Who Are The Biggest Alarm Companies In Canada?

There are some major alarm companies that operate in Canada. Some are national while others do business in certain selected areas. Each company brings different positives and negatives to the table, either through their value propositions or the technology they make available to their customers. Here are a few of the biggest names in the Canadian home security landscape:

– ADT

ADT is an American home alarm company that does business throughout Canada as well. ADT provides a traditional home alarm system that is installed with an installer. They do business both direct to consumer and also through dealers. ADT provides a standard service, along with cellular backup and two-way voice. ADT is the largest worldwide provider of security, protecting over 4 million customers. Beyond that, they are by far the largest home alarm company in Canada. ADT’s alarm systems range in monthly pricing from $28/month to over $50/month. There is usually an upfront charge as well as a 3-year contract.

– AlarmForce

AlarmForce is the largest provider of live two-way voice home alarm systems in Canada. Based in Toronto, AlarmForce protects over 140,000 customers throughout Canada and selected areas of the US. AlarmForce offers a $25/month home alarm system, with no upfront fee. The system is installed by AlarmForce and a 3-year contract is required. AlarmForce offers additional services, like their VideoRelay video surveillance system and AlarmCare personal emergency response product, at additional monthly charges. AlarmForce does not have a dealer program and has their own central monitoring station.

– Rogers Smart Home Monitoring

Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is a service provided by Rogers Communications. They currently install home alarm systems throughout Ontario and selected parts of BC. Rogers systems start at around $35/month and require a multi-year contract. They also make you pay some funds upfront for part of the installation and equipment. The Smart Home panel is a touchpad, and for additional costs, you can get two-way voice in your system. Rogers only sells Smart Home Monitoring through their call center and all service issues are dealt with through their call center as well. Rogers Smart Home Monitoring alarm systems are monitored by Northern 911, a central station based out of Sudbury, Ontario.

– Protectron

Protectron was recently purchased by ADT, however, the Protectron brand is still in operation separately from ADT. Protectron was the third largest Canadian home alarm company at the time of their purchase by ADT. Protectron offers a standard home alarm system, priced around $30/month.

ADT Buys Protectron

There goes another one….

It’s been announced that ADT, the 800-pound gorilla in the security world has acquired another major security company, Protectron for $500 million USD. A huge purchase for a company that needed a big buy.

Protectron is a Canadian home alarm company, located in Montreal but servicing all of Canada. They protect approximately 400,000 accounts from coast to coast and were the second largest home alarm company in the country (1st is ADT and 3rd is AlarmForce). They provide a standard home security system at a mid-level price, approximately $30/month for traditional monitoring and a few hundred up front for the system. A 3-year contract is required.

Protectron has been on the market for awhile, and ADT was a more than a happy buyer.

ADT is in an interesting position, as with the massive number of accounts ADT has, their organic growth through their direct sales and dealer programs isn’t enough to overcome the attrition numbers. This makes them have to constantly acquire other alarm companies. With that said, Protectron was the perfect opportunity at a necessary time.

What’s going to happen to Protectron after the acquisition is anyone’s guess. ADT is saying they want to keep the Protectron brand alive. I’m not sure I believe this will be the case. ADT has a very strong brand, which Protectron did not, so it makes sense to just kill of Protectron and replace all existing lawn signs and stickers as soon as possible. The Protectron dealer program (contracts with dealers, etc) may prevent that from happening right away. Only time will tell.

For Protectron customers, they’ll continue being serviced by Protectron for the time being. In future, though I’m sure they will transition to ADT, which may not be the best news for customers. I’m unaware if there’s a clause in Protectron contracts saying if the company is acquired customers can get out of their contracts. I doubt that is the case, however, if customers do want to try then this is a valid time to look elsewhere.

The Canadian security landscape continues to change. We’ll see what else 2014 has in store for us….

Do I Need An Installer To Install My Home Alarm System?

Historically home security companies have been reliant on having an installer come to your home to set up your alarm system. With more and more alarm systems being wireless as opposed to hardwired, we have to ask why are installers still necessary?

While new alarm systems are wireless, alarm companies have older equipment out in the field. This requires these alarm installers to be on the road for service. While the new systems are wireless and easy to install, certain alarm companies try to convince the customer that the installer is needed. Why would you use them as opposed to a DIY alarm otherwise? It’s another service they offer, whether there’s true value or not.

The fact is with the vast majority of alarm systems available now, really anyone can do the installation. While in past extreme training and expertise in the alarm field was needed, now anyone could set up a simple alarm system. If anyone could do it though, why do you need to call ADT, Reliance/Protectron or Vivint? That’s the problem these companies are now facing.

When we really dig deep, the only thing installers do is add overhead costs to the companies they are employed by. These companies then need to charge higher monitoring rates or upfront fees. It’s a vicious cycle that only hurts these companies customers.

Any wireless system now can be installed by virtually any homeowner in a short amount of time. A large number can be done without any drilling!

When choosing a home alarm system, looking for a company that doesn’t use an installer. This will equal overall better value and savings for the customer. All service can now be done through the mail, where the process is just as effective as with an installer and the customer will end up saving hundreds of dollars in the process.

Think protection when choosing an alarm system, and understand that sometimes nontraditional companies provide the best value, especially those that don’t employee home security installers.

What is a Motion Detector And How Does It Work?

You’re looking for an alarm system and a company just quoted you on a ton of equipment. Let me guess, they told you that you need every single door and window covered with a door/window contact?

Yes, folks, I know what you’re thinking, I can read minds. The truth is that every single big box company will try and squeeze every penny out of you knowing well enough that you actually don’t need all that equipment.

But how is that possible? How can I possible secure my home if I don’t have a peripheral covering ever entrance point? The answer to that question is simple; you can protect your home best through the use of motion detectors.

A motion detector covers a lot more ground than a door contact.

Let’s break this down for all of you. If you put a contact on your window and someone cuts the glass and enters, the contact will never go off because the seal will not have been broken. You run the risk of these peripherals on the windows and doors being easily by-passed. Your alarm company will then say, get a glass break detector, so that way if the glass is broken the detector will sound. Well, guess, a burglar could just duct take the window, smash it, then take it off, and the glass break detector won’t pick up a thing!

There is no way to bypass a motion detector!

If you have a motion detector once the intruder works his/her way through the home they are going to be passing through an area that has a high traffic volume. This is where a motion detector will be the most useful. The intruder has nowhere to go, once they enter into that area the alarm is going to sound. If you are smart enough to find a company that offers two-way voice monitoring well than that’s even better because that will prompt automatically.

Adding all that equipment can be very costly as well, think about how many doors and windows you have in your house. It adds up, especially when you have to start replacing batteries for all those sensors. Typically a motion detector can cover an area of 150 feet, this is a very large range so one maybe two motions detectors at most may be needed. I would suggest that if you really want a door contact, throw one on your back door and your front door.

When a company starts telling you that you should be putting contacts on your windows upstairs that should trigger a red flag. Think about it for a second, how are the intruders going to get into your windows from upstairs? Do you really think they are going to get a ladder and try to break in that way? I really hope you don’t think that could be an option. Intruders will always try and enter into your home from the bottom floor so what’s the point in spending all that money for the upstairs because they will never go off. You want to make sure you have the motion detector covering the bottom floor so if the intruder tries to go anywhere in the house including upstairs the motion detector will be tripped and the live two-voice monitoring will come on. By that time the intruder will know he doesn’t have any time to spare so they will try and get out as fast as possible.

So when you start calling these big companies like Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, ADT, Protectron, CPI, Comcast Xfinity and Vivint don’t let them bully you around and tell you that you need all this equipment. Better yet, think protection and find a company that truly knows something about securing homes and call them, do your research!

Why Criminals Go To The Front Door Before Breaking In

As time goes on more and more people are being subject to break-ins. In society today people are purchasing more and more high-end goods that they wish to protect in all of their homes and or businesses. So criminals are taking advantage of this opportunity and studying their victims for the best opportunity to break and enter.

Have you ever wondered why a criminal will go to your front door first before ever attempting to break in? The answer is, criminals now a day are just getting smarter. What I mean, criminals are starting to study your patterns and by going to the front door peeking in or even knocking could very well tell the criminal that you’re not home. This is becoming more and more common as were seeing many more break-ins with forced front door entry. This also gives criminals the ability to work in groups; if the criminal approaches your front door and notices that you’re not home they can secure the front and have someone force their way in through the back entrance.

So you’re probably thinking right now if you don’t have a security system that you’re not safe and if you do have a system you’re well taken care of. There is some truth to both scenarios, but as a customer you really need to dig deeper and do your homework. Paying a monthly bill for a security system you have or looking for the best security system that you are led to believe is out there doesn’t always give you the security need you are looking for. Remember when the criminal is in your house you want to get them out as fast as possible so having something like two way voice will do just that. Companies like Rogers, Vivint and ADT don’t offer that as a standard package, you would think they do with the amount of money they are charging you month to month.

It’s easy to be swayed by big box companies saying they have the best system out there. The majority of these companies aren’t even alarm companies. There focus is on other products and services, but due to their size and greediness they look to promise poor customers that they are receiving the best security out there for the best price. That couldn’t be any further from the truth as Rogers Smart Home Monitoring is a prime example. How does a company like Rogers provide security to customers when they have spent all their time promoting and revolutionizing TV, Internet and home phone? I don’t know about you but that gives me little to no faith that they are going to be able to truly keep my family and me secure.

Don’t think for one second that criminals don’t think like this either. Criminals are well aware of the security systems out there and will target houses with Rogers Smart Home Monitoring, Vivint and ADT signs on their front lawn because they know those companies are not in business to secure homes but rather make money. At the end of the day all the gadgets, shiny fancy equipment and promises that Rogers, Protect America, CPI, Protectron, Vivint and ADT give you to make you feel good about paying those crazy high monthly fees will not protect you from criminals trying to break in through the front door.

So if you have an alarm company or looking for one, be sure to investigate how they do business and where they are located and what you are getting for the price you are paying. So if you ever have a criminal creeping around your neighborhood you want to be confident in knowing that you really do have the best system for your home which will make that criminal think twice before approaching your front door.