Top Three Picks for Home Security in Tulsa, OK
Tulsa, home to 400,000+ residents, is the second largest city in Oklahoma, but it’s number one when it comes to crime. The high property crime and violent crime rates are something to take seriously here. Thankfully, keeping your family and home safe from crime in Tulsa, Oklahoma doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, home security companies make it easier than ever with their monitored, easy-to-use systems.
After considering Tulsa’s high crime rates, variable weather, and other unique characteristics, we’ve narrowed down our top three picks for Tulsa home security to ADT Security, Frontpoint, and Vivint.
1. ADT – The System with the Most Choices
ADT brings more than 140 years of experience to the table. Their security systems and redundant monitoring centers help to keep millions of customers safe each year. In Tulsa, you can choose between a landline-based hardwired system and a cell-linked wireless system. Landline-based is great if you’re in a rural area like Sperry outside of the city where cell service may not be as reliable. It’s also cheaper, starting at around $28 per month. You won’t find hardwired options from our other top picks.
ADT’s wireless systems offer more in terms of security features, home automation capabilities, and environmental protection devices. Down phone lines, power outages, or wire cutters can’t stop a wireless system either. Already have wired or wireless security equipment? ADT can also monitor it for you for just $20 per month.
2. Vivint – The System that Helps You Go Green
Tulsa has a reputation as being one of the top 100 green cities in the United States. If you’re a fan of going green, Vivint can help you out. Their innovative smart home technology makes your home safer, makes life more convenient, and helps you reduce your environmental impact.
Along with high-quality security equipment, Vivint sells smart LED light bulbs, a smart thermostat, and lamp modules that help you reduce your energy consumption. All three devices link with the Vivint Sky app, so you can turn off your lights, shut off small appliances, and adjust your home’s thermostat from your mobile device. Leave the lights on in the house? You don’t need to run home on your lunch break to turn them off or feel guilty about wasting energy. Just open the app and adjust things remotely. Vivint makes being eco-friendly a whole lot easier.
3. Frontpoint – The Perfect System for Renters
Whether you’re a University of Tulsa student living off campus or one of the 35.12% of households that rent in Tulsa, Frontpoint is our top pick for you. Installing their system takes less than 30 minutes and doesn’t require you to drill any holes in the walls. Each component features a wall-friendly adhesive backing instead. Your landlord will be pleased, and you won’t have to wait around for professional installation. Plus, Frontpoint’s award-winning customer service team can guide you through the process.
Graduating, moving away, or upgrading to a large space? No problem. Frontpoint has nationwide coverage and moves with you for free. Just tell them that you’re moving, and they’ll mail you a free mover package.
Crime in Tulsa, OK
Tulsa has a notable crime problem, which you’re probably aware of if you live here. Neighborhood Scout estimates that Tulsa is only safer than 2% of U.S. Cities, making it one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the U.S. Your chances of becoming a victim of a property or violent crime is one in 15.
Looking only at property crime, you have a one in 18 chance of becoming a victim. This includes burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, arson, and motor vehicle theft. Own a car? You have a one in 116 chance of getting your car stolen in this city. Violent crime rates are exceptionally high here too. You have a one in 95 chance of becoming a victim to a violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Crime may be prevalent in Tulsa, but it’s looking a lot better than it did a few years ago. Tulsa Crime Numbers show an encouraging decrease in a lot of crime types from 2016 to 2018.The number of yearly homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny, and auto theft incidents has declined steadily in recent years. This is an encouraging trend for a city as large as Tulsa.
How Does a Home Security System Prevent Crime in Tulsa?
Monitored home security systems like ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint contact the authorities if someone tries to break into your home or steal from your property. These systems can keep you, your family, and your home safe even in a crime-dense city like Tulsa. How exactly do they do that? It’s a combination of elite monitoring centers and high-quality, reliable equipment like door/window break sensors, motion detectors, and video cameras.
Home Security Equipment Packages and Add-Ons
Take a look at the different home security equipment you’ll get if you go with a basic package from Vivint, ADT, and Frontpoint.
- ADT: ADT factors the cost of equipment into the monthly monitoring fees plus a $125 activation fee. Their most basic equipment package includes a control panel, door and window sensors, a keychain remote, a backup battery, a yard sign, window decal, and a high-decibel siren. Other equipment options include indoor/outdoor cameras, keypad door locks, and motion detectors. Are you one of the thousands of people in Tulsa that have a dog? ADT’s motion detectors won’t detect pets weighing up to 50 pounds.
- Vivint: Vivint sells higher-end security equipment packages ranging from $700 to $1800. Basic Vivint packages include a touchscreen panel and six smart sensors. Choose between door/window, motion, glass break, flood/freeze, smoke, and carbon monoxide sensors/detectors. Given Tulsa’s cold winters and flooding, flood/freeze sensors are a no brainer. Other equipment options include a smart keypad lock, indoor/outdoor security cameras, and garage door tilt sensors.
- Frontpoint: Frontpoint’s home security equipment packages start at $130.95. Basic equipment includes a central hub and keypad, door/window sensors, and glass break sensors. Add cameras, garage door tilt sensors, motion detectors, and smart locks for enhanced security.
Equipment isn’t it all it takes to thwart criminals. In 2013, a research team interviewed convicted burglars. Sixty-percent of burglars interviewed said they would move onto a different target if there was an alarm on-site. How do they know there’s an alarm? They look for obvious signs like outdoor security cameras, yard signs, and logo stickers. Of course, logo stickers only work if the company is recognizable. Given their 140-year history in the industry, ADT provides that needed brand recognition.
Exterior Home Security
The rate of auto theft is exceptionally high in Tulsa, so car owners need to take extra precautions. If you park your car on the street by your house or in the driveway, outdoor security cameras are a must. In our opinion, Frontpoint has the best security cameras followed by ADT. Their outdoor security cameras have full HD (1080p) video recording with night vision and automatically record when motion is detected. Plus, they’re easy to install yourself and only cost $199.
Keep your car in a garage? It’s safer there, but thieves still target garages. We recommend installing garage door tilt sensors like those sold by Frontpoint and Vivint. If someone attempts to open your garage door—like a car thief, you’ll receive a notification and can take appropriate actions.
Environmental Concerns in Tulsa, OK
People aren’t the only ones who pose a threat to your family’s safety. Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and heavy rains also threaten your home.
Severe weather causes devastating flooding in Tulsa. The city has implemented an impressive flood plain management plan, but your home is still at risk, especially if you live near a stream. You might be surprised to know that a home security system can help minimize damage should your home flood
ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint all sell flood/water sensors. They detect when water starts to accumulate and quickly send out notifications. This gives you plenty of time to remedy the situation before extensive damage occurs. Typically, users place these devices under sinks or near pipes in a basement that could freeze. In Tulsa, it’s helpful to install them in the areas of your home that are most flood-prone. Have a lot of flood-prone areas? Frontpoint is a great choice. Not only do their sensors have a wide detection range, but they’re also affordable.
Power & Phone Line Outages
Severe thunderstorms, heavy winds, and flooding cause power and phone line outages in Tulsa. Lose power a lot? With Frontpoint and Vivint, you don’t need to worry. Both systems both have a 24-hour backup battery so that your home is protected even if the power goes out. Going away during a power outage? Frontpoint takes the guesswork out of things. This system will send a notification when power returns so that you know to return home. ADT doesn’t do so well in this category. Their back-up battery only lasts for a few hours at a time, so it’ll need replaced during a long outage.
Phone line outages present huge problems for certain ADT users too. ADT’s lower-tier plans that rely on hardwired, landline-based systems are essentially useless when the phone line goes out. The alarm system won’t be able to communicate with the monitoring company. These basic plans are cheaper, but they’re not as reliable as ADT’s wireless equipment options. With our other two picks, it doesn’t matter what plan you pick. All of Vivint’s and Frontpoint’s equipment relies on wireless, cell-link technology.
Tulsa has a temperate humid subtropical climate. In the summer, temperatures frequently exceed 90°F. This rises to at or above 100°F on approximately 11 days per year. The hot weather can make life indoors uncomfortable, especially for the pets you leave home during the day. During the winter months, you have the other extreme. Winter nights in Tulsa commonly plunge below freezing as do many days. A handful of days in December even plunge to 0°F or less. Keeping warm can get expensive.
Adding a smart thermostat to your home security package will help you save money and conserve energy when these extreme temperatures strike. Vivint and ADT both sell their own smart thermostats that you can control remotely with a mobile device. The Vivint Element smart thermostat uses AI technology to learn your family’s schedule, adjusting the temperature when you leave the house, return home, and head to sleep. You can also control the thermostat with a Google Home mini, Alexa device, your mobile device, or the Vivint Sky control hub. ADT’s Smart Thermostat doesn’t offer as many features as Vivint’s, but you can still use it to create an auto schedule and set up custom alerts about your home’s temperatures.
Safety Regulations in Tulsa
An alarm permit—also called a First Response Alarm certificate—isn’t required in Tulsa, but it’s highly recommended as it comes with beneficial perks. If you register your alarm, the police will respond to your alarm when your alarm company calls. No other proof is required—this is called an unverified response. To obtain a permit send in a completed Alarm Registration Form and the applicable $35 fee to City of Tulsa, Finance Department, P.O. Box 451, Tulsa, OK 74101. You can also hand it in in person. Alarm permits must be renewed each year.
If you choose not to register your alarm, police require a verified response. Someone else on-site must visually verify that a crime has occurred. This person could be you, your family, a private security guard, or someone else who saw something happen. It’s not explicitly stated on the City of Tulsa Alarm Permits website whether visual verification from an indoor or outdoor home security camera meets the standard.
Don’t want to register your alarm and don’t want to bother with verified response? You’ll need to make arrangements to have a private provider respond to your alarm calls. ADT’s Alarm Response Service is one option. Their trained ADT Alarm Response Officers can respond to your alarm signals 24/7 on every day of the year. These officers will also respond to calls for help if you see a suspicious person or activity. Want more than that? The upper-tier plan provides the same services along with vacation watch, random community patrols, and a safety escort service. To sign up for either plan, you’ll need to pay an additional monthly fee and sign a two-year contract.
False Alarm Policy
If police respond to your home and there’s no evidence that a crime was attempted or took place, it’s considered a false alarm. False alarms are commonly caused by pets, user error, and faulty equipment. They’re also quite common. The City of Tulsa estimates that 95% of security alarms in Tulsa are false alarms. Responding to these calls distracts police from responding to actual emergencies.
In Tulsa, having two or more false alarm dispatches within your permit year will result in a cancellation of your permit. You’ll have to apply for a new alarm permit if this happens and pay the $35 fee again. False alarms caused by violent acts of nature like tornadoes and earthquakes are exempt from the fees.
Safety Resources in Tulsa
Tulsa Police Department
The Tulsa Police Department sends patrol officers when your burglar alarm activates. Approximately 740 police officers and 168 civilians work for the TPD. The department is spread across three divisions—Gilcrease, Riverside, and Mingo Valley. To see what division serves your area, visit the TPD Police Stations website.
The TPD wants to make life safer for all Tulsa residents and tourists, so they make several crime prevention and safety resources available to the community. Here are a few worth checking out:
The Tulsa Police Department uses their Crime Maps website to log crime data as crimes occur. It’s a helpful tool that you can use to make decisions about a home security system. The map not only shows you the types of crimes committed, but it also shows you start and end times. Zoom in on your neighborhood and read through the crime information that pops up.
Does your neighborhood look relatively crime-free? That’s great. You can focus your efforts on a finding a system that provides environmental protection and/or conveniences like home automation. If home automation is your thing, our top pick is Vivint. This company will make everything from adjusting your thermostat to letting the dogwalker more convenient.
The city encourages residents to sign up for Smart911. It’s a free website where you can log critical information that you want a 911 operator to know when you call. You can provide names, photos, ages, health information, contact information, and addresses for every member of your household. When you call 911, it will pop up for dispatcher in Tulsa. This helps to speed up response times because your most critical information is already logged.
The Crime Prevention Network
The Crime Prevention Network Inc. is a non-profited dedicated to public safety in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It educates residents about public safety, provides safety awareness services, and teaches people about crime prevention.
Tulsa Crime Stoppers
Tulsa Crime Stoppers is just one of the many programs offered by the CPN. Since 1979, Crime Stoppers has trained more than one million residents in crime prevention. The program provides an anonymous tip line that citizens can use to report crimes. Crime Stoppers’ efforts have resulted in more than 6,200 felony arrests.
Crime Prevention Resources
Read through their Safety Resources to find ways to make your home a safer place. Helpful tips include using exterior lights, closing your shades at night, hiding valuables in unique places, and trimming shrubs. Following these tips along with using a home security system will maximize your home’s security.
The CPN also encourages you to get to know your neighbors through their Alert Neighbors program. The program’s goal is to create cohesive neighborhoods because cohesive neighborhoods deter crime. CPN representatives educate neighbors about crime prevention, teach them how to report crimes, improve communication between neighbors, and build a bridge between the community and law enforcement. To get started, you can join a free new member training class or request a neighborhood training meeting.
Tulsa Fire Department
The police aren’t the only ones responding to your calls for help. Each year, the Tulsa Fire Department responds to more than 57,000 incidents. This includes events like home fires, medical emergencies, building collapses, traffic incidents, and more. About 676 employees work for the TFD. They operate out of the city’s 30 fire stations and across five districts.
When your home fire alarm activates, a team of firefighters from the TFD will respond. In general, the TFD boasts some impressive response times. On average, the first unit arrives on scene within 5.8 minutes for calls related to fire department duties like a hazard, accident, or fire. For EMS calls, the department takes an average of 4.8 minutes to respond. Looking only at actual structural fire calls, response times are even better. Response to structural fires averaged just 4.9 minutes with a second unit arriving in 6.2 minutes.
There’s no standard for firefighter or EMS response in Tulsa, but it appears that the department is responding swiftly. This is good news for you should your family ever have a home fire or other emergency.