How to Choose a Home Security Company

Choosing a company to protect your home and family is an important decision. A company that does not provide reliable security technology and reliable monitoring is no protection at all. San Antonio Security would like to offer you the benefit of our 40 years of experience in the industry to answer some of the most common questions we get from customers.

Q. Why does it seem like there are fewer national providers of home security services today?

A. You are right. In recent years, three of the nation’s largest providers of home security services have consolidated into one through mergers and buy-outs. This leaves the consumer with fewer choices. The nation’s largest home security company does not provide installation and maintenance, relying on contractors who have varying degrees of expertise.

Most communities have a number of smaller security companies, but most of them rely on other companies for monitoring services. San Antonio Security is proud that we can provide our customers with full service from installation through monitoring.

Q. Some security companies advertise a “free” home security system. Is this a bargain?

A. The free system that security companies offer will not be adequate to protect most homes. Usually this is simply an opportunity to get into your home to sell you the security system you really need. When the initial offer is “free,” you may find that your final price is actually higher than with a company like San Antonio Security. San Antonio Security, for example, offers a free basic home security system that we install for $99. Most home security systems will cost an average of $400 for a system that would offer good protection for a single family home.

Q. I have a small home and was offered a free “all-in-one” wireless system by another security company. Will this protect my home? We have had several burglaries in the neighborhood recently.

A. “All-in-one” systems have one important flaw. An intruder can simply pull the unit off the wall, preventing the alarm from sounding and an alert from being sent to the monitoring station. A better choice is a system that has three separate units: a keypad, a control panel, and a siren. That is far more difficult to disable.

Q. I am building a new home. Is this a good time to install a security system?

A. Yes! It is the best time. By installing your system when the rest of your electrical lines are being installed, you can have a hard-wired system that will last for years and can be upgraded easily as technology advances.

Burglary Prevention Advice

Q. Are there other things I should do besides having a security system installed in order to make my home less attractive to burglars?

A. Yes. Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Make sure all trees and shrubs are pruned and well-maintained to avoid providing a place for burglars to hide.
  2. Make sure you have good exterior lights. You can install photo sensors so that lights come on automatically when it is dark outside.
  3. Do not keep keys under the front door mat or other easily discovered place outside your home.
  4. When you are away from home for a few days, ask a neighbor to take care of picking up newspapers and mail, and to generally give your home a “lived-in look.”
  5. Do a walk around your home. Put yourself in a burglar’s shoes and look for obvious ways to easily enter your home. Then, make sure you have reinforced or installed locks—or otherwise make entry more difficult.
Finally, make sure that the yard sign and window decals that San Antonio Security provides its customers are prominently displayed. We may not be able to prevent all break-ins, but these tips will make your home less attractive to burglars than your neighbors’ homes.

Fire Prevention Advice

Q. Do you have any tips for making my home safer from fires?

A. The most important tip is to have a monitored heat/smoke detector installed by San Antonio Security. That ensures that even when you are away from home, the fire department will be contacted quickly. Remember, when fire strikes, the more quickly that firefighters arrive, the better your chances of saving your home and your possessions inside.

There are things you can do to decrease the likelihood of fire, though.  They include:
  1. Have your heating system regularly inspected and maintained.
  2. Have your fireplace cleaned regularly. And, make sure that you use a protective grate so sparks won’t enter the room when using the fireplace.
  3. Eliminate long extension cords and outlets that have too many devices plugged into them.
  4. Clean the hood on your stove of any grease build up.
We also recommend that you have a fire extinguisher on each level of your home and that you practice a fire drill with your family so that every member has an escape route and knows where to meet outside away from the house.

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1 out of 14 San Antonians become a victim of a burglary/theft crime.
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When we arrived home, the Fire Department was there and the smoke was clearing. Damage to our home was very minimal. The crew chief explained that flames were just beginning to appear upon their arrival. His next statement was, “Your alarm system just paid for itself.” That was an understatement! We greatly appreciate both the professional installation of our security system and the quick dispatch of emergency services that we received from San Antonio Security. Thank you to the dedicated folks at San Antonio Security.
~ Tonya & Randy M., San Antonio
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