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 — Vivint, Frontpoint, ADT, and SimpliSafe — 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 home security systems.
The Best Home Security Systems in Kansas City: Summed Up
How We Found the Best Home Security Systems in Kansas City
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:
- Intrusion (door, window, and glass-break sensors)
- Environmental (carbon monoxide, fire, and flood sensors)
- Surveillance (indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras)
- Safety (life alert and panic buttons)
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 tools and service, we actually subscribed with all eight companies. Then we installed their systems and spent eight months of monitoring, programming, and tinkering to find the most user-friendly systems.
The 4 Best Home Security Systems in Kansas City
- Vivint – Best for Home Automation
- Frontpoint – Best for Customer Service
- ADT – Most Popular Provider
- SimpliSafe – Most Flexible
Kansas City Home Security Reviews
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 of 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. You can pay month-by-month — but 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 installation 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.
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, if you have a lot of interest in home automation, Vivint may be a better place to start: 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. Our testers loved the remote viewing feature, which comes with ADT’s highest tier package (“Video”). 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.
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.
Looking for the right home security system has become more difficult as players have begun to saturate the field. Most people don’t want to pay a lot of money for a system that locks them into a contract before they even have a chance to test it out, which is where Simplisafe sets itself apart. With their no contract, no nonsense claim, SimpliSafe gives you the freedom to feel safe at home without any commitment.
Coming off a fresh revamp to their system, SimpliSafe provides state-of the-art equipment with the option to either self monitor or opt in for their 24/7 professional monitoring. Should you choose to go this route, SimpliSafe offers budget-friendly plans starting as low as $15/month. They also give you the freedom to set it up yourself with a step-by-step installation guide. Limited smart home compatibility may turn a few heads away, but Simlisafe compensates for this with their flexible and budget-friendly DIY options. If you’re looking for a system with easy home automation and a no-contract service, we recommend SimpliSafe.
Guide to Kansas City Home Security Systems
Research your neighborhood’s crime profile
You’ve got a lot of options when building out the equipment in your home security system. Before you speak with a security consultant, we recommend doing some research on your local neighborhood crime rates. Use online crime maps to understand any local concerns relevant to your security system.
Register your security system
Under the Kansas City Alarm Ordinance, home security users have to register their alarms and pay an annual $48 permit fee. This kind of ordinance exists in nearly every city as a measure to reduce the amount of false alarms. The permit will renew automatically for no charge if you have two or fewer false alarms. For those that have three to five false alarm dispatches in the year, it’ll cost you $56 per false alarm and $168 per permit year.
Consider a local company
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.
- Best Security
- Jade Alarm Co
- Rampart Security Systems
- Shield Security Systems
- Watchmen Security Services
Kansas City Home Security FAQ
How much does a false alarm cost in Kansas City?
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. They can also be fined and penalized for false alarms.
First and Second false alarm: Free
Third, Fourth, and Fifth false alarms: $52 – $156
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.
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.
What is Kansas City’s crime rate like?
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.