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  Should I Own Or Lease My Alarm System ?


While shopping around for a home or business security system, you will find that most security companies will either sell or lease the equipment (control panel, keypads, sensors, etc) of the security systems they install.


Some major companies such as ADT , Brinks, & Monitronics base profits on the sale and installation of the equipment and require a 3 to 5 year lease/monitoring contract; their profit comes from your ongoing monthly payments.


Thatís why the up-front cost of an installed "sold" system is considerably higher than for an identical leased or "free" system. To attract customers, some companies will offer a "free" or very low priced alarm system. But be careful, these ultra low cost systems are often very basic. By the time you add the items necessary to provide adequate protection, you may pay substantially more than if you had chosen a comparable traditional installation package.

When a company sells you the equipment for a security system outright, you own it forever. Once the warranty expires, youíll have to pay for any service or maintenance required. However, if the system works just fine but you become dissatisfied with the monitoring service, you can easily change companies without replacing the equipment. So if you decide to purchase your security system, insist on equipment that is standard, and not "locked out" to other security companies. "Locked out" simply means that a four or five digit installerís code is required to access the alarmís programming features. Some companies (especially the "free" alarm companies) charge ultra high service fees to unlock your system.


Some of the big companies alarm system are proprietary in nature (ADT, BRINKS, MONOTRONICS) as they are built specifically for the alarm service and in order to get new service you WILL have to contact one of their authorized installers who will reprogram it so you will be back to where you started.


Leased systems remain the property of the security company. Your monthly bill usually combines the fees for lease of the equipment and 24 hour monitoring. If you cancel the service, the security company can come and remove the system from your home. Security lease and monitoring contracts vary widely from company to company. Some allow you to cancel anytime without penalty. Others obligate you to pay the entire remaining balance of the contract immediately if you cancel for any reason. This almost always applies to the "free" alarm system option, as well.

Above all, be sure to read any security contract carefully, and make sure you understand all the terms before you sign.


At Countywide you ARE the owner of your security system and in most cases you are covered by our lifetime warranty on equipment only as long as you are a customer in good standing








Backup systems. A typical monitored home security system offers a 24-hour backup component that kicks in should your phone lines get cut by a potential intruder. A radio or cellular backup system will send a signal to the central monitoring station that the phone line was dropped thus ensuring that the alarm signal gets to the proper authorities


   While most American homes have items of value to thieves, only about 30% of all private homes have a security system. Most customers call for systems after they've been burglarized.





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