Are you in the market for home alarm monitoring systems? A monitored security system is a great way to deter burglars from breaking into your home - when protected homes are burglarized, properly monitored alarm systems can get police on the way within minutes. Basic home alarm systems include sensors that are triggered when doors and windows open. There are also shock sensors that can detect when windows have been struck or broken, and home security cameras are useful for people who want real-time monitoring of their property. Choosing a monitoring company with a good track record for quick response times is crucial, however. Three of the top home alarm monitoring companies on the market are ADT, Vivint and LifeShield. Ask the following questions to get helpful information when shopping around for the right system.

Can I get a free quote for a home alarm system install?

Call around to a few different home alarm system providers and find out which companies can come to your home to give rate quotes for installs. Don't do business with a company that won't come out and give a quote in-person. It's vital for alarm companies to consider the layout of your property when estimating your equipment needs.

What is this company's monthly monitoring fee?

The alarm installation is expensive, but the costs of monthly alarm monitoring add up over time. Compare ongoing monitoring charges from several providers when choosing which company to do business with.

Can I monitor my alarm system from my smartphone?

Most of the nationwide home alarm companies now provide apps that let customers monitor their alarm systems from their smartphones. In addition to asking about these apps, ask for in-person demonstrations. Considering that most people will be interacting with their alarm systems through their phones, you should be sure to have a phone app you're comfortable using.

What happens when my monitored alarm system is triggered?

Each home security monitoring company has different procedures for responding to potential break-ins. Ask representatives from each company about what happens, including how you're notified, what happens if you can't be reached and how long until police are called.

Are there penalties for false alarms?

Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes alarms are triggered for no reason. Most alarm monitoring companies allow each customers at least one mistaken call per year before some kind of fine is charged. Ask about this if you're worried about someone in your household potentially setting off false alarms.

Are any alarm monitoring companies offering special deals?

Go online and look at the various websites of home monitoring alarm providers in your area. Search for any kinds of deals and specials that might cut down on the cost of monitoring or installation. You never know when you might find a good sale price that makes getting an alarm system easier.

What kind of warranty protection does this alarm monitoring company offer?

Always ask about warranty information. If your alarm system's hardware breaks or malfunctions, you don't want to be stuck with a large bill in order to protect your home. Ask how long warranty coverage is good for, or whether parts of your coverage (such as control panel repair) never expire. Also ask about how often maintenance is needed on your system.

What else can I monitor in my home with this alarm system?

Today's top-rated alarm systems let people monitor all sorts of things in their homes. In addition to being able to confirm that your alarm system is armed, people can use their phone apps to monitor whether their doors are locked, whether lights are off and whether the thermostat was properly adjusted. People with home security cameras can also monitor their pets or children while away. These monitoring features do usually cost extra.