We’ve discussed do it yourself security fairly often in the past. After all, SafeMart is committed to supporting those homeowners interested in home security who also have the DIY mindset. And apart from us, there are a handful of other companies similarly committed. What you haven’t seen very often is a discussion of DIY home security by the mainstream news or from the “big guys” like ADT or Brinks. Is this because its a bad model, or simply too difficult? Is SafeMart appealing to an incredibly small demographic of extra-knowledgeable handymen with a ton of time on their hands to install and program a home security system?
Well, not quite. You see, I’m going to tell you the dirty, little, not-so-secret secret of the “big guys.” Their business model exists and, in fact, thrives on consumer ignorance. ”Sign up with (pick your poison) and receive a free home security system.” ”Only $99 for a system.” You’ve heard some variation of this line when watching or hearing TV or radio ads. And, the system is free or 99 dollars or whatever it is they’re promising. Whats not free is the 36 month contract you have to agree to in order to get the free or discounted system.
Still, a 36 month commitment isn’t that bad for a home security system with central station monitoring. And I agree, its not. What is bad, what ought to be criminal is the exaggerated monthly monitoring rate. You see with the “big guys” you’ll pay somewhere between $26 and $35 per month for standard alarm monitoring. Still doesn’t seem bad? Consider that SafeMart offers standard alarm monitoring from a UL listed, reliable alarm monitoring company for as little as $9 per month. Other companies committed to the DIY model do the same. Thats somewhere around a $200 to $300 a year difference in the cost of alarm monitoring. And remember, you’re tied to a contract for three years. Meaning, when its all said and done, you’ll pay somewhere between $600 and $900 more for alarm monitoring.
So, its clear that from that perspective, its really not a savings. But, what about the cost of the system. After all, if they give you a free system, you really are saving in the long run, right? Lets look at the GE Simon XT, the most popular wireless security sytem on the market, and one used by the “big guys” as well as those committed to the DIY model. Lets assume that the “big guy” is giving you the system for free. Lets assume they only charge $30 per month (the average to low-side of these contracts).
GE Simon XT System: FREE
3 Years Contract for Alarm Monitoring at $30 per month: $1,080
GE Simon XT System: $249
3 Years Contract for Alarm Monitoring at $9 per month: $324
Total Savings: $507
Now, I want you to remember when reading this: This is best case scenario! Most of the conventional companies will charge you an installation fee, and at least some initial payment for your system. But, even in this best case scenario, you’re talking about an additional $500 dollars. That doesn’t make any sense.
Make the smart choice, and if its time for you to get a home security system, don’t use one of the “big guys.”
*This is the first installment in a series of posts on Do It Yourself Home Security. The next post will deal with choosing a system and the last post will deal with ease of installation and programming.
*This post is not intended to make any claims about the cost, motivations, systems, etc. of any specific company.