It’s easy to feel overwhelmed while searching for the right home security system. We want to make that search easier for you. Looking at overall performance and services along with Oklahoma City’s unique quirks, we’ve narrowed down our top picks to ADT Security, Frontpoint, and Vivint.
- ADT: ADT is your tried and true home security system company. They’ve been in the home security game for 140 years but have managed to update their offerings and equipment to keep up with modern technology. Offering both wired and wireless systems, ADT gives you the most versatility in terms of both cost and equipment. Monitoring plans range from $27.99 to $58.99 per month and, unlike their competitors, this monthly cost includes basic equipment.
- Frontpoint: Do you like knowing that someone will always be there to answer your questions? If so, Frontpoint is a great option. They’re known for their excellent customer service, which comes backed by an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Like ADT and Vivint, Frontpoint has its foot in the smart home industry. All of their equipment is compatible with Z-Wave technology, the most popular frequency used in the smart home industry. With Frontpoint, it’s easy to add on your own equipment as your budget and needs expand.
- Vivint: Crave smart home automation? Total tech geek? Vivint has what you need–as long as your wallet can keep up. This upper-tier home security company seamlessly combines top-notch security equipment with home automation. Their sleek equipment pairs with Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other smart devices, so you can control your lights, thermostat, and security system from anywhere. Vivint’s basic package even includes two Google Home minis to get you started.
Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing the Best Home Security System in Oklahoma
Home security systems do more than just sound an alarm when a burglar tries to enter your home. They also feature smart home compatibility, offer environmental protection, and make life more convenient. That being said, there’s no one-size-fits-all security system out there. Keep the following things in mind as you think about which home security system is right for your family.
Pretty much every big city struggles with crime. Oklahoma City is no exception, but thankfully, their crime rates have slowly been declining over the past few years. Still, the city has a 65% higher crime rate than the nation and it’s only safer 7% of U.S. cities. Here, you have about a 1 in 26 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. Property crime includes theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Although all rates far exceed the national averages, motor vehicle theft rates are especially high here.
Protecting your home from OKC crime doesn’t have to be complicated. In 2013, formal interviews with convicted burglars revealed that of those interviewed, 60% of burglars would choose not to invade a home if it had visible signs of a home security system. These visible signs can include home security logo stickers on your windows, a yard sign, or outdoor security cameras. ADT’s nationwide reputation makes them a solid choice for your home if you’re concerned with brand recognition. Burglars will certainly recognize their blue and white logo.
Although overall crime rates in Oklahoma City are high, crime rates vary between OKC neighborhoods. Looking at crime data for your neighborhood can help you make smart decisions about your home security system. The OCPD makes this easy thanks to their online crime-mapping site. Simply enter your street address to see all crimes in your neighborhood. Filter by date range and crime type if desired.
Does your neighborhood have a lot of recent auto theft incidents? Adding an outdoor camera near your garage or driveway can help safeguard your vehicle. Although ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint all offer outdoor cameras, Frontpoint’s are the most affordable. Garage door sensors, sold by all three companies, help ensure you never leave your garage door open again. Remotely open and close your garage door right from your phone.
If your neighborhood looks relatively crime free, you may just need a basic home security system. Once again, Frontpoint is a great choice. You can’t go wrong with their affordable equipment and $39.99 per month basic monitoring services. Have a landline? ADT’s lower-tier wired systems come at a low $27.99 per month fee. Although not as innovative as Frontpoint’s equipment, it’s a great option for homes with landlines in safer neighborhoods like Richland, Witcher, and N Portland Ave/NW 234th Street.
Homes face criminal as well as environmental threats. In Oklahoma City, it’s important to take weather into consideration as you choose an alarm company and package.
The average temperature in OKC is a moderate 61.4 °F. Throughout the year, temperatures range quite a bit, with about 10 days exceeding 100 °F, seven days exceeding 90 °F, and eight days below freezing. Extreme cold temperatures can cause damage to your home’s pipes. Instead of running downstairs to the basement to check on your pipes whenever temperatures drop, add a freeze sensor to your home security system.
Freeze sensors send out an alert anytime the temperature drops below your preset temperature. They’re great for basements, garages, or other areas on your property with pipes. The alert gives you time to prevent your pipes from freezing. You’d be able to set up a space heater, run some water, or add pipe insulation before any major problem occurs.
Vivint’s freeze sensor even doubles as a flood or water sensor. Along with detecting temperature, it also monitors moisture. Place one near your pipes and washing machine. The device sends out an alert when it detects moisture like a leaky pipe or basement flood. In Oklahoma City, technology like this is priceless. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding are not uncommon.
Tornadoes are another cause for worry. Oklahoma City lies in Tornado Alley. From March to June, severe tornadoes and hailstorms strike. Along with causing fallen trees and broken windows, these storms cause power outages. You don’t want to leave your home unguarded just because the power’s out. Wireless systems from Vivint, ADT, and Frontpoint continue to operate during a power outage. They use cell link technology to communicate with the monitoring center instead of Wi-Fi or a landline*. Plus, their central control hubs come with back-up batteries. Frontpoint’s lasts the longest and will send you an alert when it’s time to return to your home.
ADT’s basic plans with hardwired equipment do run off a landline. In cases of a power outage of phone line going down, the equipment won’t work.
In crime-ridden areas like Oklahoma City, feeling safety can feel like a luxury. The Oklahoma City Police Department does its best to prevent crime and keep the public safe, but there are a lot of people to protect in the city.
You need to consider all costs associated with owning a home security system before making a choice. These include monitoring fees, set-up costs, equipment, alarm permits, and false alarm fees. Here’s a look at some of these costs to get you started.
Equipment & Monitoring
Costs range greatly between our top three home security picks. While Vivint is clearly the most expensive option, ADT and Frontpoint’s prices even out depending on your needs.
Vivint’s monthly monitoring plans range from $39.99 to $49.99 per month, or about $480 to $600 per year. Equipment bundles start at $700 and go up to $1,800. If you have a decent credit score (600+), you might qualify for their Monthly Flex Pay program. Under the program, you pay off your equipment monthly over your five-year contract. It’s worth noting that Vivint has the longest contract term length.
ADT’s monthly monitoring fees range from $27.99 to $58.99. Don’t get too excited because their lowest prices are for their landline-only hardwired plans. These don’t include home automation and aren’t as reliable. For security cameras and home automation, you’ll have to pay $58.99, making it the most expensive monthly plan option. However, unlike their competitors, ADT does include basic equipment in the monthly cost. Add-on items are reasonably priced too.
Frontpoint charges $34.99 to $49.99 per month for monitoring services. If you’re interested in outdoor security cameras and smart home automation, Frontpoint’s monitoring cost can’t be beat. A starter kit costs just $130.95 when you sign on for a three-year contract. Frontpoint also lets you purchase items individually to build a custom solution for your home. For example, you can add on a smart lightbulb for just $9.99.
Set-up or installation fees are a one-time deal. You’ll need to pay the entire set-up fee at once. ADT and Vivint both require professional installation. This means a trained technician will come into your home, assess your security lapses, and install the selected equipment. Costs range from $0 to $200 with Vivint and $99 to $199 with ADT.
With Frontpoint, you self-install the equipment. You don’t have to deal with the hassle or expense of a service call. Plus, there are no tools required. All their equipment has strong adhesive backing that’s easy to remove from your walls if you move. Plus, if you do move, Frontpoint will send you a free moving kit complete with new adhesive and protective boxes for your equipment. Vivint and ADT on the other hand will charge you a fee to reinstall the equipment at your new home.
Alarm Permits in Oklahoma City
If you have an automatic security alarm system or fire alarm system in your OKC home, you must have a permit. An automatic system is one that directly communicates with the police or fire department through a monitoring system. Permits help the OKC police and fire department track and prevent false alarms.
Your new permit will cost $27 for the first year and then $17 for each annual renewal. Download a permit application online, or get one in person from your local police or fire station. You must mail the completed application along with a check or money order to:
Oklahoma City Police Department
Permit and ID Section
P.O. Box 268837
Oklahoma City, OK 73126
OKC False Alarm Fees
Purchasing the required alarm permit doesn’t exempt you from false alarm fees. Thankfully, you do get three “free” false alarms within a 365-day period. Any excess false alarms and you’ll owe $65 for each police response and $107 for each Fire Department response. If your alarm does go off accidentally, you do have a window of time to cancel the call. Just call your alarm company ASAP. If police or firefighters haven’t arrived yet, it won’t count against you.
To avoid false alarm fees, go with an alarm system that’s easy for everyone in your family to use. Frontpoint has a strong reputation for having innovative, easy-to-use equipment. Plus, their stellar customer service and monitoring center can quickly assist you should your alarm go off accidentally. This could end up saving you hundreds of dollars.
If you have the money for it, ADT also offers a unique service that can help with reducing false alarms. For an extra monthly fee, you can sign up for ADT’s Alarm Response Services. This service gives you access to ADT patrol officers that respond to alarm signals and come whenever a panic or fire alarm goes off in your home. These officers can respond to unverified alarms (i.e. no visual or verbal confirmation of a crime in progress) in place of the police. You’ll feel peace of mind knowing someone is checking the situation out without the fear of being charged a false alarm fee.
Oklahoma City Police Department
Sure, a home security system goes a long way in terms of deterring criminals. Unfortunately, no security system is foolproof. When something does happen, you want to know that you’ll be taken care of. The Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) has more than 1,100 officers that work hard every day to take care of the public.
If your burglar alarm goes off, nearby patrol officers respond to the call. Police officers prioritize 911 calls using a danger scale with Type 1 being the most dangerous and Type 6 being the least dangerous. Type 3 calls include property crimes like robberies and burglaries. Historically, the Oklahoma City Police Department has struggled with response times. For Type 1 calls, where someone’s life is in danger, officers only respond within 9 minutes and 30 seconds 70% of the time. The goal is 80% or 90% of the time. This means that responses for property crimes, Type 3 calls, take even longer.
Thanks to new initiatives like Better Streets, Safer City projects, response times will start improving in Oklahoma City. In 2017, the city introduced a ¼ cent sales tax that will fund the hiring of 129 additional police officers and 57 more firefighters. More officers on the streets means more officers available to respond to your calls for help if you fall victim to a crime.
If that crime is a property crime, patrol officers will turn the case over to the Investigative Bureau. This Bureau consists of four captains, 20 supervisory lieutenants and 140 detectives. Together, they investigate all Persons and Property Crimes. Members of the Investigative Bureau are all experienced in their respective fields and more than capable of closing cases.
Here are three other initiatives offered by the Oklahoma City Police Department that help keep the community safer:
Civilian Investigation Specialists
Police officers in Oklahoma City are busy. That’s why the Operations Administration Bureau of the OCPD started the CIS program. Civilian Investigation Specialists help police officers handle non-emergency responses. For example, if you return home to find that your house was broken into, a CIS might take the call in place of a police offer. Don’t worry though; these specialists are trained in interviewing crime victims and witnesses, conducting criminal investigations, and processing crime scenes. The CIS program is a just one of the many ways that the OKC Police Department makes smart use of its limited resources.
The OKC Ambassadors program is just another example of how the OCPD uses outside help to free up police officers’ time. Ambassadors represent the City’s Community Assistance Program and help visitors in the downtown and Bricktown area by answering questions and providing assistance. If you frequent these OKC hotspots, you’ve probably seen them with their tan pants, navy blue shirts, and yellow hats.
Ambassadors carry police radios and handle non-emergent situations like providing directions, giving basic medical assistance, reporting public safety issues, and helping with traffic control. Their help leaves trained police officers with more time to respond to your calls and patrol your streets. This means more crime deterrence and faster response times.
Community Relations Officers
The OCPD’s Police Community Relations (PCR) Unit focuses on educating the public about safety. If your neighborhood association or other group wants a presentation on crime prevention, drug abuse, or safety, reach out to your PCR officer. He or she will schedule a time to come meet with your group, present helpful information, and answer any questions you may have. PCR officers can also help you set up a neighborhood watch group.
Oklahoma City Fire Department
Sometimes, the home security threat isn’t a burglar at all. It’s a stove left on or a freak accident with your furnace. When these things happen, the Oklahoma City Fire Department (OKCFD) arrives on the scene. The department consists of 1,015 professional firefighters spread across 38 fire stations and six battalions. In terms of resources, the OKCFD has 37 engines, 13 ladder trucks, 17 brush patrol units, six water tankers, one Technical Rescue Unit, one Air Supply unit, two HAZMAT units, six Arson Investigation Units, and one Rehabilitation unit.
At any given time, more than 200 firefighters are on duty. These dedicated firefighters respond to more than 70,000 emergency calls each year, so they certainly know what they’re doing. In 2007 and 2017, a new sales tax passed by Oklahoma voters gave the city enough money to expand the fire department. This resulted in new stations opening in previously underserved areas. Why does that matter? It matters because it means firefighters can now respond faster to each call.
Along with fighting fires, the OKCFD does a lot in terms of community outreach and fire safety. Here are just a few of the city’s many fire safety initiatives:
Smoke alarms save lives. That’s why the OKCFD supplies free smoke alarms to Oklahoma City area residents through Project Life. This is great news if a smart smoke alarm isn’t in your budget. However, if you can afford it, purchasing a smoke alarm directly from your home security company certainly has its benefits. You’ll receive a notification the moment the alarm goes off, giving you time to come inside and check your stove or check your indoor camera feed remotely for visual confirmation. ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint all sell smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Smoke Alarms for Vision/Hearing Impaired
Thanks to a grant from FEMA, Oklahoma State University offers free adaptive smoke alarms to disabled Oklahoma residents. The program is available for any Oklahoman who is deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or low vision or who uses a mobility device like a wheelchair. You’ll receive specialized smoke alarms and alert equipment for your home like a bed shaker, a low-frequency bedside alert device, and, if needed, a strobe light alert. Download the application here.
Fire Safety Information
Firefighters have specialized knowledge that can help you keep your home and family safe. The OKCFD makes this knowledge available to you on their Safety Tip Sheets web page. You’ll find information about candles, Christmas trees, cooking safety, electrical safety, escape planning, smoke alarms and more. Look at these safety resources because it takes a lot more than just a home security system to keep a home and family safe.