Insight That Most Home Security Companies Won’t Give You

If you know anyone near you whose home was recently burglarized, this has no doubt caused you to think about the state of your own home’s security. And this may have led to you investigating what kinds of home security options are available to you, such as getting some kind of system installed and then monitored by a company.

When you’re thinking in terms of fear, it can make a lot of the claims home security companies make seem very believable. But the truth is that there are some things that security companies don’t tell their customers. And if this is your first time getting a system, then you likely don’t know what you should be looking for.

Response from Law Enforcement

Although the alarm system company you choose will very likely respond quite rapidly to any alarm that is triggered in your home, this does not mean that local law enforcement will respond just as quickly. This is because the police in your city have calls to answer for all types of crime; not just home invasions. Depending on various factors, you could end up waiting a few hours for someone to arrive and investigate your call.

There are things you can do to prevent law enforcement from having to come out to your home unnecessarily. The first thing to do is reduce the possibility of false alarms in your home. Having someone who can check on your home for you while you’re away can be another solution, as they can let law enforcement know if they see anything that doesn’t look right, which can trigger a quicker police response.

Be aware that, even if you have all of your fail-safes in place that how law enforcement actually responds to your call may not be what you expect. A drive by your home may be all that an officer does if there are a lot of other calls to answer.

Automatic Codes

When your security system is installed, there is usually a code that the installer will set which will allow the system to be easily armed and disarmed. This code works great when learning how to use your security system. But unfortunately, the majority of homeowners with security systems do not remember to change this code, which can be as simple as 1-2-3-4, after they’ve learned how to use their system.

What’s important to realize is that the generic code is the same across many brands and types of home security systems. This means that you may be able to visit your neighbor’s home and disarm their system with the code if they haven’t changed it. Burglars know about this, and now so do you. And now that you do, it’s time to change your code and delete the generic one.

Understanding What You Need For Your System

You may have been told that, for optimal security, sensors on all your windows and doors are needed. This is not necessarily so. Security consultants say that the key to maximum protection is having all of your key points covered by motion detectors. Some of these points include hallways and staircases.

Similarly, your security company may tell you that you need a certain type of protection, such as interior or perimeter alarms. But each type of alarm can have several types of contacts and detectors. Although something like a photoelectric beam may sound impressive and full of security, it may not be the right application for your home. Nor does a company offering many types of gadgets mean that you have to have each one.

Less Is More

Finally, a good thing to understand is that less can definitely be more with any home security system. This is especially true if you’ve taken security matters into your own hands. Think about what you’ve done around your home to increase your security. Do you have lights on a timer, new locks installed on your doors and noise-making gravel underneath all of your windows so that a burglar’s approach won’t go unnoticed? If so, then you likely can spend less than your security is telling you it will cost for your system.


Guest author Emma Prior writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to home security.  She is a frequent contributor at, a site dedicated to helping consumers find a reputable company in their area.