BBB Tips for Selecting a Safe and Sound Alarm System

June 18, 2010
What to consider when buying a home security system

Although no alarm system will make your home completely burglar-proof, a home security system can reduce your chances of being burglarized and provide peace of mind. Better Business Bureau serving New Jersey (BBB) advises consumers to research the purchase of a home security system with the same care they would with any major purchase.


Out of the local alarm system companies that provide services locally, in 2010 BBB has received the most inquiries about the following companies:

  • ADT Security Systems – This Company is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. and had received 1,261 inquiries in the last 12 months.  ADT Security Systems has a BBB rating of “A.”
  • APX Alarm Security Solutions, Inc. – This Company is headquartered in Provo, Utah and has received 631 inquiries in the last 12 months.  The current BBB rating for APX Alarm Security Solutions, Inc. is “C-.”
  • CPI Security Systems, Inc.- CPI Security Systems, Inc. has a location in Morrisville, N.C. and has received 1,637 inquiries in the last 12 months.  This company is currently a BBB Accredited Business with a BBB rating of “A.”


Before selecting a home security system provider, BBB recommends consumers:


  • Contact at least three companies before selecting an installer.
  • Find out if they are properly licensed in NJ  with the  New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors - (973)504-6410, and if they screen employees before hiring.
  • Ask for references and check the company out with BBB.
  • Compare apples-to-apples bids on similar systems. Do not forget to factor in an initial installation charge, as well as monthly monitoring charges.
  • Ask for a complete inspection of your property and an itemized written estimate. Review the sales contract closely to ensure you understand exactly what equipment and protection you will be provided.
  • Talk to your insurance agent; some systems may qualify you for a discount on homeowner's premiums.
  • Find out the length of the contract. Consider the following questions before you obligate yourself to a long-term contract: What is your recourse if you are not satisfied with the services provided? Can you cancel the contract? What are your rights if your monitoring company is purchased or acquired by another alarm company?
  • Insist that the installer "walk" you through your system until you fully understand how it works to prevent false alarms.