Security System FAQ’s
Considering home security? We’re thrilled you found us. Here are some of our most Frequently Asked general security system questions. Of course, you can always schedule your free, in-home consultation here. Are you looking for Tech Support instead?
Do I need a traditional phone line for my alarm system to communicate?
No. Today’s systems communicate via a cellular radio installed with your security system, powered by Alarm.com. Along with the additional security cellular communication provides, there are also opportunities to integrate smart home features right into one easy to use app using cellular technology.
I already have alarm equipment installed by someone else. Can you use what I already have installed?
Often, we are able to use the equipment you already have installed, no matter who installed it. Even better, when you make the move to our five star service, we’ll send a technician out to your home to reprogram and test at no charge.
Do you have the video doorbell?
Absolutely! Even better, the Alarm.com smart doorbell camera can be completely integrated into your smart home security system, letting you see who’s at the door whether you’re home or not, have a two-way audio conversation with visitors through your Alarm.com app, and even unlock your front door’s smart lock from that same screen.
Does a security system need internet to work?
Our security systems do not depend on the internet. If you are interested in looking at any video cameras on your smartphone, dedicated high speed internet (not satellite) is required.
We’re a middle-class family on a budget. Can a family like mine afford a home security system?
Absolutely. A professionally installed and monitored security system is less expensive than you might think. One of our objectives when designing the system is to tailor it to your budget. Energy management features now available with our systems also help you keep tabs on energy usage and reduce utility costs. Homeowners’ insurance providers also recognize that monitored security systems reduce the risk of loss and will typically offer a discount on your premium for having one.
Once you’re a customer, you can also save by referring friends and family to us. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’.
How do we choose the right home security company/technology? It’s overwhelming.
Unlike most other consumer products, effective home security solutions are not ordered on a website or sold as packages over the phone. In order for the system to be truly effective, many factors — including the property size and layout; pets, areas or items that require special protection, such as jewelry, firearms, valuables — all need to be factored into the system design. Our system specialists will meet with you at your home or business and provide a free onsite assessment, quoting a system that meets your needs. Check out our quick security comparison here.
Is there home security technology available that allows me to check on my kids/workers/pets/aging parents?
A very popular feature with parents is our Real Time Alerts with Alarm.com. You can receive automatic text, email and video notifications letting them know when your kids have arrived home from school or if they haven’t arrived by a certain time. The video is an added bonus, being able to see from your smartphone or tablet, what’s happening there and who might be with them at home. We can also alert you if the gun safe, medicine or liquor cabinet is opened.
Do you offer a “Life Alert” Pendant?
We do offer a medical emergency pendant, and you won’t pay extra per month to add these devices onto your security system. Even better, Wellness features are allowing more people to live independently years longer with many features that increase peace of mind both for the individual and families (near or far).
How do I know your installers and technicians are trustworthy?
Unlike the cable and phone companies, we are classified as a professional security company and as such are required to hold security licenses and clearances that involve extensive, multilevel criminal background screenings for each of our employees. Our customers include banks, jewelry stores, government facilities and other high security locations. The credibility of our team members is absolutely imperative. We are locally owned and operated and pride ourselves on being accountable and accessible.
I’m hearing a lot about Smart Home Devices. How do these features work, and are they expensive?
Our system can connect all of the key devices in your home: HVAC, lights, locks, garage doors, video and security. Allowing these systems to communicate and work together gives you smart, responsive automation and seamless control that you can’t get from stand-alone solutions. As technology continues to advance, the cost of making a home “smart” has dropped considerably. In fact, a large percentage of the security systems we install these days have integrated automation and/or energy-management capabilities. Installing this type of system is a good investment that returns peace of mind, convenience and savings, by combining security, home automation and energy management on one reliable platform.
I’m hearing a lot about DIY Security Systems. What’s the scoop?
Using Smart Home technology is easy, but setting it up can be anything but. Unlike the Smart Home’s first wave of users—those uber tech-savvy ‘early adopters’—most homeowners are a little nervous about buying, installing, and configuring smart home technology without expert help. In fact, 83 percent of you would consider relying on a smart home professional. Like anything that has to be wired or fixed into your home, installing smart home devices can be a challenge. Configuring them can be even harder, especially if you buy different devices that don’t integrate easily.
Our installation professionals are experts at the electrical wiring, installation and troubleshooting required to set up integrated smart home features. In addition installing your devices physically, they’ll also quickly configure every device with Alarm.com’s smart home security platform so your experience is as seamless as possible.
My Insurance Agent is asking for a Certificate of Installation. Can you help?
It is common for insurance companies to ask for your certificate of installation or security certificate in order to take advantage of policy discounts. If you are a current customer who was recently installed, you’ll be seeing your certificate enclosed with your first invoice. If you need one faster, or need your annual certificate, contact us and let us know your name, service address and whether you want us to send the certificate directly to your insurance agent or to you.
I understand my Xfinity Security System is proprietary. What does that mean?
Proprietary means that system can only be programmed by that company. None of the systems we install are proprietary. If you have a proprietary system and want Alarm Engineering to monitor and service that system, we will provide you an estimate on new non-proprietary equipment instead.
A central station asked me for a Passcode. How is that different from my Account ID or customer number?
Security System Passcodes are an easy tool for each Alarm Engineering customer to cancel a false alarm without having to find the little black and white Account ID card you were given on installation day. Too often, people keep their Account ID out on the fridge or next to their keypad because it’s hard to remember. Bad idea! This valuable ID can be used cancel false alarms but is also used to make changes to your call list or any account information. Having this Account ID guarantees to our team that it is indeed you calling in to ask questions or make changes to your account.
We will never print your Passcode nor your Account ID on any invoice or printed document. This is for your security. For billing purposes, your customer number is an easy way for our team to identify your account to service your account or pay your bill quickly and can be found on your invoice or statement. If you aren’t sure of your Passcode or Account ID, have your government-issued ID ready and give us a call at 410.256.2210. If you have your Account ID and want to set up or change your Passcode, start here.
I’m traveling soon…who should Alarm Engineering call while I’m away?
If you are planning to travel soon, be sure your home is protected while you’re away with few easy steps:
- Create a Temporary Call List, being careful to include at least one person with access to your home.
- Create a Temporary Password for the new call list; this ensures that your standard password will stay secure. Don’t forget to provide this new password to everyone on your Temporary Call List.
- Be sure anyone with access to your home has a valid user code to disarm the system. Depending on your system, we may be able to add a unique code for these individuals that can be removed when you return home.
- Make sure everyone on your Temporary Call List has the contact info for us (410-546-2210) and the Central Station (800-356-2222) just in case!
Once you have this information gathered call our office at 410-546-2210 or click here to update your account. Be sure to let us know the exact dates you will leave and return when you call.