Monitored vs. Unmonitored Security Systems – Which is More Secure?

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    Monitored vs. Unmonitored Security Systems

    In an ideal world, we would be safe enough to not need security systems. However, in our world, it is always safer to take the right precautions and keep ourselves safe. For 36 million Americans, installing a security system is the best way to protect our house and property.

    But once they decide to get a security system installed, an important question arises; should they get a monitored security system or an unmonitored one? The best way to address this dilemma is to consider their features, draw comparisons, and decide which meets your goals for home protection.

    First, let’s understand each security system type.

    What Is a Monitored Security System?

    Monitored security systems offer 24/7 support and surveillance by the security company. The system automatically alerts them if the system gets triggered due to emergencies like break-ins, fire, etc. Depending on the coverage, they also alert emergency responders automatically to minimize the response time.

    What Is an Unmonitored Security System?

    Unmonitored security systems are equally adept at detecting emergencies like break-ins or fires, etc. However, they are not connected to the security provider and will only alert the house or property owner regarding the emergency.

    Service Comparison

    Just off of basic definitions, you probably have a loose idea about the primary benefit each of them offers. Let us now examine and compare a few service offerings and see which of them rates higher overall.

    Security

    Monitored Security Systems rate higher in comparison to unmonitored security systems on the level of safety they offer. Since the alerts in monitored systems are directly connected to the company offering 24/7 surveillance and response, all emergencies get timely addressed, even if you are busy or unavailable. 

    In contrast, Unmonitored Security Systems are dependent on the property owner responding to the alert on time. This aspect compromises security if the owner fails to react to the alert because of unavailability, signal loss, or because they are asleep.

    Affordability

    Monitored Security Systems tend to be priced at more premium rates because of the additional services they offer. The cost of always having a real person ready to respond to your alarm systems notification was something alarm companies charged a premium for. Often they would force you into long term contracts as well. Today customers have a plethora of options including Alarm Relays outstanding alarm service starting at $8.95. 

    Unmonitored Security Systems directly alert the property owner, and they self-mobilize to connect with the necessary authorities to address the emergency. Since the company does not need to intervene, the charges for this system are lower in comparison.

    Response Quality

    Monitored Security Systems rate higher on the response quality because of the degree of preparation they cover in case of emergency. As per standard procedures, the company will have the relevant team ready to be dispatched depending on the emergency alert they receive.
    They are also required to constantly have the necessary medical kits ready in case the client needs some degree of medical attention.

    Unmonitored Security Systems do not require an automatic response from the security team. This makes the response quality drop because you will have to make arrangements for any emergency needs.

    Equipment Support

    Monitored Security Systems charge more for their service, but they also offer all security equipment for free to the client. Security systems typically require the right thermostats, light control, additional sensors, specialized electronic locks, etc. to improve their emergency detection abilities.

    Monitored systems, therefore, are automatically well equipped with all the necessary sensors and equipment providing support.

    When buying unmonitored security systems, you will have to purchase a support system separately. Therefore, while the base cost of the system will be lower, you will have to spend extra if you hope for it to be adequately effective.

    Convenience

    Monitored Security Systems are highly convenient because, in addition to the alerts to the property owner’s phone, the system also sends notifications to the security company when any of the alarms get triggered. This feature is the most useful when the homeowner is away from town and can’t keep a constant check on the house. They will have peace of mind knowing that the house is under the continued monitoring of the security company.

    Unmonitored Security Systems rely on the vigilance of the homeowner completely. If they are out of town when an emergency occurs and can’t check the alert on time, the likelihood of incurring a loss increases. Therefore, they have to keep tabs on their house even while vacationing.

    Insurance Discounts

    Insurance discounts play an important role in determining the overall value of each of the security systems.

    People with monitored security systems are entitled to more discounts when they apply for property insurance. Since the monitored security system makes the house more secure, the insurance company considers it less risky than counterparts with a higher associated risk.

    Unmonitored security systems are more secure than an unsecured house but their safety rating is still nowhere close to the safety of the monitored system. This usually means they are not entitled to insurance discounts and might need to pay for a premium insurance policy.

    In a nutshell, the comparison between the two security systems can be summarized in the following table:

    S. No. Features Monitored Security Unmonitored Security
    1 Security High Medium – Low
    2 Affordability Medium – Low High
    3 Response Quality High Low
    4 Equipment Support Yes No
    5 Convenience High Medium – Low
    6 Insurance Discounts Yes No

    Final Thoughts

    To sum up, monitored security systems are generally more secure, offer better support, and are more convenient compared to unmonitored security systems. If you are considering buying a security system, make sure you are clear on your priorities.

    If you can afford it, it is better to buy the monitored security system to be more secure and experience the peace of mind it offers.