Property crime in Kansas City, Missouri might be on the decline, but that doesn’t mean you can relax just yet. Any city as large as this one still faces its share of crime. Your chances of becoming a victim to property crime in Kansas City are 1 in 23. Some crimes are out of your control, but others are completely within your power to prevent. In 2018, Police attributed a surge in burglaries to residents having a false sense of security. Homeowners and renters frequently leave front doors, side doors, back doors, and garage doors unlocked or open.
Do you feel too safe or forget to lock and close doors when you leave? If so, a little help can help you avoid making a costly mistake. Home security systems do more than just sound an alarm when window breaks or a door opens. They keep you connected to your home at all times, so you can lock your front door from miles away.
Our top three picks for home security in Kansas City give you the control and convenience you need. You’ll find a wide range of price points and innovative equipment. Not matter how many or how few features you want, ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint have a solution for you.
Interested in transforming your home into a futuristic smart home fortress? From smart locks to remote thermostat control to sleek doorbell cameras, Vivint has what you need. Lots of home security systems these days integrate home automation, but Vivint takes it to the next level. The Vivint SkyApp and SkyControl Panel make Vivint one of the easiest systems to use. If you’re a newbie, the technology might take you a minute or so to figure out, but once you do, you’ll be amazed.
Vivint’s smart home system can lower your power bills, protect your home, and make life more convenient. This security company loves home automation so much that all of its packages come with some type of home automation equipment. Just the basic package includes six smart sensors, a touch screen panel, and two Google Home minis. Prefer Alexa? Vivint’s system works with her too.
If forgetfulness is your downfall, make Vivint your new best friend. Vivint’s smart keypad lock eliminates the need for keys. Simply assign family members a personalized key code to use instead. Did someone forget to lock up? Lock and arm the door right from the Vivint SkyApp. The keypad gives you complete control over your home’s main entry point. Pair it with the Vivint doorbell camera for even more control. It offers two-way talk from the app, so you can create the illusion that you’re home.
With Vivint, your garage door is covered too. You may think that motor vehicle theft only happens in dark alleyways or poorly lit parking lots but that’s not the case. Criminals in Kansas City have actually stolen cars right out of home garages. Motor vehicle theft is prevalent here, so don’t get taken advantage of. Vivint’s Smart Garage Door Opener lets you open and close your garage from your phone even if you’re miles away. Never again will you have to worry about your car’s safety.
Sure, Vivint is futuristic and convenient, but it isn’t for everyone. This high-end security company works best for those with a high budget for home security. Equipment costs range from $700 to $1800. Financing equipment over five years makes things more manageable, but only those with a 600+ credit score will qualify.
Founded in 1874, ADT offers the most experience and widespread brand name recognition. Feel comforted knowing that ADT Security has more than six million subscribers. If something goes wrong with your system, a break-in happens, or your fire alarm goes off, you can trust that ADT specialists have handled it before. You can also trust that criminals will recognize that blue ADT octagonal logo. That alone can make a potential intruder change their mind.
What’s really nice about ADT is that they’ve moved into the future without leaving the past behind. Landline users can still purchase a hardwired system that connects to their landline. This is great news for more rural areas outside of Kansas City that don’t have the best cell service. While landline-based systems do have their disadvantages,–like lack of security during a phone line outage–they are more affordable. And, in any large city, having any type of security system is certainly better than none at all. Plans start at just $27.99, making this the most affordable plan of our top three picks.
For a bare bones approach that works faster and is more reliable than hardwired systems, ADT has the Basic Security + Wireless Connect. It uses cell radio to contact monitoring stations and works better during a power or phone line outage. This option costs $48.99 per month, which still makes it more expensive than Frontpoint’s basic plan.
So, what does ADT’s basic plan get you in Kansas City? All basic packages come with 24/7/365 monitoring, a control panel, a base system, one motion sensor, wireless sensors, a wireless remote, a backup battery, a yard sign, and window decals. Need help with something? ADT’s customer service team will respond promptly and offer solutions. While Frontpoint still powers forward with the best customer service, ADT still comes in ahead of Vivint in this category.
ADT does play the home automation game too, but they can’t keep up with Vivint. The ADT Pulse Monitoring plan costs $52.99 (more expensive than Vivint) and doesn’t come with video surveillance. For video, you’ll need to shell out $58.99 per month. This might seem steep, but it can actually save you money in the long run. Kansas City charges false alarm fees when you have more than two false alarms in a year. ADT’S video camera comes with remote viewing access through the ADT Pulse app. When your alarm activates, open up the app and check out the live stream. If it was just your dog knocking over the trashcan, you can disarm your system and avoid a fee.
Turn to Frontpoint if you need a security system and you need it fast. They offer overnight shipping on their website, and you can install everything yourself. You won’t have to save up for pricey installation or move around your schedule to make time for professional installation. You can have a Frontpoint system up and running in less than 24 hours. If you live at the corner of Independence and Prospect, this is great news.
Not only is that neighborhood the most dangerous in Kansas City, but it’s also one of the most dangerous in the entire country. Prostitution, rape, drugs, and theft are all prevalent. Your chances of becoming a victim to a violent crime are 1 in 10. That’s staggering compared to the citywide 1 in 23 figure. Visible outdoor cameras on your property can help better your odds. They’ll deter street crime and signal to perpetrators that your home is armed. Best of all Frontpoint’s outdoor cameras start at just $199.
Frontpoint’s GE equipment is reliable, innovative, and affordable. But, you don’t have as many options when it comes to smart home automation. That’s not to say you should count them out. All of Frontpoint’s equipment is Z-Wave compatible. This is the most common frequency range used by big brands like GE, Nest, and Honeywell. While going with a 3rd party for vendor for additional equipment might seem like a hassle, it can end up saving you a lot of money.
Another big perk with Frontpoint system is its tornado readiness. Frontpoint’s 24-hour back-up battery and alert system have you covered in Tornado Alley. This system’s wireless, battery-equipped components communicate via cell towers with the Frontpoint monitoring system. This means reliable home security even when phone lines or power lines go down during a storm. Best of all, Frontpoint lets you know via a mobile notification when power goes out and turns back on. If you left before the tornado to seek shelter elsewhere, you’ll know when it’s time to return home.
Comparing Kansas City Home Security Systems
|Contract Length||36 Months||12-36 Months||42-60 Months|
|System Type||Wired & Wireless||Wireless||Wireless|
|Connection Type||Landline & Cellular||Cellular||Cellular|
|Cameras||Indoor, Outdoor & Doorbell||Indoor, Outdoor & Doorbell||Indoor, Outdoor & Doorbell|
False Alarm Fees in Kansas City, Missouri
Home security and responsibility go hand in hand. It’s up to you to learn how your security system works and to use it properly. If you don’t, you could end up doing more harm than good. Nationwide, police and fire departments waste manpower, money, and time responding to false alarms. In fact, upwards of 95% of all calls initiated by a home security system are false alarms. Treat the KCPD and KCFD with respect and save yourself some money by being smart.
In an effort to reduce false alarms, the KCPD requires every alarm user to purchase an alarm permit for $48. Think you can get away with not having one? You can’t. Police won’t respond to alarm activations at your address until you buy one. It’s not worth the risk. The cost for renewal depends on how many false alarm activations you had during your permit year.
- Two or fewer: Renews automatically for free
- Three to five: $56 per false alarm plus $168 for permit renewal
- Six or more: Mandatory attendance at a False Alarm Class
As soon as you choose a security system, fill out the alarm permit application and mail in or phone in your payment. The KCPD accepts money orders, checks, and credit card payments. Make payments payable to the Board of Police Commissioners and send them to:
Kansas City Police Department
Alarm Administrator1125 Locust
Kansas City, MO 64106
Who Takes the Calls?
Monitoring companies across the country phone in to emergency call centers every day. In Kansas City, 9-1-1 dispatchers send out these calls to the Kansas City Police Department and Kansas City Fire Department. Both departments work to keep Kansas City, Missouri safe and rely on community efforts to clear out local crime.
With a home security system, you know about crimes or a fire as soon as it’s happening. You or your monitoring company can immediately call it in. But, how long until you actually get a response from that quick call? If you need police, you may find yourself waiting. Despite budget increases, the KCPD hasn’t had enough officers patrolling the streets in years. Expect long response times unless you’re lucky enough to have an office close by when you need one. As of 2018, the situation is under review. This could lead to better response times in the future.
If the thought of waiting a while for a response bothers you, ADT has just the solution. The ADT Alarm Response program sends an Alarm Response Officer to your home when your alarm activates. He or she can stay with you until police arrive and patrol the ground in case the threat returns. Even when your alarm doesn’t go off, Alarm Response Officers can provide a general security presence around your home by vehicle or by foot. Sounds like a sweat deal, but only for those who can afford it. The service costs extra and you’ll have to sign on for a two-year contract.
Kansas City Police Department
The KCPD embraces the motto, “To Serve and Protect.” Its 1,300 officers work around the clock to answer your calls for help, patrol the streets, solve crime, and engage the community. Transparency lies at the heart of their service too. That’s why the KCPD partners with CrimeReports.com.
Visit the website to see timely information about crimes happening in your city. Type in your address for more localized results. The interactive map breaks down crimes by type and lets you choose between map, satellite, and terrain view. Use the CrimeReports website to set up customized alerts too.
As you look around on the site, you’ll quickly realize that crime isn’t spread throughout the city equally. KCPD officers have their work cut out for them in areas like Northland, Shoal Creek, Independence and Prospect, and Troost Avenue. Choose at least a bare bottom security system if you live in these areas. ADT or Frontpoint will do. Getting to know your local police officers and joining or starting a neighborhood group will give you peace of mind too.
The Kansas City Police Department’s Crime Prevention officers believe that you are the key to lowering crime rates in the city. On the KCPD website, it reads, “All criminal activity requires three things: a desire to do the crime, an opportunity to commit the crime, and the ability/target to perform the crime. Without any one, the ‘tripod’ cannot stand.” Neighborhood Watch and the Crime-Free Multi-Housing program equip you to dismantle that tripod.
Neighborhood watch groups in Kansas City range in size. Some work to keep 3,000-house areas safe while others focus on smaller blocks. No matter the size, these groups help. When organized groups of neighbors that agree to look out for one another, they can actually deter criminals. Say a criminal drives by and smashes your neighbor’s mailbox. You hear the noise and instead of minding your own business, you peek outside and catch the license plate number. Then, you call it in to the police and let your neighbor know. Simple actions like that help the police track down thieves. Once the criminals know that your neighborhood is proactive, they’ll take their “business” elsewhere.
The Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) program tries to do a similar thing for apartment buildings. Landlords or property managers work with police to eliminate crime on the premises through training and property surveys. Ideally, the CFMH program reduces local crime, reduces a landlord’s exposure to civil liability, and creates a more stable tenant base. These end goals benefit everyone involved.
In Kansas City, catching bad guys is as simple as buying an outdoor camera. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but it’s an easy way for you to help out. Kansas City can’t possibly afford to outfit every street with a surveillance camera. However, they can ask for your help. If you decide to add an outdoor camera to your home, you’re doing more than just protecting yourself, your property, and your family. You’re helping your neighbors and fellow Kansas City residents too.
The WatchKC program creates a map of home and business security cameras in the Kansas City area. When crime strikes, detectives refer to the map and look for nearby security cameras. They contact the owner and request footage for the time of the crime. It’s an innovative, cost-saving way for the KCPD to catch criminals.
You can join WatchKC by filling out the online form. You really have nothing to lose. Police do not have access to your live feed; they’ll just contact you if a crime happens nearby and request footage. Plus, you can opt out of the program at any time.
Choosing an outdoor camera from Vivint, Frontpoint, or ADT really will give police a leg up on criminals. These state-of-the-art security cameras link up with your mobile device, capture movement from up to 40 feet away, and utilize infrared LED night vision. Vivint’s outdoor camera even offers HD resolution.
Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD)
The KCFD offers fire protection, EMS, emergency rescue, and hazardous materials response for everyone living in Kansas City. In 2010, KCFD merged with Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust, Kansas City’s ambulance service. Keeping firefighters and EMS personnel on the same team makes it easier for everyone to do their jobs.
Uniformed employees work for one of six bureaus: Community Services, Professional Development, Technical Services, Special Operations, Emergency Operations, and the Emergency Medical Bureau. Fire fighters and EMS all work out of 34 fire stations spread throughout the city. Look at how well the KCFD is equipped to handle any emergency that arises:
- 34 fire engines
- 12 fire trucks
- 3 tillers
- 9 platforms
- 8 rescue squads
- 3 heavy rescue vehicles
- 22 ambulances
- 2 hazardous material apparatuses
- 5 airport crash tenders
- 4 wildland fire engines
- 8 rescue boats
- 1 light and air unit
It’s great to know that the KCFD has so many resources. But, it’s your job to make sure you never need them. Installing smoke detectors in your home can help ensure that a smoky oven doesn’t turn into full-fledged kitchen fire. Smoke detectors sold by ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint link up with your home security system. They’ll go off as soon as high heat or a whiff of smoke is detected. You’ll get an alert on your phone, so you can act accordingly no matter where you are.
The KCFD recommends installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Sounds pricey! It certainly can be. At just $64.99 each, Frontpoint’s smoke and heat detector is your cheapest option. The battery lasts up to 10 years too.
Don’t just stop at smoke alarms though. Set aside time to visit the KCFD’s Fire Marshal Division website. You’ll find valuable fire prevention tips and nationwide resources. You can learn how to create a home escape plan, how to heat your home safely, and how to reduce the likelihood of kitchen fires.