How are security systems priced out?

They have to be planted, grown, picked, packed, shipped and sold.

They have to be planted, grown, picked, packed, shipped and sold.

There are several ways to price out any item that you are going to sell. Obviously it has to do with supply and demand and like phones you can have a lower monthly payment if you pay more upfront or you can have a higher monthly payment and get what they would call a free phone. Let’s look at the numbers.

Plan A – Pay $600 for your phone upfront and you may get an $80 plan per month with a certain commitment
Plan B – Pay $199 for your phone upfront and your may get a bit higher monthly bill with a commitment
Plan C- Pay for the phone and do month to month (This can also be done with Peak Alarm)

Let’s say the phone costs $40 dollars to manufacture, a normal retail market would double that price and sell it for $80 but with the demand of Phones they can and do charge more so you could pay hundreds more than it costs to make and the same applies to jewelry. Without diamonds you could pay three or four times what the ring is worth in gold value and they tell you that you are paying for workmanship and quality.

Security Systems are very similar, lets break it down to two devices and look at that pricing for a hardwired motion detector and a wireless motion detector. Peak Alarm is still in business after 47 years because we don’t do FREE systems. We also don’t do CREDIT CHECKS which is great if you have fallen on hard times and don’t need people running your credit for things like this.

Hardwired motion may cost $15 dollars (no name brand and not the best motion) The company sells it for $30
Wire $5 and they will charge you $10
$100 Labor is normally 1 hour in a normal size home for one motion which includes pulling the wire and installing the motion with programming*

Hence cost for a hardwired motion assuming you can get wire to those areas is about $140 for the low end motion and higher for say a Bosch higher quality motion detector which would run you around $140-$174

Wireless Motion Detector cost also varies depending on the brand and features but a normal one costs around $50 dollars so you pay $100
No cost for wire
Labor cost is about 20 minutes of unpacking, mounting, programming and testing the motion so it comes out to around $35 dollars

The cost of a wireless motion is about $135 installed

On our basic systems you can add a wireless motion, glass break or smoke detector for $130 installed.
A door contact or window contact is as low as $65 or recessed $75 or overhead door contact is as low as $150
Give me a call and I can come out and walk your site and give you a deal with multiple sensors.

Peak Alarm has a special system price for systems that have multiple monthly services so we can save you money with a package deal.

Peak Alarm web site ask for Larry Love

Some monthly services are as follows:

Monitoring $32 per month (When you bundle services this price can be adjusted depending on the service you have)
Cellular (This adds $10 per month)
Elite Control (Remotely arm and disarm) This adds $5 per month
Lock Control $4 per month (Remotely lock and unlock doors)
Lighting Control $4 per month (Remotely control lights)
Camera Control $10 (for up to 4 cameras)
Garage door control $4 per month (Remotely open and close your garage door) you can have a contact on it so you can know if it is open or closed
Temperate Control $4 per month
Repair agreement $7 to start in a small system and from there it depends on how much equipment there is.
Schedules $10 per month (We would call you if say someone disarmed too early or armed up too early or late – great for stores)
Opening and Closing $5 per month (When you have Elite control you can see a history of people opening and closing)
Text on troubles (Free) Just sign up on the call list form
Web Access $5 per month
UL Certificate $15 per month (Most UL monitoring is over $100 per month because of required services)
Elevator Monitoring $15 per month (When someone gets stuck they pick up the phone and can speak with a live person)

On a very large security system often we will use DMP which is more robust but it is also more expensive. Once a home is over 5000 square feet depending on the configuration we may want to consider the more expensive system and this also depends on how you will use the system.

Peak is very price competitive on pricing for monthly monitoring.

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Can you compare something like this if you don't know what it is?

Can you compare something like this if you don’t know what it is?

Now lets look at some other factors of how systems can be priced out.

Some Security Companies will subsidize part of the cost and they normally want to get paid back their investment from 20 to 30 months so if the system cost 1400 with equipment and labor then the security company wants to make that money back within say 20 months or 20 payments. Only a portion of the monthly fee can be used as a payment since there are some hard costs of doing business such as the Central Station employees, the cellular company that has to be paid and of course the equipment and labor. Let’s say that the monthly payment is $45 per month and we use $31 to subsidize so $31 times 20 payments is only $620 dollars that the alarm company would get back after paying the central station and the cellular company so in that case what Peak would do is charge the customer $780 upfront and the discount they would get would be $620 on that $1400 dollar system. This may be an over simplification although some people have been interested in how the numbers are figured out and there are formulas and in a large company we figure in the cost of use tax, shipping, labor, parts, salesman’s commission and other costs.

Some companies will tell you that you are getting free equipment and there is no charge for the installation or the equipment. Don’t fall for that. There is always a cost of equipment and installation because if they did not charge those costs then they would go out of business and many do just that. If a small company installs a system and tells you it is free look at the agreement because much of the time they will lock you into a 60 month agreement. Personally I like to have repeat customers so I like to take care of a customer so they will come back and buy again.

What can Peak Alarm offer that many companies cannot offer?:

Small companies do their monitoring using 3rd party monitoring and at Peak we have our own UL listed Central Station (also UL2050)
Peak offers same day or next day service
Peak has a full Guard and Patrol Division and we are the only local Alarm company that has this and the Central station
Peak is not going to go out of business like many companies do that don’t have the capital to operate when hard times come.

Peak has a design department and the support needed to do your installation in a professional manner for commercial projects that require Fire Marshal approval

Check the Better Business Bureau before you buy from any company. Better Business Bureau web site is the web site and Peak Alarm has had 3 complaints filed in the last 3 years and they are all resolved. Peak has an A+ rating with the BBB and is accredited. Many of our competitors have hundreds or in some cases thousands of complaints and some of them are being sued in several states.

I worked at a smaller company for 16 years and when we did a security system we would charge the customer for the entire system upfront and then do the monitoring monthly for $29 dollars a month if it was just a phone line connection and we hired out a 3rd party central station. Many of the small installs we did cost the customer around $1,300 to $1,600 dollars each system depending on the exact equipment. At this company we charged around $67 per hour on our labor rate although our overhead was very low. We had 2 techs, 3 office people and I did the sales, estimating, remote programming and much of the office work as well. I know from experience since I was on the State Alarm board for DOPL that many of these smaller companies do not pay their insurance, licensing and their training programs lack when compared to larger companies like Peak Alarm or Mountain Alarm. If you need to monitor a fire alarm system in a commercial building you can do so with 2 analog phone lines and the monitoring will cost around $30 per month (keep in mind you are paying around $35 per analog line) so if we monitor with a radio it only add $15 per month to the cost of the monthly. When you want to use a cellular for commercial fire you need to use a high supervision cellular that sends signals very 6 minutes so that costs a bit more which is right around $22 extra per month. If you are just monitoring a security system with cellular it only adds $10 per month. It can get confusing so just call Larry and he will go out to your site for a no cost site visit. Larry Love (801) 428 1384

At Peak Alarm we will subsidize part of the equipment and labor when someone commits to a certain time period with us. Peak will do a 60 month, 48 month,36 month, 24 month, 12 month or month to month agreement with a customer. When we do a 36 month which is our most common we sell a security system that has the Panel with built in touch keypad and siren, Cellular communicator, 3 Door Contacts, one motion for $99-$149 installed and the monthly is around $44 to $49 per month which includes: Monitoring, Cellular, Elite control (Remote arm and disarm with your smart phone) and a repair agreement which is an extended warranty so you would not pay the residential labor rate of $100 per hour for service on covered items.

The same principles apply to cameras and other systems where formulas are used to figure out what should be charged. Obviously if we have to pull wire for a greater distance or drill through walls or rent a lift the pricing changes. If you have drop tile ceiling the labor will be less than hardcap hard ceiling. If we have to install conduit or wire mold the cost would be more. If we have to call blue stakes and trench and run underground PVC electrical pipe and special burial or UV rated cable outside the pricing will vary.

*Labor to install the motion detector by a licensed burglar alarm employee that is trained, tech may be making $17-30 an hour and depending on the taxes, social security, company and overhead you could pay around $85-$120 per hour for his or her labor. If you hire a mom and pop company that does not have as high of an overhead you might get a deal of $50 per hour but often they don’t pay general liability insurance, workman’s compensation, licensing and certain things like use tax. Peak Alarm pays all of those fees so by not cutting corners our labor rate is higher.

Using a reliable company that has the ability to do the job is important

Using a reliable company that has the ability to do the job is important

Brand Name
Quality (If the device stops working in 2 years ask yourself it it was worth paying less for it)
Features (A security system that can have different areas arm up such as arming a gun room up separately while the rest of the system unarmed)
Company that can provide fast, reliable and competent service.

I am sure you have seen signs like: Fast Service, Quality Equipment and Low Labor Rates PICK TWO. If you go to a big box store for a camera system I would advice you to buy two or three of the $700 dollar packages so when something goes wrong you can replace the recorder or the cameras. When you pay on average $30 for one camera it is a very different camera than the one we sell for $217 and it is very different in quality from the camera we well for $420 which is 3MP verifocal 90IR IP66. We have AXIS cameras that are over $1000 dollars each and there are reasons for this as well. Many of the cameras we install now have the ability for us to load apps into the camera and these apps perform different functions like counting people or knowing if a car is driving down a one way street or having the camera tell between people and animals. This analytical software is great for specific things.

Take the time to do your research

Take the time to do your research

Article by Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Peak Alarm is UL listed for Monitoring, Factory trained, insured, licensed and has a full service local Central Station that is 5 diamond certified and has been in business for 47 years as of 1969 and Peak Alarm has 4 offices to serve you with over 270 employees which also includes our Guard and Patrol Division.