It has been just over one year that we’ve had our home security system. I am so happy we finally got one! It was something I had always wanted because I am the person who analyzes every little noise I hear. And I typically wake Jason up to ask if he heard it, too, which is annoying when it happens every night for three years. And that was when Jason was home!
Now can you imagine what I was like when Jason was traveling? He used to travel a lot more for work before Ben was born. When he was gone overnight, I did one of two things,
1| Had one of my brothers come stay at our house with us. This usually worked out pretty well, even if it was for 5 nights, because they could take turns (lol).
2| I would stay up late watching TV in bed, with my giant, heavy dresser in front of my bedroom door, both kids in our room, both of them constantly stirring because of the light from the TV. None of us slept well.
Last summer, right when I was about to return to work from my maternity leave with Ben, my anxiety was at an all time high. My worst anxiety times have always been at night. I would lay awake for hours in bed every night. Usually we are in bed by 10PM and it would be 3AM before my brain would let itself rest enough to fall asleep. Jason finally took me up on my many requests to look in to a home security system.
I decided to get quotes from the three companies I had heard of most. The first was a local company, Per Mar. They were the company used by my previous employer located here in the Quad Cities. Knowing that department store had multiple stores/office building, and trusted them with their security was a plus. Anytime I had to interact with them on behalf of my employer, they were always pleasant to work with. The other two companies were national brands used by other previous employers in college or in friends’ homes.
For all three companies, I filled out the Quote Request forms on their website. All three of them responded to me quickly, but in different ways. Per Mar, I had chosen I wanted to receive my information in an email. So I received an email (that same day) from a Salesman at Per Mar. He requested some basic information from me about our home and asked if we could set up a time for him to come give us a quote.
The second company I heard back from was the one that is probably most widely known. They are nationwide and they work with contractors located in different areas. I received a call from one of their salesmen in Florida (We live in Iowa). He was a true salesman. He was trying to close the sale at the end of every statement. And when I asked for pricing he said he needed my SSN to let me know what deals I would be approved for. (Get. Out.) By the time we hung up, over 45 mins later, we had made an appointment for someone to come give us a recommendation for the proper equipment at 5PM that Friday.
Guess who showed up at 5PM that same day? Their installation technician. He told Jason he was there to give us our quote and TO INSTALL OUR SECURITY SYSTEM. Jason had to tell him 5 times that we were still working with other companies and were NOT interested in having our installation done that day. He finally told him we were cancelling the appointment we had scheduled for Friday and we would be in contact if we were interested in rescheduling.
The main point of me seeking out a security system was to feel safe in my home. And knowing this company had done the complete opposite, from the pushy salesman who asked for my SSN 5 mins in to our call, to the installation technician who showed up 4 days early and was equally as pushy, it just gave us both a horrible feeling.
The third company also worked with regional contractors. We received standard pricing information from them but put them on the back burner pending our visit from Per Mar’s salesman.
When the salesman from Per Mar showed up later in the week, he couldn’t have been friendlier! He was great with the kids and was able to give me a lot of great security insight about our home. He went over different types of protection (glass break sensors vs. open window sensors, the mobile app vs. the key fob, etc.) and really left the ball in our court in terms of timeline and next steps. I loved that he was open to having our conversation via email (when the other companies were set on phone calls) because it was much easier for me to keep track of the various pricing and options available when it was written out in black and white. It also made a world of difference in terms of being able to have Jason in the loop, since he was able to see word for word what I was seeing. When I have to read my notes back to him, I get worried I’m remembering something wrong!
It did take close to two weeks before we were able to schedule our installation time. Obviously, the time of your installation depends on what products you choose. Our installation tech was as friendly as our salesman, which is something I always worry about whenever we have had any type of technician in our home (in the past few years we have had professionals here for our heater, garage door, roof, and painters). We always rely on positive reviews from our family and friends because we don’t want to let just anyone into our home. Our installation tech was quick and really, you wouldn’t have known he was here! His tools were fairly quiet, he was quiet when he was going in and out of the doors running wiring and getting the things he was installing.
Once everything was installed, he went through the security panel with me. He let me practice on it to make sure I was comfortable. He also showed me how to set up a profile to be able to access their mobile app. Once I had a profile, I downloaded the app and he made sure I understood how to use it. The app has been updated a handful of times in the past year, and every time they come up with some way to make it better! When my mom has stayed overnight with the kids the past few months, she LOVES the security system. She was also worried about not being able to work it. But I was able to easily create her an account and PIN for our panel so she didn’t have to try to remember our logins or our PIN numbers. She was impressed with how easy it was to use.
In the past year, we have had our alarm go off a few times. Thankfully, it’s never been because we were really in danger. It’s always been one of us! Once Blaire set off a motion sensor looking for us (lol!) and Jason and I have also done that in our late-night haziness when getting up to make a bottle for Ben. We have always received immediate contact any time our alarm has gone off.
We also have the fob remote because I love the idea of having the panic button to immediately dispatch police.
A home security system, for me, offers so much more than protection from break-ins. Having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors connected to your system so they can dispatch help if either of them goes off is just as important to me as the thought of knowing it will go off if someone tries to break in to our home. And their pet stickers let first responders know how many of each type of pet is in our home in case of emergency.
We have had a great experience with Per Mar for the past year. Per Mar Security Systems was founded in 1953, they are still family-owned and based in Davenport, Iowa. They are the largest family owned, full-service security provider in the Midwest with 22 branches across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They also prioritize giving back to their local communities, which you know is important to me!
Feeling safe in my home, especially as our family grows, is one of the most important things to me. I want my kids to feel safe in our home. I don’t want them to grow up with the same fears I have had of house fires and break ins. When Blaire is worried about something under her bed or because her curtains are “moving” from the fan, I love that when all of my other explanations fail, she is reassured when I remind her about our security system that keeps the “bad guys” out.
We have paid for our Per Mar security system ourselves. After one year of excellent service, I reached out to give them my feedback from our initial search through our first 12 months with their service. This post contains that feedback. All thoughts and opinions are my own.