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Monitored Security vs. Surveillance: What’s the Difference?


Two Ways You Can Protect Your Home

Whether you’re worried about porch pirates swiping your Amazon packages or an intruder creeping into the house while you’re away, an automated security system can grant you much-needed peace of mind. But if you’ve done any research on home security, you may have come across two terms: ‘monitored security’ and ‘surveillance.’ Is there a difference?

Many people use ‘monitored security system’ and ‘surveillance system’ interchangeably, but there are slight differences in the meanings. And before an installation, you want to make sure you’re getting the exact protection you desire. So, read on to understand how each system can help your Des Moines, IA home stay safe. 

SEE ALSO: 3 Reasons You Should Work with a Local Security and Surveillance Company

What Is A Monitored Security System?

A monitored system means that when alarms on your property go off, a monitoring agent assigned to your home will be notified. They’ll try to call you, and if you don’t respond, they will immediately inform the local authorities.

Monitoring isn’t just for burglar alarms—it can also protect you from non-criminal threats like floods, fires, and gas leaks. If there’s a fire while you’re away, you can rest assured the fire department will get to your house instantly, even if no one is home to hear the smoke alarm.

Self-monitoring is a less expensive option—but it’s also less convenient, as you’ll be responsible for catching all alerts and calling the authorities. With self-monitoring, there is always a risk that you’ll miss a notification, putting your security system to waste.

What Is A Surveillance System?

A surveillance system doesn’t include alarm alerts but is rather a network of video cameras. With a smart surveillance system like Crestron or Control4 (pictured above), you can check live footage from any location and watch older feeds stored over a cloud. Whether you’re catching a criminal in action or simply making sure the kids got home safe, a surveillance system makes checking in easy. But if something goes wrong at home, you won’t know until after the fact.

Do I Have to Pick One?

No, you don’t have to choose between a monitored or surveillance system. In fact, both go hand in hand. For instance, if you receive an alert that motion was detected on your porch, you can then check your surveillance cameras to see what it was. Suppose you miss a monitoring alert from the responder, and later it’s discovered that your car has been burglarized. In that case, you can use surveillance footage to provide to the authorities and your insurance. 

Looking for Home Security Near Des Moines?

If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s safety, look no further than Reference Audio Video & Security. We design and install custom security systems and support any technology maintenance you may need. Contact us here to get started today.

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