The Pitfalls of Self Monitored Alarm Systems

Today, there are endless options for home security systems that let you do everything from adjust your thermostat and check on your pet during the day, to arm your alarm from your phone if you forget to set it when you leave for the day.

With all this technology, it’s no wonder that the “Do it Yourself” (DIY) (also known as “Monitor it Yourself” (MIY), or “Self Monitor”) security movement is in full swing. Why would you pay someone else to install and/or monitor your alarm when you can access surveillance footage and receive alarm alerts any time on your phone or tablet?

It might not be so easy. Here are 3 benefits of professional monitoring to consider before going the full DIY/MIY route in an attempt to save an average of $1 per day.

1. True 24/7 Monitoring

Being able to tap into your indoor or outdoor surveillance footage on your phone any time is pretty hard to beat. You can make sure your dog walker arrives on time, or check to see who’s at the door.  But then there are those times when you’re — gasp! — away from your phone, or out of cell service range. And it probably happens more often than you think. When you’re at work, in a meeting, hiking, at a movie, sleeping, or on a date, you’re probably not checking in on your phone.

And while the surveillance footage that comes from MIY is certainly better than nothing, having a live operator who can verify the alarm and who is ready to send help at a moment’s notice can save you thousands of dollars in property lost or damaged, plus fines from dispatching police to a false alarm.

2. Central Monitoring Centers have back up power…for days

So you left your house and forgot to charge your phone — trust us, you are not alone. But when your battery sinks below 1% and no one in your office is volunteering their spare charger, who is going to watch over your security system? Central monitoring centers like ours are required to have battery back up and diesel generators that will power the station for multiple days on end.  Their battery power will never reach 1%, meaning you will never lose service.

3. Private Alarm Response

Your alarm has gone off  — now what? Is your plan to call a neighbor and ask them to put themselves into a potentially dangerous scenario to verify if a break-in occurred? Will you respond yourself? Our service allows our Operator to view alarm events and/or video while dispatching one of our Alarm Response Officers to check on the alarm at any time of day. We have Officers patrolling all over the Portland metro area 24/7, and our operators are trained in how to calmly react and respond to a variety of situations, dispatching the Officer closest to the incident for maximum response speed.

In summary, receiving MIY text and video alerts to your phone can make a GREAT addition to professional monitoring and provide you with a number of useful benefits, like those offered through the Total Connect app. Considering the benefits above, you can take advantage of true value and peace of mind that comes from trained, professional Operators monitoring your system around the clock — without worrying about low batteries or interruptions.

About First Response

Headquartered in Beaverton, First Response Security is one of the largest privately owned security companies in Oregon. Our commitment to “A Higher Standard” enables us to deliver the client service we believe you deserve.

Kaitie Todd

Marketing Coordinator at First Response Security
Kaitie is the Marketing Coordinator at First Response. She likes writing about security, dreaming up new marketing and content ideas, and using a lot of em dashes (you’ll see). She studied journalism at University of Oregon and comes to First Response with more than 4 years of professional writing experience under her belt. Outside of work you can usually find her hiking in the Gorge, taste testing every latte in town, or watching Parks and Recreation…again.