Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Alarm and Security System Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Reed Brothers Security (2013)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an alarm and security system company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified alarm and security system contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated home alarm and security system company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Alameda County – Alarm & Security Systems CATEGORY

Randy Reed is a lifetime veteran of the locksmith trade and owner of Reed Brothers Security, a Diamond Certified company since 2013. He can be reached at (510) 456-0989 or by email.

Randy Reed

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Randy Reed: Born to Locksmith

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

OAKLAND — For Randy Reed, an early education in the locksmith trade set the stage for long-term professional success. “When I was growing up, my dad was a landlord and processed repossessions for six different banks in the Oakland area,” he explains. “He would take over the properties, manage them and turn them around so they could be resold. He taught my brother, Ron, and I to do lock work for him at a very young age. By the time I was seven, I was pretty much running his lock shop out of our basement.”

Later, while attending UC Berkeley, Randy worked nights as a locksmith to pay his tuition, and after he graduated, he partnered with his brother to open their own lock shop. “When Ron and I opened our shop back in 1981, it was just the two of us,” he says. “By 1990, we had more than 50 employees, and today we’re probably the largest locksmith and alarm shop of our kind in the state.”

Today, as owner of Reed Brothers Security, Randy says his favorite part of his job is exceeding his customers’ expectations. “Since we’re one of the largest locksmith shops in Northern California, we carry a wide selection of products, so I really enjoy matching customers with the right products and giving them a real ‘wow’ customer service experience.”

A resident of Alameda (where he lives with his wife, Laurel), Randy says he enjoys the dynamic character of the Bay Area. “It’s a fun place to live—there’s plenty to do, the weather is great and the food is even better. It’s nice living in a place where you don’t really have weather but you’re close to visiting it when you want to.”

Outside of work, Randy engages in a variety of pastimes and hobbies. “I love watching movies, backpacking, cooking, skiing and weight lifting,” he says. “I’m also an avid gardener—I grow vegetables, succulents and cactus—and I enjoy going to visit my kids at their colleges.”

In his life and career, Randy espouses the importance of addressing needs on a variety of levels. “My goal is to take care of everybody and keep them happy,” he says. “If my employees are happy, they stick around; if my customers are happy, they come back. The trick is finding ways to meet everybody’s needs.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland A’s.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Both. I’m a bit of a politics junkie, so I enjoy following the news and hearing arguments from different perspectives.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Otaez Mexican Restaurant in Alameda.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Scotland and Wales.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My 10-speed bike.

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Door Hardening 101

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OAKLAND — One of the most common ways burglars break into homes is by kicking in an exterior door. The reason they’re able to do this so often is simple: the hardware on most doors doesn’t provide any real protection. By taking… Read more

Considerations for Choosing a Safe

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OAKLAND — Your home may be equipped with a good security system, but if you own a lot of valuables, you should consider buying a safe. However, not all safes are alike, so it’s important to look for quality when making your… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Remote Security Applications

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Complete Video Transcription:

OAKLAND — Host, Sarah Rutan: Thanks to innovations in security technology, it’s now possible for home and business owners to control their security systems via their mobile phones.… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • Medeco

  • Honeywell

  • Mul-T-Lock

  • Keri

Ademco Security
ADT Home Security
APX Security Systems
Brink’s Home Security
Broadview Home Security
DSC Security
GE Home Security
Home Guard
Honeywell Security
Napco Security Systems
Simon Home Security
Siren Home Security

home security system installation
closed caption TV installation (CCTV)
home surveillance system installation
burglar alarms
home monitoring systems
security camera systems
alarm monitoring services
DCV security systems
video surveillance systems
house alarm repair
video alarm systems
alarm keypads

Alameda
Albany
Ashland
Berkeley
Castro Valley
Cherryland
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Komandorski Village
Livermore
Mount Eden
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Sunol
Union City

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If you need more information about hiring local home alarm and security system companies or contractors to provide security systems or burglar alarms for your home or business, the following associations and agencies may be able to help.
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)
California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) (www.dca.ca.gov)
Security Industry Association (SIA) (www.siaonline.org)
Electronic Security Association (ESA) (www.esaweb.org)
International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC) (www.iapsc.org)
California Alarm Association (CAA) (www.caaonline.org)

Know What You Want
Spend a Little Time Thinking About Your Home Security System and Burglar Alarm Needs

When beginning your search for a good home alarm and security system company in Alameda County, including Dublin, Newark, Pleasanton, Union City, Alameda, start by asking yourself a few basic questions about the work you need done and the type of contractor you want to hire.

Write down your answers and any other information you may want to share with the companies you interview. Having specific goals can help you present more coordinated information to the companies you interview, and help you better define your needs and wants.

Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified security system installation company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  2. Am I renting or do I own the property on which I am considering installing an alarm or security system? (Homeowners have the freedom to choose almost any system they’d like, especially if they plan to live in their home long-term; renters may want to buy and install a wireless alarm system they can take with them if they move.)
  3. What type of burglar alarm or security system am I looking for? (For example, CCTV systems, window and door alarms, motion sensor lights, medical alarm monitoring, fire and flood alarms, etc.)
  4. Do I want mobile access to my home security system that will allow me to arm, disarm and monitor my alarm and system via my cell phone?
  5. Is there a reason I can’t sign a long-term contract for security system monitoring or rental equipment? (This may include a planned move.)
  6. Do I want 24-hour security system monitoring services, too?
  7. What is my budget for a new home alarm system or security system?
  8. Are there any professional or personal characteristics I want from my Alameda County security system contractor? (Such as timeliness, cleanliness, good communication skills, knowledge base, experience, and follow-up service.)
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What To Ask In Person
Interview Alameda County Security System Contractors to Learn More

Your telephone interviews should give you a short list of Alameda County burglar alarm professionals and security system companies that provide the services, equipment and customer service you’re looking for.

The next step is to meet with those stand-out security system contractors in person and learn more about what they can offer you.

The following questions are some you may want to ask of security system installers in Alameda County, including those in Pleasanton, Berkeley, Union City, San Leandro, Alameda and your area. Add to this list any specific questions you may have about your alarm system needs or personal requests.

  1. How long will the security system installation take?
  2. Will I own the equipment you install, or am I signing a lease agreement? (There are pros and cons to both, so be sure you understand which type of agreement you’re signing and if it’s the best fit for your needs.)
  3. Do you offer the newest, most up-to-date equipment, or do you install used or remanufactured alarms and home security systems? (This is especially important to ask if you’ve been given a special discount, or offered a free security system with the cost of monitoring or an annual agreement.)
  4. Does the home alarm system you’ll install include all of the necessary features and points of protection for my premises?
  5. Will I be able to be in my home during installation?
  6. Do you have a list of recent customer references that I can call?
  7. How will I handle service issues or repairs to my home alarm or new security system? Will you be responsible for warranty work if there’s ever a problem with my new security system?
  8. Can you provide security systems with advanced safety features such as cell phone monitoring or mobile monitoring, remote access, text or phone notifications, video or CCTV services, door and window monitoring, pressure mats, security lights, smoke and fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, etc.?
  9. Are there any additional fees or charges I’ll have to pay for installation, wiring, monitoring, taxes, etc.?
  10. If you provide monitoring, what is your Alameda County security system monitoring service’s average response time to alarms?
  11. If I live in Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Emeryville, Komandorski Village, Livermore, Mount Eden, Piedmont, Russell City, San Lorenzo, Sunol, am I still covered under your monitoring service? Will I incur extra charges for installation, setup or monitoring?
  12. Will I be able to get 24-hour help if I have questions or concerns? Who, if anyone, answers your business phones after hours?
  13. How fast can you repair or replace my alarm or security system if it stops working correctly or is broken or damaged?
  14. Will you provide proof of alarm/security system to my insurance company to enable me to apply for discounts?
  15. How often do you test the systems you’ve installed? (A good company should test their alarm systems at least once a month to ensure they’re working properly.)
  16. Is there anything I can do to make this process go more smoothly?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions to Ask Burglar Alarm Contractor References and Previous Customers of Alameda County Security System Installers

    It’s best to choose among Diamond Certified alarm and security system companies because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass.

    If you want quality from a alarm and security system companies in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find Diamond Certified alarm and security system companies in San Leandro, Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont, Oakland or your area that meet your needs, you’ll have to do some research on your own. In that case, it’s wise to call references provided by your alarm and security system companies.

    Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by Alameda County alarm and security system companies are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. In fact, references given to customers by alarm companies are usually cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the security system contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    Some questions you may want to ask Alameda County alarm contractor references include the following:

    1. Were you satisfied with the service from _(security system company name)_?
    2. What was the type and scope of job they did for you (home alarm installation, commercial security system installation, home security system upgrades or repairs, home alarm monitoring services, CCTV system installation, burglar alarm installation, etc.)?
    3. Were the home alarm technicians that served your home prompt and personable?
    4. Did the security system installer explain to you the job in progress and the status of the work?
    5. Did they complete the work on time?
    6. Were there unexpected costs? If so, what were they for and were they avoidable?
    7. Did the home alarm companies or security system installers charge extra to travel to your home if you live in a smaller Alameda County town such as Castro Valley, Emeryville, Mt Eden, Russell City, Piedmont, Cherryland or another location?
    8. Did the alarm and security system installers clean up after finishing the work?
    9. Do they provide monitoring services for you? If so, are you pleased with the service you’ve received from them?
    10. Would you recommend this security system services to friends or family?
    11. Would you hire this company again?
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  • Review Your Options
    Contract with Good Burglar Alarm and Security System Companies in Alameda County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    You’ve done your due diligence by researching and interviewing local home security system companies in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, Alameda, Union City, Pleasanton, Newark, Dublin and near you.

    Now, before deciding on the best alarm and security system companies in Alameda County for you, it’s important to think back on all you’ve learned and consider the following questions.

    1. Is there a home alarm or home security company on your list that can meet your needs for new home alarms and security systems, monitoring services, supplies or  materials, alarm system brands, and installation or repair services?
    2. Are the Alameda County home security system companies and alarm installers knowledgeable about the home alarm systems and alarm monitoring services you need?
    3. Can they explain to you which alarm systems and brands best fit your needs?
    4. Can the Alameda County home security contractor be sensitive to your budget? Can they give you bids that address your needs and financial resources?
    5. Do the home alarm companies guarantee their work and services? Do they offer warranties on their security system installation and monitoring services?
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  • How To Work With
    Get Burglar Alarm Systems and Home Security Monitoring from the Best Alameda County Companies

    How can you be the kind of homeowner that the best home alarm system companies want to work with? See the helpful tips below.

    • Prove your interest in good value, not just the lowest bid. Many people start their discussion with Alameda County security system companies by asking about price, not value. Show your interest in quality by asking questions about available security systems, related services, monitoring, installation techniques, warranties and value rather than price alone.
    • Be upfront with home alarm installers in Dublin, Newark, Pleasanton, Union City, Alameda and your area if you’re interviewing if you’re accepting multiple bids. But only shop among carefully-vetted security system companies that offer quality work, and don’t accept more than three bids.
    • Tell your Alameda County security system installer exactly what you want done and every specific direction or request you have. This will allow them to give you the most accurate bid possible and gives them insight into exactly what you want from your new home security alarm in the long-term. If they can’t provide what you need or want, it’s better to find out before you’ve wasted your time and theirs.
    • Interview and choose among local home alarm and security system companies in Alameda County. Most prefer to work within a smaller radius, as this allows them to provide faster installation and reliable repairs and services.

    Now That You’ve Found Your Alameda County Security System Provider and Installer
    Your interviews should have narrowed your focus to the best local home security system company for you. This company should be able to provide the services, equipment, systems, installation and other needs you have for your new burglar alarm and security system on the budget and in the time frame you need it.

    Now that you’ve found a good security system company that serves Oakland, Dublin, Fremont, Newark, Hayward and your location, move forward and sign a contract. Good contracts should include details about the security system and the scope of the work, any materials and products to be used, payment terms, the expected time line for the installation and any warranties and guarantees that will cover the work and the alarms or security systems installed.

    Your Alameda County security system installer should provide the contract to you and allow you to read through it and ask any questions you may have before signing it. This agreement protects you, your property and the security system company, so it’s important that you understand all terms and exclusions and that you never sign an incomplete or blank estimate or contract.

    If there are items you verbally agreed upon with your security system company or installation service, even if you live in San Lorenzo, Sunol, Komandorski Village, Livermore, Ashland, Piedmont, Emeryville or a rural area, you may write in those terms. These may include expectations and instructions, expected start and end dates, clauses that stipulate when the work must be completed, and any bonuses or offers you wish to extend for early completion of the work.

    Using Your New Burglar Alarm System
    Your new burglar
    alarm or security system is only as good as its users. Unfortunately, not all home alarms are easy to use or intuitive to set up or run.

    That’s why it’s vital that your Alameda County security system installer explains in detail how the system works and answers all of your questions about setting, running, disarming and using your new security system. Everyone who will be using the system (including arming and disarming it) should be present during the tutorial session. This includes children who are old enough to be home alone and who may need to arm or disarm the security system.

    False alarms may carry fines in certain areas, including Pleasanton, Berkeley, Union City, San Leandro, Alameda and beyond. Luckily, understanding how to run and disarm your system is the best way to lessen the occurrence of false alarms. A thorough walk-through with the installer will also give you confidence in running your system in the best way to maximize its performance and increase the safety and protection it offers your home, property and family.

    Ease the Security System Installation and Set Up
    There are a few things you can do before your home alarm and security system installer arrives and while they’re setting up the system that will make the work go more smoothly.

    • Write down a list of specific work you need done, and any questions or concerns you’ll want your Alameda County security system installer to address. This will ensure you get the service and answers you need. It can also possibly cut down on the length of time the job takes, reducing billable hours; and giving you a better chance of understanding the system, its components and safe operation.
    • Clear unnecessary items from the area where the home alarm system contractor will be working. This will cut down on the amount of time your contractor has to spend clearing the area in which they’re working, make your home safer and make the job go faster.
    • Keep pets and children out of the area while the work is ongoing.
    • If you live in Dublin, Newark, Pleasanton, Union City, Alameda or smaller towns, be sure you give the security system company clear directions to your home and information about how long it may take them to travel to your location. Make sure they don’t charge extra to come to your house if it’s out of their area; if they do, you’ll want to know what that fee will be upfront.
    • Ask your security system installer what you can do to help speed along the job or make the work easier. There may be simple steps you can take to increase the installers’ efficiency, thereby cutting down on the amount of time spent and the overall cost of the job.
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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Alarm and Security System Company Customer?

    It’s the responsibility of your alarm and security system companies to install quality burglar alarm and home security system equipment that will keep you and your family safe. But you may be surprised to learn that you also play a big part in the success of your new security system.

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring Alameda County alarm and security system companies.

    • Be clear and upfront with the alarm and security system companies. Let them know what you want from your alarm and security system companies, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a alarm and security system companies in Alameda County, including those in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, Alameda, Union City, Pleasanton, Newark, Dublin and other areas, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the alarm and security system companies representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local alarm and security system companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your alarm and security system companies if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re alarm and security system companies. The work will move along more smoothly if your alarm and security system companies can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the alarm and security system companies on schedule.
    • Pay for the alarm and security system companies work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Alarm and security system companies in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Take a Tour of Your New Home Alarm and Security System and Its Functions

The invoice from your alarm and security system companies company should include the following:

  • The alarm and security system companies contractor’s name, physical address and state license number.
  • A complete list of all work performed.
  • An itemized list of all materials used.
  • The total cost for the alarm and security system companies services, including the itemized amount charged for labor.
  • A written explanation of any warranties or guarantees provided by the product manufacturers and the alarm and security system companies contractors.
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Written Warranties
Find Out if Your New Home Security System is Guaranteed to Function Well

The following items should be included in any written guarantee document you receive from your Alameda County home alarm and security company in San Leandro, Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont, Oakland and other areas:

  • The Alameda County alarm and security system companies contractor’s name, physical address and state license number.
  • A description of what exactly the warranty covers. This should include whether the contractor will repair or replace any faulty materials or workmanship.
  • Any exclusions must be explicitly stated.
  • Your responsibility in the case of a problem and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  • How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or is prorated (meaning, the warranty coverage and amount owed for repair or replacement diminishes over time).
  • If the warranty coverage is transferable to the new owner if you sell the home or commercial building in which the work was done.
  • Any actions on your part that may invalidate the warranty.
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Top 10 Requests
Home Alarm and Security System Service Requests for Alameda County Security Alarm Companies

The following are popular items, systems and services provided by Alameda County alarm companies and security system installers.

Video Alarm Monitoring Systems
Digital video monitoring services or systems are used in conjunction with CCTV security systems. The video monitor allows you to view the images from several cameras at the same time. These systems may be used in a central location on-premises (such as a security office) or at an off-site CCTV monitoring station.

Door and Window Alarms
Door and window alarms use magnetic contacts to form a circuit between doors and the door frames or windows and window sills. These contacts are broken when the alarmed doors or windows are opened, which sounds the alarm. The alarm may be audible or silent, and may connect to a home security monitoring system or to the police.

Closed Caption TV Installation (CCTV)
Closed circuit television systems are visual surveillance systems used to monitor inside and outside of homes, businesses, stores and other areas. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only during certain hours. Some are motion-activated and turn on only when there is motion in a specified area. The images are viewed at live monitoring centers or may be recorded for viewing if an emergency or break-in occurs, but they are not broadcast to viewers like television. CCTV systems are often part of home security systems.

Home Monitoring Systems
Warning devices that warn of intruders, fire, smoke, floor or another danger are home monitoring systems. These are part of a complete home security system in Dublin, Newark, Pleasanton, Union City, Alameda and beyond that also send signals to an alarm monitoring center or first responders.

Automated Security Systems
Automated security systems are
designed to deny unauthorized people access to property or items once the automated security alarm is set. These systems will also alert the home or business owner and police of a security breach through home alarms which may be silent or audible.

Security Camera Systems
Electronic surveillance devices and security camera systems include televisions, CCTV systems, digital video recorders or video cameras that monitor activity. These systems are most often used to heighten security of property and detect and prevent crime.

Wireless Burglar Alarms and Home Security Systems
A home security system that doesn’t require wires. Instead, it relies on sensor boxes around doors and windows to transmit signals.

Burglar Alarms
A loud warning sound that alerts the intruder, owner, neighbors, home security monitoring system and police that the security system has been breached. Security sensors are used may be triggered when a window or door is opened, when there is motion in a certain area, or if someone steps on an alarmed surface.

Home Security System Installation
The installation of home security systems that include burglar alarms, security alarms, medical and other security concerns.

Home Surveillance System Installation
Electronic devices used to observe areas from a distance are known as home surveillance systems. These usually include cameras and monitored video surveillance features.

 

Home Security Systems and Burglar Alarm Brand Requests
Many manufacturers build and sell home alarms and security systems available in Alameda County. The following are some of the more better-known brands available in Oakland, Dublin, Fremont, Newark, Hayward, Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Emeryville, Komandorski Village, Livermore, Mount Eden, Piedmont, Russell City, San Lorenzo, Sunol and the rest of the Bay Area.

  • Ademco Security
  • ADT Home Security
  • APX Security Systems
  • Brink’s Home Security
  • Broadview Home Security
  • DSC Security
  • GE Home Security
  • Home Guard
  • Honeywell Security
  • Napco Security Systems
  • Simon Home Security
  • Siren Home Security
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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Security Alarm and Home Security System Terms and Definitions

The equipment, tools and terms associated with home security systems and burglar alarms can be confusing to laypeople. The following terms are some you may want to know when dealing with local security system companies. Understanding your options and the contract you sign is of utmost importance, so use the glossary below to gain some background knowledge about the terms used before you begin.

alarm screens
Alarm screens for windows have a wire woven into the screen mesh which will activate an alarm when the screens are cut or removed from the window opening.

Also known as: alarm window screens, alarmed screens, window screens with built-in alarms

automated gate
Automated gates are controlled with a keypad, voice activation or other method to allow people in who are welcomed and to keep out those who do not have permission to enter. Automated gates may be linked to a home via two-way voice systems and camera feeds so occupants can speak with and even see the people ringing at the gate.

Also known as: two-way voice automated gate system

automated security
Automated security systems are designed to deny unauthorized people access to property or items once the automated security alarm is set. These systems will also alert the home or business owner and police of a security breach through home alarms which may be silent or audible.

Also known as: automated security systems, automatic security systems,

battery back-up
A secondary power source that provides power to security systems or home alarms in the event of a main power source failure. Battery backup systems are temporary and will eventually run out of power.

Also known as: battery power backup, secondary power source

burglar alarm
A loud warning sound that alerts the intruder, owner, neighbors, home security monitoring system and police that the security system has been breached. Security sensors are used may be triggered when a window or door is opened, when there is motion in a certain area, or if someone steps on an alarmed surface.

Also known as: home alarm, home security alarm, intruder alarm, alarmed windows, alarmed doors, motion-activated burglar alarm, monitored home alarms

central monitoring station
A central monitoring station is the location of the office that monitors alerts and alarms from home security systems for a given company or service. Emergency signals from your home security system are transmitted to the 24-hour central monitoring station, which them notifies police, firefighter or medic attention, depending on what services are needed.

Also known as: 24-hour monitoring station, burglar alarm monitoring center

closed circuit television
Closed circuit television systems are visual surveillance systems used to monitor inside and outside of homes, businesses, stores and other areas. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only during certain hours. Some are motion-activated and turn on only when there is motion in a specified area. The images are viewed at live monitoring centers or may be recorded for viewing if an emergency or break-in occurs, but they are not broadcast to viewers like television. CCTV systems are often part of home security systems.

Also known as: CCTV, CCTV recording systems, CCTV monitoring centers, motion-activated CCTV, CCTV security systems, two-way CCTV communication systems

digital video monitoring
Digital video monitoring services or systems are used in conjunction with CCTV security systems. The video monitor allows you to view the images from several cameras at the same time. These systems may be used in a central location on-premises (such as a security office) or at an off-site CCTV monitoring station.

Also known as: CCTV digital monitoring, live digital video monitoring services

door alarm
Door alarms create a loud warning signal when the door is opened, closed or otherwise triggered. The alarm sends a signal to the owner, home security monitoring center and police. Door alarms may be wireless or wired, and they may be plugged into a central power system or operated using a battery system.

Also known as: door alarm systems, emergency exit door alarms, burglar alarms on doors

door and window contacts
Door and window contacts are  magnetic contacts that form a circuit between doors and the door frames or windows and window sills. These contacts are broken when the alarmed doors or windows are opened, which sounds the alarm. The alarm may be audible or silent, and may connect to a home security monitoring system or to the police.

Also known as: door alarms, window alarms, window and door alarm systems, security systems for doors and windows

electronic surveillance systems
Electronic surveillance devices include televisions, CCTV systems, digital video recorders or video cameras that monitor activity. These systems are most often used to heighten security of property and detect and prevent crime.

Also known as: CCTV systems, digital video recording systems, electronic monitoring systems

fire alarm
Fire alarms can be triggered by heat or smoke. Home fire alarm systems can be part of total security systems for homes and businesses.

Also known as: home security systems with fire protection, fire monitoring

flood detector
Flood detectors are devices detect the presence of unwanted water and alert the homeowner or business owner before damage occurs. Some flood detectors send out warning alarms that alert to the presence of leaks from pipes, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and other home or business appliances or fixtures. This feature may be part of home or business security systems that also alert the presence of fire, intruders, burglars or motion.

Also known as: flood detection systems, home flood detection

glass break sensor
If a pane of glass is broken or the wood or metal window frame is disturbed, a glass break sensor will trigger and alert the home owner and/or monitoring service of a potential break-in. These are often part of home security systems and monitored burglar alarms.

Also known as: window alarms, glass alarms

home alarm
Warning devices that warn of intruders, fire, smoke, floor or another danger are home alarms. Home alarms are part of a complete home security system and may also send a signal to an alarm monitoring center or first responders.

Also known as: home security system, home alarm system, monitored security systems

home surveillance system
Electronic devices used to observe areas from a distance are known as home surveillance systems. These usually include cameras and monitored video surveillance features.

Also known as: surveillance system, video surveillance system

interior motion detector
Interior motion detectors trigger a home alarm system when they are disrupted. Motion sensors may be made with passive infrared, microwave or photoelectric detectors that sense changes in a room caused the presence of a person or people. Pet-safe motion detectors can be purchased.

Also known as: inside motion detector, motion sensor alarms, motion-activated home alarms

keypad
Keypads control alarm systems. Keypads are devices with a set of buttons usually arranged similarly to a standard telephone touchpad. These keys are used to arm, disarm, set and communicate with the home alarm system.

Also known as: home alarm system keypad, monitored alarm system keypad, security system keypad

light activation security system
Light activated security systems have senors that are connected to security lights. When the sensor is activated, the lights turn on when someone enters a specific zone. After a set time, the lights turn off again. Light activated security systems and security lights may be turned on by remote control, and are often used to deter or prevent crime. They may be used inside or outside.

Also known as: security lights, light activated security systems, movement activated security lights

medical alarm
Medical alarm systems usually include a receiver and a mobile pendant or button. The alarm system signals a medical problem or emergency, and summons emergency medical personnel such as police and ambulance. A medical alarm provides the user with 24/7 access to a monitoring center.

Also known as: medical alert, medical emergency alert system

outdoor surveillance systems
Outdoor security cameras provide surveillance for building exteriors. Outdoor security cameras can be wired or wireless, and are usually weatherproof. These systems are usually monitored by CCTV systems in-house or at monitoring centers.

Also known as: outdoor surveillance cameras, exterior surveillance systems

panic button
Panic buttons are emergency buttons or switches that trigger alarm systems and alert authorities when they are pressed or activated. These are usually part of a whole-house security system, and may be present at businesses and civic offices

Also known as: panic switch, emergency button, emergency switch

pressure mats
Pressure mats can be placed under rugs or flooring, and some look like welcome mats or entrance mats. They react to pressure from footsteps to activate alarms when set.

Also known as: pressure activated security mats, emergency warning floor mats

remote home security systems
Homeowners who want to activate and monitor home security alarm systems from a distance with the push of a button can choose remote home security systems. These home surveillance security packages turn on remotely and provide constant remote monitoring access via the internet. Alerts can consist of a phone call or text to a cell phone that alerts when an alarm is triggered, while others are connected to professional monitoring services.

Also known as: remote access home security systems, remote access burglar alarms, remote home security system monitoring

security cameras
Security camera systems capture images by transforming visible areas observed by cameras into an electric signal to be processed. These may be monitored or recorded for later viewing if an emergency or breach occurs.

Also known as: home security system cameras, CCTV systems, video security systems

security system monitoring
When home security systems, home security sensors or security system detectors are set off, an emergency signal is transmitted either phone lines, the internet or cell towers to a central monitoring station. Upon receiving the signal, professional monitors notify the appropriate authorities, including police, fire, medical or other authorities.

Also known as: security monitoring services, security monitoring, 24/7 security system monitoring services

security system
A security system is a home protection or business protection device that sets off alarms and notifies residents, authorities and the security monitoring center if a sensor is triggered in the case of a possible burglar, intrusion, fire, medical emergency or other issue.

Also known as: home security system, business security system, monitored security system

two-way voice monitoring
A device attached to a home alarm and security system that allows a person to arm and disarm an alarm system from inside or outside a residence. It activates an audio connection to a monitoring center in the event an alarm is triggered which allows the monitoring service to ascertain if it was an accidental trigger or an actual emergency or security breach.

Also known as: two-way keypad, two-way monitoring

wireless home security system
A home security system that doesn’t require wires. Instead, it relies on sensor boxes around doors and windows to transmit signals.

Also known as: wireless security systems, wireless home security cameras

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Frequently Asked Questions
Typical Questions Asked About New Home Security and Burglar Alarm Services

The following questions are those frequently asked of local home security system companies and burglar alarm installers and monitoring companies.

Answers will vary from company to company, and depending on which system and components you choose. So talk with the alarm companies you’re choosing among and find out details regarding the services and systems you’re considering.

However, these are answers you are likely to get.

Q: Why choose Diamond Certified alarm and security system companies?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a alarm and security system companies with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only alarm and security system companies rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified alarm and security system companies.

Q: Can local security system monitoring companies monitor my home or business using my existing security system?

A: Most security system monitoring services can use existing security systems to monitor homes and businesses, if it is a brand and age that they support. If you have an existing security system and you want to continue using that system, talk with the security system monitoring companies you’re interviewing and ask them if your current system fits their monitoring requirements. They may require an upgrade or customization of your current alarm system.

Q: Will the alarm and security system company require me to install proprietary equipment that they alone can use for monitoring?
A: Some burglar alarm companies and security system companies may require you to install equipment or systems only they can use. This may be a ploy to force clients to stay with the security alarm company. You’ll want to verify with the security system contractor you’re hiring that any equipment you buy is universal or can be easily and inexpensively upgraded so that you can use that equipment if you hire another security alarm contractor in the future.

Q: Will I have to sign a lengthy contract for security system monitoring or burglar alarm services?
A: That depends on the company you hire and their contract requirements. Most good companies offer monitoring contracts that last for one to two years. Others have longer contracts, including four and five year agreements. Before you sign any contract, you should understand the length of the contract, any possible cancellation or buy-out details, and penalties you can expect to pay if you try to get out of a contract you’ve signed. If you’re concerned about the length of the contract, talk with the alarm and security system contractor to find out if there is a lesser contract you can sign or if you can choose a trial contract to ensure you’re happy with the services before you sign a long-term agreement.

Q: How long will it take to install my new home alarm security system?
A: Most burglar alarms and home security systems can be installed in a few hours to a full day. However, very complex systems may take several days, depending on the system, the area covered and other details. Your home security system and burglar alarm installer can give you a more exact time estimate for your specific job.

Q:What is two-way voice monitoring? What benefits does it offer?
A: Two-way voice monitoring is a communication device built into a burglar alarm or home security system that allows a monitoring company operator to communicate directly with individuals in the home if an alarm is triggered. Two-way voice monitoring is often beneficial in homes where individuals have medical needs, or in the case of an accident, since you don’t need to use a phone to communicate with the security monitoring personnel. In the case of a burglary, the operator can speak to the burglar or individual who has broken into the home or business and inform them that the police are on their way. Two-way voice monitoring can often be added to alarm systems and security systems that do not have original voice monitoring capabilities.

Q: Will my new home security system make me eligible for a discount on my homeowners insurance?
A: Most insurance companies offer discounts to customers who have security systems and monitored burglar alarms installed in their homes. This can range between five and 20 percent, and bigger discounts may be available if you add features such as fire monitoring, carbon monoxide monitoring or others. Talk with your insurance provider about the discounts you may be eligible for, and any system or service requirements.

Q: Will my home alarm system still work if the power goes out?
A: Almost all modern security systems have battery backups that will keep them running even when power outages occur.

Q: Will my burglar alarms work while I’m home? Or do I have to deactivate them while I’m in my house?
A: Most good burglar alarms and home security systems can remain on while you are in your home or business. In most cases, you can selectively activate and deactivate some sensors and leave others active; for example, you can deactivate inside sensors and leave outside perimeter sensors on, so that your home remains protected while you are inside.

Q: Can I have a home security system installed in an apartment, rental home, condominium or other multi-family or rental home?
A: Most burglar alarm and security system manufacturers offer alarm systems that may be installed without having to drill into walls or permanently install any hardware. These systems can even provide protection in vacation homes, dorm rooms, and other temporary locations.

Q: Can I have an in-home burglar alarm if I have pets?
A: Yes. Most burglar alarms have pet-safe models that don’t have wires to chew and won’t be triggered by pets. Some even offer cameras or window and door sensors to offer you a way to check up on your pets during the day. You may even find additional features, such as notification when dog walkers arrive and leave, or other pet care takers enter and leave your property.

Q: Will I have to pay penalties for false alarms?
A: False alarms happen, and good home security systems and burglar alarm companies will help make these a rare occurrence. Good installation techniques, quality hardware, false-alarm reduction software and training for users can help minimize false alarms. Penalties may be assessed for false alarms depending on the specifics of your home alarm system contract. These can add up quickly, so be sure to ask about any penalties you may have to pay, how much they are and for what they may be assessed.

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