The cost can vary depending on the features you choose and the amount of installation work required. There are also some additional costs to keep in mind and special offers you'll come across while you're shopping for a home security system.
The most basic security system cost is for the equipment itself. If you're starting from scratch, you'll buy a complete system including the central control panel, the sensors (door and window sensors, motion detectors, smoke detectors, etc.) and the alarm unit (if not self-contained in the control panel itself). You'll also have to factor in the number and types of sensors you choose to use.
You'll find that costs vary based on how you install your system, whether you're setting up a security system in a pre-wired home, installing the system yourself, or having the system fully installed from scratch by professionals. There are further variables within those possibilities; to install a hardwired security system by yourself, you'll need the proper tools and supplies, such as enough wire to stretch from all ends of your house to the central control panel.
By contrast, a do-it-yourself wireless system will typically come with everything that you need.
There are ways to reduce your security system cost by cutting corners with the installation, but few of them are ever advisable. Whether it's a friend who claims to be able to do the job or a contractor whose work you're unfamiliar with, think carefully before risking your home and your safety for the sake of saving a few dollars. Professional security system installers have experience, certification and references or examples of past work. In many cases, you'll end up saving money and getting the best quality by getting a package equipment and installation deal from the security provider.
Although security systems and monitoring services are largely interchangeable, you'll tend to save the most money by getting the installation, equipment and monitoring from the same provider. It's not simply a matter of price, but also complexity and consistency, of being on the same page with the security provider from day one. Most of the monitoring contracts include customer support, troubleshooting, repairs and even equipment replacement in many cases. With an unmonitored system, or a service that had nothing to do with the installation, you could wind up paying far more over time than you initially saved.
You may be tempted to save money by simply avoiding the monitoring option. While it's true that simply having a security system in your home gives you more protection and peace of mind, there are potential savings in opting for a monitoring service. For one, nearly all the major security providers charge less (sometimes much less) for the installation and equipment when you also sign up for their monitoring services. And in the worst case, having the right monitoring service can save you thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in theft, property damage or emergency medical care.
Some providers may charge an activation fee, while others do not. If you don't see one listed, and you don't see "no activation fee" on your deal, make sure to ask about it. Don't hesitate to ask the security provider's representative what you're going to see on your bill and have them explain anything you're not sure of. If you know the right questions to ask, you'll have a solid idea of the security system cost with no surprises down the line.
Here at SafeWise, we can help you every step of the way. Call one of our security specialists at 1-800-398-2128 for more information on the costs of home security (and any other questions). They are there to help you get answers to your questions and find the right provider at a cost you are happy with.