The most basic version of home security is a pet: they bark at strangers and will let you know when something’s up. But, if you’re looking for something a bit more automated (and a bit less hungry), there’s a lot more you can do than the typical white box that beeps.
Our Picks for Best Home
If you want to keep track of your home on your smartphone, lock your door from the web, or start the oven on your way home from the office, it’s all possible with a home automation system. These systems, when connected with professional monitoring, can also alert the police or fire department when something has gone wrong.
Not ready for that kind of Jetson’s style home life? Then, think about a DIY monitoring system. You pick out your equipment, install it yourself (without adding any nail holes to the wall), and you’ll get alerted, not the police.
There are plenty of options — from affordable to extravagant — and we’re here to help you figure out what you need, and which company can provide it.
The Basics of Home Security
Should You Get Professional Monitoring or DIY Monitoring?
How hands-on do you want to be when keeping tabs on your home security? Would you rather do it yourself (DIY) or have professionals handle it?
Professionally monitored alarm systems are directly connected to call centers that contact first responders if the alarm is tripped. Of course, to have professional monitoring, you are required to have either a phone landline, internet connection, or cellular service. The Oklahoma City-area security companies we evaluated ranged in price from $20 to $35 per month for cellular monitoring. Those prices definitely won’t break the bank.
But let’s say you’re feeling a little more punk rock about your home security and go with DIY monitoring. The downside is you’re not connected to a call center. Instead, you have to contact the police or fire department in the event that any alarms go off in your home. On the upside, you save money on the extra monthly fee professionally monitored systems charge. All you have to do is purchase the equipment, set it up to your internet router, and you’re secure. Just make sure you have a reliable internet service.
Do You Need Bundled Security or a Custom Package?
Most home security companies have two options for consumers looking to install an alarm system. The quickest, easiest route for some people would be the bundled security package. The bundle works a lot like cable TV. Companies have two, three, or sometimes four levels of preset packages that increase in price as you add more features. Most basic packages give you the bare minimum: door and window sensors, keypads, and landline monitoring. We recommend at least that level. Beyond that, premium packages allow consumers to add more security with internet or cellular monitoring. The added bonus: once you decide which bundle you’d like, the monthly cost will rarely fluctuate. However, you’ll likely be on the hook for 36-months; a contract is often required to buy a bundle.
Want something a little bit more tailored? That’s where custom packages come in handy. In order to get an accurate quote and assessment for your home, most companies will send a rep to evaluate what your home requires. With this hands-on approach, you can make an educated decision based on your precise needs of your house (the number of windows, doors, etc.) with the help of an industry expert. And, you won’t be locked into a binding three-year contract; many home security companies offer month-to-month plans.
Before You Buy
Don’t be hasty when you’ve finally made the decision to buy a home security system. Before you submit your order, be sure to ask yourself a few questions:
- How long will I be in my current place? If you’re a renter who’s always on the move or you only have 10 months left on a lease, it wouldn’t really make much sense to commit to a 36-month contract.
- How much security do I actually need? Unless you’re a superhero trying to protect some sort of secret lair, you probably don’t need Batcave levels of security. When you start your search for home security systems, consider starting with what will make your home more secure — no more, no less. Maybe that does mean cameras in every room, or maybe it’s our recommended minimums: a simple set of door sensors, window sensors, and audible alarm. Like just like everything about home ownership: can always upgrade down the road.
- What perks can it add? If you’re a homeowner, there may be some hidden benefits to going all out and getting the top-of-the-line automated home security system. In some cases, a professionally monitored system can increase the value of your property and even give you a break on homeowner’s insurance.
Our Top Picks for the Best Home Security System in Oklahoma City
We evaluated six local home security companies in the greater-Oklahoma City area. Some were industry stalwarts, around for decades, while others are fresh-faced companies still getting their feet wet. We determined the best companies of those six based on four important factors: customer service, equipment, reputability, and cost. With that criteria in mind, we then put them up against our overall recommendations. Of the six local companies we evaluated, only two stood out as the top choices.
If you don’t mind going with a national company, we found that the best bundled options are Frontpoint, Protect America, and SimpliSafe. The best DIY kits are easily Lowe’s Iris system and Piper NV.
Best Bundled Options
- Frontpoint: Frontpoint is affordable, convenient, and versatile. They have standout customer service and offer DIY installation, which is shipped right to your front door. Frontpoint is professionally monitored. Choose between three packages with a required 36-month monitoring contract.
- Protect America: With a required 36-month monitoring contract, Protect America offers DIY wireless setup and five security packages. And if down payments are a dealbreaker for you, Protect America requires no upfront costs for the system.
- SimpliSafe: For only $15/month, SimpliSafe may be the right choice for your wallet. They offer cellular monitoring and four security packages. Unlike their competitors, no contracts are required.
Oklahoma City’s Best Local Home Security Companies
Recognized as the nation’s number one Broadview Security Dealer for four years in a row, Security Options sets the bar at the maximum level for security companies in Oklahoma City. Contracting with Security Options, you’ll be prideful that your city’ safety provider is the best in the nation and provides installation and monitoring jobs right here in Oklahoma City. Not to mention they’ve also received the highest ranking of an A+ from BBB.
Security Options wide-ranging services include intrusion alarm systems, fire alarm systems, CCTV/Video surveillance, and access control. Building an affordable security system containing everything you need to feel safe in your home can be quite an overwhelming task. At Security Options, there are always new deals and packages to simplify your search for a system. When comparing prices, you may wonder why its packages appear so much more affordable than other local and national dealers. Security Options does not hire subcontractors; they are an authorized dealer of both Guardian and Honeywell. That’s right, you and your family will be protected by the most state of the art equipment at some of the most competitive prices.
As mentioned, Security Options is constantly providing new deals and packages; one offer that remains for all customers is a free wireless system and installation with a signed contract. Incredible offers are available for video surveillance as well with packages starting at only $100. Security Options carries a broad array of devices from comprehensive DIY security camera systems to customized 64 camera systems with 4 DVRs viewable from your smart device. These options are available through do it yourself or custom installation.
Check out Security Options’ website for package deals or give them a call. It does not use any phone automation services as part of its celebrated customer service. You are guaranteed to speak to a human every time you call.
Globelink Security Systems
Providing affordable and reliable security to the Greater Oklahoma City area for over 20 years, Globelink Security Systems is well deserving of its BBB A+ rating, positive testimonials, and remarkably loyal customers. It spends little on advertising, earning 75 percent of its customers through word of mouth. It’s rare that you’ll find business owners spending as much time in their store as Bill and Andrea Davey. These dedicated owners are onsite every day to ensure their customers receive the utmost customer service.
The level of customer service is evident in their clients’ testimonials. One online review states “we have used your services for over 4 years now and we have always received excellent responses as well as superb service.” Customers are appreciative that Globelink does not raise its rates while under agreement unlike many security companies. It also make payments simple through an easy-to-use online bill pay.
If you already have an existing alarm panel, you’re in luck! Globelink monitoring is compatible with nine different alarm panels; check to see if your existing panel is listed. It can monitor your existing Ademco, Honeywell, 2GIG, and DSC Series alarm systems for only $13 a month with a base phone line. This service will be accompanied with a $50 activation fee. Numerous upgrades are available each for only a few bucks more every month. Upgrades include things like optional wireless, smartphone applications, and warranty and maintenance coverage.
Are you looking to introduce home automation to your house? Globelink Security Systems is able to make any home a smart home. New wireless 4-G security equipment, home automation, and 24/7 alarm monitoring is available for only $28 a month. It also offer smart camera system packages with catalogs available online for all products. Most contracts through Globelink are signed for one to three year agreements. Give the specialists at Globelink Security Systems a call to determine your options for a new or existing security system.
Best DIY Security Systems
- Lowe’s Iris: The Lowes Iris security system is the essence of DIY. It’s got starter packs or you can build your own package from scratch. Plus, Iris offers professional monitoring for a low monthly fee.
- Piper NV: If you want to feel like you live in a futuristic sci-fi movie — the cool ones, not the scary ones — then the Piper NV security system is the way to go. Ideal for people without much space to cover, it’s a standalone tower with a 180-degree camera, motion and sound sensor, and audible alarm.
Local companies that didn’t make the cut
Four of the local companies we took a look at just didn’t make the cut. Some of them had terrible websites, not-so-great reviews, and elusive customer service reps.
- U.S. Security, Inc.
- Bulldog Security, Inc.
- Peripheral Systems, Inc.
Preventing False Alarms
Adding a professionally monitored security system to your home means you’re also taking on the responsibility of your alarm actually alerting first responders. The last thing anyone wants to do is give first responders an unnecessary headache.
According to a 2010 report, false alarms are a major problem for Oklahoma City. Of the 116,000 alarm calls that required a police response that year, 86 percent were false alarms. The city estimated that police officers spend 14,000 man hours on false alarm calls!
But the city isn’t the only one wasting time (and therefore money) — if you have more than three false alarms in a year’s time, then you have what they call an “excessive alarm.” Excessive alarm fees cost $65 when the Oklahoma City Police Department responds, $107 if the fire department responds. If you’re not careful, the city can revoke your alarm permit.
So how can you prevent yourself from wasting money on fines, not to mention time and resources spent by first responders? It’s actually super simple. In the event that your alarm does go off accidentally, you can cancel the call before first responders arrive. It won’t register as a false alarm if you take that step.
To prevent those accidental alarms altogether, the Oklahoma City Police suggest that all responsible parties familiarize themselves with the alarm system. But be sure to do little tasks like always locking your door before arming the system. And don’t forget to have the alarm system routinely inspected and maintain them regularly. Sometimes, a low battery can cause the alarm to malfunction.
How to Register Your Alarm System in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City requires all alarm systems to be registered within 15 days of installation. They charge a $27 fee for new permits. Of course, you will have to renew after a year’s time. Renewals are $17.
To get a permit from the City of Oklahoma City, simply go to the Alarm Permit Guide on the city’s website and download the permit application.
Is a home security system worth it?
Definitely. A good home security system will give you peace of mind, sure, but it’ll also decrease the chance of your house getting burglarized. According to a 2012 study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, some 60 percent of seasoned burglars surveyed said that the mere presence of an alarm system would force them to seek a new target altogether.
How much security do I actually need?
Everybody has different needs. Some people only need the bare minimum, others may need (or want) a little or a lot more. At minimum, we recommend that you choose a system with an audible alarm, door sensors, and window sensors. From there, it’s really a matter of how much space you are covering. The larger your home, the more sensors and other elements you will need. And if you decide to go with a fully-monitored package, then you may also consider adding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that are connected to the fire department as well for that added sense of safety.
The Bottom Line
It can feel nice to not have a vulnerable house. Sure, that feeling is subjective, but there are a ton of systems out there to consider that suit those various needs. Think about what you’re after and go for it!
Best Local: Security Options, Globelink Security Systems