When you’re ready to purchase a monitored commercial alarm system, speak with a few different dealers before you have your system installed. This will give you an idea of the types of alarm systems each vendor provides as well as how the systems are priced.
A reputable commercial alarm company will send a representative to meet with you at your location to conduct a risk assessment of your facilities. They should discuss your security challenges with you and offer recommendations regarding security solutions that will best suit your needs.
Your next step will be to obtain written quotes from at least three different commercial alarm companies. Make sure each quote includes setup and monthly monitoring fees, equipment costs and warranties. Even if the first company you speak to offers you a competitive price on your ideal alarm system, take the time to meet with two or three more vendors. Each offer may include a different mix of security and pricing for you to consider.
Next you will want to obtain references from each commercial alarm vendor. Reputable companies should be able to supply you with a list of satisfied clients who have given permission to be contacted. These clients can answer your questions regarding the quality of service they received from their security system provider. Be ready to ask questions such as:
- Was the vendor’s contract clearly written, with all pricing details disclosed?
- Did they install the equipment within a reasonable time frame?
- Was a customer service representative available to resolve any issues?
- Did the dealer provide adequate training for you and your employees?
- Does the company allow visits to central monitoring station?
- Have you had an intrusion, and if so, did the central station dispatch authorities promptly?
- Does the dealer work with central monitoring stations who comply with guidelines established by watchdog organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories?
- Will the alarm company notify you before they sell your contract to a different central station?
Verify any dealer you’re considering with outside organizations such as the Attorney General’s office, the Better Business Bureau and the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA). These organizations can provide you with additional information on the quality of a vendor’s service and tell you whether the company has all required licenses in place.