When it comes to protecting your family, your home and your possessions, one should certainly go to all lengths to ensure that they are protected. Most home owners are quick to install an alarm or security system shortly after they move in to their brand new house. What you may also want to consider, however, is a monitoring system for added protection - especially if you are living in a high-crime area of town.

So what exactly does a monitoring service do? It constantly monitors your installed system to be sure that all alarm and security components are working right. A monitoring service will also call to confirm when a home's alarm has been set off; if there is no answer once they call, the local authorities in your area will then be dispatched to check out the situation. Lastly, most monitoring services come with a "panic button", which is a great feature for those who are disabled and the elderly. Once the panic button is pressed, the monitoring service will again dispatch the appropriate authorities and stay on the line with you until they get there.

Once you install the monitoring service, you will need to think of a code that will both activate the alarm when you leave the house and go to sleep, and deactivate it when you're home during the day. Be sure to avoid any sort of obvious codes, such as:

  • "1234"
  • Your birthday
  • Your spouse's birthday/children's birthday
  • Special dates, such as anniversaries
  • Your numerical address

A good code could be the numeric equivalent to the first four letters of your mother's maiden name. A thief would have a pretty hard time figuring that out! You may be asked to put in the code on many occasions when the system is first installed, just to be sure that the system is functioning correctly and that you will be protected.

When you first have the alarm installed, it may be a bit difficult to remember to actually use it. Put a note on the back of all doors that you exit from, reminding yourself to activate the alarm. Put a note on your bedroom door so you can be sure that, when you go to bed, your home is protected from thugs and criminals. You certainly do not want these criminals breaking into your home after you have gone to the trouble of installing an alarm!

It is important that all adults and older children know how to activate the alarm properly as well. Should you leave the house at night, you will be able to activate the alarm so you know that your older children are safe.

REMINDER: No matter how much your older children may trust their friends, warn them more than once that they are never to give out the code to your home.

Still not convinced that you need a home monitoring system? Consider the fact that most neighbors, though they may see suspicious activity around your home, will not actually contact the authorities unless there is an obvious break in. Sure, they may have seen a tall husky man in a dark sweatshirt and cap, but who knows - maybe he's there to do some repairs? Neighbors tend to mind their own business unless something blatantly obvious is wrong. They will probably not call you or the police should something go awry; a home monitoring service WILL. Keep eyes on your home at all times with a home monitoring service.