Professional Versus DIY Home Security Systems

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When it comes to security systems, some people decide to try the DIY approach instead of using professional home security companies to install their system. While it certainly can be done in some instances by an individual homeowner, there are pros and cons to installing it yourself. 

Professionally Installed Security Systems

Some of the advantages of having a security system professionally installed include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and customer service 

  • Adequate coverage of cameras or sensors

  • Integration with phone lines to automatically call for help

  • Ensuring that all the wiring is installed properly

  • Homeowner just has to call for upgrades

  • Option of local service that will be on hand should you experience any problems with your security system.

  • Remote options to arm and disarm your security system from your phone or laptop via internet

  • Adequate training on security system by a professional

Using a service that is monitored around the clock is one of the most important aspects of having a security system. This, coupled with the ability for the system to automatically call for help, can protect you from something happening the moment it happens, not hours or days afterwards once it is obvious your home has been broken into. Having adequate camera or sensor coverage can help make sure that the burglars are caught by not having any blind spots in your system. You will also not have to worry about any wiring issues for systems installed by home security companies because of warranties. 

DIY companies may be difficult to reach after the system has been purchased.  Professional security companies, on the other hand, should be able to be reached at all times.  If the company does not have a Customer Service Center, you should be able to reach your sales representative who will contact you with the proper employee to help with your account questions.

Professional companies will also keep your account up to date with the local ordinances.  Many cities/counties require alarm permits for both residential and commercial accounts.  Local alarm companies will ussually keep your permit up to date so you don't have to!

The only disadvantage to having a system professionally installed is the higher upfront cost and the monthly monitoring fee. The monitoring fee covers the monitoring which otherwise would not be included in a DIY system.  The convenience of not having to install everything yourself, which could take someone who is inexperienced hours or days to do, may be worth the extra cost.  

DIY security systems

Installing a security system yourself can give you the freedom to choose what you want to do, and exactly how much money you want to spend. A few of the benefits of a DIY system are:

  • Lower upfront cost

  • Ability to customize or change parts of it without having to call a company

  • No monthly fees

However, the biggest downside to DIY systems revolve around the fact that even if you are good at wiring and only need a couple of cameras, something may still go wrong, leaving you with fried wiring, resulting in an even bigger bill than what you could have paid a professional company to install it.

Also, if something were to go wrong after installation, there is a good chance that you may not have any idea how to fix it, and you could end up throwing away a whole camera or control panel for what might have been a $2 fix.  Many DIY home security systems do not come with a guarantee or warranty. 

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