Frequently Asked Questions
Why go with Canadian Security Systems?
We’ve been serving Southern Alberta since 1990. We’ve built our business on giving our clients great service - not keeping them through long term contracts. We are members of CANASA. We educate our customers so that they can make informed decisions. We are upfront and honest with our costs and fees. We use quality products and design systems to fit your needs and budget. We strive to eliminate false alarms. We are here to serve your security needs.
Is there a high pressured sales pitch if I invite a Canadian Security Systems consultant into my home for a free quote?
No. We educate our clients and the public so that they can make an informed decision, rather than pressure them into a sale. Even if you are only considering getting an alarm or camera system, we can talk and educate you about where there might be safety concerns, or weaknesses in your home or business where a burglar might enter.
Do you offer "Free" alarm systems?
No. Some of our competitors will offer you a “free” alarm system, but your monitoring will cost $50-$80 a month and you are required to sign a 3-5 year contract. Do you think they are giving it to you because they like you? Of course not, they are actually having you pay for the system over time. However, after your contract is up because your system was “free,” you can “lock” in that price of $50-$80 for monitoring if you sign another 3-5 year contract. Subsequently, you get to pay for your alarm system for a second or third time.
We believe in being upfront and honest with our customers. This is what you’re paying for equipment; this is what you’re paying for monitoring. Yes. We can sell it to you over time, just like our competitors at a comparable price, but when your contract with us is done; your system has been paid for ONCE. You can then pay for monitoring and don’t have to sign any long term contracts again.
How much does an Alarm System cost?
The cost of an alarm system depends upon the amount of equipment you feel comfortable with. We don’t believe one-size-fits-all when it comes to your security. We custom design your system for your home or business based on your needs and budget.
Do I own or rent the equipment?
You buy and own the equipment and the devices. This way, you are not obligated to monitor with us should our service not be satisfactory to you. We do not rent the equipment out. However we can amortize it for up to 3 years.
If I live in a rental, can I get an alarm system?
Absolutely, we have wireless systems that do little to no damage to the walls of a premise.
Can I use motion detectors if I have pets?
The motion detectors we install are pet friendly. We have detectors that ignore up to 2 pets less than 80lbs. We can also use glass break detectors, shock sensors and other detectors that will allow a pet to be in the building, without creating false alarms.
Can I arm and disarm the system even when I am not home?
Depending on your system and features, you can connect to your panel with a cell phone app to arm, disarm or check the status or even turn on or off your lights, adjust your temperature or lock and unlock your door.
Keyfobs are also available so that you can arm, disarm, and even send in a panic signal from outside your home, for example your driveway or backyard.
How does monitoring work? What happens when my alarm system goes off?
If the alarm system detects an intruder, it sends a code to the monitoring station. The monitoring station will do whatever it is that you want them to do with that information.
We usually have it set up to call the premise first, to make sure it isn’t a false alarm. They then call whomever you want them to call; your cell phone, work number, neighbour, or family member. The monitoring station will call down the list you make until reaching someone to notify them and ask what they would like to be done; dispatch police and meet them there, or check in on it themselves if they feel comfortable with that. If the monitoring station doesn’t reach anyone on the call list, police are dispatched. This helps to reduce false alarms.
Why monitor alarm systems at all?
There are many reasons to have a monitored alarm system. To name a few: 24 hour protection whether you are home or away, reduced insurance premiums, reduction of personal liability, immediate panic alarm response, crime deterrent decals and signs, reduction of loss due to burglary or fire, readily identifiable type of alarm (fire, burglar, medical), but most importantly peace of mind.
Can you monitor the alarm system that I already have?
Yes, in most cases we can. It depends on the brand and the make. We would need to test all the devices, so the best thing to do would be to contact us and we would send someone out to check your system.
How much does monitoring cost?
Prices vary depending on what features you would like, but our ULC listed monitoring for a basic landline starts at $17.95 a month, with no long term contract. Our ULC listed celluar monitoring starts at $27.95 a month, with no long term contract.
I am a responder (on someone's call list for the monitoring station). What are my responsibilities?
If the monitoring station calls to inform you that an alarm has been set off, you are responsible to direct them as to what you would like to happen. We encourage you to tell them to dispatch the authorities and meet them outside the premise. You can tell them to not dispatch police, that you will look into it yourself. If you do look into it yourself, check all around the perimeter of the building and look for points of entry and be extremely cautious. Never approach a suspect, instead call the authorities. Looking into it yourself can help reduce false alarms.
What happens during a power failure?
During a power failure, your system will automatically switch to the backup battery. When the power is restored, the battery will recharge. The alarm panel also tests your backup battery periodically to make sure it is working and charged, or to see if it needs to be replaced.
What if my phone line is cut?
The system will continue to work, but it won’t be able to send codes to the monitoring station if only connected to a landline. We can add a cell module unit to your panel so it can send signals over the cell network. In the unlikely chance the phone line is cut, the cell unit will continue to send signals to the monitoring station.
What if I don't have a landline?
If you don’t have a landline we can add a cell unit to the panel so it can communicate over the cell network. We also have systems that run on internet and cell for extra protection.
Will VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or digital phone lines work with my alarm system?
Most VOIP and digital phone lines will communicate with your alarm system. However there are some that have a hard time, or can’t communicate using data streams. Check with your VOIP provider.
Do I get a discount on my insurance if I have a monitored burglar or fire system?
Most insurance companies will offer a discount on your homeowner’s policy if your alarm system is monitored. If you monitor your smoke detectors or water sensors, most insurance companies will increase that discount. They do this because it increases their chance to not have to pay you for a claim. For more information on potential discounts, check with your insurance provider.
Am I responsible for testing my system?
We set up your panel to do a daily or weekly communication test with the monitoring station. If you have our maintenaince program, we do 1 free inspection and test a year. All other testing should be done by yourself periodically.
To test your system:
- Put your system on test at the monitoring station;
- Arm your system;
- Set off all of your sensors;
- Check the monitoring station to see what signals they have received;
- Remove from testing status.
If you require more assistance with this, please contact us.
What do I do if I accidently set off the alarm?
Turn the alarm off using your 4-digit code. The monitoring station may have started their calling process, but the moment they receive the code, they know that someone with authority is on the premise, and no further actions will be taken.
What is the fee for a false alarm?
It is only considered to be a false alarm if police attend to the premise. If they are down the street on their way but are called off, that shouldn’t be counted as a false alarm. Currently, in the city of Lethbridge, you are allowed 2 free false alarms a year. The third false alarm, you will be fined $75 for residences and $150 for businesses. This fee is raised every false alarm thereafter. For more information, contact your local authorities.
What if I have a system and want to move. Can I take it with me?
Yes. Let us know before you move for assistance in removing the devices. We may also be able to install it in your new location.
How do I change my code? How do I change the phone numbers on my calling list? What if I need service?
Contact us, we’ll be happy to serve you. Having the most up to date information on your account also helps reduce false alarms.