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Posted on

I was driving to work yesterday and saw a van with “Alarm Company” written on its door.

I thought for a second.  They must offer alarms of course.  I did see the word “fire” also on the van.  So do they work with fire alarms only?  Do they monitor them as well as install them? 

Components of a security system offered by an alarm company or other similar provider.

What does this mean to you?  I work in the industry and I’m still not sure of all the services they offer or how specifically they operate.  Obviously, I can deduce that they offer fire alarm services, but what else?

So what exactly is an alarm company?  It can be a little vague.  It’s not as clear in people’s minds as if they saw “plumber” or “electrician” on the side of that same van. 

Of course, some companies are just alarm companies.  They may just install and monitor burglar and/or fire alarms.  But the point of this post is that you never quite know exactly what services are offered by simply seeing the title of the business.

You may want to ask the company you contact if they’re a full-service security integrator.  These companies will not just provide burglar and fire alarms and monitoring, but other services as well.

Besides alarm monitoring, other principle services of a full service security integrator are video surveillance and access control, for instance.

They will even offer such ancillary services as driveway sensors that fend of intruders, motion sensor lighting and security window screens.  A select few even offer locksmith services. Be sure to ask if your security provider offers this.

It is perfectly fine if you choose to go with a pure alarm company that does nothing but installs, services and monitors burglar and/or fire alarms, if that’s all you’re in need of. 

For instance, some companies specialize in only fire alarm services.  They not only install, service and monitor fire alarm systems, but also perform regular fire alarm inspections and tests required by local fire jurisdictions.

However, you may simply want to explore other, more comprehensive companies as well that offer those same services but also perform the additional ones mentioned above.  After you have an alarm installed, you may have a need for remote video monitoring of your home later on, for example. 

It can be a good idea to stay with one company due to the level of trust that gets established and respect that develops for their industry knowledge and customer service.

So, after all, what is an alarm company?  There’s no single answer.  It could be a very small, one-person shop that could literally be a person working out of the trunk of his car.  He could simply install burglar alarms and set you up with a third-party monitoring company.

Or, a company could be referred to as an alarm company, but offer other electronic security services as well.  So be sure to ask what is available to you when you call.

Security integrators tend to be a bit more advanced.  Security integration deals with making services such as video surveillance and access control “talk to” one another.  These companies tend to be full-staffed, have full product lines and extensive services.

As was mentioned earlier, it may be a good idea to look into security integrators or at least alarm companies that offer multiple services—due to the fact that you may need additional products and services as time goes by.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.

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