The goal of all alarm systems is to detect burglars. Detection could occur when a motion detector is tripped, or a burglar opens a door armed with a door contact. While all security systems provide the same basic function, an alarm’s effectiveness is predicated on whether it is monitored or self-monitored. Only a monitored alarm system provides true protection in all security situations.
The biggest difference between a monitored and self-monitored alarm system is that a monitored alarm system is proactive, while a self-monitored system is reactive. When a monitored alarm system is triggered, a signal is sent to a central station where an actual person can respond to the event. The Central Station Operator can assess the situation that is occurring. They can then respond accordingly. If it’s an actual break-in, police can be contacted. If there’s a medical emergency, then an ambulance can be called. If there is a homeowner-generated false alarm, then dispatch can be canceled. The response is real-time and done by an actual person.
A self-monitored alarm system requires the user to respond to a situation. When the alarm is triggered, the user is notified that an event has occurred. This could be a door contact opening or a motion detector sensing motion. The user then must react to the notification text message or email.
Imagine if the homeowner is at work or on a plane traveling. How are they going to respond to the limited information given through text or email? Then if they do contact the police because of the notification, what actions are the police going to take? They have no idea what situation is occurring at the home. It’s a blind signal with no information as to if there’s an actual break-in or a false alarm. The byproduct of this is typically a slow response by police or no response at all.
Only a monitored alarm system can provide first responders with enough information to make sure a proper response is given. Monitored responses allow for emergencies to be responded to better than false alarms. Insight can be provided to emergency services to let them properly deal with whatever situation is occurring.
Proof that a monitored alarm provides superior value to a self-monitored alarm is that insurance companies give discounts to homeowners protected with monitored alarm systems. This is because a monitored alarm system provides higher security, leading to fewer break-ins and fewer insurance claims.
If you want to protect your home and family, then you need a monitored alarm system for your house. A monitored alarm system provides 24/7 protection, regardless of whether you are in or away from your home. A self-monitored alarm system is a gadget, not a security product.