Best Home Security Systems in Denver
On a national level, Frontpoint is the home security company to beat. But how does it compare with Denver’s local options?
We reviewed six of the biggest Denver-based home security businesses on their contracts, pricing, and home automation features. We found Reliable Home Security to be the best home security company in Denver thanks to its excellent customer service, lifetime equipment warranty, and 24-month service contract. Depending upon your quote (which requires an in-home visit) Reliable could cost anywhere from $400 to $1,500 upfront, but if you can swing it, you’ll own the equipment outright — which can be a great value add to your home.
Frontpoint is the easiest to get up and running thanks to its clear-cut pricing and self-installable equipment. So if you’re a renter, or you don’t want to spend as much upfront, Frontpoint is the best way to go. Safe Systems also earned a mention thanks to its comprehensive business offerings and a $30-per-month cellular monitoring payment, which is the cheapest around.
The Best Home Security Systems in Denver
Reliable Home Security
The company offers three equipment packages, and each includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, a lifetime warranty, and free professional installation. The first package starts at $35 per month, and is the most basic. Devices include a color touch screen panel, one motion or glass break sensor, and four door or window sensors (Reliable Home Security uses 2GIG brand products).
For an additional $6 per month, you can bump up to the second tier and receive one home automation device. You can choose from a freeze/fire sensor, thermostat, lighting control, garage door control, or automated door lock. (Others can be purchased a-la-carte straight from Reliable, or you can integrate third-party Z-Wave devices into your system as well.)
If you go with Reliable Home Security, you’ll need to be OK with a professional installation, which means drilling holes in your walls, and an in-home visit to procure a quote. We asked multiple agents for a ballpark upfront equipment cost, but we couldn’t get a solid answer. (The company occasionally runs $0 upfront specials, so it’s worth giving the site a check before you make a purchase.)
We had a really hard time evaluating pricing in Denver, primarily because every single local dealer we looked at required an in-home visit for a quote on upfront costs. Frontpoint doesn’t have that problem. All its pricing is laid out on the website: Its basic cellular system (called “Protection”) runs $35 a month for monitoring, costs $100 upfront, and includes three door/window sensors, a motion detector, and a control panel.
If home automation (smartphone-controlled lighting, Wi-Fi thermostats, etc) are important to you, Frontpoint offers the best technology in the business. Plus, if you already own some Z-Wave-powered home automation devices, you can integrate them in your system by upgraded to a $40-per-month monitoring plan. If not, you’ll have to consider its “Ultimate” plan, which costs $300 upfront and adds a garage door opener, one light module, and a smoke/heat sensor to what’s included in the “Protection” plan.
Another big plus with Frontpoint is that you can install its systems yourself — no drilling; no mess. Packages ship directly to your door and are incredibly simple to set up.
It’s important to remember that you don’t ever own the equipment in your home because Frontpoint leases it to you. So if you prefer buying a system outright, you should take a look at Reliable Systems — just know it will cost a lot more up front.
Safe Systems is pretty unique in that it staffs its own Underwriter’s Laboratories-listed monitoring center that’s located in the Front Range area. Cellular monitoring services start at $30 per month, and an on-site eval is required for a quote — when we talked with a Safe Systems representative, he insisted a home consultation would be necessary.
What we did learn is that the standard security package includes a touch-screen keypad, two door sensors, a motion sensor, and mobile connectivity — but any sort of home automation feature is extra (and our rep wouldn’t say how much). And if you’re a business owner, Safe Systems offers a pretty comprehensive set of applicable services, including managed access and temperature monitoring — which isn’t available from our other top picks.
Denver Crime Rates & Trends
Denver has lower than the national average occurrence of property crime rates, according to Neighborhood Scout. So is getting a home security system worth it? We think so. In 2011, the average dollar value of burglarized goods was around $2,000. But it’s not just that–property theft and intrusion are traumatic experiences for everyone who lives under the burglarized roof. There’s no price on that sort of damage, but just the sight of a home security systems have been proven to deter criminals from targeting a particular house.
What’s more, home insurance providers sometimes offer discounts for homeowners with security systems and you may also qualify for a tax break. So, while Denver is statistically safer in regards to burglaries than the rest of the country, that doesn’t mean that home security systems aren’t a good investment. Quite the contrary, as peace of mind is invaluable.
Denver City Policies
According to Denver’s false alarm management center, the Denver Police receive over 10,000 alarm calls a year, 98 percent of which turn out to be false. Needless to say, false alarms are a serious problem in Denver, one that takes away valuable resources from those truly in need. Not only that, it impacts tax rates and city budgets. If your home is the source of multiple false alarms, the police may stop showing up at all. Not good. Never fear, though, there’s an easy way to avoid causing the Denver Police department undue stress: simply register your system with the City of Denver online.
Once your permit has been approved, it’s valid for one year with a $25 renewable fee every subsequent year after that. With a permit, you’re only charged $50 per false alarm and the police will continue to provide service even when your alarm does malfunction.
Speaking of malfunctions, there are easy ways to avoid them. If your system has batteries, regularly check them to make sure they’re in working order. It’s recommended to replace them every 3-5 years, but ensure your system’s efficiency by testing them once or twice a year. Also make sure that your doors and windows are properly closed before arming your system and keep the buttons out of reach of children. Other things you can do to prevent false alarms include cleaning your sensors regularly and installing pet-immune sensors.
The Bottom Line
No matter which of our top picks you choose, you’re going to have to sign a contract. That’s why we named Reliable Home Security as the top dog in Denver. Its monitoring costs are identical to Frontpoint, but its contract is a whole year shorter (24 months). But, depending upon your quote, Reliable is going to cost several hundred dollars more (remember: you own the equipment) and requires a home visit for a quote. Frontpoint’s pricing (starting at $100 upfront and $35 for cellular monitoring) is far more transparent, and you can install the systems yourself.