IP Verses Analog Camera systems

Cameras

Camera Systems in Salt Lake City

2.1MP Cameras have 3 times the resolution of a 700TVL analog camera and now with the new 4K cameras out (about 12 Mega Pixels) it’s much more definition as long as you have a 4K Monitor. A 700TVL camera is about 700,000 whereas the 2.1MP is 2.1 Million

Typical wire for an analog camera system was RG59 Coax with the 18g2c power wire and now the IP cameras run on CAT5 or CAT6 cable

Tell your camera contractor how many days of storage you need so you can pick the proper amount of storage, typically we recommend 1TB for every camera to get around 30 days of storage

Instead of a DVR Digital Video Recorder the IP cameras have NVRs which are Network Video Recorders. Typically you can install a camera no more than 328 feet from the recorder although with special equipment we can install cameras further than that.

Peak Alarm has experts in cameras as well as fire alarm, access control and security. Call Larry for a free site visit and pricing

When you buy systems from a big box store the quality is not the same. When you hold a $30 dollar camera in your hand and hold a $300 dollar camera in the other hand the difference is marked.

www.peakalarm.com

Contact Larry Love at (801) 428 1384 or cell (801) 898 6003 Larry@peakalarm.com for pricing, questions, comments or correctinos

How Access Control Pricing is determined

Call Larry Love at Peak Alarm

This egg is wrapped in plastic so it looks good until you open it and what is on the inside often is determined by price, quality and features and low bidders often have issues.

Recently I bid out a project with 26 doors of access control with readers and locks that allow you to delete access or limit access of when people can get into the building and at what times or days. I have not included every aspect of pricing access control systems because not only would it be a longer article but it would be harder to read and understand.

My bid was $54,000 dollars the low bidder came in at $30,000 with the next lowest bid at $36,000 dollars. When I found out that the other bidders were so much lower I sat down with my manager and we went over the pricing point by point to see if I had really messed up the estimate and what we found was that we had not, it was done properly. It remains to be seen although what will most likely occur is that the winning bidder who was chosen solely on price will either put in inferior equipment or seek out change orders. A similar thing recently happened with a fire alarm bid and the fire marshal told us the winning bidder was seeking a $50,000 dollar change order.

Normally on access control we tell people that an access door costs around $1,800 to $2,200 per door depending on the distance and the door type. In this bid the customer had specified a $4,500 dollar double sided color card printer so that put us around $50,000 and the $30,000 bid around $25,000 or half of the cost. I highly doubt they were doing it out of the goodness of their heart because at that price it was under the our actual cost without any profit. I understood that my cost would be about $3,000 high because I had to add extra money for overtime since we are so busy and to meet their deadline of the end of June we needed to rearrange our schedule.

Here are some of the factors of an access control system:

1. Special composite access control cable over 900 dollars per 1000 feet so if you have 5 doors at 200 feet you will need 1 roll for every 5 doors. 26 doors came out to 4 rolls with the distances which came to almost $4,000 just for cable without labor.

2. 26 Readers which happened to be Iclass readers meeting the new government requirements $144 each without labor or $3,744 for 26.

3. Locks – maglocks don’t have moving parts so they last longer than electronic strikes which release and allow free egress but maglocks also require that you tie the system into the fire alarm and add a request to exit motion and or request to exit button. But average cost per lock is around $250 dollars each or in this case 25 times $250 or $6,250 without labor. One of the readers will tie to the elevator so there was one without a lock.

4. Power Supplies and Controllers also have to be added and this is the brains of the system. Per door this normally runs about $500 including the power supplies and controllers excluding the computer. So $13,000 but there is an additional cost for elevator control. There are systems where the controllers and power supplies run around $200 per door so this figure could be as low as $5,200 but keep in mind that you get what you pay for in the long run and a generic phone that costs you $100 is not the same as a $700 dollar phone and the same applies to this and when buying at $50 dollar camera as to compared with a $300 dollar camera. Features and quality will determine the price as well as brand.

5. Now here comes the tricky part, several of the doors required special wiremold and or conduit in order to get cable to those doors, when you have drop tile and the access is easy the price is less, when we have to drill through walls and add conduit and fire caulk the price is more and these specialized installations add price to the labor and materials.

6. We had 100 iclass double sided (printable) which run around $8 per card so $800 extra

7. Double sided Fargo printer with ribbon and cleaning kit $4,000-$4,500 keep in mind that it does not come with a cleaning kit or ribbon and most likely the low bidders bid out a generic without ribbon or an introductory printer that will only do a few cards.

8. With other items such as the tie in to the fire alarm, a release button at the reception desk for the front door, a network switch, CAT5 for network, penetrations through walls and a special reader with keypad for the medical room the cost increased. The labor cost normally on bid jobs is a bit less then the commercial rates which are around $130-$140 per hour for specialized techs but assuming the labor rate was around $80 dollars per hour and assuming that each door took 7-8 hours each you are looking at over 200 hours and this is a Bacon Davis project with increased costs but assuming these factors the labor cost on this job would be around $16,000 on the low end and around $22,000 on the high end.

9. Adding up these basic costs comes to over $48,000 dollars and that is using the lower end labor rate of $16,000 and our price was $54,000 for a professional project done right without change orders being put through like many companies do. If they used the less expensive controllers and power supplies you could shave it down from 48,000 to just over $40,000 and the low bidder was at $30,000 which means they will have to practically give the project away without any markup so they will have to look for ways to cut corners which is what happens on these big projects when they are determined using low bidders. Often the low bid companies will bid so low that they cannot finish the project and the contractor has to hire someone else and often these type of businesses go out of business in the first few years. Peak Alarm has been in business for over 49 years because we do thing right. We are not often the low bid on projects like this and our customers understand that they need to pay a bit more to not only get quality but to avoid ongoing issues with their systems if they buy cheap equipment.

10. You get what you pay for and low bidders often have forgot things so they cut corners. There is no free lunch so review your bids and have a professional company with a good reputation do the work. Peak Alarm has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and very few complaints online when compared with other companies.

11. Peak Alarm is the only company in Utah with a UL listed Central Station, a full AV division, a full guard and patrol division as well as a full service alarm company. We even have a CAD and design department that is certified to submit fire marshal drawings for your commercial projects. Peak hires 300 local people at their 4 offices and we are a family owned company.

Peak Alarm is hiring so if you have experience in Sales or other areas we would love to have you come by and apply. We are currently scheduled out about 6 weeks on commercial projects although we can get residential projects done much sooner.

www.peakalarm.com

Contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm (801) 428 1384 or cell (801) 898 6003 Larry@peakalarm.com with questions or corrections to this post.

Gas Detectors by Peak Alarm

Gas Detectors

Call Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com www.peakalarm.com for pricing for any type of gas, smoke or flame detectors

To protect life and property there are several different kinds of detectors, Smoke detectors both beam and spot and they come in different flavors such as ION or photoelectric or even multicriteria.

Carbon Monoxide CO detectors – Known as the silent killer which is the leading cause of accidental poisening (See AMA) Caused by fuels not burning completely.
Carbon Dioxide CO2 detectors – also oderless and very dangerous
Nitrogen Dioxide NO2 detectors – by project of burning bydrocarbons
Natural gas detectors

Example some systems are set up in a garage area to detect gas and then turn on large fans to evacuate the gas making it safe to breath inside again. Call for quote.

Getting alarm bids and pricing in Utah

Peak Alarm Salt Lake Office

Contact Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com www.peakalarm.com for suggestions, corrections or information about pricing and bids.

In order to get bids for an alarm system in Utah it will be prudent to keep these things in mind:

1. Get a drawing done so all bidders are bidding the same locations and equipment. Get this drawing done even if it is hand drawn so all bidders are bidding the same work.
2. Put a clear scope of work together so all companies will know exactly what needs to be done.
3. Avoid equipment brands that only have one dealer in the State because if they win the bid and install that equipment you are stuck with that for service and sales of equipment.
4. Check and see if any codes apply for your system or special licensing that may be needed.
5. Compare apples to apples since a commercial security system is different that a residential system.
6. Example adding a residential smoke detector to your security system for a home is fine but for a business is not.
7. Insist on sitting down with the alarm representative and asking questions.
8. It is best to have the same company install the system that will monitor the system if possible to you can avoid 3rd party services as much as possible.
9. Peak Alarm can provide the CAD drawings, design, alarm installation, inspections, monitoring and even Guard response in Salt Lake all from one company.

10. Get pricing for monitoring as well as any additional services like guard response or if you need web access or openings and closings to know when your alarm system is being armed and disarmed and by whom. We had a tanning salon that we were monitoring and I called the owner after reviewing his opening and closing reports and asked him if it was normally for employees to come in at 3AM and he said no why? I explained and he found out employees were bringing their friends in to tan early in the morning.

11. Ask the Alarm Company to price the least expensive system as well as a system with quality equipment and ask what the difference is in the higher end equipment so you can decide what is best for your situation.

12. Determine if any other work needs to be done like high voltage electrical outlets and be clear about who will pay for this so it will be included. Normally alarm companies only do low voltage work but they can hire an electrical contractor to do the high voltage if needed or the owner can take care of that.

Designing a fire alarm System in Utah

In Utah the horns have to stop and strobes keep flashing after silenced

Contact Larry Love the author for corrections, suggestions or ideas about this article. Larry@peakalarm.com Http://www.peakalarm.com

1. Meet with the owner to discuss any special concerns for their project, try to obtain a set of plans and meet with a NICET design professional to make sure you meet fire codes.
2. Pick the correct panel for the application. Some small to medium sized facilities could use a combination panel such as the DMP550 panel that is UL listed for fire, security & Access
3. Decide on the communication method such as 2 analog phone lines using a DACT dialer communicator or a high supervision cellular unit that sends multiple signals each day or a radio.
4. The cost for just monitoring on a fire alarm starts around $26 dollars per month and if you are using a high supervision cellular unit the cost is around $48 per month
5. Some local AHJ Fire Marshals have specific concerns so get to know those so you can design a system that they will approve
6. Talk to the owner about their specific occupancy and if their building is fully sprinkled or not. This will help determine what is needed in their building as far as equipment.
7. Pick a brand of Fire Alarm equipment that is not proprietary. Be careful not to have a specific brand installed that only has one dealer in the entire state. This can put the owner in a bind.
8. Typically a sprinkled building will monitor if the fire flow valves, PIV valves, pressure switches and tampers valves if the water is moving or if it has been turned off.
9. Typically you will have HORN STROBES that will sound and flash to indicate evacuation in sleeping areas often low frequency will be required and depending on ADA other factors are in play.
10. Typically if you have a kitchen with HOODS the fire system will monitor ANSUL Systems so if the fire suppression system activates it will activate the fire alarm system as well.
11. When there are air handlers/roof top units RTU over 2000 cfm they will require duct detectors and those will need to be monitored by the fire alarm panel.
12. Often the AHJ Fire Marshal will require remote test switches if the duct detectors are not easily accessible.
13. Understand that many Fire Marshals use 3rd Party review companies to review the plans so if you need the system installed by a certain date get everything done quickly.
14. Some jurisdictions are further out on review times than others Salt Lake has been 4-6 weeks out for their review before so get your paperwork and plans done early enough for your calendar.
15. Decide if you want your contractor to include the permit fees for the plans in their price or if you as the owner want to pay those fees directly.
16. Getting the CAD drawings done can be very expensive so if you have a PE that will do it great but the drawings will still need to be approved by the Fire Marshal and often a 3rd party.
17. Plan ahead for the fire panel to have a dedicated 20amp high voltage circuit and arrange an electrical contractor to take care of that and the circuit needs to be marked in red in the panel.
18. Plans to have signs made up to indicate the room where the fire alarm panel is installed (FIRE ALARM CONTROL PANEL) You can do this when you do your exit signs.
19. You can also consider other detection that can be added to the fire panel such as water, temperature for specific areas.
20. When you pick your devices such as smoke detectors, heat detectors, smoke beam detectors, flame detectors go over all the different aspects with your contractor.
21. Normally it is best to have Photoelectric smoke detectors installed in our altitude rather than ION since they will false alarm less. Little things can make a big difference.
22. Spacing of detection will need to meet code and can vary depending on the height of the ceiling and the occupancy of the building as far as placement.
23. Example: Normally smokes are every 30 feet in hallways and horn/strobes are 15 feet from the end of the hall and every 50 or 100 feet depending on the code and occupancy.
24. In certain medical occupancies you will have more smoke detectors installed even if it is a fully sprinkled building which often can eliminate the need for smokes other than the one required by code and the ones associated with elevator recall.
25. Emergency communicators in area of refuge may also be required
26. Fireman Phones at times are required
27. Smoke Control is a whole different animal for very large buildings and experts will need to be brought in.
28. Voice Evacuation or Mass notification systems are required in some occupancies and this also requires experts to do it right.
29. Planning the mA draw on the notification appliances and having enough power supplies is very important and a smoke detector is required at each power supply.
30. Each elevator will require 4 programmable relays.
31. Special FPL (One story buildings) FPLR (More than one story buildings) or FPLP fire rated red cable will be required on every fire alarm project. The FPLP cable also meets the requirement of riser cable but is required where there are plenum ceilings.
32. I am a NICET level 2 in Fire Alarm and Peak Alarm has several NICET techs on staff including level 3 and 4 techs.
33. This is not a complete list although it is prudent to go over these items with the building owner or contractors before work is begun to avoid change orders.

Design a Security Intrusion System

Peak Alarm is the Leader in Utah

Step by Step Process to design a security intrusion system by Larry Love with Peak Alarm Larry@peakalarm.com www.peakalarm.com (801)428 1384

1. Pick a control panel that will meet the needs of the project. It should be expandable.
2. Decide how many arm/disarm stations they will need and the locations.
3. Pick the communication method such as Internet, Phone, Cellular or Radio with the understanding that some methods are more reliable than others.

4. Add the needed devices to the system such as motion detectors, glass break detection, door contact status switches on man or overhead doors and roof hatches etc…
You can install beam detectors along one side of a warehouse to cover all the overheads rather than contacting each overhead and there are pros and cons so discuss with the customer.
There are new tri-tech detectors which cost a bit more but are less apt to false alarm and placing trap motions a specific points in the facility can also be beneficial.

5. Discuss whether or not to include a siren or lights for when the system goes into alarm.
6. Think through the possibility of a burglar getting past the first level of security if they cut through the glass on a glass door and bypass the door status switch.
7. Design the system to meet the budget needs and other needs of the customer.
8. Discuss the features of the new systems explaining the benefits of arming and disarming different areas separately. Example: Warehouse employees cannot disarm the office etc…
9. Discuss the possibility of adding humidity, water, temperature and other types of sensors to the system to alert the owner of issues with their server rooms or other areas.
10. Go over the different programming features such as programming specific doors to be alarmed 24 hours if people should not be going in or out those doors. (Emergency Exits)
11. Explain the benefits of adding cameras with recorders to the system for video and using the video as positive training aids for accidents and as a deterrent.
12. Telling an employee you appreciate that they cleaned up a certain area without being told and telling them I saw what you did on the camera system helps get the word out your watching.
13. Is a lift needed because of the height of the building and who will rent the lift the owner or the security contractor.
14. Is there any high voltage that needs to be done and who will hire the electrical contractor to put specific items such as outlets in that may be needed?
15. When you get to a certain number of powered devices you may need an additional power supply so plan ahead by doing the current draw.
16. In large buildings the type and size of the cable will be important for voltage line drop and if the ceiling is a plenum rated ceiling or not is also important.

Meet with the owner to discuss their special needs including size of the project and special requirement due to height of building, if trenching is needed, conduit or special cable.

This list is not meant to be all inclusive although it will give you a good list of items to discuss as a customer or security professional.

If you have any suggestions, corrections please contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm

Security companies in Utah are not equal

Not all companies are alike

You’ve heard that we should compare apples to apples rather than apples and oranges.

Company One – UL listed monitoring station – backup generators – extra personnel on duty – secure facility – backup equipment in case of failure
Company two operating with one piece of equipment and no backup and one person in the facility. They they have a heart attack signals are not sent on to authorities.

Company one – NO COMPLAINTS WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
Many other companies – OVER 1000 COMPLAINTS two of our competitors have over 3000 complaints (ASK WHY) – Sure you will find complaints on the internet for any company although looking at the BBB.org is important because they investigate both sides of the issues so a customer that knows they did not pay their bill and should have normally won’t file a complaint but will complain online.

Company one – Advertises with actual commercials and word of mouth advertising.
Many other companies pay to be on a top ten alarm company list so when the internet pulls up results also check the Better Business Bureau not just a top internet list that is paid for.

Company one in business since 1969 not using gimmicks of offering free equipment
Many other companies giving free equipment out like candy – Often they go out of business in a few years.

Company one puts together custom systems to meet your needs
Other companies don’t address individual needs as well because they are cookie cutter companies

Company one has actual people that you can talk with and personal service
Many other companies are very difficult to talk to after you have purchased the system and need anything else.

Peak Alarm – Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com –
4 Offices (2 in Idaho and 2 in Utah)
Local Company that employees 300 local individuals
UL liSted Central Station with backup equipment and generators
In Business Since 1969
Family Owned
Many employees have been with the company for over 20 years
Full Service Alarm Company
Certified for UL2050 High Security as well as Bank Safe and Vault Installations
Full Service AV Company
Full Service Guard and Patrol Company
Full Service Central Station
LICENSED BY THE STATE OF UTAH
EVERY EMPLOYEE PASSES FBI BACKGROUND CHECKS OR THEY DON’T WORK FOR PEAK
Drug Testing Programs in place
Full Service Commercial and Residential installations
www.Peakalarm.com

Full Service alarm company Utah Idaho

Not all companies are alike

Call Larry Love at (801) 428 1384 Peak Alarm http://www.peakalarm.com Cell (801) 898 6003

1. Only UL listed Central Station company in Utah with a Full Service Guard and Patrol Division.
2. UL2050 High Security certificates for Installation and for monitoring.
3. Local Company that employees over 300 local people.
4. Large enough to do any size project for Fire Alarm, Intrusion, Access Control or camera system.
5. Call Larry he can help you with your bid. Larry has over 20 years experience in commercial alarms.

Peak has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and very few complaints compared to some competitors that have over 1000 complaints.

Call Peak for all your residential, industrial and commercial Alarm Projects.

Reading license plates with your cameras

Great place to get words, pictures or letters printed for shirts or other things.

So on this picture you get a nice view of the front of the store and the cars and even when you zoom in you may not be able to read a plate so this article will help you understand some of the factors you will need in order to view license plates with your cameras.

Contact Larry Love at Peak Alarm for more information or if any corrections need to be made to this blog. (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com http://www.peakalarm.com

So you want to read plate numbers from cars with your camera system. There are several factors that will determine if you can do this with your current system:

DISTANCE TO THE CAR – Using a lens calculator we can determine how wide a view you will need and the lens
LIGHTING – IR LED system on your cameras (check the rating- often it will say 30 feet but will only work at about 20′)
ANGLE OF CAMERA(S) and how high the camera is mounted – If the camera is mounted high on the building and the cars drive into the driveway on an angle or in a dip this could cause issues
MP RESOLUTION OF YOUR CAMERAS (2MP, 4MP or 4K cameras are all great cameras, understand that the higher the MP the more storage they use)
LENS ON THE CAMERA – most cameras are fixed at 2.8 or 3.6mm and some are verifocal 2.7-12mm and other more expensive cameras have higher mm adjustment capability.
HOW FAST IS THE CAR GOING
There are other factors but for this article I will keep it simple

IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW:

EXAMPLE

I have a customer that wants to see plate numbers 120 feet from his building at the driveway entrances. Lighting and the proper choice of camera is essential.

Using a 2MP High Definition camera you will need a 28mm lens on your camera at 120 feet and your camera view will be 22 feet across and 12 feet high and you will get 85 pixels per square foot.
If you don’t have the right IR and lighting then it may be difficult at night to see plates. Using a 4MP camera would require a 13mm lens to see 44 feet across to view a plate. Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed to see plate numbers even when you use the right lens and do the calculations properly since most cameras are not license plate cameras. We can install actual license plate cameras that are made for this purpose and then you have a much better chance of seeing plate numbers. In the above situation it would be much better to move the cameras closer to the cars and move the camera down on a pole looking directly at the plates rather than mounting the cameras on a building at 13 feet in the air.

You will need a minimum of 60 pixels per square foot to view a plate number and it would be much better at 100.

Purpose Min. Required px/ft
Detect activity 8
Observe behavior 16
Recognize person 30
Identify person 60
Read license plate 60
Identify USD 150
Read 10pt text 1200

Most cameras from big box stores now are fixed lens cameras at 2.8 or 3.6mm giving you a very wide view. Using them in residential application is ok but looking 120 feet away would give you a view of 80 feet across and 60 feet high so you would not be able to see a plate number.

My cameras at my home are 500 TVL and 700 TVL or 700,000 lines and the newer 2.1MP cameras are 3 times the resolution so your chance to see plate numbers is better with a 2MP or 4MP camera but there are other factors.

With the understanding of the different factors please know that a $30 or $50 dollar camera is not going to cut it. Hikvision has a great camera that starts at $850 and the Q Series AXIS camera starts at $1,850 for the camera, you would then need to purchase the NVR that has the ability to log plate numbers. We have less expensive cameras that very well could see plate numbers that are much closer to the home or business and it also depends on how fast the cars are going as to which cameras you decide on.

Understand that you can purchase cameras just for reading plate numbers and the NVR recorders have the ability to log those plate numbers and you can actually buy a list of plate numbers that your system can compare the data to in order to determine if a stolen car is in your area or lot or if they are behind on their car payments. Some tow companies use these programs to repossess cars.

This may seem complicated and sometimes it can be but just call me (Larry Love) and I will walk you through it. If you want to see plate numbers that are say 50 feet away in your parking lot you can do so for much less money using a high definition camera (2MP) with a 6mm lens that will give you a view of 40 feet wide and 30 feet high. Often I recomend verifocal cameras that are 2.7 to 12mm allowing the tech to adjust to your needs. So if you need to look at a parking lot that is 100 feet wide then you would need 3 cameras to do it well depending on what you are looking at. If you want to recognize a face you need 60 pixels per foot which is the same as a plate number. You could go from a 2MP to a 4MP and widen the view a bit and use less cameras but it also depends on the angles. A nice verifocal camera costs about $400 and that is a 2MP and nice 4MP camera costs about $600. Then you need to add the cost of the wire, installation, recorder, monitor, UPS and network connection to have a complete system but remember you get what you pay for. Call an expert when you want it done right. (801) 428 1384 Larry Love – cell is 801 898 6003

https://www.axis.com/us/en/
http://www.hikvision.com/us/index.html?jmode=j1
http://www.flir.com

Honest Alarm Companies in Utah

Contact Larry Love for the best deals

This was written by Larry Love (801) 428 1384 Larry@peakalarm.com if there is any information that is incorrect or that you would like taken down please contact Larry

I served the people of the State of Utah by service on the Alarm System Security and Licensing board for over 7 years. I was appointed by the Acting Governor Olene Walker. As chairman of this board I was also a member of the Construction trade commission which is a policy making board.

While serving on these boards I met many wonderful people such as Scott Sessions with Mountain Alarm, Will Naegle with Alarm control and Jeff Howe with Peak Alarm all of whom are honest and well known businessmen in our community. I can’t make a full list of all the people I dealt with but this is a short list of great companies that are all local companies.

Mountain Alarm is the largest of the three and within the family they also own a UL listed Central Station (Also known as Fire Protection Services – Central Station is Avantguard)

Alarm Control does incredible work and most of their work is commercial and they can solve hard to handle intrusion issues. (Also known as Armed Alert)

Peak Alarm is unique in the fact that they have an Alarm division, Guard and Patrol Division, AV Division and a UL listed Central Station

www.mountainalarm.com Scott Sessions

www.alarmcontrol.com Will Naegle

www.peakalarm.com Jeff Howe

Having worked with these individuals for years you get to know them well, how they speak, how they act and most importantly what kind of people they are. With the state of Utah being full of alarm companies that send people out to other states to knock doors and most of those businesses are just looking for the quick residential systems that can be put in in a couple of hours or less. The list of the above three companies have great records with the Better Business Bureau unlike some of the other competitors that have several thousand complaints.

Take care when getting proposals from alarm companies to do your research first and remember you do get what you pay for and there is no free lunch. Some of these companies claim to provide free equipment or labor but don’t be deceived. If you sign a 36 month agreement with Peak ALarm for $45 dollars a month (A typical monitoring rate for interactive cellular) you would pay $1,620.00 over 36 months.

If you sign a 60 month agreement with another company at $45 per month you would pay $2,700 over 60 months or 5 years and they say it is free equipment but you are really paying for it and if you decide to change monitoring they will take you to court and force you to pay what they call BOC or Balance of Contract in order to get out of the contract.

The kicker is that these companies often will charge you $70 per month for 5 years or $4,200 which is over double what Peak charges. Granted each system is different and there are many factors such as whether the system is encrypted making is much less likely to hack and how many devices are on the system and the services that you have each month.

Example of some of the services:

Typical Monitoring $35 per month (This can vary when you bundle other services)
Alarm Response where we sent a uniformed guard in a marked car to your home or business $10 per month (Only in specific areas)
Key Response where you have a keybox on your property so in the event of an alarm we would send a guard out to check the inside of the property $20 per month
Schedules, text or email notification, openings and closings (alert you if your store is opened too early or not armed on time or disarmed on time) Some other services
Cellular Monitoring $15 per month (Includes interactive arm and disarming)
Home automation services such as locks, lighting control, thermostat control, garage door control also are other such services that can be bundled
Commercial Fire monitoring is normally $35 for landline or $48 for high supervision cellular or radio

Years after I began on the Alarm System Security and Licensing Board for DOPL one of the companies that has lots of complaints with the BBB started sending a lawyer to each of our meetings to observe. I understand why they would do this. This company happens to be very large and has a great deal of accounts. This company had been accused of deceptive business practices and had been sued in several states and even recently was ordered to pay 10 million dollars to another alarm company. We were even told by the company owners that since they had thousands of salespeople it was very hard for them to control the actions of so many people. At Peak Alarm for example when a salesperson does something they should not do they are reprimanted and receive a written warning and if it happens again they can be let go. If any of the sales people do not qualify or pass the FBI background check they are let go and I know this is the same at Mountain as well as Alarm Control. One large company that had an employee not pass the back ground check simply transferred him to another state where the licensing laws will allow a person with a felony to sell or install security systems.

So there are honest alarm companies out there that you can use, you can get bids from them and worry less since you have done your research on the people the company and their business practices. All companies will have complaints on the internet. Looking at the www.bbb.org complaints is a bit better since they know both sides will be investigated. Many people hesitate to file a complaint with the bbb if they know they were in the wrong and if it is investigated the truth will come out. Two of the above listed companies have zero complaints on the BBB and one of them only has 5 compared to over 4000 with another Utah based company.