Often home and business owners have questions about why monitoring costs vary from one alarm company to another. Some of this variation is due to the fact that different alarm companies charge different rates for the monitoring services they offer. In some cases, one alarm company might be paying more for their monitoring than another. Some monitoring centers offer discounts to alarm companies when they reach certain quantity thresholds. In reality, most monitoring centers charge very similar prices.
However, the most common variable that influences monitoring prices is the services included in a particular monitoring package. This article will delve into what some of those services are and how they affect the cost of alarm monitoring.
Basic Alarm Monitoring
Prices vary depending on whether you’re looking at a residential versus commercial property. Most basic alarm monitoring packages include monitoring of a security system and fire detection equipment. In some cases, carbon monoxide is included, in other cases, it isn’t. Typically, the monitoring of a home fire sprinklers is not included but can be added on at a small cost. In the monitoring of a commercial alarm system, When an event occurs, the monitoring company alerts the customer and the authorities.
Wireless Alarm Systems
These days, most alarm companies offer wireless security systems. The cost of monitoring a cellular communicator is very low; however, if cell towers aren’t within range, this type of monitoring won’t work.
Backup Alarm Systems
Does the monitoring package you offer include backup options? This may seem redundant until one, two or even three of the means of communication are down. The more backups, the more expensive the cost of monitoring a particular home or business will be. In an emergency, you can’t afford to have the means of communicating that emergency disabled. You can choose, instead, to pay for layers of redundancy.
What are the Types of Backup?
- Cellular monitoring
- WiFi and internet monitoring
- Traditional phone line
- Radio transmission
Why Would You Need the Different Types of Backup?
The radio transmitter monitoring option is very rarely used; but if phone lines, cell towers, and the internet were to all go down during a catastrophic event, a radio transmitter could still work. This is a great option for certain government buildings, hospitals, and other buildings of high-importance that would need to function during a catastrophe. However, it’s only available to customers located within a certain proximity of the alarm monitoring station.
Smart Features and Device Integration
Do the home security systems you sell have a Smart Home option, such as Honeywell Total Connect or Alarm.com? These Smart Home features are integrated via a central hub, and the list of these capabilities is growing every year.
These Smart systems can monitor and control the lights, blinds, and temperature of a home. Doors can be locked and unlocked on a schedule. Inside and outside motion sensors can be monitored, especially after hours. Smart devices are being installed in conjunction with commercial security systems as well.
Industrial Process Monitoring
Industrial process monitoring is geared toward meeting the need for supervision, management, and control of a company’s critical systems and processes. There are separate monitoring costs for each of these options.
The processes of monitoring these sorts of industrial functions may involve:
- Facility Temperature Maintenance
- Humidity Levels
- Water Presence Or Water Levels
- Power Failures
- Elevator Emergency Phones
- Food Storage Systems
- Boiler Temperature Management
- Power Plant Scrubbers
- And Much More
These processes must be carefully monitored and supervised. When a critical event occurs, the monitoring company must be on top of the event to notify all necessary personnel.
Some systems can control the HVAC, blowers and air purifiers in commercial buildings. For example, in a hospital, it’s imperative that these systems run optimally. Any breakdown must be fixed immediately or it may threaten the health of patients and employees.
Regular Checks or Verifications
Does your current monitoring company only communicate with the end user when something goes wrong? Or does your monitoring company run periodic checks to make sure that the equipment is working properly? These random, but necessary system health checks are necessary but may involve additional costs.
Many Variables Affect the Costs of Alarm Monitoring
As you can see, the biggest driving force in monitoring cost variability derives from the monitoring services included in a particular monitoring package. When it comes to standard security monitoring services, the costs from one monitoring company to another are usually quite close. Costs can also be impacted by the extensiveness, complexity, and level of technological innovation provided by the monitoring company.
Remember to keep this in mind when you’re in the market for purchasing a monitoring package for your alarm customers, and be sure to research available companies before you make a decision. Contact Security Alliance to learn more about our third-party alarm monitoring solutions.