Just as no matter how secure your apps and accounts are if you use a password that is easy to guess, your alarm system will not provide great security for your home if you choose an alarm code that is easy for intruders to guess. . Alarm codes like “1234”, “1111”, “2222”, “4567” or those that incorporate your date of birth or social security number or mailing address are easy for thieves looking for your personal information to guess.
Instead of protecting your alarm system with a code that is too simple or too obvious, you should always choose something random and avoid using codes associated with other accounts and services (they could be compromised in the event of a data breach). The idea is to choose something that no one can easily guess. If a thief can easily disarm his alarm system, he won’t do a good job of protecting you.
Alarms to which the police do not respond quickly
Even if your home is Monitronic a Alarm company is professionally monitored and runs on up-to-date technology, there’s another factor to consider when determining how well it will protect your home: how quickly the police will respond in the event of an alarm. Paul Sullivan reports for The New York Times that even when alarm systems are working properly, police can be painfully slow to respond. In large cities like New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, it can take 30 to 45 minutes for police to respond, while in smaller cities, it takes six to eight minutes, in addition to the two minute alarm time be registered with the monitoring station and have the operator call you.
The slow response is due in part to the high number of false alarms, estimated at approximately 80% of alarms, and in part to the low priority of burglaries. To combat false alarms, many police departments charge homeowners for responding after the first or second false alarm. Many homeowners have complained that these fines are charged even when a police car simply drives past the house rather than an officer pulling up in the driveway or walking through the property. An alarm system is only as good as the operator, and a slow response can mean the police aren’t on the scene until the thieves have made their escape.
Alarm systems with poor reviews and dissatisfied customers.
Whenever you’re shopping for an expensive service or expensive technology, it’s a great idea to do your research and check what current and former customers have to say about the companies you’re considering doing business with. (That’s after you’ve done a basic check on who a company or contractor is, and what they’re offering you as part of a deal or contract.) So which alarm system companies should you stay away from based on what the customers have?
Top Consumer Opinions recommends being cautious about services offered by Protection One, which is the subject of warranty-related complaints, and Broadview Security, which offers extremely expensive home security solutions. Monitronics security customer service agents were noncommittal about rates and contract details, Alarm Relay uses traditional landline systems that lack flexibility, and Pinnacle provides poor customer service. Additionally, the post recommends avoiding Comcast’s Xfinity home security packages and CPI Security offerings.
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