What Is Alarm Monitoring and How Does It Work?
If you're considering adding a home security system and checking out all the available options, one question you might have is: "What is alarm monitoring?" Simply put, alarm monitoring is a service that dovetails with your installed system to make it easier and more convenient to keep your home safe and secure. It works 24 hours a day, whether you're at home or away.
What Is Alarm Monitoring?
Alarm monitoring is an extension of your home security system's communication capabilities. A home security system is essentially a self-contained communication network that monitors conditions in various locations throughout your home and lets you know when something is amiss. Alarm monitoring includes a professional monitoring center with people available around the clock. If you're not at home, or unable to respond to an alert or phone call, the center can still send the local fire department, police, an ambulance or another type of help depending on the situation.
How Alarm Monitoring Works
Home security systems come with an array of components that can alert you to all sorts of situations. To let you know when someone enters your home uninvited, you may have:
- Glass breakage and motion detectors
- Door and window sensors
- Video cameras
Today's systems can also link to temperature sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and flood and leak sensors. All of these safety and environmental security devices are connected by either wired or wireless means to a control panel inside your home. If a device is triggered, the panel can sound an audible or silent alarm, send a text message or call your mobile phone.
If you have alarm monitoring, your control panel also immediately communicates with our professional monitoring center. The center then contacts you to make sure it's not a false alarm. We'll verify whether help is needed, and if you can't be reached or advise them to send assistance, we'll alert the appropriate authorities.
Alarm monitoring is an option whether you have a wired or wireless in-home security system. Your security system can also communicate with our local monitoring center via a landline or through a cellular network. With cellular security, there's no physical phone line that can be cut to disable the system.
DIY Alarm Monitoring vs. Professional Alarm Monitoring
Now that you have an answer to the question "what is alarm monitoring?", you still may want to know some reasons why monitoring your home security using your smartphone may not be enough.
If you're self-monitoring via your smartphone, you'll be alerted if something's awry, such as someone with nefarious intentions trying to get into your home, a smoke alarm going off or a flood occurring from a backed up sewer line. You can usually save a modest monthly monitoring fee, too.
However, having your system connected to a live alarm monitoring center can offer some distinct advantages in various situations. Maybe you're out of town when you're alerted to a fire or flood at home, and you have to deal with contacting help from a distance. If the system sends an alert triggered by an intrusion or an activated smoke or CO detector, you may be at home, but unable to call for assistance.