Home Security Blog

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It's no secret that the Home Security industry is full of companies willing to say anything to get you to sign a multi-year contract with them. It's one of the many problematic practices that resulted in the founding of Alarm Grid. It's a practice that nearly every single member of the industry does. When we started Alarm Grid two years ago, and we mentioned that we were going to try this whole thing by treating customers well and not making them sign contracts, we were laughed out of rooms and told that it would never work. Well, here we are two years later: one of the fastest growing security companies in the United States.

The industry incumbents aren't any better, unfortunately. Over the last year, we've seen tons of home security scams where companies are claiming to be ADT or another known security brand and tricking customers into signing up. Rightly, most of the brands whose names are being misrepresented are working hard to make sure that those companies are squelched. That said, if ADT thinks that tricking customers is such a bad idea, then why is it that they were just found reprimanded by the FTC for misrepresenting their advertisements by paying for spokespeople to discuss their product glowingly?

In the FTC's release, they wrote the following:

As part of its ongoing crackdown on misleading endorsements in advertising, the Federal Trade Commission has charged the home security company ADT LLC with misrepresenting that paid endorsements from safety and technology experts were independent reviews. Under an agreed-upon settlement, ADT is prohibited from misrepresenting paid endorsements as independent reviews in the future....

“It’s hard for consumers to make good buying decisions when they think they’re getting independent expert advice as part of an impartial news segment and have no way of knowing they are actually watching a sales pitch,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When a paid endorser appears in a news or talk show segment with the host of that program, the relationship with the advertiser must be clearly disclosed."

While we find the practice of undisclosed paid endorsements reprehensible - especially when these endorsement deals are hundreds of thousands of dollars - it's unfortunately commonplace in this industry. You don't have to look too far online to find a company or two that always shows up at the top of what looks like a legitimate resource for consumers doing research on systems.

We find it odd that companies like ADT who go far to try to keep other companies from dragging their name through the mud (they offered $20,000 bounties for footage of companies training their employees to do what we described at the beginning of the article), would turn around and disrespect consumers in the same way. 

You will never find Alarm Grid faking reviews. Every Alarm Grid review online is 100% real. It is common for us to ask customers to leave those reviews, but they do it without any compensation. Our on-site testimonials, as we've stated numerous times before, are given to us in exchange for a free month of monitoring, but only after a client has worked with us for at least 6 months. But that's it. If you find our name on a blog, or on some rating site, we will very clearly disclose if we paid for it to be there - you have our word.

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Alarm Grid Is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Wichita, KS Under License #165.

Alarm Grid's monitoring responsibilities extend to areas all throughout the United States - including the great heartlands. We are honored to be monitoring the alarms of clients in Wichita, KS under the permit granted to us by the city. For current regulations we remind Wichita residence to please check with your city's police department. We do our best to keep up with regulations throughout the United States, but occasionally our database is out of date or incorrect.

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that their security system is in compliance with local regulations. We do our best to make that a simple process, but if you find that our municipal database has inaccurate information we ask that you email support@alarmgrid.com with that information so that we can quickly correct it.

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Louisville, KY Under License #836.

It is not uncommon for heavily populated cities, such as Louisville, to take on the efforts of licensing and regulations for alarm monitoring companies. Alarm Grid is licensed in Louisville to monitor alarms.

While we do our best to make sure to stay on top of each city's rules and regulations when it comes to home security ordinances, the burden of ensuring that your system is in compliance with local laws is on the owner of the security system. Please double-check our posted process with those listed by the city itself.

If you find that Alarm Grid's rules are out of date or incorrect, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com so that we can correct the record in our municipal database.

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Maryland Under License #107-1961.

Alarm Grid is honored to monitor homes in Maryland. Maryland's state regulations regarding home security are onerous, so we are glad to be done with the process of getting licensed in the state.

While having a license to operate in the state of Maryland is necessary for effectively performing central station monitoring for municipalities within the state, many of those municipalities, including counties and cities themselves, have ordinances that require additional efforts in order to make sure that your system is in compliance.

We do our best to make sure that we are in compliance with each of the individual municipalities, but there are over 9,000 throughout the United States, so occasionally, the information in our municipal database is outdated. It is your responsibility to check the regulations in your local area, though we do our best to help. If you find that some of the information that we have posted is incorrect, please let us know by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We will make the proper updates right away.

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Alarm Grid Is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Albuquerque, NM Under License #820.

Albuquerque, NM is a municipality that requires the registration of local security systems with the city. Alarm Grid submits a list of new clients as soon as you are activated. At that time, if you are interested in a homeowners insurance discount for your system, once activated please let us know the name and email address or fax number of you insurance provider. We will send on a certificate of insurance as soon as we confirm the reception of signals.

For those in other New Mexico municipalities, please explore the Alarm Grid places database for information on your specific locale. Every location has different rules and regulations. However, it is your responsibility to know the rules in your specific location. While we do our best to maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date database of all locations in the US, with more than 9,000 locations, there is no guarantee that our information is the most recent information. Please check with your police station to confirm that our displayed requirements for your location are both current and accurate. In cases where you find out-of-date data, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com so that we can update the municipality right away.

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Alarm Grid Is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Florida under license #EG13000444.

As Alarm Grid's home state, we are both proud and excited to begin monitoring home security accounts in this wonderful state.

Florida is a big state, and municipalities are in charge of their own rules with regard to alarm registration. Some cities require alarm system owners to purchase a permit from their local police department to avoid false alarm fines. If your located in any of those cities, it is your responsibility to know what you need to do to make sure that your alarm is in compliance with local regulations. That said, we do our best to make sure that our local database has information about your location, though the incredible frequency with which local regulations change will mean that our database is occasionally displaying old, outdated information. You should call your local police department in order to make sure that you are in compliance.

In the case that Alarm Grid is required to be permitted within your city limits and there is no permit displayed on our municipal database's page, simply email support@alarmgrid.com in order to obtain our permit number and any forms that might need for local registration.

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Alarm Grid is permitted to do alarm monitoring in Virginia under license permit #11-9013.

We are proud to be working with the state of Virginia, and its municipalities to both reduce false alarms and to make sure that our users are in compliance with both state and local regulations at all times.

The great state of Virginia has granted Alarm Grid permission to operate within the state under permit #11-9013. This is a pre-requisite for Alarm Grid to obtain permits in any city in the state. Alarm Grid does our best to remain compliant with municipal rules, but it as the alarm system owner, it is your job to know the laws in your particular jurisdiction. Please check the ordinances within your city and county's limits to ensure that you are in compliance with the local jurisdiction.

In some cases, you will need to make sure that your security system is registered with the local police, though that is not necessarily the case. Additionally, in some counties within Virginia (Fairfax County for example), users are required to fill out a triplicate carbon copy sheet that is to be submitted to be held by the owner of the system, the county itself, and Alarm Grid. If you live in one of these counties, please ask us for the forms since they are specific to your security company and we will send out a pre-filled form to you that same day.

If you find that the licensing information for your city is out of date on Alarm Grid's municipal database, please email support@alarmgrid.com so that we can make sure to update the locale's information. We do our best to help you remain compliant, but local municipalities regularly change their ordinances. And with more than 9,000 municipalities nationwide, there are times when our database will be displaying out of date information.

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Happy 4th of July Alarm Grid! And Happy Birthday America!

We just wanted to relay the message: we're Closed Today.... Too Busy Being All Patriotic....

We wish you all the best of health. Stuff yourself with hot dogs, wave flags, and shoot rockets off in your back yard (if you're in a state where it's legal). Just be safe and follow the rules!

Remember, if you are getting the itch and work on your panel today, call the central station and put your panel on test. THE CENTRAL STATION IS ALWAYS OPEN. So if you need them, feel free to call our main line, (888-818-7728) and press 1. A friendly, helpful operator will pick up right away. For those of you who are having fun instead of working on your security system, toast a beer (or diet coke if you're me) to America and eat a hot dog.

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If you're just down from yesterday's loss by America's World Cup soccer team, maybe this news will help cheer you up! Honeywell has finally released its award winning L7000 to the public, after tantalizing the DIY community with little previews since early November 2013. If the L5200's roaringly successful debut is any indication, the L7000's release is likely to be met with unprecedented eagerness by alarm system enthusiasts.

Just coming off winning the ESX's "Best in Show" award, the L7000 may be the most impressive security system released to date by any company ever. The L7000 is really very similar to its one month old predecessor, the L5200. But for its large 7-inch display, ability to handle many more zones, and the fact that it's capable of monitoring up to 4 cameras (the L5200 can monitor only one), the L7000 is the slightly souped up version of an already impressive line of wireless security panels.

"While the L5200 is the system most people need, the L7000 is perfect for DIYers with big homes, or needs that are outside of the scope of the L5200," said Joshua Unseth, Alarm Grid's director of marketing. "We have made all the resources available for these units, so that anyone who wants to install the system on their own can do it very easily."

Alarm Grid's free resources have become well-known among security system enthusiasts. The Alarm Grid videos are given regular mentions in Amazon reviews and are regularly cited by customers as the impetus for choosing Alarm Grid. Unseth says that, along with their comprehensive list of frequently asked security system questions, the rich set of resources Alarm Grid provides is their biggest source of leads. "We believe that giving away everything that a consumer needs to know about their security system is the best way to build trust with consumers who are rightly mistrustful of this industries."

Alarm Grid's President, Sterling Donnelly said, "The L7000 security system might be new, but we have spent the last several months using it, testing it, and troubleshooting it. As consumers begin working with this new piece of equipment, they will quickly see how valuable having our resources at their fingerprints is." That said, Donnelly emphasized that Honeywell seems to have invested a lot into understanding the user experience. "Honeywell designed a panel that is easy to use, and hard to set up incorrectly. We don't anticipate consumers having many problems using the L7000. It's interface is the same as the L5200, and consumers have found that system to be both simple and reliable."

Honeywell's standards for equipment manufacturing are well-known, and the L7000 is no different. UL listed, the panel boasts every security feature under the sun including Advanced Protection Logic (APL), the ability to stream Total Connect cameras live over the local WIFI network using the l5100-WIFI modules and more. The system's flash upgradeable, just like the L5200, which makes the panel resistant to future updates. "This might be the most important change Honeywell has made to these systems, with regard to cost," said Donnelly. "While hardware limitations are always frustrating for users when a new product comes out and obsoletes an old product, Honeywell seems committed to making sure their consumers are able to continually update their panel for new features. Ultimately, this is good news for anyone putting a Honeywell panel in their house."

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For the consumer looking to get the most out of their security system, the Honeywell L7000 is the most highly anticipated security system ever released by Honeywell. The L7000 is the biggest, most comprehensive system ever issued by the company, and it boasts more features than any consumer security panel has ever contained out of the box. For those reasons, the panel has already won plenty of the industry's most important awards, even being named the winner of ISC's 2014 Best in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions.

While the L7000 is not yet out, we at Alarm Grid are very excited about the panel, and are eagerly awaiting the day that it is made available to the general public. For those who do not need a 7-inch screen, and do not need the extra camera or zones available in the L7000, the already released L5200 has almost the exact same feature set. It's a little bit smaller, and does not have the capability to monitor as many zones as the L7000, but it is ready to go, and every bit as functional.

That said, for those who are interested in a rundown of the unit, we have prepared a short video describing the L7000's incredible array of features.

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