Security Systems for Renters
As our crime rate increases and Indianapolis struggles with the continuing theft, assault, and a murder rate that is reaching a record high, home security has become a need rather than a want. Security systems aren’t just for homeowners. In fact, apartments, statistically, have more break ins than traditional houses.
Since this is such a big topic we will have additional posts to go over different options. In this article, we will go over some of the basic ways to protect your apartment, or home, as well as one of the options of a non-traditional alarm system. Don’t worry, in the next article we will go over additional options to help guide our community and all Indiana residents.
Options for Renters
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments have an 85% higher chance of being a victim of burglary than a single family home! With those kinds of odds, considering an effective home alarm system that can be moved, and a good renters insurance policy, should be a priority for every apartment complex, landlord, and tenant alike.
By having those two things in place, tenants are being proactive in protecting what matters most. Having home security on it’s own reduces your risk of being a victim by 300%.
Just adding window decals, or a yard sign, to let potential burglars know you are protected is a great way to reduce risk. Even if you don’t have a system, placing stickers in a strategic area can be a help on it’s own.
Renters insurance comes in if the unthinkable does happen. Not only will this help you financially if someone does break in, but it’s very affordable as well. It can be even more affordable when a monitored alarm is protecting your property. Not to mention many landlords expect tenants to have renters insurance and even put it in writing in the lease. Make sure you aren’t making a bad situation worse by neglecting the fine print. Many local security companies can help you find a helpful agent. I would be happy to give you a few names if you would like ….and no we don’t get a kickback . 🙂
The good news is that technology has evolved and made many advancements with security system’s that have made them more effective, and more affordable, than ever. The bad news is that many security companies still don’t want to serve the rental market. Many of the one’s that do may not have all the options to find the best solution for you. If you look at the advertisements, often, the fine print will contain the verbiage,”must be a homeowner”.
Even though many security companies will not service renters there are many others that will! In fact, with the wireless security systems available there are quite a few different alarms that are perfect for apartments. Depending on your needs and what you want to accomplish each one will have specific advantages. And just like anything else, it’s important to compare the different platforms and security equipment to make sure your alarm system is the right one for you.
Why don’t alarm companies want to install in a home you don’t own? Obviously, risk factor has something to do with it but many tenants have as good, if not better, credit than most homeowners. A lot of it also has to do with older alarm systems. When security had to be hardwired they could be difficult to install. It was also a large project and, often, the cost wasn’t worth the benefits. Liability used to be a bigger issue with wired systems as well. But with today’s advancements in wireless home security there are systems that are easy to install without having to run wires through the house. In fact, there are some security panels that don’t even need a keypad to be installed into the wall.
Renters and the Security Industry
If you ask me, security companies who refuse to adapt and customize programs are missing a huge opportunity. A solution based organization has to adjust with the times to remain relevant. It really is ignorance. It isn’t the 1950’s and there are many qualified renters who choose to rent instead of buying a home. These family’s need good security and want to have the added convenience as well as peace of mind.
Owning a home is great, but it isn’t the best decision for everyone. There are advantages to renting that goes beyond affordability. Whether it’s the added convenience of maintenance issues or having the option to move to different areas before officially planting roots, sometimes it’s better to rent a place than to buy.
When we first started we had the same thought as other security organizations, but seeing how much of a need there is out there we decided to look for solutions as well as seeing the services offered to renters. Having customized programs for different situations is key. After doing research, finding out the issues that landlords and tenants faced, and working with different manufacturers we decided to find renter friendly smart alarm systems.
What we found?
The security services that were available helped a small percentage of people but they had drawbacks. DIY security systems are the main services available for renters. This can be a good solution for some people but not most. There are some key problem with do-it-your-self alarms and many of the companies that offered the service. I cant tell you how many times we have had calls from individuals who were looking for a professional technician to help them with their installation. Even though we want to help these folks, as a licensed security company we would bring on major liabilities by installing someone else’s system. Without a professional to help guide you through a proper security consultation and offer customer service for any technical issues that may arise the average person could have a terrible experience.
Another issue that many renters didn’t like? Long term contracts! If you don’t know where you will be in 2 years than a 5 year commitment can be scary. If this is something that is unavoidable than make sure there is an easy way to move your system. If a moving program is available it’s important to read the fine print and know exactly what it entails. What are the costs? Do you have to sign a new contract? What if the company doesn’t service the areas? All important questions to ask. Don’t just take the salesperson’s word for it. Make sure you get the information in writing. One great piece of advice is to communicate in email. That way there isn’t a misunderstanding years down the road.
Vulnerable Security Equipment and Services
Another issue? Recently, there has been a lot of talk about venerable security alarm systems that can been compromised. Wireless alarm systems can be misleading. Just because the equipment is wireless that doesn’t mean the communication is. It’s amazing to me that using a phone line is the most common communication method for systems. With today’s technology, land lines are irrelevant and easily compromised. In fact, it’s something I almost never recomend. Using a cellular connection is the safest way to connect security panels. Broadband connections are also becoming better as sa communication method.
Another up and coming concern is cyber security. Recently, we have heard how criminals have the ability to hack into systems using expensive items and genius expertise but that isn’t the case anymore. Simplisafe, a DIY security leader known for their inexpensive alarm monitoring, has been under scrutiny for their system. They are accused of having vulnerable security equipment that has put 300,000 of their customers at risk. Even though I don’t think this is likely to happen today, it’s still a valid concern. I do believe in the near future, these types of attacks will become more prevelant.
Security technology is a great thing but with it comes a risk as well. It’s up to the security company, alarm manufacturer, and the alarm monitoring station, among other things, to make sure your home and family are protected.
Nothing is 100% but there are security providers that use technology that is safer than most. Using encrypted security equipment is something that can deter most cyber attacks. Another new feature that is available with a limited number of alarm panels is an anti-jamming feature. These are two ways to help make sure you aren’t a victim. Living in close quarters, like an apartment complex, does make it easier for these types of criminals to be able to cause issues to unprotected alarm panels. Make sure you are asking your security company how they are preventing these types of crimes. All alarms, or all alarm companies, aren’t the same. Make sure you’re picking the right company, and security service, for your needs.
Now that you have a better understanding on what to look for when choosing security providers let’s look at one of the options that is available for the millions of renters out there.
Option 1: Video Alarms
One of the most advanced types of security that has become availabe just recently are monitored video alarms. They have become popular for large businesses in the past and now are being used in residential areas as well These alarms are effective because they can let you, and the authorities, know if there is a real emergency by sending a clip to you and your alarm monitoring company of a triggered event.
One video alarm that is making this type of protection possible is the Videofied system.
These security alarms are different than most and they aren’t for everyone. Most security alarms are meant to avoid a burglary. That’s a great thing but, unfortunately, a security system isn’t meant to catch a crime in progress. Video home alarm systems are not meant just to deter thieves. These systems are designed to verify your emergency and increase police response. With an unheard of 50%, sometimes higher, arrest rate, it is no surprise that authorities are a big fan of video verification security. In fact, the National Sherrifs Association endorses these systems. That’s no easy endorsement to obtain.
Verification and What it Means to You
Since traditional alarms have such high rates of false alarms it is important to talk to your alarm company to follow the proper steps. Believe it or not, over 98% of triggered alarms are false. This not only cost you fines, tax payers and authorities pay thousands of dollars as well. The biggest advantages of video alarms is the reduction of false alarms and making sure your emergency is a priority. Video verification has changed the security industry in a good way! We have spent the last several months looking for the best solutions to keep our community safe and avoid wasting officer’s time for non-emergencies that could have been prevented. This is one of the best out there.
Verification is one of the most important processes in the security industry. Without verifying a triggered alarm authorities can’t always make your emergency a priority.
False alarms have caused many counties, and some states, to decide not to respond to alarms that haven’t been verified. In those areas families with traditional systems have to use armed guard services that the security company chooses or have nothing more than a noise maker.
Alarms don’t make arrests, Police do!
These video home security systems are not meant just to deter thieves. These systems are designed to verify your emergency and increase police response. With an unheard of 50% arrest rate, even higher in some areas, it is no surprise that authorities are a big fan of video verification security. to go to the next opportunity, they are designed to verify an emergency so police know that they are responding to crime and not a false alarm. The result is arrests and taking criminal off Indianapolis streets. When most alarms are from human error and not a crime it makes it difficult for police to prioritize security system alarms. When an alarm has video verification while it is happening law enforcement know that they are responding to an actual emergency and that they have the opportunity to make arrests. In fact, the National Sherrifs Association endorses these systems. That’s no easy endorsement to obtain.
Listen to What the Professional Say! This 8 minute video explains video alarms and their importance to your safety!
Why Video Alarms For Renters?
With video alarms you can have the peace of mind of knowing your emergency will be treated like the crime in progress it truly is. The video security alerts our professional monitoring station that there has been an intrusion. A professional monitors the video footage. At the same time a clip is sent to your smart phone just in case it is a false alarm. If it is an accidental event or a pet than your false alarm is avoided. If it isn’t, your emergency becomes a crime in progress. With All About Security’s videofied security program your alarm will have priority police response.
Videofied verified security is also completely wireless! That means landlords don’t have to worry about running wires, messy installation’s, and sloppy removal. There is no phone line needed and the panel can be connected through your internet, or for the most secure connection through cellular as a backup. If you move, the equipment can be removed and a professional security technician will install the equipment in your new residence.
Having the right alarm system protects both the tenant and the maintenance technician from an actual crime or being accused of one. You can solve that issue with surveillance but there is a big different between video surveillance and security cameras. Video alarms are changing the game. A few other benefits:
- Wireless system to make sure there isn’t any damage during installation
- Mover Program
- Lease Option with Warranty and Removal of System
Advantages of Home Security That Cant Be Hacked!
As discussed earlier, we have seen the growing trend of unreliable security. From systems that have been compromised to slow police response to non-verified alarms. A seasoned criminal can easily get through a traditional security system that communicates through a phone line. You can easily find videos on You Tube showing how vulnerable many home alarm systems truly are. And with the increasing cyber criminals out there there are devices and procedures to hack into some cellular wireless security systems as well. . In some cases, by professional criminals.
Living in close quarters, like an apartment complex, does make it easier for these types of criminals to be able to cause issues to unprotected alarm panels. The type of device that is used to hack vulnerable systems works within a 100 feet of the alarm panel. Make sure you are asking your security company how they are preventing these types of crimes. All alarms, or all alarm companies, aren’t the same. Make sure you’re picking the right company, and service, for your home and family.
Key Thing to Remember:
If you read our security blog than you already know that video alarms, security cameras, and surveillance are different things. While surveillance is a great tool for many situation’s your video camera cant alert the police, it can only provide a recorded event of what happened…..after the fact. Even though this can help police apprehend a criminal, wouldn’t it be more effective to have a security camera to alert police as a crime was taking place? For more information on the difference you can read our video posts on our blog.
How Much Do Video Alarms Cost?
If you have shopped for security that has features that don’t rely on a phone line, give you mobile access, and any type of video you know that these systems can cost quite a bit more than what is advertised. Depending on your needs, the advertised packages often don’t provide most homes enough security equipment. This can easily turn into several hundreds to thousands of dollars in equipment costs. The monthly monitoring rates for a dealer like ADT can average over $55 a month. The good news with this particular program is that is much more affordable.
Now cost will vary depending on the company you use, the length of your term, and the amount of equipment you need. With All About Security, this program starts at *39.95 a month. The installation fee is around $199. If you need more equipment than it can cost more. Matter of fact, that’s why we think this is better for apartments, condos, busineeses, and smaller homes. In a larger area we would normally recommend a different option.
There are many benefits to having a video alarm system that is professionally monitored. Contact us through our website at www.allaboutyoursecurity.com for additional information. Or call us at 317.559.3500. We are always happy to answer all your questions. Finding the right solution is the most important aspect of getting any protection system. The truth is that spending any amount on something that isn’t a good fit is a waste of money.
That’s going to wrap up our introduction to security and renters. Hopefully, it’s been helpful. At the least, you know some of what’s available in the industry and what to look out for when it comes to being a tenant and protecting your property., This was just one of the options that may be a good solution for your needs. Next week we will look at some other options available for renters with smart home security and how they can be helpful. Options, and a security consultant, that has your priorities in mind can help make the right decision.
I appreciate you taking the time to read the article. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment and let us know what you want to know more about.
If you like our articles please sign up for our blog updates. On your desktop, it’s directly to your right at the beginning of the article. You can also scroll all the way down on your mobile phone. If you leave us your email, we will send you new articles. Don’t worry, we don’t sell, or share, your information.
Until next time, stay safe and informed Indianapolis!
Share this Post