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How to Choose A Home Security Company

If you're planning to buy a continually monitored home security system, you need to be careful selecting a security company. Many of them require leases, so it may be difficult to get out of a signed contract if it doesn't turn out to be what you expected. Leases are fine, as long as you know what you're getting into. In order to select a home security company that is dependable and fair, consider asking some of the following questions to any perspective company before you sign anything:

How long have they been in business? Try to find a home security company that's been around for at least five years, thus suggesting they won't fold up and disappear anytime soon.

Does the company have all the proper licenses? For instance, do they have a low-voltage electrical license? Some states require special alarm-contractor licenses; does the company have one? Ask to see their license numbers so you can verify their information. If they are legit, a home security company should have no problem giving you this information.

Is the company bonded and insured? They should be responsible for repairs if any damage occurs on your property when they are installing your home security system.

Find out if they do background checks when hiring employees.

Does the home security company own their own monitoring service and where is it located? Is it local?

Is the home security monitoring service listed with the Underwriters Laboratories?

Would you be required to lease their home security system or do they sell them outright? Both options have pros and cons, and it is important you know what you're committing to.

How long is the warranty good for and what does it cover?

How much does the monthly monitoring service cost in addition to sales and installation cost? Is it a set price or do the fees increase periodically?

These are just some questions you should consider when purchasing from a home security company. When it comes down to selecting an alarm system, listen to what the salesman has to recommend. He or she should know the products extremely well. But remember, they are usually working on commission, so don't get suckered into buying a lot of unnecessary extras.

If you don't know where to start looking for a home security company, check with the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association for a list of companies in your area. Try asking friends or neighbors for referrals of home security companies in your area. Your insurance agent may also be able to recommend someone.

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