Home Alarm (Hemlarm in Swedish) systems market in Sweden is pretty monopolistic with 2 big companies (Verisure and Sector Alarm) dominating the home alarm market. Alarm systems needs to be connected to the central alarm system which is the one monitoring and calling in emergency services (Police & fire departments) in case of break-ins or fire. HomeAlarm systems from the big companies can cost as much as 500 SEK per month. In many cases, I have seen people spending more than 600 SEK per month.
All the alarm systems used by the security companies are pretty basic and most are Zigbee / ZeeWave systems. One needs to cuff up around 10K SEK for the instruments, plus installation charges of roughly 2.5K SEK before they get started on the 500 SEK monthly premiums. Information on home alarm systems, costs, etc. is pretty scattered on the internet so I thought of compiling the information on a single page which could help me and everybody else who is looking to save some bucks by cutting the crap.
I was thinking of changing my alarm system and did some pretty good research across on how the alarm systems market and home insurance is tied up and connected. In Sweden, there are certain rules that one needs to be aware of.
- Insurance companies give a 5% discount if one has an alarm system connected to the central alarm system
- Police insists that alarm systems can be a deterrent for possible burglary attempts
- In case of an ongoing burglary, Police will only come if the person calling is present onsite i.e. If one has an indoor security camera and can see the burglary happening, the Police will not come if the person calling is not present around the place of incidence
So installation of an alarm system connected to the central alarm is a must if one wants peace of mind and have a comparative safety net. Now, connection to the central alarm system would basically cost around 145 SEK per month. So my ultimate aim is to find ways to reduce the monthly as well as initial cost. Below is my analysis of different companies.
- Verisure – The biggest company in this business. It has its own central alarm system and has somewhat decent devices connected. But these are locked systems and the more devices you have, the higher monthly premium cost. Initial costs, installation and monthly premium make it a very high-cost alternative. Verisure does not have any binding period but has a 3 month notice period to break the contract instead.
- Sector Alarm – Similar to Verisure, these guys are the 2nd biggest in Sweden with a similar cost structure even though they don’t run their own central alarm system. Instead, they use the ones provided by Securitas, Nokas, etc. So another high-cost alternative. I think Sector Alarm has a binding period of 24 months but I didn’t really catch it from the sales guy.
If you are going with any of the above, it is time to rethink. Below are some better alternatives providing the same or better services at a lower cost.
- Alert Alarm – These guys are a part of Verisure. Yes, now how many of you knew it? The devices used are different and only includes an IR sensor instead of “Camera with IR sensor”. But that is a minor point. Besides they use the Verisure infrastructure at an amazing lower cost. Price point for Alert is 300 SEK per month. They also allow for self installation thus resulting into saving of professional installation costs. The devices itself are not that costly and the binding period is only 24 months.
- Securitas – If one is really interested to go with big names, I STRONGLY recommend Securitas. The equipment provided by them is relatively new Zigbee gateway and devices. Plus they do not charge extra for any added devices which is the right thing to do. In all other companies, the more devices you have connected, the higher the cost. With Securitas, you just pay for the devices (which are reasonably priced), add as many as you like, and pay a monthly fee of 300 SEK. They have their own infrastructure which is also used by other companies.
- Garda Alarm – These guys are another good small players in the market. With good negotiation skills, one can land somewhere between 350-400 SEK per month premium. They use Lövestads central alarm system as well as Nokas, Securitas, etc.
- Svenska Alarm – Svenska Alarm by far has the most advanced devices for home security on the market. These guys are a bit costly if you go on the monthly premium but you can simply buy the equipment up front and then pay only 145 SEK per month for the security services and connection to the central alarm system. The devices are a bit on the price side so if I was asked to select between Svenska and Securitas, I would go with Securitas.
There are other smaller companies like Gardio, SikkertHem, Protexus, WeBeHome, etc. are smaller players that either provide their own services or sells devices and asks to be setup with central alarm systems for fees ranging from 80 SEK to 200 SEK per month. So no real cost advantage and hence am not discussing those in detail. One particular mention is Safeland which allows for pretty newer devices to be bought and connect to central alarm systems. As an aside, if you have the Imou Cell Pro, you can already connect those with safeland central alarm system for 800 SEK per year. Now that is very cheap and a good investment since you have the latest and greatest in home security!
Hope you are able to do a proper comparison and save some bucks. Beware of the tricky alarm sales people :).