Recently both my wife and I transitioned from working from home every day to both of us working full time jobs outside the home.
Aside from the obvious adjustments we had to make, securing my home now that I am no longer there is a primary concern.
Thoughts of installing a home alarm system were actually spurred by my insurance agent.
We inquired if there were any additional discounts we qualified for which could lower our rates and save us money. The first one she mentioned was an alarm system. Alarms deter theft of items from inside the house as well as minimizing any damage someone might. Both of these cost insurance agencies money, so they will offer discounts to homeowner to take steps to prevent these problems, enter the alarm system.
Being the DIY man I am,
I immediately Googled “home alarm systems do it yourself” and got a ton of results.
Being the CHEAP man I am,
I wanted to find a system that had the least expensive monthly maintenance fee, with no maintenance being the best option.
The Skylink SC-1000
One system which really caught my eye is the Skylink SC-1000 (on Amazon.com). Skylink Home Security also has this unit on their site, but Amazon is less expensive and has several customer reviews of the product.
Zero Dollars in Maintenance
The biggest benefit of the Skylink SC-1000 is there are NO MAINTENANCE FEES. Instead of paying a company to maintain a contact center full of people sitting and answering phones, this system has an automated dialer which contains a pre-recorded message that is sent if the alarm is ever triggered. The following is from the manufacturer:
The emergency dialer (AD433S) is your own monitoring center without any monitoring fees. If any sensors are triggered the siren will sound and call for help at the same time. Program up to 9 numbers including your own cellular phone, relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. Once they pick up the phone, the emergency dialer will play your pre-recorded message.
Weighing in at a mere $159.99 with Free Super Saver Shipping this unit seems more than worth the money. Depending on the insurance savings, which should easily exceed the price tag of the SC-1000, I am certain we will be utilizing a unit similar to this.
Does Our Emergency Services Support Auto-Dialers
The next bit of research I need to do is verify that Auto-Dialing alarm systems are permitted in the state of Missouri and Joint Communications of Columbia will respond to these calls. Preliminary research showed a few other cities discussing the cost and liability on the individual who has a false alarm sending auto-dialing system. This leads me to believe most municipalities can handle these products.
UPDATE: State Farm in Columbia Missouri just confirmed that a stand alone unit that operates independnetly of a central monitoring service (exactly like the Skylink unit) is acceptable to qualify for a home insurance discount.
If you installed your own alarm system, have an alarm now, or are thinking about getting one please weigh in via a comment.
I keep thinking that a dog would be a good multipurpose alarm system, at least when you’re in the house. They tell you about anything unusual, including smoke, car entering the driveway, someone knocking at the door, or even just approaching. They can be taken in the car with you, and will guard it while you go into the store; you could even leave valuables in view on the seat. They are not too good at guarding sausage, however, so that should be put in the trunk. Taken along for a walk in the woods, they can do a pretty good job of equalizing if you should encounter a bad actor. I recognize that dogs don’t work in every situation, like when you are gone for a week; and I recognize that electronic alarm systems never go into heat; but for twenty or thirty thousand years now they have worked in many applications.
Might I add, a 1911 is also an excellent way to arm your home. Make sure it is accessible and easily loaded. Know your target and STK. Hope this helps.