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Crime Prevention Safety Tips: Home Security Systems

A few "bad apples" have given home security system salespeople a poor reputation.  Some are swindlers who will scare homeowners into purchasing their products and even inflate the price to line their own pockets.  They may talk customers into a rollover contract that self-renews, forcing the homeowner to pay for another period without authorization.

If you're looking into a home security system, here are a few things to keep in mind to keep from being swindled:

  • Take your time shopping and researching.
  • Is the monitoring company properly staffed and trained? Gather price quotes from various companies for security and include smoke and fire monitoring.
  • Make a drawing of your home, or a checklist, and figure out how many doors and windows you need to protect.
  • Call your insurance agent and ask what discounts are available on your homeowners insurance and what requirements a security system must meet for you to qualify.
  • Do not lease a burglar alarm.
  • If a salesperson tries to scare you into buying their alarm system, terminate your conversation with them.  If they have to scare you into buying their product, how good could it really be?  If you want to find out what the criminal statistics are for your particular area (for all crimes) then contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 425.430.7521 for a report.
  • If an alarm representative tells you that their system connects directly to the 9-1-1 system, terminate your conversation with them immediately. This is against the law and they are lying to you in order to obtain your business.  Immediately report them to the Better Business Bureau.
  • The City of Renton is updating the alarm program and procedures.  Residents and businesses will be notified once the new system is in place.