How Long Does It Take for My Security System to Notify My Provider of an Intrusion?

When a home security system is breached and an alarm sounds, most homeowners are under the impression their monitoring company is instantly notified of the situation. In actuality, some alarm companies are notified the instant an alarm is triggered, while others use built-in alarm delays for a variety of different reasons.

Some delays can last as long as four minutes before the alarm company’s monitoring center is notified of the event. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with alarm delays, mostly surrounding false alarms.

Protect your property
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest deals, home security tips, and in-depth reviews.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

When a false alarm reaches a dispatcher at a monitoring company, they will be occupied for at least several minutes until the situation is finalized.

From the perspective of an alarm company, this is time that same dispatcher could have been assisting a homeowner in an emergency.

Alarm companies typically assess fees above and beyond normal monthly service fees for false alarms, as do cities and municipalities providing emergency response personnel. These costs can range from tens of dollars to several thousand per incident.

When considering a home security monitoring company, it’s important to fully assess the likelihood of false alarms at your house and the associated costs for such occurrences and compare them to your willingness to live with the fact a real emergency may not be reported for up to four minutes.

Check out our System Finder for assistance in finding a home security provider best suited for your needs, or call a SafeWise security specialist at 855-374-4999 for a complete overview of the home security products and services available in your area.


Compare the best home security systems

Brand
Lowest monitoring price
Starter equipment price
Contract required
Installation
Smart home compatibilityIcon Tooltip  Dark
Learn more
Read review
Top pick
VivintVivint
$599.00
Icon Yes  LightNo *
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
Reader favorite
SimpliSafeSimpliSafe
$229.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google
Whole-property pick
FrontpointFrontpoint
$99.00
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
Pro monitoring pick
ADTADT
$0.00
Icon No  LightYes
ProAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave
No-contract DIY pick
Blue by ADTBlue by ADT
$199.15
Icon Yes  LightNo
DIYAmazon, Google,
Z-Wave

Info current as of 04/12/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*$0 due up-front with consumer financing.

†No-contract options available with outright equipment purchase.

‡Landline monitoring only. Some restrictions apply. (Full disclaimer)

**With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See full disclaimer for full offer details, terms, and conditions.

Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help people find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She continues to report on local news as a volunteer with the community paper. For the last six years, she’s led a Girl Scout troop, teaching girls about safety and preparing for whatever life throws their way.

Recent Articles

Large craftsman style house at twilight with lights on
Best Home Security Systems of 2021
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
beautiful mountain river scene at sunrise bc canada
The Best Home Security Systems in Canada
Find the best home alarm system to protect your house. We looked at price, features,...
watching camera feed on tablet
Best Wireless Security Systems
Wireless home security systems are more popular than ever. They’re easy to install and hard...
man pointing at smart home control app on a tablet
The Best Smart Home Security Systems
We’ve tested and researched smart home security systems to help you find the right DIY...