Security Begins at Home

Industry Focus

Security Begins at Home

The majority of our editorial efforts focus on commercial and industrial security. We took a small turn a couple years ago to add focus on the dealer and integrator, and while we don’t talk too much about home security, it certainly is of interest.

Every integrator I have talked with begins our conversation by letting me know about commercial installations; however, they all have experience to some degree with home security.

There are a few moving parts to home security that have been fascinating to me the past 10 years. A decade ago I built a new home, and my experience with home security started only then. The first time I walked from the garage to the house, I noticed an alarm pad.

It was then that I determined I wanted more security than this control pad had to offer. Thanks to many friends and associates in the industry, I feel like my home is as secure as it could possibly be. I also relied on a few experts in the home security field to lend their guidance.

Protection 1 is the nation’s largest full-service security company, including residential protection. Here is what Tim Whall told me about his company’s plan. “At Protection 1 (P1), it is about the customer experience— from sales to installation to service.”

For the do-it-yourselfer, Protection 1 has a plan in place where a homeowner can install their own security system but also activate and receive 24/7 monitoring services. Whall said this allowed the company to dip “more oars in the water, finding out what was comfortable for P1 and allow them to grab more customers.”

Home security is rather unique in that many residential customers are contacted by a company representative at their own front door. Some don’t use this method.

In an article that we published in January, author Robert Ogle (Monitronics) made reference to one of their dealers, Envision Security. Envision tried knocking on doors, but that wasn’t the way that worked best for them. While Darryl Johnson, president and founder holds his strategy close to the vest, one thing is for sure: he promotes that the customer is king, and a positive customer experience right from the beginning. “If the customer needs service, you’ll move mountains to take care of them,” he said.

Ogle also had this to say about home security and monitoring. “If there’s any doubt about the value of live monitoring as part of an effective home security system, consider a self-monitored system that sends an alert only to the homeowner. What happens when they’re in an important business presentation and their smartphone alerts them that their house is on fire?”

Precious minutes are wasted while they try to figure out what is going on. When minutes matter, that is when a quick reaction by a central station becomes so important. No one wants a front-row seat while their house is burning, or for that matter, being burgled.

Central station monitoring doesn’t have a secret recipe, according to Darin Anderson, vice president for monitoring at Monitronics. He said it is a matter of finding good people, and I would submit, people who care about the families that they serve.

Anderson said he is not looking for someone who is robotic but rather someone who is smart and can stay focused. I agree. If something happens with my home security system, I want someone who is smart enough to stay focused to work through the issues.

When I think of residential security, my first thought is having a sign in the front flower bed that indicates that I am a subscriber to security, and here is my representative just in case you were wondering. Home security has been and will continue to be the benefactor of the technology used in the commercial and industrial space, which, in turn, means my home is more secure today than it was yesterday.

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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