You use your smartphone to order food, pay your bills, maybe even find love—why wouldn’t you use it to protect your home? If you still think of security systems as a single wall-mounted box that beeps incessantly at intruders, you’re not alone—many people don’t realize the impact technological advances have had on home security companies in the past few years. They now offer comprehensive, cutting-edge plans backed by WiFi and Bluetooth, meaning you can stream a live feed of your backyard or lock your door with a simple tap of your touchscreen.
Our Picks for Best Home
But beyond all the sleek gadgetry, home security is about one simple thing: giving you peace of mind. What will it take for you to rest easy when you’re out hiking for the weekend or even just spending the day at one of Denver’s awesome breweries? You might be the type who likes a surveillance camera in every room, or you might feel set with a few door and window-break sensors. Both options are great, and we’ve found that it’s best to get the level of security that gives you comfort—not one that adds unnecessary stress. That’s why we didn’t narrow our list down to just one winner.
After a thorough investigation of Denver’s local home security company offerings, which included hours spent poring over customer reviews, reviewing crime reports, and analyzing cost and other factors, we landed on a few security systems we think you’re going to love. We then compared them to the best national brands that offer reliable service. Let’s dig in and get to know the ever-evolving world of home security.
Home Security 101
The first thing to know when shopping for a home security system is that there are a lot of options. It may initially appear overwhelming, but don’t let it discourage you. At their core, home security systems all operate in essentially the same way:
A central control panel connects either via physical wires, WiFi, or Bluetooth to a system of sensors attached to windows and doors. You can add things like motion detectors and a bunch of home-automation too. When any of the devices detect a threat (such as a window breaking or water leak), an alarm is triggered, which sends a message to a licensed call center to alert first responders. That is if you opt for (and pay a subscription on) a professional monitoring center.
Professionally monitored systems are linked to a call center that is alerted immediately after an alarm goes off. They then alert the police or fire department, depending on the threat detected. You don’t have to do a thing—the call centers are 24-hour services operating to serve you. Some systems will also text or message you with an update via your home WiFi. Professional monitoring systems need either a cellular, landline, or broadband connection and often require you to sign a contract.
If you’re not the contract or subscription type, you’ll be enticed to go for a DIY system. If your alarm goes off, you’ll get alerted. From there, it’s up to you to call the authorities and alert them of danger. These systems are usually easy to set-up with no monthly fees—the only problem? The City of Denver requires that all home security systems be backed by a licensed monitoring center. Licensed monitoring it is!
So, in Denver, if you’re going the DIY route, go for a system like Lowe’s Iris that offers professional monitoring. The system doesn’t require a lot of setup and can easily be reinstalled in your next home.
Time to Shop for a System
Home security systems are packaged in one of three ways: DIY, customizable, or bundled kits. Almost all home security companies use the same equipment. That means you are going to get the same performance no matter which company you choose. This makes factors like customer support, pricing, and contracts all the more important.
The custom route usually involves getting a quote from a professional before you know what you’ll be paying. The home security company will send an agent to visit you in person to assess the layout of your home and its strengths and weaknesses.
Bundles are more straightforward. Companies offer a few upgradeable packages and give you the option to install them yourself.
The completely customized systems (which are most often offered by your local companies) typically don’t involve signing a long-term contract or monitoring agreement. If you’re planning to move within the next three years, they’re a good option. Alternately, bundled systems are transparent about their pricing from the start. You won’t end up paying a bill way higher than you expected—you buy the hardware and usually sign a 36-month monitoring contract that’s set from the get-go.
Consider what it takes to make you feel safe. Would all the latest gadgets turn you more paranoid than peaceful? At minimum, we recommend going with door and window break sensors and an audible alarm. Anything more should add to your sense of security, not take away from it.
Best Home Security System in Denver
Our team investigated seven home security companies local to Denver. We thoroughly evaluated each company’s reputability, customer service, and pricing—through this process, we identified four deserving of your consideration. What we learned? Across the board, Denver’s home security companies scored high across the board.
Denver’s Best Local Home Security Companies
United Security System is one of the few locally-owned and operated security companies in Colorado, and has been in business since 1957. In that time, it has developed a reputation for delivering quality solutions to its customers. Every service inquiry is backed with a free, on-site consultation and, if you become a customer, you’ll enjoy free fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
United Security System offers solutions for both residential and business customers. Featured services include remote arming and disarming of your alarm, keyless entry, video surveillance, certified UL monitoring, and home automation. Customers can also choose from a variety of add-ons include one-touch remote panic, medical emergency, and fire buttons; temperature sensors (ideal for monitoring piping infrastructure); and flood sensors.
We were also impressed with United Security System’s approach to security. The company’s security consultants explain the importance of securing the outside and inside of a home, and in its 59 years in business, it offers a security measure for just about every potential security risk.
United Security System is a great option for the Colorado home or business owner who wants a custom security system from a local provider, without forgoing quality. Especially if you are new to the security market, their professionals help you feel right at home.
Integrated Systems is a locally-owned, full-service alarm company based in Denver, CO that has served the city’s front range for more than 30 years.
It provides services to both residential and business clients, and begins its customer relations with an on-site visit and consultation — the company’s experienced security specialists can address every client concern with a custom-fit solution. The company’s portfolio of services includes fire alarms, security systems, one-touch panic alerts, and UL-certified monitoring.
One of the most unique services Integrated Systems provides is access to SKYLINK and SKYVIEW systems. SKYLINK provides home monitoring across radio frequency as an alternative to landline and internet-based solutions. The system is ideal for remote areas with limited connectivity, as traditional landline and internet-based solutions can sometimes prove unreliable in these areas. A radio frequency-based system guarantees security across one of the oldest communication systems in the nation. SKYVIEW is a similar system that includes video monitoring.
Integrated Systems also offers home automation and remote security system access using Alarm.com’s technology. The company offers customizable service packages to users to ensure you get exactly what you need. Cellular monitoring starts at $42 per month.
Integrated Systems is a great security provider for the Denver resident that wants reliable security that works. Whether you are securing a remote cabin in the Rockies or your family home in Ski Country, you can have confidence Integrated System solutions will work no matter what.
Safe Systems is a Denver-based security company that doesn’t just secure your home against burglary and intrusion; it also offers a number of other services to protect your home against inclement weather, flooding, and fire.
Safe System solutions provide customers with the ability to aggregate home security and home management solutions. Statistically, it’s unlikely you’ll experience a break-in (thank goodness), so Safe Systems offers unique solutions to allow you to best manage your home, while still having a failsafe against theft. For example, Safe System suggests users use their six-camera system (which comes standard) to find out when their children arrive home from school, to check on pets during the day, and keep tabs on pools, decks, and other outdoor areas (say, if there’s a mountain lion in your backyard, better you find out through a motion sensor than a walk outside).
Safe Systems also offers sensors to detect severe weather conditions, flooding, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and home automation. The company offers various packages to meet the needs of its clients. Its standard package comes with a touchscreen keypad, two door sensors, one motion sensor, mobile connectivity, and system service and repair.
If you are looking for a home security system that doubles as a home management system, Safe System has great solutions. The locally-owned service provider also hosts it’s own in-house UL-certified central monitoring station, so you can get everything you need in one place. Cellular monitoring starts at $30 per month.
Reliable Home Security services CO cities all along the state’s front range, from Colorado Springs to Denver and Fort Collins, and provides both residential and business solutions. The company fair pricing, and even offers complimentary residential security hardware and installation to its customers. Prospective customers can call for a free quote and have a system installed within a few days.
The company is locally-owned and the its executives have more than 50 years of combined experience in the security industry. Reliable Home Security is accredited and Monitronics-certified. It has also won various awards for providing top quality service to its Colorado customers, including being named North America’s Alarm Monitoring Service Provider for 2008.
The company offers a number of options for home security, including two-way, hands-free voice monitoring; cellular and Monitronics monitoring; home automation; and Alarm.com’s remote connectivity technology. Cellular monitoring packages start at $35 per month, and the company regularly offers no-money-down system installation.
Reliable Home Security also uses UL-certified alarm monitoring service to provide the highest quality service to its monitoring customers. With this, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee on its systems, and guarantees its prices are the most affordable in Denver.
Reliable Home Security is for the Colorado resident who wants exceptional monitoring service from a local provider, at a bargain. The company posts offers on its website, and new customers may be eligible to try a system for free, which includes hardware and installation.
Best Bundled Options
If you just want the very best deal and fast, you should consider these national companies:
Frontpoint: Frontpoint ships free to your door and includes a 30-day “risk-free” trial period, so there’s never any buyer’s remorse. This contributes to its consistently high customer service rating. You can install their wireless devices yourself, and there are three upgradable packages to choose from. The only catch? You need to sign a 36-month contract to get started.
Protect America: Protect America offers five different packages, giving you plenty of options. You can choose to install equipment yourself or have an agent come do it for you. No up-front payments for equipment, but you will have to sign a 36-month contract.
SimpliSafe: If you are looking for an affordable, contract-free system—this is for you. They offers four different wireless packages that start at just $230. And their professional monitoring is a steal at just $15 per month.
Best DIY Security Systems
Lowe’s Iris: The Lowe’s Iris offers a huge list of available features like remote-controlled doggy doors, WiFi-connected thermostats, and wirelessly controllable lighting—there are even smart light bulbs that work with Iris. It’s also compatible with professional monitoring, which you’ll need to get in order to register your alarm system with the City of Denver.
Piper NV: Piper NV is a huge value in a small package, ideal for apartments or short term rentals. It’s an single tower equipped with a variety of security tools. Towers start at $200 and are even compatible with Z-Wave accessories.
Local Companies That Didn’t Make the Cut
Some of these companies simply haven’t been around long enough to earn a significant reputation, while others didn’t offer free installation.
- Home Security Centers
- Optima Home Security
- Colorado Security Company
Preventing False Alarms
False alarms are a huge problem nationally and Denver is no exception. According to the city’s false alarm management center, the Denver Police receive over 10,000 alarm calls a year, 98% of which are deemed false. Obviously, this is a major issue that impacts officers’ time allocation, city budgets, and your own tax rates. If your home sends out more than five false alarms in a year, you will be put on the “general response” list, meaning the police will come to check on the intrusion only if they’re already in the neighborhood.
How to avoid that? First, register your system with the City of Denver online. Once your permit has been approved, it’s valid for one year (renewable for a $25 fee) and you will only be charged $50 per false alarm. That’s a big difference from not getting the police’s help at all.
Still, you want to do what you can to prevent false alarms. There are a few simple steps you can take to dramatically decrease the likelihood of a false alarm. For starters, regularly check the batteries on your equipment. Make sure that your doors and windows are properly closed before arming your system. Lastly, and this is a big one, make sure everyone who has to interact with the system knows how to use it.
Here are some other practical steps you can take to keep false alarms to a minimum.
Is a home security system a good investment?
Many people think that because they aren’t settled down or don’t own a ton of valuable that they don’t need a home security system. Unfortunately, your home has the same risk of being burglarized no matter what neighborhood you’re in. According to a report published the US Department of Justice, anyone living in any residence is at risk.
Secondly, the very presence of a security system, no matter which one you choose, is enough to deter a criminal. In a study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, 50 percent of all criminals will immediately leave after an alarm is triggered. Those are pretty good odds.
And beyond the safety benefits, home automation features can help you save money on energy usage, meaning you could recoup your investment in the long run. Plus, just owning a system might qualify you for a break on your taxes.
Is there anything I can do to lower my home’s risk of being targeted?
Well, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your home’s risk, but the Denver Police wisely remind us that there’s no way to make your home 100% burglar proof. There are, however, steps you can take to make it burglar resistant:
“You cannot make your home burglar-proof. In taking steps to protect your home and its contents, bear in mind that no home can be protected like Fort Knox. No amount of locks, bars, lights, or bells can guarantee total protection. You CAN make your home burglar-resistant! Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Residential burglars want to gain entry fast, move quickly while inside, and then get out.”
The Bottom Line
No matter your situation or budget, home security systems provides you peace of mind and the ability to make your home burglar-resistant. Take a look at our top picks and decide what’s right for you.