Looking at Charlotte’s demographics, crime stats, and weather, we’ve narrowed down our top three picks for Charlotte home security to ADT Security, Frontpoint, and Vivint. These three companies deliver innovative security solutions to residential homes like yours across the country. Whether you’re looking to create a smart home hub or just to add some motion detectors to your living room, ADT, Frontpoint, and Vivint will get you there.
Frontpoint offers Charlotte customers the best overall value. Not only is their equipment reliable, but their customer service team is too. You can reach a respectful, helpful representative at any time of day. That’s peace of mind you won’t find with another company. Frontpoint even has an A+ rating with the BBB.
With Frontpoint, you can choose your own equipment or select an equipment bundle. Basic equipment includes a central hub and keypad, door/window sensors, and glass break sensors. Add-on items include smart lightbulbs, water sensors, freeze sensors, security cameras, and a garage door controller. Plus, all Frontpoint equipment is compatible with Z-wave technology. You can purchase third-party smart home devices and pair them with your system.
If you’re a renter, Frontpoint equipment won’t damage your walls, but it might damage your wallet. Only homeowners who sign on for a three-year contract are eligible for Frontpoint’s best prices. Renters, who can only sign on for a one-year contract, pay full price for equipment. Monitoring fees range from $34.99 to $49.99 per month.
Great for Charlotte Renters
Nearly half of all Charlotte housing units are occupied by renters. If you’re one of these renters, Frontpoint is for you. Frontpoint gives you the innovative smart home security system you want without destroying your walls. Instead of requiring nails or screws, Frontpoint’s system sticks on your walls with a strong adhesive backing. Best of all, the landlord-friendly backing won’t harm the walls.
Unlike ADT and Vivint, Frontpoint doesn’t require a technician to visit your home. You can stick up the system yourself in under 30 minutes. Have questions during installation? Frontpoint’s stellar customer service team will walk you through it.
Yard and Car Protection
Turn to Frontpoint if you want to protect your home’s exterior or your vehicle. They sell stickers, outdoor cameras, and garage door sensors, all of which can help you keep your property safe. Charlotte is a very car-oriented city and unfortunately also has a high auto theft rate, especially in East Charlotte. If you own a car, take advantage of Frontpoint’s outdoor equipment.
Frontpoint’s home security cameras will deter criminals, scaring them off before they even attempt to steal your car off the streets. It might seem hard to believe, but car thieves steal cars right out of garages too. Frontpoint’s garage door controller links to your phone, so you can close your garage door remotely if you forgot. While ADT and Vivint do sell similar equipment, Frontpoint’s falls on the more affordable side.
If you plan to create a smart home fortress, Vivint is for you. They seamlessly combine top-notch security equipment with smart home compatibility, giving you voice and remote control over your house. Vivint does fall on the pricier side, but you won’t be disappointed.
All Vivint packages include a touchscreen panel, two Google Home Minis, and six smart sensors. Sensor options include door/window, motion detectors, glass break detectors, flood/freeze detectors, and smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. If you have the money, you can add on a doorbell camera, garage door controller, indoor/outdoor cameras, or smart thermostat.
Vivint’s monitoring costs range from $39.99 to $49.99 per month. Equipment bundles start at $700 and go up to $1800. If you have a decent credit score, you might qualify for their monthly flex pay program. It lets you pay off equipment monthly throughout your five-year contract period. Vivint also charges for professional installation and relocation if you move. Costs vary depending on the promotions offered when you inquire about service.
Great for Airbnb Hosts
Hundreds of Charlotte residents rent out their homes, apartments, and condos each year, welcoming in tourists from around the country. If you rent out your home to tourists, a home security system will make this venture a lot safer. Vivint’s smart keypad lock gives you more control over who enters your home. Instead of handing a renter a key (that they could potentially copy), you simply assign them a code to punch into the keypad lock. Remove the code from the Vivint app when their trip is over to avoid unwanted return visitors.
Since Vivint prioritizes smart home automation, its equipment is compatible with Google Home and Alexa devices. This is a great perk to advertise with your rental unit. Guests can control the lights and thermostat with just the sound of their voice. Plus, when you’re away, you’re still connected to your home. You’ll know right away if something happens like a fire or a break-in.
False Alarm Reduction
No one wants to waste police resources. Unfortunately, false alarms caused by home security systems happen a lot in Charlotte. Vivint’s Extended Entry Delay feature helps to reduce this number. After arming your Vivint alarm system, you have a two-minute re-entry window. You can come back inside to grab your keys, lunch, briefcase, or whatever you forgot. Your alarm won’t immediately go off. Instead, you get a 90-second window of time to disarm your system again. Don’t like the thought of leaving the system unarmed? You can always turn the feature off.
ADT has a recognizable logo and a long-standing reputation as a reliable home security company. When criminals see that blue octagonal logo on your home, they’ll know to stay away. The company offers several packages and plans, making it easy to find something in your budget.
All ADT packages include a control panel, door and window sensors, a keychain remote, a backup battery, a yard sign, window decal, and a high-decibel siren. Additional add-on items include environmental sensors like smoke alarms, CO monitors, water sensors, indoor/outdoor cameras, and a smart thermostat.
ADT typically charges an upfront equipment fee, unless you choose their $19.99 per month monitoring-only plan. Additional equipment costs vary depending on the packages and add-on items you choose. Monthly plans start at $29.99 per month and go up to around $60 per month. The upper-tier plans include smart home automation and live video monitoring.
Affordable Monitoring-Only Option
Smart home security equipment, long-term contracts, and large monthly fees aren’t doable for all Charlotte families. The cost is just too high. Unfortunately, crime usually strikes in the poorest Charlotte neighborhoods. Neighborhoods like Pinecrest, Tyron Hills, Arbor Glen, and Smallwood all have high crime rates and a low median income. ADT’s monitoring-only option offers safety and peace of mind at a more affordable price point. The plan starts at just $19.99 per month and essentially just adds monitoring services to your own home security equipment. This gives you more control over where you buy the equipment and how much you spend.
Nearly 10% of Charlotte’s population is made up of individuals ages 65+. ADT knows how to take care of seniors. They sell three tiers of medical alert systems. Costs range from $29.99 per month for the landline-required system to $39.99 per month for the on-the-go, GPS tracking device. Using the pendant button, seniors can immediately connect with a senior-sensitive trained specialist who can then call 911 if needed. Safety services like this can make all the difference, especially for seniors who live alone.
Local Home Security Systems in Charlotte
Going with a national home security company gives you a lot of flexibility. You can take the system with you if you move and you can nearly always get in touch with a customer service representative. However, going local is always an option, especially if you’ve laid down roots in Charlotte.
By looking at Google customer reviews, we’ve compiled a list of your four best local home security options in Charlotte. Check out their websites and compare their services to ADT, Frontpoint, and Vivint.
- CPI Security Systems
- JSB Security Solutions Inc.
- Security Consult Inc.
- Phoenix Custom Systems
The Need for Home Security in Charlotte, NC
Crime and the environment threaten your home the most. In Charlotte, investing in a home security system will protect your home and family in case of an attempted break-in, fire, or storm.
Crime Rates in Charlotte, NC
In Charlotte, North Carolina, crime isn’t hard to find. This city is only safer than 8% of U.S. Cities. That’s expected given its large 800,000+ population. However, when compared only with areas of a similar size, Charlotte is a lot safer. This is an excellent sign. It means that Charlotte has found ways to manage crime despite the high number of residents. In fact, Charlotte’s crime rates have shown drastic improvement from 2002 to 2014 according to City-Data.com. Incidents of auto theft, burglary, and arson have declined the most.
Improvement is great, but Charlotte still has a crime problem. Property crime rates, which include auto theft, theft, burglary, and arson, far exceed the national average. Your chances of falling victim are about 1 in 26. Theft and burglary account for roughly 75% of all crime in the city. Violent crime rates, which include murder, rape, robbery, and assault, are just below the national median.
Crime density varies between neighborhoods too. Areas like Tryon Hills and Lockwood tend to be more crime dense than places like Olde Providence or Pine Ridge. Knowing the crime trends in your neighborhood will help you make the best decisions about your home security system. CrimeMapping.com makes this easy. Charlotte’s police department submits crime data to the mapping service, so you can easily see what’s happening in your neighborhood. Type in your address and sort by crime type and date.
See any crime patterns in your neighborhood? Use that information to guide your decision. For example, if your general area has had a lot of home break-ins recently, you don’t want to delay installing an alarm system. If you’re at home during the day, you could consider either ADT or Vivint. They both offer same or next-day installation. Plus, ADT’s Charlotte store has great customer reviews. Busy or home during odd hours? Frontpoint’s one-day shipping and DIY installation is a great option too.
Charlotte, NC Climate
Charlotte’s humid subtropical climate and geographic location both threaten your home’s security. The city sits right in the path of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, causing a lot of rain and storms. Charlotte averages 41.6 inches of precipitation each year. The majority comes in the form of rain, but it also snows an average of four inches in January and February. Winter temperatures drop below freezing 59 nights per year, which means pipes can freeze.
If you’ve struggled with flooding or frozen pipes in the past, Vivint, ADT, and Frontpoint all offer solutions. Take Vivint for example. Their flood/temperature sensor sends out an alert when temperatures fall below a preset limit or the sensor detects moisture. Set it up near your pipes in the basement or your washing machine. The sensor will let you know if there’s a reason to go check things out.
In the summer, Charlotte heats up. The average July temperature is a humid 78.5 °F. Forty-four days per year hit or exceed 90°F. For days like these, a smart thermostat comes in handy. Vivint’s Element thermostat and ADT’s smart thermostat let you schedule your home’s temperature. During the summer, keep the AC off or on low while you’re at work and have it kick back on twenty minutes before you return home. The thermostats also link to your phone, sending you a notification if your home is too hot or cold. Adjusting your home’s temperature from your phone—or even with your voice–takes no time at all. With a smart thermostat, you can easily cut down your energy bill.
Emergency Responders in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
There’s a reason Charlotte has seen a steady decrease in crime since 2002. The city has the largest police department between D.C. and Atlanta. About 1,900 police officers and 475 civilian staff members work for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). This gives Charlotte a high police-to-citizen ratio, which is great news for you.
Officer work across 13 patrol divisions. For consistency, patrol officers work on a Response Area Team. They get to know their assigned response area and, because of this connection, feel more compelled to help reduce crime. To find contact information for the patrol team in your neighborhood, click here.
The CMPD also divides officers amongst several units, which include the following:
- Scuba Team
- Highway Interdiction Traffic Safety
- Bomb Squad
- Cyber Crimes
- Auxiliary Police
- Crime Scene Search
- Street Crimes
- Bike Unit
- Animal Control & Animal Care
False Alarm Reduction Unit
Another unit that you need to know about is the CMPD’s False Alarm Reduction Unit. Unfortunately, home security systems in Charlotte often do more harm than good. Each year, the CMPD receives more than 50,000 response requests from burglar alarms. Ninety-eight percent of these calls end up being false alarms. These false alarms waste police manhours reduce response times to real emergencies, and cost the department a lot of money.
This is where the False Alarm Reduction Unit comes in. They oversee alarm permits and false alarm fees. In Charlotte, all electronic burglar alarm system owners must purchase an alarm permit. Permits are free and valid for a full 12-month period. Online permit applications take 10 days to process, so apply for one as soon as you decide on an alarm company.
Three or more false alarms in any given permit year are considered excessive. Given that determination, false alarm fees are as follows:
|False Alarm Number||Fee For Each|
You have 30 days from the time of invoice to pay a false alarm fee. If you fail to pay on time, police will stop responding to alarm signals from your home. This would leave your house vulnerable, so be sure to make any payments on time.
Of course, being smart about what alarm system you choose can help you avoid false alarm fees altogether. Dogs, improper alarm usage, and overly sensitive monitors are just some of the causes of false burglar alarms. Have a small or medium-sized dog? Frontpoint sells infrared motion detectors that won’t detect pets weighing under 40 pounds. You can let your dog(s) roam free while you’re at work without worrying about your precious pets triggering the alarm system.
Along with selling similar infrared sensors, ADT offers alarm patrol services. For an added monthly fee and a two-year contract, you can sign up for the Alarm Response Program. Alarm Response Officers will respond to active alarms, patrol the grounds around your home, and wait with you until police arrive. If you’re away and think the alarm may be false, an Alarm Response Officer can check the scene to verify. You’ll find out if your house is okay without risking the false alarm fee.
Citizens on Patrol (COPS)
To free up trained officers’ time, the CMPD trains volunteers to become COPS or Citizens on Patrol. COPS volunteers help reduce crime and improve the local community. Most importantly, they make it possible for police officers to spend more of their time responding to emergent calls. COPS road patrol duties include enforcing parking violations, patrolling residential areas and parks, reporting suspicious activity, assisting disabled motorists, directing traffic in case of an accident, and checking for abandoned cars and graffiti. COPS lake patrol duties include promoting water and boat safety.
Volunteers wear special uniforms and drive cars or vessels issued by the police department. COPS members don’t carry weapons and can’t arrest anyone, but they’re vital to the fight against crime in Charlotte. You can even request a COPS vacation home check if you live in the University, North, or Steel Creek patrol areas. A volunteer will visit your home, look for suspicious activity, and relocate your mail to an agreed upon location. This free service provides added peace of mind while you’re away.
Charlotte Fire Department
In Charlotte, about 660 full-time firefighters and EMS personnel respond to more than 100,000 calls each year. Another 500 employees help behind the scenes and part-time. The Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) operates 42 stations, spreading resources across the city to help decrease response times. Employees operate 42 fire engines, 16 fire trucks, 2 heavy rescue vehicles, 6 water tenders, 4 HAZMAT vehicles, 2 fireboats, and 4 rescue boats.
If you experience a fire or medical emergency, you want a fast response. In a big, traffic-heavy city like Charlotte it’s a lot harder than you might think. From 2007 to 2005, the CFD improved response times by 14% despite the number of calls increasing. However, they still aren’t meeting their goal. The Department aims to respond to all emergencies within six minutes at least 90 percent of the time. In 2018, the goal was hit just 83% of the time.
The CFD might not be reaching their goal, but they still hold an ISO rating of one. This is the highest rating a fire department can achieve. It means that you have top-quality fire fighters responding when you need them and a lower insurance premium too.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
To keep residents fire smart, the CFD hands out free smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and deaf or hard-of-hearing alarms to all residents. You can request a free alarm here.
While free is great, monitored smoke alarms are even better. ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint all sell smoke/carbon monoxide alarms that send out alerts if activated. This means you don’t have to be home to know what’s happening in your home.