Building a Home – Security
Specifications for our home included security system wiring. Since the security system ran through some of the exterior walls, it needed to be wired before the insulation was blown in. Our general contractor recommended that we explore companies to monitor our home security to make sure the wiring would be adequate for their needs. Several people in my real estate office recommended SafeTouch Security. For the sake of due diligence, I also called ADT and Georgia-Florida Burglar Alarm. SafeTouch scheduled a consultation for the next day with one of their sales reps. Messages to two different Georgia-Florida reps weren’t returned. When I called ADT at a number listed for a local office, I got a phone sales rep who told me “Today’s your lucky day, we’re running a special. Do you have $119 to put down today to lock your rate”. I told him I had some technical questions, was there anyone I could talk to about that? His sales pitch stopped and he lost interest, not even bothering to give me the number of someone I could contact about my questions.
I met the SafeTouch rep the next day at the site. He was there to sell me a system but he was also very knowledgeable about his product and the system requirements. He said the wiring being done by my builder would be adequate for the security monitoring. He suggested we also get fire detection since it wouldn’t cost any more for monitoring. Also, most homeowners insurance companies provide a discount for fire monitoring which would eventually pay for the equipment cost. All told, Safetouch would monitor security and fire on a cellular connection for roughly $60 per month with a three year contract. After 3 years, our monthly cost would drop to $38. The installation cost was $475 and included:
- Security Control Panel
- Battery Backup
- Two-way Communicator
- Control Keypads (2)
- Motion Detector
- Door and Window Sensors (22)
- Remote Controls (2)
- Smoke Detectors (2)
- GSM Module for cellular system monitoring
- Smartphone software to monitor and control security system
I signed the paperwork the next morning. While shopping insurance a couple days later, I found we would save $80-$90 a year on homeowners insurance for having security and fire monitoring. That puts the payback on our installation cost at six years. The rep said that the technician, Brian, would be there in the afternoon to wire the smoke detectors. When Brian arrived, he gave the security wiring that the subcontractors had installed a quick glance. He said they had done a bang-up job, going so far as to wire the master bedroom for a control keypad and mark each of the wires going back to the control panel as to which door or window they monitored. Brian only had to install two wires for the smoke detectors.