The desert landscape offers Phoenix residents a beautiful, peaceful backdrop to live safe and happy lives. But some people find that peace of mind is an added bonus to living near the undisturbed geography of the American desert — a peace of mind only offered by a decent home security system. Gone are the days of loud, boisterous burglar alarms. Instead, we live in an age of full home automation, where you can keep an eye on your living room while you’re hiking the Sonoran Preserve, or remotely lock your doors if you rushed out too quickly.
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But home security goes beyond protecting your valuables, it can also keep your family safe. From smoke and fire to carbon monoxide, a state of the art home security system will also alert you to hazards that consume countless homes across the country. It’s not all doom and gloom, either. Some systems even let you control audio and video settings, so you can listen to music or watch movies in any room.
According to the Phoenix Police spokesperson, Sgt. Vincent Lewis, the most basic way to keep your home safe is by simply locking your doors and windows, but there’s always more you can do.
“Residents should make their homes unattractive to burglars, by making sure the doors and windows lock properly, keep the landscaping up, keep trees and bushes trimmed and away from doors and windows where burglars might hide,” Sgt. Lewis added.
But outside of that, so many services offer so many features, and it can be hard to pick which is best for your home and your family. So which system is the best for you? That’s where we come in. We’ve evaluated and ranked the top home security companies in Phoenix. Whether you rent or own, there’s no reason you can’t add the extra oomph to your automated home security system.
Home Security Basics
At its core, home security is simple. Somebody breaks into your house, the system notifies you or the monitoring company and the police. If there’s a fire, the system alerts the fire department. But there’s a little bit more consumers have to consider before purchasing a system.
DIY Monitoring vs. Professional Monitoring
Some alarm systems are connected to a call center that will contact first responders immediately, in the event that your alarm is tripped. In order to receive professional monitoring, you are required to have an internet connection, phone landline, or cellular service. For cellular monitoring, the companies we reviewed ranged in from $35 to $60 monthly. Not a bad cost to know that you don’t have to lift a finger in the event that your alarm does go off.
On the other hand, if you choose a DIY system, you are not connected to a call center. That puts the onus on you, the resident, to notify the police or fire department of any alarms that go off in your home. Of course, you do get to save that extra monthly fee, which could add up over 12 months. All you have to do is buy the equipment, hook it up to your internet, and go. Just be sure your connection doesn’t go out, otherwise your home is left vulnerable.
Custom Systems vs. Bundles
Home security companies generally offer two options to consumers. If you want to go with a quick pick, the you would go for a bundled package. Think of it like ordering cable television. There are certain levels of packaging with set price points. Beginning with a basic package, you may get the bare minimum to secure your home — door and window sensors, keypads, and landline monitoring. But you can add features with set premium packages, with more security and internet or cellular monitoring. Bundled security prices rarely fluctuate once you make the decision that’s right for you and your budget.
Custom packages depend on your home, but offer different features to best secure your home. And since every house is like a snowflake — no two are the same — companies will likely have to send a rep to evaluate yours to determine what your custom alarm system will require. The hands-on approach from the company allows you to make an informed choice based on the exact needs of your house with the help of an industry expert. However, unlike bundled packages, the pricing is near impossible to determine without a quote. Still, many custom services offer month-to-month contracts, as opposed to the 36-month contract minimum generally required with bundles.
Before You Buy
Before you click the “submit order” button and commit to a full-fledged home security setup, you should evaluate exactly what your lifestyle calls for. For instance, it wouldn’t make much sense to commit to a 36-month contract when you only have 10 months left on your lease. And if you are a long-term homeowner with a family, maybe a DIY system requires more attention than you can devote to monitoring your own home security. Plus, if you’re already a homeowner, adding a professionally monitored home security system can add value to your property and even give you a break on homeowner’s insurance.
Also consider how much home security you actually need. Does every room really require a security camera and motion detectors? It’s best for you to enter the search for a home security system when you fully understand what you need to make your home more secure, not to mention what will help you find peace of mind.
The Freshome.com team evaluated the six leading Home Security companies that serve the Phoenix metropolitan area. We determined the three best ones based on four factors: Customer service, equipment, reputability, and cost. Using that criteria, we measured how well they stand up against Freshome’s recommended home security systems. Of the six companies we evaluated, three stood out as the best.
If you’re set on going with a local option, then you will want to check out Bonds Alarm, Bulwark Security, and JPG Security Consulting. All three met our criteria based on the availability of their customer support teams (you can actually get a human to answer the phone!), their reputation among Phoenix residents, and their monitoring costs.
Still, if you don’t mind going with a national company, the best bundled options will have to be Frontpoint, Protect America, and SimpliSafe. The standout DIY kits are Lowe’s Iris and Piper NV.
The Best Home Security Companies Based in Phoenix
This security company boasts of protecting the valley’s businesses and homeowners since 1957. Because this business is family-owned and operated, the staff have the experience of knowing just how important it is to protect what you love and own.
To ensure customer satisfaction, Bonds Alarms offers a one-year warranty on newly-installed security systems. This warranty includes all parts and labor on repairs and service that happens during the first year of ownership due to standard wear and tear. In the event that the system does need repair, staff is on hand 24 hours a day every day of the year to get a service technician out to your home or business within four hours. Keep in mind that you could receive up to 15 percent off your insurance policy for installing an alarm system, another reason protecting your home and business is a smart investment. If you like to stay informed, Bonds Alarm also produces a monthly newsletter to keep you updated on the newest products and services. Check out the crime prevention tips, along with advice on how to best maintain your system.
In less than a day’s time, you could have a quality security system in place by Bonds Alarms that uses the best technology around. Reach out for a free security review to see just how protected you could be.
Jeff Monson, the owner of Bulwark Security, encourages customers to call him with any questions or suggestions regarding the company’s work. That’s why it isn’t hard to believe that this company is a three-time recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award, the Kudzu Best of 2012 Award, and is also rated as an A+ member with the BBB. Yelp customer reviews also gives this company a five star rank due to customer satisfaction. It’s easy to see that customers are number one for this particular company.
The company’s Honeywell-built systems start as low as $25 a month, as do commercial security packages. Smart systems are also ever-popular and are a favorite among those who love advanced technology. Thanks to the smart security app the company has in place, customers have the ability to use an iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, iPad, or PC to control an alarm system. Receive text message and email alerts to know exactly when an arm or disarm happens.
Looking to save money on your electric bill? Have the Z-Wave Thermostat installed, and you won’t have to remind yourself to adjust the thermostat when you leave for a vacation. Linked with your alarm system, the Z-Wave Thermostat will reset to the temperature of your selection when your system is alarmed. Once disarmed, it will return to your normal temperature once you arrive home. This particular feature can be added to any of the residential or commercial alarm packages.
If you need a security system that is tailored to your specific needs and budget, JPG Security Consulting just may be what you’re looking for. This company is operated by a former police officer and previous “Officer of the Year” recipient who understands all there is to know about home security and safety.
Starting at $30 a month with a free installation and activation, this company offers a free home security system with your installation that also includes discounted monitoring rates. If you prefer to have a wireless and cell phone connection, rates start at $35 per month. That rate includes the same free installation and security system, valued at $1,500. There are no upfront fees, so customers can get a system installed without having to try and save up for a huge security system. Moreover, JPG Security Consulting has a guarantee that you won’t find with most other companies. If they cannot beat a competitor’s price, JPG Security Consulting pays you $100.
As a highly-rated company, you can feel secure knowing that others have received five-star treatment. If you refer a client to JPG, receive a $100 referral bonus, or ask the company to make a donation to help fallen police officers’ families or disabled veterans.
Best Bundled Options
Frontpoint: Frontpoint is an affordable option with incredible, standout customer service, offering DIY installation of its cellular system — shipped right to your front door. What sets it apart from other DIY kits, however, is that Frontpoint is professionally monitored. Choose from three packages that require a 36-month monitoring contract. You have to contact Frontpoint to get a quote.
Protect America: Like Frontpoint, Protect America requires a 36-month monitoring contract and even offers DIY wireless setup. But instead of three, they offer five security packages. What’s more is Protect America requires no upfront cost for the system.
SimpliSafe: At $15/month cellular monitoring, SimpliSafe may be the best choice for your pocketbook. They offer four packages, and unlike their competitors, no contracts are required.
Best DIY Security Systems
Lowe’s Iris: Lowe’s Iris is the epitome of DIY, with a fully customizable system. Lowe’s offers starter packs if you’re not feeling adventurous. For the Tony Starks out there, however, you can build your setup from scratch. Iris is compatible with professional monitoring for a low monthly fee.
Piper NV: If you don’t have much space, then the Piper NV system is for you. It’s a single standalone tower with a 180-degree camera, motion and sound sensor, and audible alarm.
Local Companies That Didn’t Make the Cut
Of the many local home security companies we evaluated, some of them simply weren’t up to our standards. Some had really shoddy websites that made it impossible to decipher what systems they actually offered. Others didn’t receive good reviews from consumers and not enough information out there. Then there were those who simply didn’t respond to our questions when we phoned and emailed.
- Titan Alarm
- Adobe Home Systems
- Lanza AV Home Theater & Security
Are false alarms a big deal?
Phoenix has a robust population of more than 1.5 million people, and a false alarm could result in a headache for first responders. Once you install your home security system, it’s important that you take some added precautions to prevent false alarms, that can be caused by accidents as simple and understandable as entering the wrong system code.
In 2012, the Phoenix Police responded to 35,288 false alarm calls, resulting in 17,644 wasted man hours, according to the Arizona Republic. That resulted in $3.4 million dollars spent — as well as $1.7 million in fines. Needless to say they didn’t make that money back.
“We know there is a cost to doing law enforcement. We think alarms are an essential tool for the public to use to protect their property and families.” — Phoenix Police spokesperson, Sgt. Vincent Lewis
The Phoenix Police Department does not charge for first time false alarm calls for permitted users.
So how can you prevent not only wasted money on your part, but wasted time of police and fire departments? It’s actually really simple. The Phoenix Police suggest that everyone in your home familiarize themselves with the alarm system. Always lock doors and windows before arming the system. Be sure to have equipment routinely inspected. Remember to properly maintain your alarms — this includes changing the batteries on a regular basis.
The City of Phoenix requires all alarm systems to be registered. If you fail to get a permit for your alarm system, it could result in charges each time the police or fire department respond — $96 and $106, respectively. But never fear, the Phoenix Police Department makes it easy to register your system.
Is a home security system worth it?
In a word, yes. Not only does it add to your peace of mind, a home security system will significantly decrease the chances of your house being robbed. 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. Those are some pretty good odds.
How much security do I actually need?
That depends on how much you want, to be perfectly honest. But Freshome recommends that you choose a system with an audible alarm, door sensors, and window sensors. The question is how much space are you covering? The larger your home, the more 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 for that added peace of mind.
The Bottom Line
Feeling secure is certainly subjective and varies from person to person. But when you add the extra a home security system to your living situation, you may feel as though you have one less thing to worry about. There are all sorts of systems out there to suit your needs and they are at various price points to fit any budget — from student to professional. So if you’re looking to feel a little more secure at night, when you’re at work, or when you’re on vacation, please consider our recommendations.