled or installed on one’s own or with the help of an expert who can do it for a nominal fee.
Only the maintenance might require some investment in the future after the system is in place.
On the other hand, the cost of monitored security systems is much higher and is also a long term investment.
Moreover, most security companies make it mandatory for you to sign an alarm monitoring service contract.
Although, the industry standard of the contract duration is three years, it can span from anywhere between one to five years.
The repayment for the installed equipment, equipment maintenance, recurring monitoring fees and overheads are all included in the security company’s monthly bill.
The security company’s contract not only includes equipment and its installation but also the service of professional technicians who give their expert advice to give maximum coverage in terms of security.
With their expertise, you can rest assured that the equipment will be top-notch and the cameras will be placed in the best possible sites.
An extended monitoring company contract means a decreased monthly bill. Also, most companies give a refund in case of termination of a contract, for example, due to relocation.
Another factor to keep in mind is that some insurance companies present discount offers on homeowner’s insurance upon getting a monitored security system installed.
Hence, inquiring from them regarding this matter can be very beneficial in saving money.
Safety Factor of Unmonitored and Monitored Security Systems
A major disadvantage of an unmonitored security system is that even though it might alarm you of unusual activity and ward off trespassers, it will not prevent a crime from taking place or even prevent further damage.
In comparison, in case of a fire outbreak, the monitoring company will instantly see it, take timely action and alert the fire control department preventing further damage and harm.
Moreover, you will be notified immediately in case of an emergency while it is being taken care of by the monitoring company. In the event of a false alarm the option of informing the monitoring company is always there.
The Convenience Factor of Unmonitored and Monitored Security Systems
In case of an emergency, an unmonitored security system will only send a notification to you through your phone.
Any further action will have to be taken on your own whether it is calling the fire department, police or other concerned authorities.
In contrast, a monitoring company will assess the emergency situation and on your behalf, contact the relevant authorities.
There are a few major downsides of being the only emergency contact for your security system which includes not being able to get the notification in time due to being away from the phone or having a phone that is either on mute or out of battery and missing the alert for this reason.
It is not uncommon for neighbors to alert the concerned authorities when a security alarm goes off but depending solely on this is inviting trouble.
If given an option of having an unmonitored security system or no security system, having unmonitored security is the obvious choice since the option of responding to alerts and alarming emergency services is always there.
However, a monitored security system provides much more value for money and peace of mind along with it which is why it is the preferred choice of house owners when it comes to security systems.
Opting for Unmonitored or Monitored Security Systems: The Final Verdict
Although unmonitored security systems are less expensive, they put the duty of protecting your home solely upon you.
Monitored security systems, on the other hand are not only costly but come with a recurring cost.
However, they will work on your behalf and in addition to keeping an eye on your property, they will also respond to emergency situations by alerting the right authorities at the right time.
The deciding factor is ultimately the investment you are willing to make to ensure the protection of you, your loved ones and your property.