Ottawa’s Premier Smart Security Service


The CSI Journal

Common Mistakes People Make

By Colonnade Security Inc.

The most common mistakes people make with security systems nowadays, is you’ll find a vast range of high-tech and affordable electronic security systems along with Smart Home automation systems that work seamlessly, protecting your home and loved ones from break-ins, floods, fires, and more. However, the process of choosing and installing the right security system is a delicate one. It’s essential to evaluate your security needs, be aware of the security system’s details and features, and execute installation correctly to avoid compromising the safety of your home. To help prevent errors, Colonnade Security Inc. has reviewed several security system pitfalls and has compiled a list of the most common mistakes people make with security systems.

1. Switching phone lines

The most common mistake that customers make is with their phone lines. They get a call from a phone company that offers a great rate to change their phone to its company. The salesperson will state that they can save money, and everything will work the same. And it will, except for your security system.

These companies are selling your VOIP (Voice over IP) lines. They work well for voice but not for data. Your security system will send its alarm signals to the monitoring center using a data-coded signal. Once you change to this new VOIP phone service, your security system will cease to send signals to the monitoring station. The alarm company will then have to install a cellular transmitter. This device will replace your phone line, and your alarm system will be back online. Unfortunately, there will be a cost to have the security company install this cellular device. Your monthly monitoring service will also go up in price to cover cellular costs. In the long run, you will still save money overall, but changing your phone system to VOIP lines will cost you some fees to also change the way your security system sends signals. In case you are in this situation, remember you took the deal from the Telco Company. So don’t be furious at the security company when they have to upgrade your system to work on the agreement you made with the Telco Company.

2. Not checking contract terms with a monthly rate

When signing a contract with any security company, some terms and conditions should be read and understood before you sign. First is the term. Security companies offer twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six, forty-eight, and sixtieth-month terms. You must realize that once you sign the agreement, it is in force for that term. You may get a better rate or maybe install a security system at a better price, but you agreed to those terms, and the rate will be in force for the duration of the agreement. So if you decide to cancel or move, the balance of the agreement becomes due and payable. Besides checking the agreement’s term, make sure to find out the cancellation penalty and if you can transfer the contract to the new owner of the location. Most companies will offer you a buy option or a transfer option, but some will want the contract’s balance paid in full for you to cancel it. For this reason, understand the terms and conditions of what you are signing.

3. Skimping on contract terms with ownership of equipment

These days many security companies are trying to compete with the Telco Companies. These Telco Companies have gotten into the security business because they want the Recurring Monthly Revenue or (RMR). Large Telecom companies can afford to offer a customer what seems to be a fantastic offer, which is $1000.00 for equipment installed for a low monthly fee. But, these companies have never given you phone service for free or a great rate, why would they offer this equipment to you? That’s because they want the Recurring Monthly Revenue! Usually, the telecom company retains ownership of the equipment. Giving it to you is like giving it out on a lease. You get it installed, but you must maintain it to proper working condition at your expense until you return it. Yes, you read that right -return it. If you cancel your contract with them, or your contract term runs its full term, and you do not renew it, you are required to return their equipment to them in proper working condition. If any equipment returned is not in proper working condition, you’ll be billed for it. Remember that $1000.00 worth of equipment you were so happy about? Now, you will see its value when you have to pay for the used equipment you return. As a result, always make sure you know who owns the equipment and get it in writing on your agreement. Nothing comes for free in this world and especially security systems.

4. Hiring fly-by-night security contractors

“I got a great deal on my security system!” You saw it online, or they called and offered it to you by phone. Maybe they knocked on my door. First, if you want a security system, you should be calling them. Don’t tell a stranger at the door or from a phone call that you do not have a security system. They are not selling you a vacuum! If you agreed to what they offered in a system, and then they will ship the equipment to you, preprogrammed for you to install. Once you receive it, you will think that “I gave them my credit card number, and they sent me the system. I saved a lot to do this.” But come to think of it, did you really? For starters, you’ll be the installer for the product. If you haven’t done this before, you may face challenges. Sure these systems are delivered with instructions or a video on how to install them. That doesn’t mean the installation will work out. But, you have now agreed with a company that sent you the parts and that you’ll take care of it. You get a 1-800 number for service or help, yet this may not solve much. To avoid this, once again, you should read the terms and conditions before agreeing to this type of agreement. This will also apply to service issues. You will get help online on how to fix the system, or you will be asked to ship a part back for replacement. Meanwhile, your system is down until the part comes back. If you’re wondering, “what about the false alarms?” Well, if you installed it, you will need to fix it. ▸

A reliable security company will have an installation technician come to your house or business and install the equipment properly. They will also have a service technician that can go to your location to fix any system issues if they arise. Can you think of anything else you have purchased that you must look after for your home or business protection where you are required to do everything and still pay a monthly fee to use? Security systems are not toys. They are designed to protect you and your family or business. You want them to work when you need them to work. So, please buy these products from a professional security company that comes to install them and not one that sends you a box. Always ask for and read reviews of a security company and not instructions in a box.

5. Neglecting password protection for Smart Home security systems

These are the new phase in security systems. Everyone wants a smart security system that they can control from their smart device. Lights, door locks, thermostats, cameras, and security features can all be controlled from one device. These smart-systems can be great and are easy to use. Once installed, you have an app that allows you to use it on your phone. But make sure you use a password when doing anything on your system. If you ever lose your smart device and someone gets into it, they will have access to everything you have on the smart device. Like credit card apps, security system apps should always have additional password protection on them. Ensure you are the only one using your system as these devices are actually small computers with your life on them. Also, make sure that they are password protected if these apps are on your family member’s devices as well.

6. Forgetting to lock up

All security in your home starts with good locks. Therefore, you need to ensure all your door locks are all in good working condition. They are the first line of defence you have. Make sure there is no play in your doors, and they shut securely. Gone are the days of you sitting on the deck or in the back yard with your front door open or unlocked. So, make it a habitual practice to check if all your doors are shut and locked. Garage doors as well. When you are not using the garage, make sure the door is closed. So much can happen in a few seconds. Thieves thrive on the simple mistakes we make in our homes. So, always remember to lock your doors!

To avoid other security mistakes like these, reach out to the experts at Colonnade Security Inc. We are a leading provider of alarm systems and security camera installation company in Ottawa, ON, for the last thirty-five years. We are committed to giving our clients the best experience with security, along with the peace of mind through our exceptional customer service and top-quality equipment. We serve clients across Kanata, Stittsville, Manotick, Orléans, Gloucester, Ottawa, Arnprior, Almonte, Carleton Place, Smiths Falls, Richmond, Carp, West Carleton Township, Greely, Nepean, Kemptville, Russell, Metcalfe, Rockland, and the surrounding areas.

At Colonnade Security Inc.; we do not lease or rent alarm security systems. If you are considering a finance option, we are here for you. With over 35 years of security experience, give Colonnade Security Inc., in Ottawa a try.

For more information, you can call 613-839-1274 or email

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