Frequently Asked Questions about Home Security - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Security

Q. Why do I need a monitored security system?

A. Homes without security systems are about 3 times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems. (Actual statistic ranges from 2.2 times to 3.1 times, depending on the value of the home.) Businesses without alarm systems are 4.5 times more likely to be burglarized than commercial locations with electronic security in place.  Losses due to burglary average $400 less in residences with security systems than for a residence without security systems.
Source: Simon Hakim, Temple University, 215-204-7476

Even the police know that monitored security systems decrease burglaries:  90 percent of police believe alarms deter burglary attempts.
Source: STAT Resources, Inc., Boston, Mass., 617-734-2000

In 1994, the International Association of Chiefs of Police passed a Board Resolution stating that professionally installed and monitored alarm systems are useful instruments to deter crime and provide peace of mind for residential and business owners. The organization also pledged to work with the alarm industry to help reduce the problem of false alarms.
Source: International Assoc. of Chiefs of Police, Alexandria, Va., 703-836-6767

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Q. Aren't security systems expensive?

A. Security systems used to be expensive, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Due to a competitive marketplace and advances in technology, these days you can get a top of the line security system installed in your home for little or no money down and monitoring service for about a dollar a day. Contact us for more information about pricing.

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Q. Can I save money on my homeowners insurance by having a monitored security system?

A. Yes, most insurance companies will give you a 10-20% discount on your homeowners insurance for having a monitored security and/or a monitored fire system in your home.  Please contact your insurance agent to see what savings you can receive on your homeowners policy.

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Q. How exactly does the monitoring service work?

A. After the alarm has sent the alarm information to the central station, it appears on the computer screen of a professionally central station operator.  On a burglar and fire alarm, the operator will call your home to see if you are ok.  If you answer the phone, they will ask you for your password, this is a word you have given to us so that we can verify that it is indeed the homeowner.  If the person who answers the phone can not provide the correct password or there is no answer, the police or fire department will be dispatched to your home and the people you have listed on your call list will be notified of the alarm and authority dispatch. The procedure on a panic alarm is a bit different in that the dispatcher will not call the house before dispatching the authorities.

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Q. I already have many smoke detectors in my house, why do I need another one?

A. The smoke detectors in you home are "local" detectors.  That is, when they detect smoke, they make noise but nothing more.  If a fire starts while you are not home, they aren't going to do you any good. 

The smoke detectors installed by Pinnacle Protection are actually two detectors in one designed to detect heat changes (rate of rise) as well as smoke (particle density).  When a potential fire is detected, the Central Monitoring Station will be notified and the fire department will be dispatched to your home as quickly as possible, regardless of whether or not you are home at the time.

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Q. How does my alarm communicate to the central station?

A. Your security system communicates to the central station over your regular phone line.  When the alarm is tripped, it will seize your phone line, dial the central station and send in the alarm information.  This process takes 8-10 seconds.  Once the information has been sent to the central station, the alarm will release your phone line allowing you to use your phone like normal.

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Q. What do I do if I set the alarm off accidentally?

A. You can do one of two things.  You can either call the monitoring facility and cancel the alarm or wait for them to call you, which should happen within one minute of the information being received at the central station.  As long as you can provide the dispatcher with the proper password, the police will not be sent to your home.

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Q. Will the police charge me for false alarms?

A. Generally speaking, no.  Although the ordinances are different for each city and county police department, most allow consumers five false alarms per year before there are any fines.  The only alarms that count towards this number are ones where the police are dispatched to your house and there are no signs of forced entry.  As long as you answer the phone and provide the dispatcher with the proper password when the alarm is set off accidentally, you will never have to pay a false alarm fine.

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Q. What if my electricity goes out?

A. All systems come with a back up battery if you should have a power outage.

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Image of girl accessing an alarm pad.

 

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