CHOICE membership

Recommendation for Back to Base Monitored Security Alarm

Hello. Can anyone recommend a 24/7 back to base monitored security alarm company for Brisbane? Also, what are the best CCTV cameras for a home (that won’t cost a fortune)? Thank you very much.

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I am in Melbourne but expect there are constants for B2B monitoring. There are many installation and service companies but few central monitoring stations. Each retailer/installer company takes our money and contracts with a central station who provides the monitoring service as well as security guards for responses, as required. At least down here it matters not where the retailer/installer company is, it matters where the central station (or their security guards available for dispatch) is vis a vis our location.

Many companies imply their own monitoring but do not have a central station; some back yard types might have a non-secure monitoring station. Look for ASIAL membership as a minimum. It is an industry body but as with most of our ‘certification bodies’ it is what we have and better than nothing.

Thus if one ignores the kit and install and friendly face, one that charges say $11 pw for monitoring (basic wireless) and one at $12 could be and is probably (re)selling exactly the same monitoring product, so ask related questions as you canvass the market.

Apologies I could not provide a specific reference.

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Thank you. That is a great start.

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ADT seem to be a prominent provider of B2B security around our area. We don’t use them in our current home but we did have them in our previous residence (no complaints on service). My cousin for his work/home premises still uses ADT as his security monitoring firm.

I can’t comment on any others but I am sure ones like Pacific Security Group or BAMSS (Brisbane Alarm Monitoring Security Services) would be worth looking into and as far as I know are ASIAL certified/affiliates.

Most of these if you use them will provide the systems you require and you would not need to purchase your own CCTV system (and they may not also support your purchased brand).

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Thank you. I really appreciate all the information.

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It might be useful to look around the businesses and infrastructure in your local area for warning signs on doorways and access points to properties.

Generally the service providers ensure that there are prominent stickers and notices around monitored premises. While no assurance that a commonly seen providers name is also a reliable, low cost or suitable option, it is a guide to who is doing business in the area, and one place to start looking for quotes. For the Sunshine Coast as an example one security service provider is Naskam. Their identity is prominent as they have a local council contract.

From research I did earlier this year when considering similar options some items to consider might be.

Do you require a system with or without video surveillance?

  • Video requires good internet support and can potentially be intrusive on privacy.

How will the monitoring service respond to an alarm?

  • Call out’s for false alarms are expensive.
  • Not all monitored service provide call out support, and may simply call you to follow up.

Reliable alarm systems require battery backup, and secure internet to be effective?

  • Typically they require reliable access to wireless internet via a dedicated and special service to facilitate the monitoring. It is an expensive extra with an ongoing monthly cost.
  • Once committed you are also bound or locked to the security monitoring service that provided your chosen system. It might be wise to be clear about how easy it is to look elsewhere for an alternate provider and change in 12 months time.

There are some important choices here between companies supplying industry standard equipment from companies such as Bosch. Others appear to wrap their service up with a degree of customised products.

The larger companies generally only support systems they have provided and meet their standards, or industry standards for security installations.

Powering and connecting the sensors or video devices is also a consideration. It can be done wirelessly and over an independent security device wireless network using batteries or hardwired.

If the intent is simply to hook up personally a couple of cameras to your exisiting home network, and are looking for someone to watch the video, it is a very expensive option to have someone continually watching monitors for your property 24x7? Typically no one does this for home security. The providers rely on some form of alarm triggered event, after which they will have a look at the video surveillance. One operator may have several hundred or more properties to keep track of. Of course if the alarm is the power has just gone off or the internet has failed they may be none the wiser. No power no pics!

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For clarity the ‘real’ (not DIY, but DIY generally do also) alarms have battery backup and communicate with the central station (for perimeter intrusions and fire) by the GPRS wireless (eg mobile) service since NBN VOIP does not support the old school diallers (NBN official position).

Some alarms can be equipped to use internet reporting (in lieu of GPRS or diallers). Video usually requires internet for remote viewing. GPRS has apparently become the new gold standard for reliability (unless you have a single SIM system and Telstra/Optus are doing unannounced maintenance when it fails miserably - been there, experienced that on a routine handshake failure). Those so worried can buy dual SIM (1 Telstra and 1 Optus) that would be as reliable as it gets, at extra monitoring cost.

Because of police response protocols (differ in each state I believe), a reason to have video in Victoria is that it is illegal for a Central Station to ring the police without verifying an intrusion or fire - hence video or sending a guard if they could not reach you. OTOH a mere citizen can ring straight away.

It depends what @White57 needs and wants.

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Thank you for all that information. Very helpful.

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Thank you for those details. Really good advice.

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Also consider you need a fixed IP address for internet based monitoring. With the NBN (which everyone will have soon we are told) it is an extra ($5/mth when I last enquired) cost on top of your internet plan.

As to the cameras, the cheap low res cameras aren’t useful because you won’t get good detail, and won’t be able to use them in evidence. To get decent higher quality cameras is not cheap. Better less good quality cameras than more cheap cameras.

Have you considered having a system including a recorder installed in your home? You can monitor it yourself (if you have a fixed IP address) from anywhere. It would need to be installed and configured for you, but may cost less in the long run. They can be set up to send you messages if movement is detected in certain zones being monitored.

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Choice has also reviewed security cameras (member content)…

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Some instead of fixed IP do use DynDNS services to keep the link.

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We use CHUBB Home Security in Sydney suburbs.
(Phone 13 15 98)
They charge us $30 per month, including GST. We find them very reliable.
I don’t know if they operate in Brisbane.
Cheers
Michael Barnett

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Thank you all for your information. I have decided to not do Back to Base. The security cameras will do the job, including alerting.
Really appreciate all the support given in this community to help me decide what is best. Confident with the decision now!

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I live in Wodonga, Victoria and have used Instant Security Alarms Pty Ltd for more than fifteen years. Their staff are efficient and friendly and the response to alarms is great. I would not change. 11 out of 10!

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We are about to change our provider for our home monitored security. What should we look for and what are some of the pitfalls? We have been with our current provider for just over 20 years, but unfortunately they have sold their business and we’re not keen on their service.

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Hi @brudith

I have moved your topic/post to this already existing thread. While the topic is a little older it should still give you some good info and I’m sure that others will respond to your query.

As you have not provided details of your current provider or where you are located (general area eg Melbourne) it might be helpful to provide your area so any specific to your locale might be offered and name your providers so that you don’t receive recommendations for them.

Our family have used ADT in the past and found them to be acceptable, CHUBB could be another. I am sure there are many out there who provide decent service for cost, sometimes nationally/internationally branded providers can be good due to resourcing but sometimes they can be also a little “distant” in how they provide their services.

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We used ADT ~ 20 years, over that time their regular price escalations lead to us to having a monthly charge at 70% above what they were advertising for new customers.
I sent them a letter advising of termination per terms and conditions, they called me and asked why I was terminating, I just said “you can see why” and the reply was “what if we didn’t raise your monthly fee this year” and my reply was “goodbye”.
Went to RACWA which offered a competitive rate, discount on insurance and a good deal on the change from landline to sim card comms with NBN coming.

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As @grahroll indicated you might best start by reviewing this topic from the beginning and then posing additional questions you might have.

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Another important question is are you on or are you likely to move to the NBN?

I understand that many older B2B systems will not work on NBN so you need a provider who’s equipment is NBN compatible.

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