No one wants to be burglarized. There are no official statistics to cite for this bold claim, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’d admit, “Yes, I’d like someone to break in and steal my hard-earned property.” It’s also doubtful you’d find someone gleefully claiming, “I would love for my house to burn down.” Homeowners of all walks of life can largely agree that protecting their home from the threats that face it is in their best interest, which is why most of the conversations around home security center around those two things: burglary and fire detection.
There’s no arguing that intrusion and fire prevention are critical aspects of home security, but they’re not the only benefits of owning a home security system. A modern home security system—especially one installed and serviced by a professional security company—can add next-level protective and convenience benefits beyond what most homeowners typically consider when looking home security.
Alarm system control panels don’t send direct signals to local first responders. Instead, the signals are sent to a designated monitoring center, where the signals are interpreted and acted upon according to type and urgency. Homeowners determined to install DIY or “national brand” security systems often don’t realize the company they’re purchasing their system from does not monitor their system directly. Instead, these companies outsource the responsibility for alarm monitoring and dispatch to third party companies who may be located in a completely different state.
Modern homes burn down in a matter of minutes, so getting firefighters to your home ASAP is of vital importance. Having your alarm monitoring company located locally can help to expedite emergency dispatch by simplifying the process of contacting you and/or local authorities in the event of an alarm.
Furthermore, in the event of less urgent signals—a low battery notification, for instance—it pays to have your local monitoring done by the same company that installed your alarm system in the first place. Communications between a separate installation company, monitoring company, and service company can be time consuming and lead to bad information or delayed service times. Here at EPS Security, our Monitoring Center is manned 24/7/365 from our Grand Rapids corporate office by our own employees, all of whom are trained to rigorous company standards. If follow-up is needed from an alarm event or phone call, an operator will quickly send a message to a co-worker in the next room—not a company potentially hundreds of miles away.
When someone experiences an emergency, the last thing they are worried about is how the alarm signal is going from their control panel to their designated monitoring center. All they care about is whether the alarm actually gets where it needs to be. In years past, most alarm systems sent signals through old copper phone lines—the same types of landlines that households installed for general phone use. However, several factors in the last 10-15 years have limited the efficiency of these lines for security system usage:
“Plain Old Telephone Service” (POTS) copper lines are being replaced overwhelmingly in favor of “voice over IP” lines, which “splatter” alarm signals and make alarm dispatch impossible
With the widespread adoption of cell phones as the primary phone number for heads of household, only 40% of households still have a landline—and only 6.5% of homes use landlines exclusively over cell phones
With phone lines both becoming harder for security systems to communicate over and fewer households having them at the ready, the security industry has pivoted to cellular alarm signal communication. Basically, a module or add-on to a “normal” control panel will take an alarm signal and transmit it via radio wave to a cell tower—the same cell towers your cell phones use. The cell towers then relay the signal to your designated monitoring center for interpretation and dispatch.
Besides avoiding the previously mentioned pit falls of landline usage, there are additional benefits to using cellular signals to transmit alarm signals. While uncommon, a physical landline can be cut—severing your system’s ability to communicate with your monitoring center and effectively negating any chance first responders would be dispatched on an alarm. Secondly, some homes that primarily use cell phones for communication pay for a landline just because their alarm system requires one. In most cases, these older systems can be modified or upgraded to utilize cellular communication, allowing homeowners to cancel their landlines once and for all to save no small amount of money.
Flood and water detection
Burglars and house fires often hog the headlines, but water damage is one of the most commonly occurring threats to your home. It’s estimated that 14,000 people a day experience water damage at their home or place of business. Simply repairing a leaking pipe and fixing the necessary damage caused by the repair can reach beyond a thousand dollars—and that’s not counting the damage to the structure itself, which can cause the cost of repairs to skyrocket past the $10,000 mark depending on severity. Water leaks may be less exciting to read about, but they’re more common and usually more expensive than the average burglary.
Anyone with a Michigan basement understands the destructive powers (and general annoyance) of water leaks, but many people still aren’t aware that a professional home security system can help detect leaks and floods. Water and flood detectors can be placed in, under, or around the “usual” problem areas, including:
Hot water heaters
Water sensors are designed to go off once moisture accumulation is detected. By alerting homeowners to the first sign of water damage, these detectors can help to minimize the costs and damage associated with leaks and floods.
We’ve written at length about the newest trend in home security: the smart home security system. EPS Security’s ProSeries line of home security devices are compatible with Total Connect®, a smart home hub capable of supporting a vast number of devices and allowing for control from a single unified app. With Total Connect®, a single app grants you control of your smart home security from the palm of your hand.
Many people hear “smart home” and think, “I don’t want something overly complicated. I just want a security system that works and is easy to use.” EPS Security’s Total Connect is designed with ease-of-use in mind. With a push of a button, Total Connect allows you to take control of your smart home security system by:
Arming and disarming the system remotely
Viewing HD WiFi cameras and Skybell video doorbells
Switching on and off devices such as lights, door locks, and garage door openers
Viewing your alarm history and receiving alarm notifications straight to your phone
All of the convenience of a smart home system wouldn’t be worth it if it compromised on the security side of smart home security. Luckily, EPS Security’s ProSeries line of home security products is top of its class in protection capabilities, blending perfectly the simplicity of a well-engineered smart home system with the powerful detection technologies of a leading home security manufacturer.
There are further benefits to home security systems than those discussed, but it shouldn’t be a homeowner’s job to be a security expert. However, it is our job at EPS Security to know the ins-and-outs of home security technology and best practices, and it’s our privilege to impart that knowledge on to you. We’ve spent the last six decades entrenching ourselves as Michigan’s trusted security partners, advising on and installing systems for homeowners across the state. Whether you’re looking to update away from a phone line system or looking to install a brand new smart home security system, EPS has you covered—and has since 1955.