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What to spend on an alarm?

Buying a home alarm is a bit of a minefield. 


Let's think about this realistically. You have within your home a few hundred thousand rands worth of posessions including electronics, clothing and more. Then of course there are the cars in the garage and most importantly - the people inside. 

We often find that when shopping for alarm systems for residential use, people tend to go for the lowest price. This makes no sense at all. Sure, we know that the cost of alarming a home is a grudge purchase, it's not something you want - it's something you NEED.  We also know that times are tough, afterall, we're businessmen and homeowners too. 

So where is the middle line? What's too much and what's too little?


Firstly look at functions. Do you want an alarm that just protects your belongings while you're not there? If so an entry level alarm system with passives and magnetic sensors will probably work just fine. But what if you want an alarm that can be set at night to exclude the rooms you're sleeping and moving in, but still alert you to anyone trying to gain access while you're alseep? If this is the case, you need a controller unit that can do this and it will obviously cost a little more - the benefit however is that it protects more than property - it protects the people sleeping inside the home too. 

Perhaps you have a young family and need to have a remote to switch the alarm on and off so that you don't have to fiddle running to a control pad when you're carrying shopping. At the same time, that remote can be used as a panic button if you're moving around the garage or garden - peace of mind that help is just a press of the button away. 


Upgrading an existing system can often be quite an expensive exercise and that means that putting as much thought into your system as possible will be to your long term benefit along the way. 


Finally, before spending anything on an alarm, you have to verify that the person installing it and advising you is SAIDSA registered. SAIDSA is an industry body controlling alarm systems and installations within South Africa. While there are many cheap imports available (even via retailers) these alarms will seldom live up to inudstry best practices and therefore NOT be acceptable to your household insurers. The last thing you want is to think you're protected by an alarm and insurance and then get the bad news when there's a claim.