What is a self-monitored security system?
Security systems involve more than alarms and sensors; someone needs to be alerted to them when they signal the presence of intruders and respond appropriately. The main difference between a self-monitored and a professionally monitored system is who answers the call.
When the alarm on a self-monitored system sounds, it alerts the owner’s mobile phone via a mobile application. Alerts can originate from the tripping of motion sensors, contact sensors, cameras, and other devices. The next step is up to the users as to how they choose to respond. For most self-monitored home systems, users can speak through cameras, see the footage, or alert the authorities using the mobile application.
On the other hand, professionally monitored systems send alerts to a monitoring station operated by trained professionals who contact the homeowners and assess the situation over the phone. These monitoring professionals help you decide whether the threat is grave enough to alert the authorities and patch you through if needed.
The great news is that both options are sufficient to keep your home safe. The best choice depends on how often you check your security system app and respond to emergencies. For most users, a few signs indicate that a DIY self-monitored home security system is sufficient.
Pros of having self-monitoring home security
Here are a few perks good self-monitored home security systems bring to the table.
No or low monthly fees
You don’t have to pay someone to monitor your system if you do it yourself. Some systems like Nest, Abode or Wyze allow you to get away with a one-time equipment fee. But the self-monitored systems aren’t always the cheapest option.
Some options require a minimal level of commitment, like financing or a self-monitoring fee. Scout, for example, charges $10 for its Always-On plan, which covers the app. Others such as Ring or Canary offer optional paid perks such as stored video footage. Without these subscriptions, you could be limited to only a few minutes of footage to review.
Even if you’re going with a basic system like Wyze, it’s good to read the fine print to ensure you won’t get any surprises on your bank statement each month.
A self-monitored system allows homeowners to handle anything that happens via sensors without contacting a monitoring center. With a self-monitored system, you will not face stress as you won’t need to worry about any false alarms or your kids coming home early, causing issues with emergency responders.
No false alarm penalties
In some cities, false alarms that involve police or fire crews can come with a fine. The best self-monitored security systems allow you to screen the situation before calling first responders.
Self-monitored home security systems are ideal for renters because they’re easy to move from place to place. They can be installed independently without needing a monitoring center, making them an excellent choice if you’d like more flexibility in where you live or work. These smaller devices usually are the best fit for apartments and condos rather than larger homes with more expansive lawns – but may require some specific installation requirements that will depend on the layout and design of each space.
If you change your mind about the home security system, self-monitoring is easier to upgrade or cancel. Also, there is no pressure from sales reps when you call to make changes to a plan.