Self-Install Security Systems Growing in Popularity

by Parks Associates | Nov. 15, 2016

The majority of security system owners continue to rely on professional installation for their monitoring needs, but self-installation is growing. Parks Associates research finds that 19% of owners report completing their own installation or having a friend or family member complete the task. Nearly half of security system owners had their install completed by the company that sold the system or by a hired contractor.

After removing homeowners who do not remember how their system was installed or who don’t know because the system was present when they moved in, 74% of broadband households with an active security system used professional installation. The bulk of installations occurred through the security provider.

Although professional installation has so far dominated the security system landscape, self-installation is increasing in frequency for multiple reasons:

  • Wireless sensors have improved in reliability and durability. As a result, more basic systems make use of easy-to-install components.
  • For average-size or smaller homes, a basic security system with fewer components may be adequate. Installation using wireless sensors in only a few areas is within the technical competency for a set of consumers.
  • When the average home size for a homeowner obtaining a security system declines, a more basic security system without as many custom components may be adequate.
  • As providers extend their product lines to reach renters and lower-than-high-income homeowners, price and portability gain in importance. Both initiatives are occurring among several major providers such as ADT, Vivint, and Comcast.
  • Several providers that have self-installable systems experienced solid growth in recent years.
     

The self-installation landscape is a real change for the home security market, and only now is it being tested by professional monitoring providers. Whether the classical subscriber for professional monitoring will value this savings and be comfortable with self-install is unknown. Further, whether renters, who traditionally loathe investing money in a property they will ultimately leave, perceive the self-install (and portable) offerings to be important enough to adopt remains to be seen.

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