When you think home security, think covering your bases. From protection against criminal intrusion to maximizing energy efficiency, there’s a lot a security system can do. And, depending on your price point, why not do it all?
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The options can seem convoluted, from understanding which aspects of home security technology you actually need to installing the system. Our team has unearthed the best findings the industry has to offer and broken them down into easily-digestible tips — so you can add some peace of mind (and maybe even a little bit of futuristic gadgetry). Design a system to protect yourself, your home and your carefully curated livelihood — we’re sure it’ll be worth your while.
Home Security Basics
Home security systems can offer numerous components — more than we thought before we dug into the details. Your home as a whole is a sophisticated system. Adding security measures is an extension of that system. The expansive definition of home security doesn’t simply mean run-of-the-mill burglar alarms. Indeed, break-ins are at the core of homeowner and renter anxiety, but total home protection also encompasses natural disaster alerts — fire, carbon monoxide and floods. The best security systems will protect your home from damage, be it inflicted by man or nature.
The technology of implementing and using these systems takes different forms, from physical wires to Wifi to Bluetooth. Tech innovation means that features like home automation, can put the control center of your home security in your hands: control it all from your cell phone. Many companies provide mobile apps that connect to your appliances and electricity, so not only can you protect your home from intrusion (automated door locks and garage door closing features, to name a couple) but you can maximize energy efficiency by making sure you’ve turned off the stovetop, entryway light or curling iron. Which, also protects from fire and electrical malfunctions. Some companies even offer solar-powered systems if you want to go the the extra mile when it comes to energy savings.
Shopping for a System
So when it comes to the system you’re ultimately going to take home to protect your personal haven, it boils down to two options: custom-built or bundled.
With a bundled system, you’re likely to get everything — equipment and monitoring — at a transparent, easy-to-find rate, but most companies will tie you into a contract. You’ll be on the hook for a good 36 months.
For custom-built options, you can often get a month-month service agreement, but designing the system is bound to be a little more involved, with a longer quote process. You’ll need a custom quote, which can involve having someone over to your house to assess weak areas and literally count the doors and windows.
DIY systems don’t have to be connected to a professional call center (so you can avoid contracts and monthly costs). If you opt for no monitoring, you’ll only pay a one-time fee for the equipment and the alerts will go straight to your cell phone. However, you can add professional monitoring if you think you want more hands on deck.
It’s important to carefully examine the components of the system you design. For example, it may be overkill to have motion-activated lights at every entrance and window, and security cameras in every room of the house. Covering your bases is one thing, but sometimes installing security accessory overload can fabricate an unhealthy and unrealistic sense of paranoia. For example, you don’t want to think someone’s casing your house every time a raccoon or squirrel scuttles in the pathway of the motion-sensor light.
You can also add asset protection devices for paintings, jewelry or install a safe, if you’re concerned about safeguarding specific belongings within the broader sphere of a home security system. It adds another layer to your peace of mind in the event that any aspect of the rest of the security system (an alarm, a motion sensor light, etc.) doesn’t deploy or deter a thief.
What to Ask Yourself
So zoom in on you. What would work best for your life, your home, your people, and your stuff? Not to mention what would be logically fit into your financial reality.
If you’re renting and aren’t quite sure what the next two years hold, a DIY system is the most portable choice. They’re relatively simple to both install and move (as they aren’t hardwired into the home), and you wouldn’t be tied into a contract if you opt to go for the self-monitoring option.
If you find yourself more anchored — i.e., you own your home — a more extensively wired system may be your ideal scenario. It could even mean savings on your homeowners insurance. Considering the wide range of preferences you have, we’ve cultivated a collection of our favorites.
Our Top Picks for the Best Home Security System in Tulsa
When it came to putting Tulsa’s local home security companies, we paid attention to reputation, pricing, and customer service. Wading through scores of consumer reports, reviews and official crime statistics led us to a finely-tuned array of the city’s best home protection brands. From assessing Angie’s List scores to simply determining how easy it was to reach a real person on the other end, we’ve narrowed down our only the home security companies that will get the job done.
Going with Frontpoint or Protect America – the top-recommended, big-name companies with presences across the US – is always a safe (pun intended) bet, unless you simply prefer the intimacy of local customer service, something you could get from local brand Security Alarms Co. (or the other four reputable names we’ve rated below)
From the standpoint of, say, a student at the University of Tulsa, a cheaper, simpler DIY system like SimpliSafe or Piper NV might be the ticket for safeguarding your stuff – especially if you like most college students and find yourself moving once a year and don’t have a lot of square feet to cover, security-wise.
Tulsa’s Best Local Home Security Companies
With over 40 years of service and a 4.8 out 5 star review rating on the company’s Facebook page, Security Alarms Co. has built a strong reputation for its low 24/7 monthly monitoring cost and diligent customer service. Usually, monitoring rates range between $25–$60. Security Alarms Co.’s landline monitoring rate starts at just $ 12 a month, and its cellular monitoring rate starts at $25 a month. The cellular monitoring also comes with a free app to remotely access and control your system via your smartphone, and a lifetime warranty on the keypad and control panel when you update your system.
Security Alarms Co. provides free on-site consultations to help you choose the best custom-designed system to fit your home and budget. You can also choose to add on fire monitoring and home automation features to your system for an additional cost. You can then use the app to control different parts of your home, such as blinds, locks, lights, and temperature.
Along with choosing what kind of system you want, you can also pick how you want your system to look with multiple design options for both wired and wireless systems. The company can also take over most other security systems, making it easy to switch or add monitoring to your current system.
In business since 1978, Advanced Alarms has achieved an overwhelming number of high-rated reviews on Google+, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor for its high-quality equipment and top-notch customer service. Open 24/7, Advance Alarms strives to provide friendly, courteous customer service throughout the customer’s relationship with the company. Customers on the company’s Facebook agree that security specialists are knowledgeable, on time to appointments, and easy to reach for questions and concerns. Customers also recommend Advance Alarms for their affordable prices on equipment.
Covering all the bases, Advance Alarms is ready to set you up with not only an alarm and camera system to monitor break-ins, but alert systems for fire, flood, and carbon monoxide too. Like Security Alarms Co, Advance Alarms offers home automation for an additional cost and provides an app for remote access and control of your system and home automation via your smartphone.
Advance Alarms also guarantee that they’re able to monitor about 99% of other systems, making them a viable monitoring option for your current system.
Security Protection of Tulsa:
Security Protection of Tulsa strives to provide a good experience for their customers with affordable monthly monitoring rates and high-quality customer service. For over 40 years, it has serviced many residential areas (single-family homes, multi-family homes, and apartments) and maintained a positive reputation.
Prices for custom-designed systems are a bit on the steeper side, but monitoring rates are reasonable. The company is also locally based, so the company’s employees know the Tulsa area well and can offer sound security advice for your home. Along with security, additional fire monitoring and video surveillance are available.
While the company does seem a bit behind other security companies and the website could use an update, Security Protection of Tulsa is a trusted security company and may provide lower equipment and monitoring costs than other companies. Cellular monitoring starts at $37 a month and all monitoring is 24/7.
With an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, Green Country is another long-running company with affordable security options. The company cuts your costs with no activation or installation fee, while still providing the latest security system technology. Also, no long-term contracts greatly set the company apart from its competitors. With a long-term contract, some companies don’t let customers quit paying for their monitoring even if they move or no longer need the service. Green Country demonstrates its integrity by guaranteeing to not lock you into a contract.
Green Country security systems are custom-designed to fit your home and provide additional services such as fire monitoring, flood protection, and personal protection systems, and video surveillance. Video surveillance also has additional 24/7-hour video monitoring, so someone else can keep up with your video feed.
The company also provides additional home automation features and remote access to your system through total home control. However, unlike Security Alarms Co. and Advanced Alarms, the company gives you access via your tablet and computer as well as your smartphone.
Falco Alarm Co.
In business since 1988, and with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Falco Alarm Co. is a trusted company for reliable security systems and affordable 24/7-hour monthly monitoring.
Falco Alarm Co. provides a free, no-obligation consultation to help you select the best custom-designed system for your needs and budget, making it easy to choose something simple and less expensive or pick the latest in touchpad security system technology. While most companies advice wireless monitoring in case of a power outage, Falco Alarm Co. goes one step further by including a back-up battery for your system. If your power goes out, your security system will automatically switch over to the built-in backup battery. The backup battery is capable of powering your security system for several hours. The system will automatically switch back to its main power source once your power is restored.
Along with security, additional add-ons are available such as fire monitoring and video surveillance. The company also provides hidden cameras for something more discrete. If you want to go more high-tech, you can add home automation features and remote access through Total Connect via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. One handy feature of Total Connect is being able to set alerts for specific events. Want to know when a baby sitter has arrived to watch the kids? You can set an alert to go off when the baby sitter enters your home or check in via your live video feed. Want to make sure you have forgotten to lock a door or turn an appliance off? Home automation and Total Connect gives you the ability to check the situation and solve the problem via your device.
Their basic cellular monitoring rate starts at $30 a month.
Best DIY Security Systems
- Lowe’s Iris: Iris is the most tricked-out DIY system on the market. They offer three different kits (with different accessory options) ranging in price from $129 to $249, and each only takes an hour to install.
- Piper NV: A standalone, all-in-one security tower, the Piper NV is tailor-made for a studio apartment or dorm. Its sleek style and compact size belies the host of powerful security tools in its arsenal: an immersive-view, streaming-ready camera, detectors for motion, sound, light, temperature and humidity.
Best Bundled Options
- : Top-of-the-line tech compatibility (you can even sync up your home security system with your Apple Watch) makes using FrontPoint one of the most intuitive a worry-free systems on the market. There are three upgradable packages offered, each requiring a minimum 36-month monitoring contract. While you will have to go through the process of getting a quote for your personal setup, Frontpoint’s clean, updated and professional site makes it a breeze. Their all-wireless equipment requires no professional installation and can be shipped directly to your door.
- Protect America: With a free lifetime warranty on all equipment, Protect America can back up their offerings: five upgradable packages, no initial payment for equipment, no installation fees, but yes, they require a 36-month monitoring commitment.
- SimpliSafe: Staying true to their name, SimpliSafe sticks to the basics and makes it easy on you: no yearly contract, no middlemen, and no landline required. Four packages to choose from, all-wireless equipment, and a reasonable $230 for their standalone security kits that are easy to self-install. If you are looking to move — or are just testing the home security waters — SimpliSafe is a great place to start.
Local Companies That Didn’t Make the Cut
When it came to customer service and overall accessibility (some numbers were out of service, some just rang endlessly until we gave up on them), these names ultimately came up short in the home security game.
- Witness Security LLC
- Mac Systems
- Holder’s Total Security
Preventing False Alarms
Preventing false alarms is inevitably part of managing a home security system. When you find a system that works for you, ensuring it only activates when it’s supposed to doesn’t take much extra effort. Install new batteries on a routine basis. Make sure doors and windows are fully shut before arming the system. And, if you do set off the alarm accidentally, make sure you know how to disarm it within the first half-minute.
Knowing how to use (and disarm) your system will keep the local police force available to be dispatched to actual emergencies. Check out our infographic below for some simple tips that will lead to major false alarm prevention.
How to Register Your Alarm System in Tulsa:
The city of Tulsa requires you to register your security system. The cost is relatively low and the permit is valid for a full year.
- Residential: $35
- Commercial/Business: $75
Have an application mailed to you by calling the City of Tulsa License Center at (918) 596-7640 or simply download the PDF .
What components of a home security system can deter burglars from even attempting a crime?
Simply seeing home security signs in the front yard or window can be a major deterrent. So is the shock of motion-sensor lighting. It might not seem like much, but it lets a burglar know this isn’t going to be the easiest target on the block.
Do I need a home security system?
Home security will look different for everyone depending on location and type of dwelling. It is a point to be well taken though, that approximately every 13 seconds a US home experiences a break-in. Installing a home security system makes you, your family, and your home that much less vulnerable.
The Bottom Line
Home security is an extension of you: your family, your livelihood, your home aesthetic. You know how important your home base is to you. We’ve narrowed it down your options the top contenders — all you have to do is shop (and install)!
Best Local: ., , , , Falco Alarm Co.