Moving into a new house is an exciting time as you're familiarizing yourself with a new space that feels and breathes differently. Somewhere within all that excitement hides a serious question: what to do with your existing home security system?
Legacy security systems are something many new homeowners have to deal with. These systems aren't necessarily bad, but you have to know what you can and can't expect from them. The purpose of this short guide is to show you a few paths you can take to make your home secure and your loved ones safe.
Available Options and What They Offer
When you purchase a new property and decide that you want to up the security, getting a brand new system of your choice is the best solution. This way you get to cater the entire setup to your needs and what you feel is required to keep your new property as well as its inhabitants safe.
However, what do you do if the property you have just bought already comes with a security system? Can you simply get that equipment up and running with your security provider, saving some money in the process?
The answers to these questions depend on a number of factors, but most importantly on the manufacturer and age of the security system in question. Right off the bat you may be having to work with outdated technology with limited capabilities and upgrade options. Or, the previous owner may have different standards when it comes to security.
That might not be the main issue. Most older security systems utilize landlines to send alarms and notifications. That makes them vulnerable to intruders who need only cut through a few wires to render the alarm useless. Depending on the system in question, you are looking at limited security that doesn't meet modern safety standards. What can you do about this?
Leave the existing security system and attempt to reconnect it with a monitoring service
Try to modernize the existing security system and upgrade it through hardware and/or software
Discard the existing system and start over with up-to-date technology that can better accommodate cameras and home automation
Updating the Existing Home Security System
If you are not willing to use the existing system in its current state, chances are that you can upgrade it. As you now know, landline-reliant systems are neither burglar-proof nor future-proof. We offer cellular modules which can completely eliminate the need for a landline. Here's everything you need to know about the benefits of cellular alarm monitoring.
One thing to keep in mind is that when working with outdated technology, your options are limited. Older home security systems have only a few upgrade paths to choose from, if any. Even the simplest thing as updating hardware can cause problems. The fact of the matter is that some older home security systems simply weren't designed to fit the needs of today’s homeowners.
The best thing to do is call a local security provider and ask them about what improvements are available for your system. Once we know the brand and model of the equipment in your home, we can lay out the upgrade options available and provide you with our recommendation based on what you want out of your security system and what makes sense with your budget.
Getting Rid of the Old System and Installing a Brand New One
Your last — and often best — option would be to remove the existing system altogether and replace it with new technology. Although new equipment comes with an upfront cost, it will be much cheaper than hanging on to the old system and calling technicians to fix it every time something goes wrong.
Keep in mind that there are some edge cases where sticking with the older system is better. Homes with complex systems that have many zones on them can be expensive to replace and require that technicians be out there for many hours. Once again, talk to your security provider and they will walk you through the options and the costs and benefits of each.
Note: We do not recommend replacing security systems that have to-code fire systems tied into them as this is a far more complex process.
Many new prospective homeowners often don’t realize that older systems weren’t designed for longevity and in many instances, those on older systems experience more frequent errors or even abrupt equipment failure. Systems installed in the early 2000s are likely reaching the end of their operative lifespan.
Performing maintenance on an older system can be much more expensive because of the expertise required to service those systems. The latest wireless technology is designed to function reliably for decades, and maintenance is usually simple enough for you to do it yourself with help from a member of our support team.
For customers who are still using older technology, we suggest opting for safer, newer technology that will be less of a hassle to deal with down the line. Another benefit of updating your system is getting all of the latest features of wireless technology. Even though wired systems are still better for huge properties like warehouses, wireless systems are more than likely to be sufficient for all but the largest homes.
Aside from looking sleek and modern with its touch-screen panel, wireless home security systems are much easier to upgrade and sourcing the parts is easy, lowering the cost of doing so. Our security systems are compatible with a variety of add-ons like smart locks, thermostats, and smart lighting, all of which can be controlled through your smartphone.
While new systems are the ideal solution for many homeowners, I recommend that you fully explore all of your options to make sure doing so is cost-effective and that the benefits of wireless security are applicable to your needs. It all comes down to what you want your system to do for you.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:
Top 5 misconceptions about home security
How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed