The Pros and Cons of Self Monitored and Company Monitored Security Systems

Viewing a home security system on a computer screen

As a homeowner there are some steps that you can take to help prevent break-ins before they happen. Installing a security system is one of the best methods and both self-monitored or company monitored systems can go a long way in helping to enhance the security of your residence. Before you decide which alarm system to install, here are the pros and cons of both so that you can make an informed decision.

Self-Monitored Security Systems

Self-monitored security systems are security systems you monitor yourself. These can include motion sensors, sirens, door sensors as well as security cameras which will text or call your mobile phone when triggered. Many self-monitoring systems are integrated with a smartphone app which will allow you to monitor them remotely on your phone With a self-monitored system, if you receive a notification and you are not home, you have the option of either asking a neighbour to check for signs of a break in or contact 911.

Some pros and cons of self-monitored security systems include:

  • After the initial purchase cost, they are inexpensive as you are monitoring yourself.
  • They are easy to relocate to a different room or a new home since you can usually install and uninstall the systems yourself
  • Mobile phone alerts instantly notify you when the system has been activated. You can then decide to call the police or not.
  • Camera systems will record video evidence of intruders.


  • Usually need Wifi to operate and in the event of a power outage may not function.
  • If you are in a mobile no service area, you may miss an intruder alert.
  • Camera systems will only cover the room that they are installed in.
  • Installing multiple cameras in your home can be costly.
  • Self-monitored systems do not always have an alarm to scare away intruders.

Company Monitored Security Systems

Systems that are installed and monitored by a professional home security organization are considered company monitored security systems. These systems can include cameras, motion detectors, door sensors, glass-break sensors, silent alarms and loud sirens to startle intruders. Although every system functions differently, usually company monitored security systems are designed to notify their organization’s contact centre if an intruder has entered your home while the system is engaged. Usually, you will also receive a phone call to verify that your alarm system was not accidentally triggered. If you do not answer your phone or respond, the security organization will dispatch the police or security company to investigate.

Some pros and cons of company monitored security systems include:


  • When installed properly, a company monitored security systems can generally cover every room in your home, eliminating any blind spots.
  • They eliminate the need to have to contact the authorities yourself if you are away from your phone or cannot be reached.
  • The sirens and alarm can be enough to scare off intruders as soon as they enter, preventing theft and damage to your home.
  • Many company monitored security systems run on traditional phone lines or cellular radio and can have battery backups. This helps them to still be functional during a power outage.


  • If the system is triggered accidentally, you will need to answer your phone to disable, otherwise, the authorities are contacted.
  • You may possibly be charged for a false alarm if police or security company are dispatched and find no sign of a break-in or forced entry.
  • Company monitored security systems usually require a contract and monthly fee.
  • You need to remember to engage the alarm system prior to leaving your home or going to sleep for it to be active.

In addition to helping make your home more secure, having an alarm system can also help you quality for a discount on your home insurance policy. If you have been considering installing a security system, contact a knowledgeable member of the Bow Valley Insurance team today for a home insurance quote to find out how much you may be eligible to save on your home insurance.