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Best Home Security Systems in San Francisco

Frisco, SF, no matter what you call San Francisco, it’s home. Learn how to protect your place with the best local home security system.
Written by | Updated March 5, 2020
Customer Service Pick
Bay Alarm Security logoBay Alarm
4
  • Locations across the Bay Area and California
  • Alarm patrol and response
  • Locations across the Bay Area and California
  • Alarm patrol and response
Home Automation Pick
Powerhouse Security logoPowerhouse Security
4
  • Alexa and Google-compatible equipment
  • Smart garage door equipment
  • Alexa and Google-compatible equipment
  • Smart garage door equipment
Eco-Friendly Pick
Redwood Security Systems Inc logoRedwood Security Systems Inc.
4
  • Green Business certification
  • Solar-powered equipment
  • Green Business certification
  • Solar-powered equipment

Our Recommendation: They’re All Winners

The Bay Area is diverse, so it makes sense that the best security companies in San Francisco would evolve to meet everyone’s needs.

Our picks for San Francisco’s best security systems are Bay Alarm, Powerhouse Security, and Redwood Security Systems Inc. Compared to each other, it’s a close race, but Bay Alarm came out on top for its customer service and unique security services.

None of these security services display pricing, contracting, or monitoring information online. So, we contacted each security company and found that each offers custom systems and contracts. Bay Alarm, Powerhouse Security, and Redwood Security Systems Inc. all offer customized systems with sensors, fire and CO equipment, professional monitoring, and installation.

Compare San Francisco’s Best Home Security Systems

Starting Monthly Monitoring Costs
Alarm Patrol and Response
Home Automation
Certified Green Business
Home Audio
Learn More
Customer Service Pick
Home Automation Pick
Eco-Friendly Pick
Bay Alarm Company Powerhouse Security Redwood Security Systems Inc.
Bay Alarm Security logo Powerhouse Security logo Redwood Security Systems Inc logo
$35.00 $39.00 $50.00
Yes
No
X
No
X
Yes
Yes
No
X
No
X
No
X
Yes
No
X
Yes
No
X
View Plans View Plans View Plans

Info current as of 03/05/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Best Home Security in San Francisco: Reviews

Bay Alarm Company: Customer Service Pick

With all the Bay Alarm locations across California and The Bay Area, you’re probably neighbors with someone who works there. 

Bay Alarm is our customer service pick because we got a quick, friendly response to our questions and received follow up calls in the days after. Bay Alarm is a family-owned business, and their customer service quality proves it. 

Like national brands ADT and Vivint, Bay Alarm offers alarm systems, security cameras, home automation, smoke and fire alarms, and even doorbell cameras. But options like alarm patrol and response service are unique to Bay. When you’re out of town or worried about a potential threat, Bay Alarm will send safety escorts to patrol your home and watch your neighborhood. 

The monitoring and installation professionals are locally trained, so it’s likely they’ll know your neighborhood well (a handy feature in an emergency). Monitoring starts at $35 per month, which is similar to most national brands’ monitoring rates. 

Bay Alarm stood out from the three because of its resources, happy employees, and polite customer service. Our only complaint is it’s hard to nail down pricing because Bay uses a personalized evaluation to equip your home with the right devices and monitoring package.

So if you’re curious about this security company for your own home or business, you’ll need to contact them for a quote. The good news is whoever you reach will be friendly and eager to help.

Pros

  • Locations across the Bay Area and California
  • Home automation, security cameras, fire and smoke detectors
  • Over 40+ years of experience

Cons

  • No set prices

Bottom Line: Bay Alarm customizes their systems based on customer needs. You’ll have to invest (and maybe even haggle) to get the package you want. But if you’re ready to invest in a local security system, Bay Alarm’s a good bet.

Powerhouse Security: Home Automation Pick

For a small company, Powerhouse Security offers a ton of home automation options. This includes smart lights, thermostats, and locks, but they also install doorbell cameras and accessories to make your garage smarter . 

You can opt for a Bluetooth-enabled hub that arms and disarms when you come home so you don’t have to fumble with a keyfob or remember a code. Powerhouse can even beef up your home audio system for movie nights or the next 49ers game. 

Like Bay Alarm and Redwood Security, Powerhouse doesn’t advertise any details and prices for monitoring and contracts. But all you have to do is call. 

We called and spoke to the owner, Peter Alford. He told us about the company’s two-year contract and two-year warranty and monitoring service starting at $39 per month. The rest depends on your home and the system you need. 

Powerhouse is our pick if you want home automation added to your security system. Smart locks, lights, and remote thermostat equipment are just the tip of the iceberg. Powerhouse Security also offers smart garage door equipment to keep your home and car safe.

Pros

  • Full suite of home automation equipment
  • Bluetooth-enabled system hub
  • Indoor and outdoor camera installation

Cons

  • Not much information online

Bottom Line: If you want a homegrown automation system for your house, apartment, or condo, Powerhouse Security is a good first choice. You’ll have to call to get the details you want, but you’ll likely speak with the top dog directly.

Redwood Security Systems Inc.: Eco-Friendly Pick

Redwood Security Systems, Inc. has served San Francisco and the Bay Area since 1977. In that time, it opened up its own UL-listed monitoring station in Marin County and became the only Certified Green security company in the Bay Area.

Marin’s Green Business program encourages businesses and other organizations in the San Francisco area to comply with environmental regulations and conserve resources like water and energy. Redwood offers a fully solar-powered system, paperless service, eco-friendly cleaners, and more. It’s also the only company we’ve ever seen to sell alarm window screens.

Monitoring through Redwood starts at $50 per month, so you’ll need to fine-tune your monthly budget to support your system. 

While Redwood offers standard equipment like cameras and alarm systems, it’s also the only company we’ve ever seen to sell alarm window screens. These devices look like typical window screens but send alerts to your central control panel if they’re torn or lifted. So whether it’s an intruder getting in or a sneaky teenager getting out, you’ll know as soon as they tamper with the screen. 

Redwood also boasts a slew of certifications and professional memberships. It’s a member of the Electronic Security Association, National Fire Protection Association, National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, and ASIS. So you know industry-accredited professionals installed your system.

Pros

  • Owns and operates monitoring facility
  • Installs alarm window screens
  • Blends system into your decor

Cons

  • Limited home automation equipment

Bottom Line: Redwood Security Systems, Inc. has some never-before-seen security equipment that really wowed us. The basic monitoring rate is higher than its competitors, but you’ll get a custom system from an environmentally conscious and industry-accredited company.

More San Francisco Home Security Companies

Security Company
VHT Valley Home Theater & Automation
Bamboo Communication LLC
McMillan Security Systems, Inc.
North Bay AVS
Enterprise Communications LLC
Kurtis Company
Golden Gate Burglar Alarm Co.
Northwest Security Inc.
Covalt Communications
Regent5, LLC
Safe & Sound Security
Dream Digital AV, Inc.
Phone Number Learn More
415-527-0821 Visit Website
415-816-7111 Visit Website
415-992-7096 Visit Website
707-526-4549 Visit Website
510-423-6829 Visit Website
415-738-8533 Visit Website
415-285-1787 Visit Website
415-861-0200 Visit Website
925-993-8053 Visit Website
650-242-5745 Visit Website
925-566-8611 Visit Website
844-373-2628 Visit Website

Should I Buy a Local or National Security System?

When shopping for a security system, it’s smart to weigh the pros and cons of going big versus going local. Here are the basics: 

National Brands

Home security companies like Frontpoint or ADT are typically transparent about pricing and packages before you click “buy.” National brands provide more installation and monitoring options too. 

But these perks can come with high-pressure sales, fine print, long contracts, and less customization. 

Local Brands

Local companies aren’t as up front about their policies and prices. Most of the companies we saw required us to call in for a quote to get any information. That said, they provide all the same equipment as the big guys and more if you want CCTV, access security, or home theater services.

 San Francisco is the place to go for new tech. So it’s no surprise that local companies can create a custom system with clever home automation devices. That said, they tend to have fewer resources for security services, take longer to install, and cost more than national alarm systems.

What to Know About Buying Home Security in San Francisco

San Francisco is notorious for its high-cost, high-reward lifestyle. The expensive real estate and high crime rates can make Fog City a tough place to live if you don’t have the cash. 

 

Property Crime and Violent Crime

Property crime is a rampant problem across the Bay Area. According to a 2017 annual police report, there were over 44,000 incidents of larceny and theft alone in San Francisco,1  while all violent crime that year totaled to 6,334 incidents. As a whole, there were 54,659 reports of property crime reported in the city in 2017.2 

In 2018, the FBI reported 49,214 property crimes in San Francisco and 155,896 across the Bay Area.2 These numbers positioned San Francisco as top in the nation for property crimes.3

Population
Violent Crime
Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter
Rape
Robbery
Aggravated Assault
Property Crime
Burglary
Larceny/Theft
Motor Vehicle Theft
San Francisco The Bay Area
889,282 4,747,868
6,144 22,443
46 196
354 1,820
3,165 10,332
2,579 10,095
49,214 155,896
5,322 19,033
39,675 114,842
4,217 22,021

Data from 2018 Crime in the United States Report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Competitive Real Estate

San Francisco has always been pricey, but real estate skyrocketed when high profile tech companies moved into the area. Now, the median home price in San Francisco is $1.4 million.4 

These high prices take homeownership off the table for many. High rise apartment buildings, duplexes, and other small spaces are often the better option for buying. Those left renting may have to share tight quarters with others or look into unconventional alternatives. And the problem isn’t going anywhere. Zillow predicts a 4.6% increase for housing within the next year.4 

Even nearby SF, real estate is some of the most expensive in the country. For example, Oakland has a median home price of $641,000 and an average rent cost of $2,296 per month. Compare that to $299,400, the median home price in the US as of September 2019.5

If you live in a small or shared place in The City, a smaller, DIY system may be the best move. These systems usually come with stick-on sensors that you can place anywhere like doors or windows. 

But the more space you have, the more options there are. For families in the suburbs, wired or professionally installed home security systems are large enough to cover your entire house.

What to Consider When Buying Home Security in The Bay Area

Neighborhood

In San Francisco, northeastern neighborhoods like Pacific Heights, Downtown, and Nob Hill tend to see more criminal activity. But this isn’t always true. Areas like Lake Shore and Bayview neighborhoods in South San Francisco also have high crime rates. 

Neighborhood Scout’s crime map shows that the safest areas lie on the West and central areas of the city. 

Unfortunately, the entire city has a high crime rate. San Francisco is only safer than 2% of other cities in California, with a total crime rate of 64.1 per every 1,000 residents.6

So if you live anywhere in The City, consider getting a home security system to keep your property safe while you’re home or away.

Protect Your Vehicle

Of all the listed types of property crime, vehicle break-ins are wildly common in San Francisco and The Bay Area. As of February 2020, there have already been 1,920 (roughly 61 per day).7

Vehicle break-ins are so common that the San Francisco Police department launched a campaign to remind residents to remove all valuables from their vehicles before leaving. 

When shopping for home security in the area, factor in your vehicle’s safety as well. Look for devices like smart garage door openers to keep your garage safe. You can also install cameras by your parking spot. And a GPS vehicle tracker for your car can come in handy if your vehicle is stolen.

Security in The City 

From our research, we landed on three excellent choices for home security in San Francisco and The Bay Area. Whether you rent a high rise apartment or own a home in the suburbs, your possessions are worth protecting. Compare our picks to the best home security companies available nationwide to find the right system for your home.

California Statistics and Resources

San Francisco Police Department Non Emergency Line: 1-415-553-0123
Anonymous Tip Line: 1-415-575-4444
San Francisco Fire Department Fire Department Main Line: 415-558-3200
Safety Awareness for EveryoneNeighborhood Watch: 415-553-1984
SF Animal Care and ControlGeneral Information: 415-554-6364
Emergency Dispatch (6am-11pm): 415-554-9400

Sources

  1. San Francisco Police Department, “Year End Crime Statistics 2017
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States, Table 6
  3. San Francisco Chronicle, “The Scanner: San Francisco Ranks No. 1 in US Property Crime
  4. Zillow, “San Francisco Home Prices & Values
  5. Neighborhood Scout, “Oakland CA Appreciation Rate Trends and Housing Data”, Census.gov, “Median and Average Sales Prices of New Homes Sold in United States
  6. Neighborhood Scout, “San Francisco Crime Rates
  7. San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Car Break-In Tracker

Written by Katie McEntire

Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more

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