Las Vegas is one of the few US cities that requires a verified response to alarm events. This rule makes shopping for a home security system slightly more challenging, though not impossible.
What is a Verified Response?
The primary goal of monitored home security is to dispatch the right type of help to your home when needed. Unfortunately, in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, a non-verified alarm event will be ignored by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. If you want the police to come, you’ll need a witness. That witness can be on the scene, watching via a video camera, or it can be a dispatched third-party. If you want an alarm system in Vegas, your best bet is to either self-monitor the alarm or find a home security company that offers a private guard service.
ASAP Nevada Provides a Verified Response
In trying to find a local alarm company to recommend, we read reviews and spoke to several security dealers. Most of the companies we spoke with appeared to be middle of the road, but ASAP stood out.
Of all the companies we contacted, ASAP Security, an authorized ADT dealer, appears to be the most reputable. Thanks, in part, to John. John isn’t just the owner; he’s a bona fide home security expert. He’s been in the game since ’82, and yet he’s still excited about home security. That said, there are pros and cons to being an ADT dealer. However, ASAP has managed to negate one of the biggest ADT complaints – secretive pricing. While John and I didn’t discuss pricing, I was able to find a helpful chart on ASAP’s website outlining multiple plan options.
ASAP offers landline plans, cellular plans, and ADT Pulse, which is what we recommend. Pulse uses the latest equipment and a cellular signal to provide a more reliable connection between your home and the central monitoring center.
|Essentials||Total Protection||Pulse Select with ADT Pulse|
|24/7 Burglary Monitoring|
|Email and Text Alerts|
|Smart Home Features|
|Buy Now||Buy Here|
The cost of monitoring is just one piece of the puzzle; there is also a cost for equipment and installation. The total cost of equipment and installation will vary greatly, and you won’t find specifics without an in-home sales consultation. Though John didn’t share equipment pricing, and in his defense, I didn’t ask, we were able to find some information online by researching ASAP’s current special section. For $99, they will provide six door/window sensors, one IR motion detector, one keypad, one alarm siren, and a control panel with battery backup. You can also purchase an extra glass break sensor or motion detector for $25 (limit of one per customer).
Most of ASAP’s equipment is made by Honeywell. In addition to the items mentioned above, they also offer a carbon monoxide detector, home security cameras, smoke detector, smart thermostat, flood sensor, gate contacts, recessed contacts, and more.
With ADT, a dealer is typically responsible for selling you the product, installing it, and making sure you’re happy with the initial installation. Payment and customer care related to other items all run through ADT direct. ADT corporate and ASAP both hold A+ ratings with the BBB.
ASAP Alarm Verification
So how does ASAP verify alarms for Las Vegas residents? According to John, customers have three options: two-way voice, video surveillance, or a third-party patrol company. What sets ASAP’s video surveillance service apart from other home security companies is that you can self-monitor the footage or allow the central monitoring service to access your camera’s footage during an alarm event. If you aren’t around to verify if an event is real or not, they will check-in on things for you and call the police on your behalf. If you’re concerned about privacy, you can opt out of this service.
So how do you choose which verification option is best? The ASAP team will walk you through the options. In my opinion, video surveillance is the best choice, but it will increase your monthly fee, installation cost, and equipment cost. The second best option is to opt into patrol services. Patrol services will increase your monthly fee by $7 per month. The downside to this choice is that the patrol agents aren’t necessarily centrally located. It might take them five minutes to reach your home; it might take them forty. Finally, two-way audio. John and I agree that this is the least efficient choice.
- A+ BBB Rating
- Events Verified via Video Surveillance, Two-Way Audio, or Patrol
- 36-Month Monitoring Agreement Required
- ADT Authorized Dealer
National Alarm Companies That Provide a Verified Response
Simplisafe is currently running one of the best promotions we've seen. Check their website for full details.
As video surveillance is one of the most efficient ways to verify an alarm event, my choice for the best national alarm company in Vegas is SimpliSafe, a system I own and have tested.
SimpliSafe is cost effective and they offer an optional visual verification service. If subscribed, SimpliSafe’s monitoring center will have access to your camera’s recordings during an alarm. They will be able to confirm if the event is a break-in and dispatch help on your behalf.
With SimpliSafe, you buy the equipment first and then you add a monitoring plan. Both the Standard and Interactive plans offer visual verification, but you will need to pay an extra $4.99 per month. This fee provides access to your recorded video history, which is required for the verification service.
If you prefer, you can also opt into Securitas security guard dispatch services. In the event of a burglary alarm, SimpliSafe will send a private guard to your home. There’s no additional charge for this service.
|Price||Free||$14.99 / month||$24.99 / month|
|SMS/Email Alerts||+$5 / month|
|WiFi Connection||SS3 Only||SS3 Only||SS3 Only|
|August Smart Lock||YES (Requires August Connect WiFi Bridge)|
|Alexa Integration||SS3 Only|
|Google Home||SS3 Only|
|Live Video Streaming|
|Recorded Video History||$4.99/month/camera or $9.99/month/unlimited cameras||$4.99/month/camera or $9.99/month/unlimited cameras|
Like the monitoring plans, SimpliSafe equipment is affordable, and they offer plenty of options for whole home protection.
- A+ BBB Rating
- Events Verified via Video Surveillance or Patrol
- Contract Not Required
Self-Monitored Alarm Systems
Your final option is to purchase a self-monitored alarm system. With a self-monitored system, you will need video cameras, and you would be wise to elicit help from trusted friends or family members. Most self-monitored systems support multiple users. If an alarm is triggered and you aren’t around to check things out, the other users can jump in to help.
For those who want to go the self-monitored route, I’m going to suggest two options: Ring and abode.
Ring Video Doorbell
Ring is a device that will turn your doorbell into a smart doorbell. When someone rings your doorbell, a notification is sent to your smartphone. No matter where you are, you will be able to interact with your guest. Not only will you be able to see them, but you will also be able to speak to them using two-way audio. In addition to ring events, Ring can monitor for motion.
Of course, Ring supports multiple users, but they also offer a unique feature called Ring Neighborhood. Through the app, you can opt into a digital neighborhood watch feature. Your neighborhood is defined by creating a virtual circle around your home. All of the homes within the pre-defined radius are part of your neighborhood. If one of your “neighbors” sees something fishy, they can send a mass alert to other neighbors. The shared alert will include video evidence. Ring tested this feature by providing 10% of the homes in a specified L.A. neighborhood a Ring device. They found that by using the neighborhood watch feature, burglaries were reduced 55% in 6 months.
You can also expand your coverage by purchasing other Ring devices including the Stickup Cam and the Floodlight Cam. You can read my review of all Ring devices here.
The downside of using a Ring device is that storage isn’t free. You’ll need to pay $3 per month per device for access to 6 months of cloud storage for your events.
Abode Home Security
A second downside to using Ring that I didn’t mention is that it’s a security camera, nothing more. If you want to self-monitor an actual security system, I recommend either iSmartAlarm or abode.
Besides ASAP, abode is the only system on this list I haven’t personally tried. However, I should be able to test it soon. My recommendation is based on my experience of testing dozens of other self-monitored systems. I specifically selected abode for those who live in Las Vegas because it provides both home security and home automation for free. You can also pay to add professional monitoring services, but you’ll need to verify the alarm on your own using a security camera. Like SimpliSafe, there is no contract. Unlike SimpliSafe, they sell services by the week, or you can even choose to monitor for just three days.
From a smart home perspective, abode has several integrations including Amazon Echo, IFTTT, and Nest. Through these integrations, you can creatively protect your home by making it appear like you’re there even when you’re not. For example, you can schedule your smart lights to turn on when you drive away from home. You can also protect yourself from events beyond burglaries. For example, you can set up a phone call alert if your Nest Protect detects smoke. Of course, abode also protects your home using the usual suspects like motion sensors and door/window contacts.
Whether you agree with the verified alarm rule or not, it’s there. However, there are still plenty of options for Las Vegas residents to take part in home security and your options are by no means limited to the suggestions I’ve provided. So what do you think, Vegas? How will you choose to protect your homes?