An alarm system is intended to detect a burglary, but it will not necessarily prevent one. A system is only as good as its user and should be installed along with good physical security reinforcement, like deadbolt locks, adequate lighting, secure basement windows and strong exterior doors.
There are two types of alarms: monitored and unmonitored. An unmonitored alarm may mean you rely on your neighbours to call the police, which may or may not happen. As for a monitored alarm, it is possible for thieves to cut the phone lines before they enter, which disables the alarm. Speak to an alarm company representative about obtaining a system, which does not use the telephone wires to send its signal to the alarm company or consider installing a telephone line shield, which protects the phone line. All monitored alarm systems are serviced by an intermediate private company prior to any notification of police.
There are numerous alarm companies with various features from which to choose, but when you are looking for an alarm company you should consider the following:
- ask for recommendations from friends that have alarm systems or from your insurance agent
- how long has the company been in business?
- how many service facilities do they have?
- do they possess adequate liability insurance?
- are their employees bonded?
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