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.
Consumer Information & Links
Today’s electronic security and life safety industry is complex. With new technologies and many choices of products and services in the marketplace, it can be difficult to know what the best choices are for your home and business. The NSA’s member companies can assist you with current professional information. Read through the basic information below, then reach out to our member companies to provide the professional security and life safety services you need.
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.
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.
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 salesman 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 salesman 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.
- Contact several different companies. Ask if they are members of the Nevada Security Association.
- Check to make sure the company has all appropriate licensing. See our Business Licensing page to see what requirements are for your area.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been filed against the companies.
- Narrow the field to 2-3 companies. Arrange an appointment with each company and be sure to ask for the name of the person who will be calling on you and verify his or her identification upon arrival.
- Ask for an inspection, demonstration and a quotation in writing. Also ask for and check references.
- Study each contract to ensure you know exactly what you are getting. Consider the merits of leasing vs. buying.
- Understand who will be monitoring your system.
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. Everyone who will be using the system should be present during this educational process. To avoid false alarms and possible fines you should be very careful in arming and disarming your system and keep your contact information with your monitoring company up-to-date.
If your system develops any problems or you have further questions regarding it, contact the installer.
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.
- A Control Panel: The location where your system wiring terminates and your backup battery is located.
- A Keypad: to arm and disarm your system.
- A 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.
- An Inside Motion Detector: Passive infrared, microwave or photoelectric detectors sense changes in a room caused by human presence. Special Motion Detectors are available for people who have pets.
- Door and Window Contacts: Magnetic contacts form a circuit between a door and door frame or a window and a sill; when the door or window is opened (and the alarm is on) the circuit is broken and this sounds the alarm.
- A Central Monitoring Station: Emergency signals from your home are electronically transmitted to the 24-hour monitoring station, which summons help from police, fire or medics.
It has been proven that user education is the best defense against false alarms. It is very important that the installer teach you and your family 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 this is not a false alarm.
If they do not get an answer at your home or office, or if the person who answers the phone does not give the proper password, the central monitoring station will then call the appropriate authority (police, fire or medical services). They will also try to contact you or another one of your representatives 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.