California Alarm Systems
In most areas in California as well as other areas in the United States security systems are not just a luxury. High crime rates have forced the need for people to protect themselves and their families as well as their property. High quality alarm systems that have been properly installed have a very high success rate for protecting people and possessions as well as a low rate of false alarms. In many of the larger cities of California safety requires having your alarm system monitored. That is not nessesarily true for the outlining and more remote areas where police response, if available at all, is measured in hours or days instead of minutes.
Often a sales person only has one thing in mind when helping you to choose an alarm system, selling you any type of system they can and getting you to sign up for the monthly monitoring. The sales person is often not fully equipped to help you design a system that will work best for you and is biased toward particular products and services offered by their company.
Purpose of this site
The purpose of this site is to help you understand what types of equipment are available, what will fill your needs and what services like central station monitoring will really be of benefit to you. We do not personally sell any alarm equipment although you will find ads for many different companies on this site. At times we may include links to sites where we have affiliate arrangements with. These are companies that we feel might be of use to you in your decision process, at times this means that the company may pay us for referring a visitor to them.
This site will also help you understand the differences between Home Alarm Systems and Business Alarm Systems. While many of the parts used are the same, others are more specific to a particular application.
Do I need Monitoring?
Almost all alarm companies also sell monitoring. This is often the main money making item for the company. It is not uncommon for a company to charge little or nothing for an alarm system with the agreement that you will sign up for their overpriced monitoring. Often they install very cheap equipment that does not really fit your needs so that they can quickly install it at little cost to them and make a very large profit on the monitoring.
Before signing any agreement call around and find out what other companies are offering their monitoring for if you have an existing system. By using this number you will be able to figure out how much extra you are getting charged per month by the company offering you this "Great Deal".
You should also check our page on Do I need Monitoring to see if monitoring will really be worth the price you pay. Sometimes an auto dialer that dials friends, family, neighbors or send a text message to someone's cell phone would be a better option.
Alarm Company Shortcuts
Alarm companies have many tricks to help them cut corners to make more profit on each sale. Check out our page on Alarm System Installation and Choosing the right Alarm Equipment to be sure you are getting a quality job that will actually fit your needs.
In most cases false alarms are caused by one or more of three categories of causes. Poor installation, improperly trained users, poor or defective equipment. We will go into each of these causes as well as the ways to prevent false alarms on our Prevent False Alarms page.
Wireless vrs Hardwired systems
Wireless systems require more maintenance but are faster to install. Sometimes a company will recommend wireless in order to get you onto some maintenance agreement or to make a quick sale and set up monitoring. This is often not necessary and is not to your benefit. However there are times when wireless devices are necessary and even preferable to hard wired devices. Our Wireless vrs Hardwire page will help you understand the technology and when you will want to choose one over the other.
Specialty alarm Systems
I will also be discussing several different types of specialty alarm systems. You remember "Help I've fallen and can't get up"? Dialers and voce modules can be added to many systems that after you have activated the alarm the central station will call and over a speaker talk to you and see what assistance you need.
There are also specialty detection devices that monitor pools, co2, flooding in your basement and a whole host of other problems. These can be added to most alarm panels and can trigger various responses from auto dialers, local alarms, local alerts and central station notification.