In today’s world, even in beautiful Bluffton, you must be proactive to protect yourself and your home from burglars and intruders.

To choose the right system and provider, consider answering these nine questions about your potential home security provider:

  1. How long have they been in business? The longer they have been in business, the more experience they have. You will probably get better service with an experienced company that has a proven track record.
  2. What brand of equipment do they use? Research and compare different brands of equipment. Determine what level of security you need. Discuss your needs and options with a security expert. Onsite and remotely, you should be able to arm or disarm the system and monitor all system features.
  3. Does the company check the security systems on a regular basis? Regular checks by the provider ensure that the system is always in perfect working order (is that included in the total cost?).
  4. Are there any extra charges? Some providers might promote low rates but have additional charges. Be sure that you are fully aware of any extra costs when choosing a home security company. Read the fine print!
  5. Where is the company located? Many companies market their services online to anyone, anywhere. A local company might provide faster maintenance, and they might be more experienced in local area security concerns.
  6. Is the home security company licensed? Licensed companies operate under specific laws and regulations. The warranties they provide might be more reliable. When checking licensure, see if any complaints have been filed.
  7. Are you locked into a long contract with penalties if you cancel the service? Carefully check all details of the security company contract; initial and-or recurring costs, warranties, service call charges, renewal requirements, and options for getting out of the contract if you are dissatisfied.
  8. Can the system qualify you for a home insurance discount? This will depend on your insurance provider. With the installation of some systems, you might qualify for a home insurance discount. Call your insurance company when you begin looking at security systems.
  9. What happens with your system if you move? Some companies will allow you to maintain the current contract agreement; others might not. If you think you might move before the expiration of the contract, choose a provider accordingly.

One more suggestion, see what current clients have to say.

Larry Stoller is a real estate consultant and advertising executive who loves living in Bluffton and helping real estate agents and sellers get homes sold.