Alarm Systems | Camera Systems | Intercom Systems | Home Automation | Fire Alarms
Alarm systems by OnDuty Systems, LP, your Houston Home Security and Fire systems dealer. We have been serving the greater Houston area since 1994 and have thousands of residential and commercial alarm clients in the Houston, Galveston, Texas City, League City, Baytown, Kingwood, The Woodlands, Spring Cypress, Katy, Sugar Land, Pearland, Bellaire, Clear Lake, Pasadena, Friendswood, Texas area and points between.
Residential Alarm Systems
OnDuty specializes in quality security burglar alarm and fire alarm systems for new construction and existing residences. We also provide security camera systems, video door bells, structured wiring, audio systems, central vacuum, and Pest-Tube in-wall pest control systems. OnDuty provides the latest in technology, including Virtual Keypad Access via Smartphone to operate your alarm system, and Home Automation to control locks, lights, and thermostats.
Commercial Alarm Systems
OnDuty specializes in quality commercial security burglar alarm and fire alarm systems, security camera systems, and access control door systems.
Alarm System Monitoring
Today’s modern alarm systems are monitored by ‘single’ or ‘dual-path’ communications via Internet and Cellular networks, that transmit to the alarm monitoring station. These methods are far superior to the conventional POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) transmissions.
Alarm signals are relayed to police and fire authorities and the owners’ representatives in case of an emergency, and other non-priority signals can be sent to your smart-phone via text/push and/or email.
In addition, the alarm system can signal when the alarm is armed and disarmed, providing for notifications to the owner/manager of the property when employees or family members have armed and disarmed the alarm system.
For homeowners, up to a 20% discount on their homeowners’ insurance policy can be obtained when alarm monitoring is established.
Security Camera Systems – Residential and Commercial
OnDuty Systems installs high resolution surveillance camera systems for residential and commercial applications. Our color camera systems are recorded on a Digital Video Recorder for easy playback. Additionally, you can view the camera’s live online via your smart phone. We can use the screen motion sensitivity to create real-time recordings.
A guide to Home Security selection
Home security systems or burglar alarms provide protection for you, your loved ones and your property. Once you’ve decided to add a system to your home, it’s time to select a licensed security company who provides the best solution for your family’s needs.
This guide will provide you with information you need to know to make an informed decision about your home security company so you can have the peace of mind that comes from making the best choice.
Installation: Professional or Do it yourself?
Today, one of the biggest questions facing homeowners who are considering the addition of a home security system is whether to install the system themselves or have a licensed professional complete the installation. While having a home security system retro-fitted in your home used to mean cutting through walls or fishing wires through tiny openings, today’s home security systems have wireless options that can make professional installation much simpler and less costly.
Most alarm companies today will provide you a free or reduced cost installation if you will agree to a monitoring contract for a period of 36 months or greater. This is a great deal because you are getting a new system installed with the best technology available at the time. If your house was pre-wired and you have an existing system that is older, most security companies will upgrade your system to the latest and greatest to reduce the possibility of system failures during the time of the monitoring contract. Remember, they want to fix it and forget it!
When having a licensed professional install your system, the end result is….
- A worry-free installation usually backed up by an installation warranty
- Having a fresh set of eyes on site with experience to answer questions and spot potential areas to address
- Experience configuring systems for your specific needs
- May be wired or wireless – This also depends on whether or not your house was pre-wired
If you install a system yourself
- You save a potential installation fee
- You might be able to take the equipment with you when you move if it is not fixed to the wall
- Troubleshooting problems with equipment means contacting equipment vendors or manufacturers
- You need to be comfortable determining your security needs and design a system to meet those needs
- Today, there are also hybrid options, where you can purchase your equipment from a security company and set it up yourself. The company also offers maintenance and troubleshooting guidance as part of the monthly fee you pay. If having a Do it Yourself option is important to you, it’s one of the most important questions you should ask when deciding which company to use.
Alarm Monitoring System(s)
The central monitoring portion of a home security system provides the security link between your home and the emergency personnel you need when an emergency occurs. It is critical to ask, when considering which company is right for you, if the central monitoring station meets Underwriters Laboratories (UL) guidelines. The standards set forth by UL are comprehensive and address virtually every aspect of a monitoring center to ensure it follows stringent safety protocol so you can be rest assured of their security response.
Here are a few more things you should know about central monitoring stations:
- Central monitoring stations do not typically have the ability to turn your system on or off. Arming and disarming the system is a feature that should remain strictly under your control.
- Some companies let you configure your system to alert the central monitoring station when your system is turned on or off. It’s a feature most often used in commercial properties, but some residential security companies and systems also offer it. Additionally, companies like OnDuty Systems can provide this information on and controlled by your smart phone. In most cases, the monitoring station cannot tell whether your system is armed or not, so that determination and responsibility will fall to you.
- Likewise, in most cases, the central monitoring station cannot determine if your system is malfunctioning. The monitoring station is just for receiving alarms, not for functional monitoring of individual security systems. That’s why it’s important to test your system on a regular basis. Be sure to test the system after major power outages or electrical storms. We do offer an option that enables your system to send a daily “test code” to the station to alert the company when your system may not be functioning properly.
Landline, Broadband or Cellular: What’s the Difference?
While systems of a few years ago relied exclusively on landlines or POTS lines (Plain Old Telephone Service) to communicate with the central monitoring station, today’s security systems offer several options – landlines, Internet or broadband and cellular. Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each when deciding which type of connection you want your system to have.
What to Consider When Choosing a Home Security Company
When you choose a home security company, you’re choosing a company you trust to protect not only your property, but you and your loved ones as well. We’ve compiled an extensive list of questions to help you decide which company is the best one for you. We want to be sure you have all the information you need to gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have the best possible protection in place for your needs. You may be able to find the answers to some questions on the company’s website or in their marketing materials; others you’ll need to ask on the phone, in person, or by email (save the responses for easier comparison).
- Does the company have a good rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website?The BBB has a Houston based office that collect and process complaints. OnDuty Systems is an accredited member.
- Are there online reviews? Search for the company online and see what other customers are saying. When there are several reviews, pay attention to the overall opinion from customers and then home in on individual reviews to uncover any specific problems (or advantages) you might want to ask about when interviewing the company.
- Does the company have the proper licensing requirements and comply with local building codes? Texas requires security companies to be licensed. You can check online to make sure your company is licensed; if the company doesn’t show up, be sure to ask the owner or representative if the company is licensed under another name. Also ask to see the most current license to make sure it’s up to date. When your community has requirements for security system installation (and many communities do have codes), be sure the company is aware of the codes and is able to comply with them. Also make sure they’ll get all the required permits. OnDuty Systems has been licensed since 1994.
- How much insurance does the company carry? You want to be sure the company carries workers’ compensation insurance in case an employee is injured on the job, and you also want to be sure there’s ample liability insurance in case your property is damaged during installation. Ask to see proof of insurance, including the policy number and the name of the company providing insurance.
- How long has the company been in business? Just because a company is relatively new, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be overlooked. After all, all companies have to start somewhere. It does mean you won’t have a lot of reviews to count on, so you’ll have to be a little more diligent in making sure the company is reliable. OnDuty Systems has been in business since 1994.
- Is the company an independent operator or a branch of a larger company? Again, there are benefits on both sides; if a company is a branch, you’ll need to do due diligence on the parent company as well.
- Do they focus on security and alarm systems? Some companies offer security systems “on the side” as part of a much larger offering which may offer wiring, construction or other services. For the best security options, look for a company with significant experience and expertise in security systems.
- What is the contract length? Most contracts have a term that ranges from three to five years. In general, the shorter the contract term, the higher your up-front costs. When comparing companies, be sure to compare equal contract terms to get a better idea of overall cost.
- First, ask if employees have had any special certification in electronic security. Some companies have their own training systems, while others use outside vendors like the Electronic Security Association which offers classes online as well as in person. All of OnDuty Systems employees are on staff and are trained by upper management.
- Does the company subject their employees to background checks? After all, when you’re having someone examine your home for security issues, you don’t want that person to have a criminal background. All of OnDuty Systems employees have been fully vetted and polygraphed as well.
- How many operators does the company have on duty? Of course, you also need to know how many systems the company oversees to make sure they’re adequately staffed.
- Do they outsource any of their staffing needs? Top security companies take personal responsibility at every level of service, from answering alarms to vetting complaints or troubleshooting to providing service and maintenance. OnDuty Systems provides all your services from installation, billing, customer service and installation.
- How many service technicians are on hand, and are they all licensed? Again, the number of technicians can only be evaluated by knowing how many customers the company serves.
- Does the company evaluate its customers security needs in order to design a system based on those needs? Your home and your security needs are unique, so ideally, you want to work with a company that will review your risks and evaluate your needs so they can recommend the best components for you. Avoid companies that promote “one-size-fits-all” solutions.
- Does the company offer an annual maintenance contract to make sure the system components are working properly? OnDuty Systems offers a $5.95 per month System Maintenance Agreement as an add-on to monitoring.
- Will I own or lease the components in my home? OnDuty only leases equipment to Commercial accounts.
- What happens if I decide to cancel my contract early? OnDuty does have early termination fees that are charged if you cancel before your contract term expires. Be sure to read your agreement and discuss options with management if you have unique circumstances.
- Does your service allow for pets in a home? Some services require pets to be relegated to one specific area of a home that doesn’t have sensors; others may offer provisions that allow pets to roam. OnDuty Systems can make your system “Pet Friendly”.
- Are technicians available after hours? OnDuty Systems has on-call technicians 24/7/365
- What is their average time to respond to service calls? You should hear from our staff within one (1) hour from placing a call.
- What happens if the electricity goes out? Major power outages are prime time for burglars. Your system comes with battery backup. This should last for brief power interruptions.
Finally, take your time to review your contract thoroughly. Pricing can involve a lot of variables, so if you’re not sure about something, don’t hesitate to ask. Take your time, ask questions, and learn all you can about the company you choose so you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you, your property and your loved ones are being protected. We hope you select OnDuty System!
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Visit OnDuty Pest Control, LLC, our sister company for excellent residential pest control.
Please call us if you need services or a quote 713-378-7500 or fill out the form here.