There are two basic types of monitoring: professional monitoring and self-monitoring. While it may appear cost-effective and convenient to monitor your alarm system yourself, hiring a professional monitoring service is the safest way to go.

Effective self-monitoring requires your attention and a cell connection 24/7, which might not be possible all the time. Many people don’t consider the many everyday situations that put them out of touch – at least temporarily:

  • Cell phone “dead zones” in certain areas
  • Hospitals: Many hospitals strongly discourage or prohibit cell phone usage in specific areas. You could miss an important alert while visiting a friend or relative.
  • Travelling: Do you travel for work? If you’re on an airplane you may not have access to your security system.
  • Working Out: Do you go for runs or exercise in other ways? Is your phone with you during your entire workout?
  • Important life moments: There are just times in your life when you don’t want to be interrupted by your phone! Weddings, honeymoons, childbirth, religious services, job interviews, etc.
  • Weather related power outages:  In a storm there is the potential for cell towers do go down and power cuts, a favourite time for intruders to attack.

And once you receive an alarm signal from your house, what then? Do you call the police, or check it out yourself? Are you ready to confront an intruder or intruders? What if they’re armed?  USN’s central station also tests the connection of your alarm to our monitoring system and  your panels ability to communicate 24/7 –  if your panel is not set to a schedule, the power is off, there is a battery test fail or a wiring fault or cabinet tamper, it will tell us.

Having a professional alarm monitoring service connected to your home’s alarm system does not have many disadvantages. It does carry a small monthly fee, but most insurance companies also offer a discount to homeowners who have an operational alarm system in their home.  And you get all of this from around $1.00 per day!

What about unmonitored alarm systems?  While company and self-monitored security systems both offer some way of monitoring your home while you’re not there, unmonitored alarm systems are simply intended to scare off intruders as soon as they step foot in your home — but you’ll have to rely on one of your neighbours to call the police if they hear the alarm. While an unmonitored alarm-only system can make quite a racket and scare off those pesky burglars, it’s safe to say that some form of monitoring adds an extra layer of security, whether it’s done professionally or you do it yourself.