The Best Home Security Systems in Kansas City
While the FBI reports a recent decline in Kansas City property crime, the unfortunate reality is that rates remain well above the national average. The good news? Many property crimes are pretty preventable. As the KCPD reminds homeowners, the majority of burglaries and auto thefts happen when doors and garages are left unlocked or open.
Having a home security system can help you avoid these slip-ups. It also ensures rapid police response in the event that a crime does occur. Our top picks — ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint — offer a wide range of packages. There are options from basic monitoring to full-fledged home automation systems, so anyone can find a system they’re comfortable using. The best one for your home depends on you: what kind of equipment you prefer, how much customer support you like, and your personal security concerns. Keep these considerations in mind as you choose between the best Kansas City home security systems.
The 3 Best Home Security Systems in Kansas City
Kansas City Home Security System Reviews
Kansas City home security rankings are based on the criteria we developed for our national review of the best home security systems. In order to find the best, we did an in-depth study of the eight most popular home security providers. For starters, we made sure that they offer 24/7 professional monitoring. Then we checked in on services. Companies had to cover the security basics, including indoor/outdoor surveillance cameras and door, window, and broken glass sensors to detect break-ins. We also required carbon monoxide, fire, and flood sensors for environmental protection, as well as life alert and panic buttons for medical emergencies.
Besides covering the essentials, the best home security companies should be easy to work with and use up-to-date monitoring technology. To get a sense for their their tools and service, we actually subscribed with all eight companies. Then we installed their systems and spent eight months monitoring, programming, and tinkering to find the most user-friendly systems.
ADT has been around since the late 1800s and currently has more than 6 million subscribers nationwide, making it the most popular home security provider. That’s impressive in and of itself. But here’s the thing: When it comes to home security, popularity is more than just a contest. It can actually make your home safer.
Studies have shown that just displaying a home security logo may deter up to 60% of would-be burglars. For the deterrent to work, though, your home security logo has to be recognizable. ADT’s venerable status makes it the most effective in this category. That little blue octagon logo is not only a promise of security, but a warning to criminals that your home is protected by one of the best.
Of course, ADT had to earn that status. The company has stuck around so long because it offers trusted monitoring and keeps up with the most current technology. Like our other top picks, it carries a range of top-notch equipment: HD security cameras, broken glass detectors, motion sensors, and more. ADT’s higher-tier packages — “Control” and “Video” — also include home automation features. They allow users to control doors and garages remotely, arm or disarm the alarm, and manage smart home systems like thermostats. That said, Vivint may be a better place to start for home automation; its smart home packages start at just $39.99 per month, while ADT’s start at $49.99.
ADT also has two distinct mobile apps. The MyADT app offers basic account management, and is available to all customers. “Control” and “Video” customers also have access to the upgraded ADT Pulse app, which controls smart home features and allows for remote security camera viewing. Reviews.com testers love the remote viewing feature; it gives you the ability to check in on the house (or the babysitter) at any time. It also helps prevent false security alarms. If an alarm goes off, you can check in to see whether there’s a real threat before either disabling it or alerting the police. Kansas City will up the price for an annual alarm permit if a house has three or more false alarms, so remote viewing can help keep costs down. Just note that this feature only comes with ADT’s highest tier package (“Video”).
It’s worth mentioning that ADT isn’t renowned for its customer service. Our own testers were pleased with ADT’s customer service and installation technicians, but not all customers have had an equally positive experience. If you’re looking for a little extra guidance, then you may prefer a more support-oriented company like Frontpoint.
All things considered, ADT remains our favorite home security provider. It offers a wide range of equipment, customizable packages, and (did we mention?) the best name recognition in the game. If you choose ADT, you’re in excellent company.
Vivint is smart home-focused, with similar automation and mobile features to ADT’s. The difference? Vivint has managed to seamlessly integrate smart tech and home security. Our testers liked its interface better than any other contender’s.
Vivint calls its combination smart home security hub the ‘SkyControl Panel.’ Despite its (admittedly) goofy-sounding name, testers loved working with SkyControl, ranking it the “easiest to use” of all the systems we tried. From a single touch screen panel, you can control all your smart devices (thermostats, lights, etc.), as well as your security system. That means arming and disarming the alarm, locking and unlocking doors, or using the panic button. SkyControl even works as a two-way video chat through your security cameras.
Like ADT, Vivint’s systems link up to a mobile app that lets you view cameras and manage home systems remotely. We especially like the app’s automation features. It lets you set smart devices to fit your schedule — for instance, programming the doors to lock when you go to bed or the garage to close after you leave for work. For anyone who tends to be forgetful, these automatic safeguards add extra security and peace of mind.
While Vivint’s automation and video options are more affordable than ADT’s, we’re not thrilled with its pricing structure. Vivint contracts start at five years, with a measly three days to cancel if you’re dissatisfied. Otherwise you can pay month-by-month — but in that case, you’ll have to purchase all your equipment at face value. We think it’s worth being extra-sure before you commit to a Vivint subscription. If you’re on the fence, it might be worth starting with ADT (which offers a six-month money-back guarantee) or Frontpoint (with its 30-day trial period).
That said, Vivint is a great choice once you’re ready to buy; its technology is top-notch, and J.D. Power survey respondents gave it the highest scores for customer satisfaction. For those building a complete smart home, Vivint should be an easy first choice.
Maybe you’ve gotten this far and your head is spinning; motion sensors, camera feeds, smart hubs, automation, installation — it’s a lot to take in. If you are feeling a little lost, we recommend starting with Frontpoint. This provider keeps up with the others in terms of security. It offers round-the-clock professional monitoring, and its technology is all current. But where Frontpoint really stands out is its excellent customer service.
We noticed the difference from our very first call. The Frontpoint rep was patient, inquisitive, and helpful; our tester felt like the rep’s goal was to find the exact right package, rather than just making the sale. ADT and Vivint’s reps didn’t quite measure up.
We were equally impressed during setup. Frontpoint was our only DIY installation package; both ADT and Vivint sent installation technicians (and charged an install fee). While setting up a security system sounds daunting, Frontpoint actually makes it quite easy. The website tutorial is tailored to your package and easy to follow. It also offers prompts if you’re stuck at any stage. Once you’re through, there’s just one quick call to a Frontpoint rep to verify that everything’s up and running. Start to finish, the process only took us about 30 minutes.
The main thing to be aware of if you’re considering Frontpoint is its different package levels. It offers three tiers of home security, ranging from basic monitoring services to a more full-fledged option with automation and app access. Only the most expensive tier, ‘Ultimate,’ comes with video surveillance, which our testers found to be important for threat assessment and preventing false alarms. Of course, if you live in one of Kansas City’s safest neighborhoods — like the northern and southernmost suburbs — you may be just as comfortable with the cheaper, basic monitoring.
If you’re not sure what level of security you need, we suggest contacting Frontpoint directly. Its reps are patient and helpful, and will help you find the best home security system for your individual needs.
Compare the Best Home Security Systems in Kansas City
Other Kansas City Home Security Companies to Consider
ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint are all tried and true. Our testers touted their smooth install, reliable monitoring, and user-friendly equipment. We recommend them without hesitation.
Keep in mind, though, that these are all nationwide providers. If you’re looking for someone that already understands your neighborhood and security concerns, then you might consider a local company. We cross-referenced customer ratings on Yelp and Google to find the five most popular Kansas City home security providers.
- Jade Alarm Co
- Atronic Alarms
- Rampart Security Systems
- Watchmen Security Services
- Shield Security Systems
Kansas City Home Security False Alarm Policy
There’s nothing like an alarm system for peace of mind: You press a button and the police are there to help. Unfortunately, police often arrive to find that they're not really needed. Whether by equipment malfunctions, user error, or touchy motion sensors, false alarms happen all the time. Many estimates place the false alarm rate as high as 98%.
All those calls take a toll on law enforcement. They require time and resources that could be better spent responding to legitimate emergencies — and when cops are busy responding to false alarms, it may take them longer to respond to a real one. To address this issue, the Kansas City PD maintains an Alarm Ordinance. Under the Alarm Ordinance, home security users have to register their alarms and pay an annual $46 permit fee. They can also be fined and penalized for false alarms.
Annual Permit Fee: $46
First and Second false alarm: Free
Third, Fourth, and Fifth false alarms: $52 each*
Sixth false alarm: Required to attend a False Alarm Class; if the user fails to attend the class, their alarm permit will be revoked until they do.
*Up to $156, which will be added to your yearly permit renewal fee
These fees are meant to encourage correct home security system use and maintenance. Note that if an alarm user doesn’t have an alarm permit, the KCPD can (and will) refuse response to that home.
Kansas City Crime Rate
Kansas City property crime rates are declining slowly, but surely. According to the FBI’s 2015-2016 crime report, they dropped one percent in 2016 alone. And across the state of Missouri, says BizJournals, property crime has fallen almost 25% over the past 10 years.
Unfortunately, this gradual downward trend isn’t equally felt across the city. While some neighborhoods are getting safer, others did see an uptick in burglaries and auto theft in 2017. Many of these crimes are preventable; as the KCPD states, there’s been “an increase in crimes where a door was left unlocked as well as garage doors being left open.” Making sure your house is properly locked down can prevent crimes like these from happening. If you tend to be forgetful with doors and garages, this is where a home automation system like ADT’s or Vivint’s can really come in handy.
Property crime victims also face a slow justice process in Kansas City. Because violent crime investigations are prioritized, it can take a long time to identify and apprehend non-violent criminals. In one case, a Kansas City burglary victim had to wait two years for fingerprints from her home to be analyzed, while the criminal remained at large. As she says, “It totally ruins your sense of comfort.”
Home security is part of the answer here too. First, knowing that professionals are monitoring the home can make residents feel more secure. Having an alarm also ensures faster police response, making it more likely that burglars and other criminals will be apprehended at the time of the incident. Finally, home security cameras have been proven to help police identify and arrest perpetrators after the fact. One example shows how break-in suspects were caught on a security camera, identified through the neighborhood bulletin NextDoor, and arrested within hours.
Whether you choose to go with a Kansas City home security company or a national one, the most important thing is to find a system that makes you feel comfortable. Our top picks offer that guarantee with professional monitoring and cutting-edge equipment. Ultimately, though, the right home security package will depend on your preferences and security concerns.
If you’re not sure what to look for, start by getting familiar with security and crime rates in your neighborhood. The KCPD partners with CrimeReports.com to provide interactive crime maps by neighborhood. Check yours out — you can filter for ‘Property Crimes,’ ‘Burglary,’ and other categories to get a sense for the level of concern near your home.
For questions about specific equipment and pricing, don’t hesitate to reach out to our top picks individually. We were especially impressed with Frontpoint customer support, but all three companies made us feel heard and cared for. They’ll help you find the right package for your needs.