There are about 1000s of home security installers in the UK. But not all of them offer the same products and certainly differentiate in terms of the quality of the services they offer. We have come across a lot of customers who are not satisfied with their current home security installer and want to switch to us. The reason is, the products and services offered to them do not meet their expectations. What usually happens is that customers are aggressively pushed into an “Expiring soon, Hurry!” offer. Yeah, haven’t we all come across this before?
As security specialists, our aim is to educate people about security systems and help them make informed decisions. Therefore, we have compiled a list of information that you should ask security companies before you purchase a home security system.
1. Are you an insurance approved home security installer?
Your insurance company might insist you have a home security system in place. Especially if it’s a high-risk property, or if the neighbourhood is prone to burglary. A DIY security system might not always satisfy the criteria of your insurance company. However, a professional-grade alarm system fitted by an insurance-approved security company will definitely fulfilled because these alarms are EN50131 standards-compliant systems. That is necessarily not the case with a DIY system.
Insurance approved companies are either approved and regulated by SSAIB or NSI. Therefore, it is a must for you to check if your service provider is insurance approved. You can easily find these details on the website.
We are an SSAIB-certified security installer and are regulated and audited by SSAIB.
2. Is the product offered to you insurance approved?
Some companies have their monitoring stations registered and certified by regulatory bodies such as NSI or SSAIB. But still, they offer products that do not comply with the British standard grading of a security system. Some big giants still don’t have fully compliant products in place. This might turn out to be a sour thing for you when you claim insurance in case you’re burgled. Always ask the company to put it in writing that their products comply with EN 50131 standards.
We often hear stories about Verisure alarms not being insurance approved, as their product does not meet the grading standards.
3. Does your Burglar Alarm come with an audible outdoor bell box?
Do you know that two of the biggest home security installer in the UK do not offer live sirens to be placed outside your property? ADT only offers a dummy siren to be placed outdoors, while Verisure puts a sticker outside the house. A loud outdoor siren is essential as it triggers the alarm. This will definitely draw the attention of your neighbours in case of an emergency. And eventually, you will get instant help to stop the burglary. This is, however, not possible if an outdoor live siren is missing.
4. Who’s going to own the product?
Some home security installers or companies do not disclose that they are leasing their products to their customers. In such cases, a customer has to pay high monthly costs for the system throughout the life of the device. Most home security systems are designed to last approximately 10 years or so. In that case, you would end up paying 3 to 4 times more to use the solution. This is why buying a product is always more cost-effective than leasing.
Also, if you decide to opt out of the contract, you may be charged a cancellation fee and additional charges to remove the system or all the features of the system will be disabled.
5. Do you offer flexible finance?
A security solution is a huge investment, and most of the time, people are not willing to pay the full amount upfront. Flexible financing plans will help you pay the cost over a certain period. Some of the providers do offer a wide range of flexible financing options so that you can pay for the system at your convenience.
6. Do you have independent reviews that we can check?
Independent reviews have a significant role to play and help you form an opinion about the service provider based on the customer feedback. Check each provider’s independent reviews and, in particular, check the bad reviews on their websites or other review websites. Google Reviews and Trust Pilot are the most popular platforms to check the ratings and reviews of service providers.
7. Do you have engineers of your own, or are they sub-contractors?
Companies employing their engineers tend to invest more in their employees and thus have a higher service standard compared to those who have contracted it. We take pride in employing all our engineers and investing in their well-being and training. This enables us to take ownership of the way we deliver our services. Our engineers carry Company ID cards, drive branded vans and wear our uniforms.
8. Are your engineer’s security screened?
When you give the engineer access to your home, who is a stranger to you, you have the right to ask the supplier for the credential of people visiting you. All of our engineers and office teams are security screened to the highest standard available in the UK-BS7858 screening and DBS checks to ensure that no one with any criminal records is employed.
9. How is the system monitored?
Make sure you have a few options when it comes to monitoring your alarm. Some providers only offer self-monitoring or monitoring by third parties. However, we offer a range of self-monitoring, third-party monitoring options as well as level 1 police response and private guard response systems where customers can choose from these options as required. You can even add monitoring at a later date if you wish. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance charges shall apply.
10. Can I have my alarm installed without opting for third party monitoring?
Explore with your service provider if you are allowed to opt for a system without any ongoing monitoring charges. With most customers opting for smart alarms, you will have more information available from the app than any monitoring station has. If you have a smart alarm, especially if you have a camera sensor, we recommend that you opt for self-monitoring before signing up for any lengthy monitoring plan. You should explore your options for adding or removing monitoring and police response options at a later date, to make sure the system and the security provider can adapt your changing requirements.
11. Do I need to sign up for your maintenance plan?
Some companies insist that you choose a fixed contract maintenance plan as part of your security system. However, we give our customers the flexibility to choose between pay-as-you-go maintenance service (some call it fit-and-forget service), annual maintenance, annual maintenance with extended warranty, and police response service with 2 services per annum.
12. Who makes the intruder alarm you’re installing?
It is common for installation companies to rebrand the products they sell to their customers that do not allow them to use any other service provider to service their alarm. For instance, ADT used to sell Honeywell alarms and is now using Visonic. However, these products are always branded under their name. On the other hand, we always let our customers know the make and model of the alarm we use, which allows you to cross-check and find out more about the products before you make an informed purchase decision.
We also often do in-depth reviews of the products we install and we also recommend you take up on our free consultation to design and receive recommendations for the best security systems to meet your requirements.
13. Does the burglar alarm come with a free app?
a. Is there an ongoing cost to the app?
Some manufacturers and service companies charge an ongoing fee to use the alarm app, such as the Pyronix app, which is free only in the first year and has an ongoing charge from the second year onwards. We selectively recommend products that do not charge any ongoing fees for using the alarm app or are transparent about their pricing from the beginning. To be fair, all most all manufacturers who provide good quality ongoing service for apps and other cloud-based services now charge for their apps.
b. If I don’t service the alarm from you, will the app be turned off?
This is one of the tactics that some security providers are trying to force their customers to use their services against the customer’s will. We value our customers and therefore, do not engage in such tactics. You will only have the system serviced by us if we meet your expectations.
14. Do I need my security system to be serviced by you?
All alarm manufacturers, insurance providers, and, indeed, we recommend that you service your alarm on an annual basis. It helps with the maintenance and functionality of the system and ensures that everything works fine. However, we do not force you to sign up for any maintenance plans, and the choice will be yours.
15. What is the warranty of the home security system offered by you?
All of our security systems [burglar alarm and home cctv] come with a minimum of 1 year of on-site warranty.
16. Can I extend the warranty of my security system?
We offer industry-leading and insurance-recommended maintenance plans with an extended warranty. This gives you up to 10 years of warranty with free callouts and a fixed-cost service. We will also change all batteries and replace any faulty parts at a fixed cost, with no additional charges applicable apart from the cost of the plan.
17. What are your opening hours?
Make sure that the security provider you choose offers services on weekends and holidays as well as you don’t want to get stuck with your faulty system for a long time. Also find out if this isn’t a one-person band, in case your engineer goes away on vacation and you’re stranded until he’s back.
We work 7 days a week, and our sales offices work from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Our customer service numbers are open 24/7, so you’re always in safe hands.
18. How do you deal with my system when something goes wrong?
This is an important question that must be asked. We promise to respond to all of your reported faults on the same day. We can find faults and fix most of them remotely on the same day. On odd occasions, if an engineer needs to come out, we’ll give you a temporary solution on the same day and arrange an engineer visit — usually within 1-5 working days, depending on your availability.
19. How quickly can you install it?
The average lead time of the industry is around 3 weeks from the date of the initial inquiry. Our standard lead time for most installations is 3-5 working days. We also offer an express installation service at a small additional cost, giving priority to your job in the next 24 or 48 hours of the order, and can even install it on a Saturday for you.
FHA Security is a professional security provider in the UK and has been delivering quality services for over a decade. We have expertise in home security solutions specialising in burglar alarms and CCTV systems tailored to the needs of the customers.
We offer express installation service to all our customers where you can ask us to schedule the installation within 24 to 48 hours of placing the order so you can secure your home quickly and conveniently.
Even if you don’t plan to get a home security system right now, you can still call us to get some free advice on how to secure your home and your loved ones.
We believe in helping people protect their homes.
Call us now at 020 3137 8727, 0800 193 8727 to secure your home immediately.