Tips on how to purchase an Alarm System

1. Be sure to take three bids when looking for an installed system.          

2. Be sure the all bidders are licensed & bonded electrical contractors and that the installers are also licensed themselves by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. They have Contractor Verification Number, check in the yellow pages for your local number. Outside the state of Washington, call your local Electrical Authority regarding Low Voltage installations for further assistance in verification.

3. In a home application, be sure the bids include all ground level accessible perimeter opening doors and windows, including the inside garage door to the home.

4. Beware of any long term monitoring or a direct sales contract where the alarm company you choose reserves the right to remove or reprogram any part of your system at the end of your monitoring agreement. You should ask "Can any company service this system/monitor this system later". If you do sign a lease/rent a system, remember the alarm company will remove the system leaving holes in your walls if you don't renew the contract when it expires. Also, ask when purchasing (as apposed to leasing), if the system program is locked (meaning that only the original alarm company can work on it by using a secret password to open the programming of the panel ....not good).

5. Ask for three references and call them. Ask the references if the installation was done on time, on budget, and as you expected. Did the technicians clean up? Were they polite and respectful?

6. Call your local Police authority and ask if the company you've chosen has a good track record of customer satisfaction and false alarms. Check with your local Better Business Bureau. Neither the Police or BBB can refer a particular company, but they will give you some idea who's doing a good job.

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