Self-monitoring vs Professional monitoring

Posted May 21st, 2024 by SimpliSafe

Home security is more important than ever. With rising crime rates across the country, protecting your home and family should be a top priority. 

But which type of home security monitoring should you go for? There are two main types: self-monitoring and professional monitoring. The self-monitored option relies on you to watch the cameras and any alerts you may receive, as well as contact emergency services if needed. However, professional alarm monitoring systems can monitor homes 24/7 and alert you as soon as something irregular is detected in your home, as well as call the police in emergencies.

Whilst self-monitoring is the “do it yourself” approach, professional monitoring has distinct advantages over the former. Professional monitoring is right for many homeowners as its services enhance your home's security in ways you can't replicate yourself. With trained operators and advanced technology, you can rest assured that you’ll be monitored as soon as anything happens. 

Today, we’ll compare self-monitoring and professional monitoring in-depth, analysing the benefits of both DIY and professional home security. Whilst we believe self-monitoring has its place, professional monitoring provides more comprehensive protection. We'll cover key factors to weigh and explain why professional monitoring is the best way to secure your home.

What is professional monitoring?

Professional security monitoring, also known as professional monitoring or professional alarm monitoring, refers to alarm systems that are monitored by a professional third-party company instead of the homeowner or tenant. When a security sensor is triggered in a professionally monitored home, a signal is sent to the monitoring centre where trained operators can view the alert and take appropriate action.

How does professional monitoring work?

In simple terms, professional monitoring services work by installing security sensors and cameras in a home that are connected to a control panel or base station. When a sensor detects an intrusion, fire, or other emergency, the control panel sends a signal to the professional monitoring centre. Highly trained monitoring agents are available 24/7 to assess the alarm and determine the right course of action, such as contacting the homeowner or requesting dispatch of emergency services.

With a wireless burglar alarm, here are some key products and a few incidents that the professional monitoring centre will look out for: 

No matter what type of security system a home has, professional monitoring ensures it is monitored at all times for the ultimate peace of mind.

Why professional alarm monitoring?

There are tons of ways to get the most out of your professional monitoring system, such as setting PINs, pet watch, and much more. Here are some ways professional alarm monitoring provides enhanced security for your home.

1. You can integrate multiple monitoring systems

With professional monitoring, your alarm system can be integrated with other smart home devices like video doorbell cameras, entry sensors and more. This allows the monitoring centre to visually verify emergencies by accessing video footage.

2. Reactive monitoring

Rather than just reacting to emergencies yourself (which could be delayed for a variety of reasons!), professional monitoring services also watch for preventative alerts from connected devices. For example, they can be notified if a sensor is triggered.

Plus, you can also schedule arming and disarming your professional alarm system, depending on when you will or won’t be at home.

3. No false alarms

Professional monitoring centres have protocols in place to verify emergencies before alerting the police. This prevents false alarms and unnecessary 999 calls. 

4. Monitoring by experts

One of the biggest benefits of professional monitoring is that highly trained professionals are on hand to respond to any incidents at your home 24/7. Monitoring centres have trained operators who know how to accurately assess alarm triggers and potential threats. This ensures an appropriate response is taken during an alarm, fire, break-in or other crisis as quickly as possible. Self-monitored systems lack this around-the-clock expert oversight, as they rely on you to check your systems from a device.

5. Peace of mind 

Professional monitoring services provide invaluable peace of mind that your home and family are protected even when you're not there. It’s a feeling you simply can’t put a price on.

Knowing your family and home are constantly protected brings invaluable peace of mind. While self-monitoring puts the onus entirely on you, professional monitoring securely handles emergency response even when you're thousands of miles away. With offsite experts on the case, you can relax knowing your home is protected 24/7.

Why self-monitoring? Things to consider

Self-monitoring systems have their place, so if this is the route you wish to go down, there are a few important factors to think through before committing to self-monitoring your home.

1. Tech skills

Self-monitored systems may require some technical know-how to configure and operate. You'll need to be able to install apps, connect devices, set up notifications, and learn how to properly arm, disarm and test your system. If you are not tech-savvy, self-monitoring may prove to be overly complex and frustrating.

2. Potential for delayed response times

It’s all well and good hiding valuables to keep your home safe, but a major downside of self-monitoring is the limited response when an alarm is triggered. With no professional monitoring centre, you bear the sole responsibility of responding to alerts. If you are not home or fail to hear an alarm, there will be no backup response, giving an intruder greater opportunity to cause harm. Emergency services will also not be contacted unless you are able to call for help yourself.

3. You could save on costs

The most obvious benefit is the cost savings from not paying monthly fees to a professional monitoring company. Self-monitoring eliminates those recurring costs, so you only have to pay for the initial security equipment and installation. This makes home security more affordable and accessible to many homeowners.

However, is the lack of cost worth the risk? It’s something you’ll have to weigh up, particularly if you’re not home that often!

Ready to get started with professional alarm monitoring? From less than £1 per day, you can rest assured your home security is bolstered. Contact SimpliSafe to find out more about our professional alarm monitoring packages and how we can help you build a home security system.