The Nevada Security Association is proud to provide helpful resources, information, and links to consumers that may assist in finding the right security and life safety company.
The Electronic Security & Fire/Life Safety industry has been deemed an essential service industry by the State of Nevada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technicians from our member companies are available to service or install systems at your home or business.
Local Alarm Ordinances
Many municipalities have alarm ordinances requiring each home and office alarm to be registered. Some municipalities no longer dispatch police to activated alarms unless they are verified first. Other municipalities are now charging fines for excessive false alarms.
Check with your local municipality on their specific rules and regulations. Sometimes, sales people who are not local to your area do not have the most up-to-date information on local regulations. It’s always best for you to check with your local municipality and police department on their policies.
Check with your homeowners insurance company! Typically they offer a discount between 2% and 20% on your insurance when you install a security system. Ask your agent which type of system will qualify you for the greatest savings.
Consumer Quick Links
Contractor’s License look-up (see individual licensing agency/municipality)
Why a Security/Life Safety System?
Security & Life Safety systems detect intrusion, give warning of an abnormal event or conditions, summon assistance and help to minimize risk to life and property.
WHY DO YOU NEED A
- All too often homeowners and business owners are reactive when it comes to home security: they install a security system after their home or business has been invaded. It is important to be proactive.
- According to a study by University of North Carolina at Charlotte, approximately 83 percent of convicted burglars said they would attempt to determine if a security system was present before attempting a burglary. But simply sticking an alarm company’s sign in your front yard won’t be enough to convince burglars that your home is protected. Experienced burglars have several ways of determining whether a home is equipped with a security system.
- According to the FBI, burglaries of residential properties accounted for 69.5 percent of all burglary offenses
- Studies show that burglars typically spend no more than one minute breaking into a home and fewer than 10 minutes inside. Although they work quickly, burglars have a keen eye for valuable possessions. The FBI reports that each home burglary victim suffers an average of $2,361 in property loss.
- Your chances of a break-in are highest right after you move into a new home – Burglars know that most people don’t install security systems until 2 to 4 years after they move in.
- Burglars are more likely to break-in to your home between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., while you are at work, as opposed to breaking-in at night. For businesses, nighttime burglaries occur more frequently.
- Nearly half of burglars break-into homes through the front door, 32% choose the back door and 22% through a first-floor window. The rest break-in through a basement, garage or second floor window.
- Today’s systems can not only detect invasion but also fire, smoke, gas leaks or environmental changes.
- Security is a critical component of smart home technology. Enhanced home security systems have user-friendly design and convenient lifestyle-enriching benefits such as remote monitoring and controls.
INSURANCE SAVINGS Check with your homeowners/business insurance company! Typically, they offer a discount between 2% and 20% on your insurance when you install a security system
Use Technology to Take Control of Your Home
Home automation is quickly picking up speed as the must-have consumer technology. Technology brings enhanced convenience, comfort and safety for consumers.
With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. To avoid feature overload, homeowners should think about what they want out of their system and how those features will fit into their home, budget and lifestyle. For example, if security is a major concern, a system with automated door locks and remote access to alarm controls would be near the top of the list. By thoughtfully creating a must-have list of components, a homeowner will be able to clearly communicate the vision of a smart home to a professional who can turn it into reality.
Home automation systems can be complex and should be installed by a licensed professional who is trained to understand the details of a customized system. By using a professional with expertise in automation, homeowners will receive a well-installed system, along with personalized attention and training tailored specifically to their needs. They’ll also get continued support from experts.
That’s why security companies are a logical choice to handle these responsibilities. Their demonstrated expertise in the installation and operation of security systems makes them a natural choice when adding home automation services. Home automation is not a ‘plug and play’ type of service. Homeowners need to seek out security companies who have specialized training and experience in home automation.
With a little bit of imagination, a lot of planning, and some solid support from a skilled provider, homeowners can truly create a smart home that will give them what they deserve: a secure lifestyle with enhanced control and convenience for years to come.
The business of selling residential alarm systems is very competitive and customers are aggressively sought by many companies through a variety of methods and means.
For Your Protection
Be cautious of any UNSOLICITED sales contact. Verify all information before you authorize any new work or changes. By capitalizing on large numbers of college students seeking summer employment, out-of-state unlicensed alarm companies often send teams of salespeople to cities. Most teams work on commission, incentives and contests. As they speak to homeowners they keep the pressure on in order make the sale. While licensed alarm representatives will complete the process ethically and responsibly, these representatives will not.
ALL alarm businesses in NV are required to be licensed (see list of licenses posted on the Nevada Security Association website). Check the agent’s ID and the company’s license before you allow any work on your alarm system. Many state and local jurisdictions provide on-line look up of required licenses. Consumers should protect themselves by choosing a company that is up-to-date on all their licensing.
Double Billing Scam
The fraud scheme goes like this: You receive an unsolicited telephone call or a knock on your door. This person tells you they now have ownership of your alarm system(s) or have taken over your account. The salesperson starts making false statements similar to the following; your current alarm company has been sold, is going out of business, is going into bankruptcy, or we have obtained all rights to your account. The salesperson will want to change the programming for your alarm system and update your paperwork by writing a new contract with their company.
No legitimate alarm company will show up at your door to fix or replace equipment without a prior appointment having been made. If you are approached in this manner DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE ACCESS TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. GET VERIFICATION FROM YOUR CURRENT ALARM COMPANY. Take the time to make a phone call. You’re still under contract with the current alarm company and signing a new contract may obligate you to a second alarm company and their charges. Without due diligence, you will start getting bills from both alarm companies.
This becomes the “Double Billing” scam. You often are left paying both bills, costing hundreds of dollars. Alarm businesses generally notify you, in writing, when they are being sold, transferred or having billing changes.
Selecting an Alarm Company
An alarm system is only as good as its user. Be sure that the system installer explains how the system works thoroughly and answers all of your questions.
SELECTING A SECURITY
& FIRE ALARM COMPANY
We recommend the following steps for consumers to take to help make the right decision in choosing the services of a reputable security and fire alarm company:
- Ask your family, friends, or business associates for referrals.
- Contact at least 3 alarm companies for a quote.
Prior to making an appointment, ask the security company the following questions:
- Are they a member of the state trade association? Visit the Nevada Security Association www.nevadasecurityassociation.org . Here you can find licensed member companies in your area. NSA member companies are properly licensed and must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standard of Conduct which were put in place to protect consumers.
- Do they possess the appropriate licenses for work to be performed? Licensing can include background checks of principals of the company, contactor testing, and more. See https://www.nevadasecurityassociation.org/business-licensing/ for your area.
- Are their employees trained specifically in electronic security & life safety?
- Do they have worker’s compensation and general liability insurance?
When a company representative visits, ask them for their identification and for the following:
- A security inspection
- Recommendations with a written proposal
- A list of referrals
Review before choosing:
- Study each contract to ensure you know exactly what you are getting. Consider the merits of leasing vs. buying.
- Know what company, if any, will be monitoring your alarm.
- Understand the procedures when an alarm is tripped and the monitoring company calls.
- Understand the emergency response in your area. Guard? Police? Fire? Medical?
Remember that a good alarm system is an investment in your security and personal well-being. The system needs to be built around your lifestyle and keep your family, employees, and valuables safe. In alarms, as in many other things, you generally get what you pay for. Remember that your property and perhaps your life are at stake. What appears to be a “bargain” may actually prove to be a severely compromised or extremely limited alarm system. Doing your research will help you hire the right company for your security & life safety needs.
The Basic Devices
The best home security system will be customized to your lifestyle – it will take your schedule into account and will specifically protect the things you value the most.
The Basic Elements of a
Standard Security System
Control Panel: The piece of equipment that contains the CPU and is the “brains” of your security system.
Keypad: to arm and disarm your system. Advanced keypads now also have voice & video functionality.
Siren: A loud siren will alert you when there’s been a break-in and it also lets an intruder know he’s been detected.
Motion Detector: Passive infrared, microwave or photoelectric detectors sense changes in a room caused by movement of people. Special Motion Detectors are also available for people who have pets.
Door and Window Contacts: When the door or window is opened (and the alarm is on) the circuit is broken and sounds the alarm.
Monitoring Station: Signals from your security system are transmitted to the 24-hour monitoring station, which can summons help for guard, police, fire or medical response.
Many technologies can be added to your security system depending upon your needs. This may include devices to detect carbon monoxide, cameras, recording devices and audio detection devices.
Security camera is a camera connected to an electronic security system for monitoring or recording areas which can be viewed on premises or transmitted to a professional central station and/or to a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Wireless security cameras use Wi-Fi to transmit surveillance footage to a cloud-based server over the internet. This allows you to view the footage on any internet-connected device. Note that many wireless cameras are not entirely wireless because they need to be plugged into AC power via a power cable, although some use rechargeable batteries instead.
Wired security cameras are physically wired to an on-site video storage device, either a digital video recorder (DVR) or a network video recorder (NVR). Each camera has a cable running to it from the local storage device for both power and transmitting footage. Wired cameras don’t use Wi-Fi but can be connected to the internet via an ethernet cable for viewing footage remotely.
Security Cameras can come with additional features such as audio, motion detection, facial recognition, and artificial intelligence. Many of these features add cost, need professional installation and may be more suitable for commercial properties.
What your Security Camera can do for you.
Act a deterrent. Security cameras have been shown to deter opportunistic thieves, who may go elsewhere if they spot one.
Catching Criminals. Security camera footage can be of assistance for identification purposes, but many burglars often wear hoodies or masks to make identification more difficult.
Insurance claims. Having video evidence that your property was broken into can help expedite insurance claims.
Peace of Mind. Cameras can allow you to see anyone in your home or business while you’re away or in another part of the house. An indoor camera can act as a pet monitor.
Professional installation ensures that cameras cover the most important areas of your home or business, and the installer will make sure cameras are connected, working correctly and integrated with other smart home devices you may have. While cameras alone can provide you with limited information about your premises, adding them as part of a security system can provide you with additional tools to signal the presence of unauthorized entry or other unexpected or emergency conditions concerning security or life safety.
A security system installed by a professional is an investment in your security and personal well-being. Having your system monitored by a professional central monitoring center 24/7 offers assurance that actions will be taken if your alarm is tripped. A security professional can help you figure out your needs and design a system around your lifestyle to keep your family, employees, and valuables safe.
It has been proven that user education is the best defense against false alarms. Professional alarm installers will educate you and everyone in your household or business on how to properly use your security system, including false alarm prevention measures.
Operation Of An Alarm System
In many cases the central monitoring station will call your home or office prior to calling the police to verify that the signal received is not a false alarm.
If they do not reach you or someone you have authorized, or if the person who answers the phone does not have proper authorization, the central monitoring station will then call the appropriate authority (police, fire or medical services). They will also try to contact you or someone you have authorized so someone can meet the authorities at the building.
For general inquiries or information on our organization, please use the contact information below or submit a message using the contact form.