* How many entrances are going to be integrated into the alarm system?
Consider the number of windows and doors in the house. It is advisable that all windows and doors, even the smaller attic windows, should be connected to the alarm system. The number of entrances determines the complexity of the wirings and it also determines where you should put control centers to turn the alarm on or off.
* Decide on the alarm system company to install the security devices.
Consult a security system specialist, an insurance agency, the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) or the police department for recommendations.
Make sure that the company does a free survey and inspection. Ask for the installer's recommendation, explanation for his assessment and the price quote. Have it properly documented so you can compare it with the contract, once you decided to avail of the services of the company.
You also have an option to buy a do-it-yourself alarm system, although this may not be as reliable as a system install by professionals. This is usually the "bells only" system where the homeowner is alerted by a sound if unauthorized entry sets the alarm off.
* Should you subscribe to monitoring station?
An advanced alarm system can connect to 24-hour monitoring company and alerts them if the system has recorded a breaking-in. The monitoring company then alarms the local police. This is the best option, though an agreement with a monitoring company requires a monthly fee.