- Posting due to a lot of people also wanting information on alarm systems. The responses I received are for the following companies:
EMC Security $16.95/month
I got a lot of responses and praises about EMC Security.
- you should also consider the up front costs of the system. When I looked at EMC Security (through Jackson EMC) they quoted $400+ for a basic system. I'm not sure about Ackerman or others. I ended up going with Brinks because there was only a $99 up front cost of the system, the high rating from Consumer Reports and JD Power on customer satisfaction for Brinks, and the sales guy upgraded my system to a digital keypad for free to "seal the deal" on my choice to use Brinks. Be sure to insist on free upgrades with whoever you choose. You may get them. :)
- I've learned from past experience that you're either going to pay for it upfront or on down the line. EMC offers the best rates b/c you basically buy all the equipment up front. I am an EMC customer and they actually took over the monitoring of my old ADT system after my contract with ADT expired. ADT gave me a system way back when but I had to sign a 3 year contract with them to the tune of $35 a month for monitoring.
So, even though you may not be paying as much in upfront costs, you're eventually paying the difference in your monthly monitoring fees. EMC actually offers an even better rate if you pay for the entire year of service at one time. They will waive a month of monitoring for paying an entire year in advance so your "monthly" rate is actually $15.53 if you do it that way.
- I'd recommend EMC security out of Lawrenceville. We set up my mom
with a system, and I just added one to my townhome and it's been
great. They even have wireless systems in case you don't want to
end up having holes in your walls/ceilings. Their monthly service
is around $16.95 p/month, and anytime we've accidentally tripped
the system...they have responded in very fast time making sure
everything's alright.I found EMC security to be the most
affordable and reliable from all of my research. I even priced
building my own system online and compared prices that way. There
will be a little markup on prices with whoever you go with but
remember your getting a professional install which normally is
free with the system purchase so its worth it. Also depending on
the coverage you want, it will inflate the price (ex. smoke/fire
detectors, motion detectors, door/window contacts). A tip I could
offer would be not to go crazy putting window contacts on every
window in your house if you can put a motion detector in the same
room as the windows are. The motion detectors are actually
detecting a combination of heat and motion...and are very good at
what they do. I have my "computer lab" (basement) protected by a
motion detector and left the windows alone because I knew the
motion would get them...it has about 30-35 feet of coverage but I
would recommend door contacts on every door. Another cool thing
is the installer can set your system to announce whenever a
door/window contact is opened. I have three roomates so people
are constantly in and out of the house, but if noone is supposed
to be home but me and the system is disarmed and I hear the system
chime "Back Door" I know I should check it out. Just another cool
feature for when you might be around the house and you'll know if
a door opens even if you've disarmed the system.If you decide to
go ahead with EMC they do a free home evaluation, just a walk
around to see what they will be covering and come up with a game
plan. I"ve had my system for a year now and it's been worth every
dollar. I've been really impressed with their technology and
professionalism, it's definitely not cheap-o stuff. I went with
the wireless option for the townhome we are renting, just so when
we move out I can take the system with me easily and not have to
spackle up the walls from wiring holes. If you have any pets do
let them know, I have a small dachshund and he's able to run
around in his area even while the motion detectors are active. I
believe they had a couple of motion detectors to choose from,
depending on if you have pets and then the size of the pet. They
will also ask you about "wireless key fobs" a weird technical
name for the wireless keypad similar to what you use to unlock
your vehicles with. I ended up purchasing these just so we could
disarm/arm from any room in the house or even outside before
entering or leaving. Again, it's not required but if the money is
available I would recommend you get atleast a couple of these. If
you have any other questions feel free to ask. The different
configurations and options can get very detailed haha.
- I had ADT in my previous house...did not like them all that
are quiet higher then EMC, did not show up for one appointment and
the initial consultation they quoted us different price then we
got after the installation.
EMC is what we have right now and the only think I do not like
about them is
that their main office is in Lawrenceville, which we had no idea.
are cheaper and we had no problems with them so far.
- I have ADT and like it. They have a wireless remote that we like
to turn the alarm off and on from outside the house.
- I bought a house and the previous renter had "man trouble" and had
the EMC system installed. WOW, am I secure. That place is safer
than Fort Knox! She even had cellular backup installed, I guess
in case the phone lines were cut. Anyway, I have been very
satisfied with the monitoring of EMC. They are VERY prompt if a
sensor is tripped and they don't hesitate to send police.
They were helpful and patient while I (and my family) learned the
system. And it's only $16.95/month, which I think is a good price.
We have EMC, and they were very professional and the system is easy to use. Plus, when my husband accidentally set off the alarm I got a phone call right away.
I used to work for a security company and I can tell you:
If you are going to get a security system, make sure you are not paying a per device charge for you monitoring. ADT used to charge a per device fee, I am not sure how they do it now. That is how they get their money back for the "FREE" system. It costs the same amount per month for them to moitor 1 device as it does to monitor 100 devices. Don't pay more than $15 a month for monitoring. It costs them about $5-$8 per account so you should not pay $35 a month like ADT used to charge.
Started out with ADT at an installation of 99.00 and they gradually went up to 35.00 per month. Joined JEMC and they are great only charge half the price and it is added to my light bill each month. I have accidently opened at door not realizing my husband had already set the alarm and they called immediately. My next door neighbors went with JEMC also. Very happy with their service. It is better to pay for your system and own it than to lease one.
My only advice...DO NOT ever sign a contract!!! You want a month to month system, don't sign anything that commits you to a company.