CANASA Warns Homeowners on Door-to-Door Alarm Sales
June 2, 2011 - The Canadian Security Association (CANASA) is advising homeowners to beware of door-to-door alarm sales companies. "Occasionally these companies will use scare tactics or very aggressive sales people who won't take no for an answer. Homeowners often feel trapped into making a decision on the spot, which can lead to problems," says Mona Emond, Director of Marketing and Communications for CANASA.
Take your time, research the companies out there and always get a minimum of three quotes. Discuss your needs with alarm companies who are members of reputable associations like CANASA because they all are governed by their membership code of ethics. Ask them to advise you on what they would suggest for your home, based on your needs and habits. Every home is different and so is every home alarm and security system. As a result, your security system should be tailored to meet both your security needs and your budget.
Do not make a commitment to any company that has not visited your home and inspected your property. Ask the alarm company for references from other satisfied customers. Find out how long they've been in business. Finally, ask them to provide you with evidence of their expertise or training -- for example, have they taken any of the CANASA alarm technician training programs or courses from a local community college?
Make sure you choose a qualified company, who has performed a site inspection/security audit and discussed your individual security needs. The company should provide you with an evaluation of your premise, highlighting the measures you can take to improve the security of your home over and above the addition of an electronic alarm system. They might suggest such simple measures as clearing brush around entrance ways and installing proper locks.
When comparing companies, be sure to make a true comparison by thoroughly reviewing the number and types of products to be installed. If there is a discrepancy, be sure you understand the impact it will have on the overall level of security you are purchasing.
Ask Questions When choosing a system be an intelligent consumer and continue to ask questions until you understand what you are purchasing and the level of security it will provide. Reputable companies will answer positively to most, if not all, of the following questions:
• Is your company a member of the Canadian Security Association (CANASA)?
• May I see proof that your company has all applicable provincial and any applicable municipal licenses?
• Will you provide me with a written quotation?
• Will you provide me with a contract once the system is purchased?
• Is there a written warranty on the equipment and labour?
• Will the system be monitored, and if so, what is the cost and who will be doing it?
• May I see proof that your company carries errors & omissions insurance?
• How long have you been in the security alarm business?
• Do you adhere to a false dispatch reduction program?
• Do you offer any protection for pre-paid monitoring?
• Will I own my system or be leasing it?
• Can I obtain the master installers' code upon fulfillment of my contract?
• Can anyone service my system?
If you are unsure about a company that has approached you or you would like more information on this subject, please contact your local CANASA chapter or the CANASA head office at 1-800-538-9919.
About CANASA The Canadian Security Association (CANASA) is a national non-profit organization, established in 1977 dedicated to promoting the interests of its members and the safety and security of all Canadians. CANASA is the national voice of the security industry and has a growing membership of more than 1,300 members across Canada, representing all segments of the industry. CANASA supports its members through a comprehensive network of services, including security education, government relations, marketing, communications, leading industry trade shows and the latest industry information and news. Visit www.canasa.org
*CANASA Images used with permission from CANASA