After years of providing excellent home insurance service in Canada, we’re expanding our home insurance services south of the border. We’re adding Arizona to our coverage base, and that means an exciting opportunity for both full-time residents and Snowbirds who spend the winter there. A warm welcome to our new Arizona customers!
When it comes to home security, Arizona is no different that any of the Canadian provinces: there are places where property crimes are high and locales where there isn’t much crime at all.
In its 2017 ranking of the safest cities in Arizona, safewise.com notes that the 20 safest cities had relatively few property crimes — 16 or fewer per 1,000 people, which is about half the state average. Half of these cities also reported fewer than 50 break-ins.
Whether you live in an area that is formally designated safe or not, undoubtedly, feeling secure in your own home is important, and knowing that your home is safe from intruders is equally valuable. To ensure that your property remains safe, you may want to consider installing a home alarm system.
Why a Home Alarm System?
Home alarm systems are useful, both as a deterrent and for peace of mind. In many cases, the simple presence of an alarm system is enough to warn off a burglar.
The stickers denoting that the premises are monitored do work their magic, and if they aren’t enough, hearing an alarm go off should scare a thief away. Why risk getting caught when there are easier targets?
Home alarm systems also offer you the comfort of knowing that someone is on the lookout for the vulnerable members of the family: the elderly or children who come home to an empty house after school.
Realizing that help is at hand for them in the instance of a break-in attempt will make you breath easier. You can also leave for a vacation knowing that, in addition to your neighbors, someone is keeping an eye – or a sensor – on your property.
In addition, you’ll see a reduction in your homeowner’s insurance rate if your property is protected, and, these days, no one should dismiss the chance to have a few extra dollars in his or her pocket.
How to Choose a Home Alarm System?
Convinced? Don’t simply purchase the first home alarm system you see advertised. Take time to assess your needs and the systems and features that are available.
- Wireless or not? In today’s increasingly wireless world, cellular technology is the best bet, unless your area doesn’t have adequate coverage. Landline-based systems, while cheaper, will likely be obsolete in a few years, given the advent of wireless technology. You can also choose a cellular system that uses your home Internet. Cellular-based systems generally provide coverage even if your power goes out, but ensure that the provider has battery backup available for those situations.
- DIY or Installation? Yes, indeed, you’ll undoubtedly save money by installing the system yourself. Wireless systems are usually easy to install and there are company technicians available online or by phone to offer advice if you get stuck. Using a professional to install the system means paying for their time and setting aside the time to be home when they can pay a service call. However, you can be sure they will place any sensors and devices in the optimal locations and will do the job right.
- Smarter technology? Consider whether you want a standalone alarm system or whether you’d like it simply to be a piece of overall home automation technology. These days, smart homes make life easier by allowing your system to adjust the temperature, turn lights on or off and lock or unlock doors, controlling it all from your smartphone. You can start with the basic alarm system and upgrade along the way, or make the leap all at once. Most home alarm systems are compatible with applications such as the Nest or Alexa, too.
- Service. You’re making a long-term investment when you install a home alarm system, so be sure you’ll get responsive customer service. Check websites such as Consumer Reports for evaluations of various systems and their features, including service, and call the companies yourself to see how their representatives treat you and how they handle calls.
- Price. Money is always a consideration when buying a product or choosing a service. When it comes to home alarm systems, your equation should take into account these five fees: *Monthly fee; * Activation fee; * Service fee; * Relocation fee; and * Cancellation fee.
Home Alarm Purchase Options
You may also want to consider the cost of renting the equipment vs. purchasing it. If you own it, you can reuse it, but leasing it generally offers a lower cost upfront, because it’s included in your monthly fee. In addition, look at the various packages on offer and decide whether you want or need the particular features each one offers.
Whether you live in Arizona or Alberta, it’s worth considering a home alarm system so that you don’t need to be at home yourself in order to protect property or loved ones.