Quality electronic alarm systems and quality firearms have three primary things in common; they both are reliable, neither is cheap, and one-size-does-not-fit-all.
An alarm system is a compilation of electronic components arranged in a manner to meet your specific requirements. Those components are supposed to be installed in compliance with All Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) including manufacturer’s directions, applicable State and local laws / rules, and usually the National Electrical Code.
No matter what company sells or installs the alarm system, the components themselves all come from a limited number of manufacturers and virtually all are available to any installation company. Some components are cheap and unreliable; some marginal; and some are of the highest quality current technology can produce. Unfortunately, to the consumer, cheap components and quality components all look alike.
No matter what company sells or installs the alarm system, all are responsible to install in compliance with all AHJs. Quality installations comply. From my four decades in the industry, it is my opinion that the vast majority of installations do not comply. Unfortunately, to the consumer, because the wiring is hidden in the walls or under insulation in the attic, compliance and non-compliance installations all look alike.
As gun owners, we commit to a great deal of research on and money for the firearms we purchase. Our very lives may depend on that firearm doing what it is supposed to, when it is supposed to and not discharging when it is not supposed to. The same requirements apply to alarm systems.
In my opinion, when selecting an alarm system:
- Do Not respond to any phone solicitation concerning alarm systems
- Do Not respond to any “door knockers” concerning alarm systems
- Do Not respond to anyone concerning whether you have an alarm system or anything about that subject unless you initiated the conversation.
- If there is a local, established alarm company that you know and trust, have them provide your system.
- If Not, contact at least three (3) local, established alarm companies and request an alarm system proposal.
- Do Not make a buy decision until you have;
- All three written proposals and service contracts (they will call them agreements until after you have signed)
- Taken the time to read completely and evaluate each
- Negotiated any changes you feel necessary
- Verified the company’s references.
A solid, reliable alarm system is a critical layer in your defensive plan for both life and property; chose carefully. The security of your property and possibly your life may well rest on that decision.