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Self-Monitoring vs. Third-Party Monitoring: Why Taking Control of Your Security is the Future

When it comes to safeguarding your home, choosing the right monitoring system is pivotal. The debate between self-monitoring and third-party monitoring systems is a hot topic amongst homeowners today. With advancements in technology, taking control of your home security has never been more accessible or efficient. Let's delve into what makes self-monitoring a compelling option and why it might just be the future of home security.


The Rise of Self-Monitoring Home Security Systems

Self-monitoring, or as we often call it, remote monitoring, puts the control of home security in the hands of the homeowner. It’s a system that allows you to be the first to know if something's amiss, thanks to real-time alerts sent directly to your device. The beauty of self-monitoring lies in its immediacy and directness—qualities that have only improved with technological advancements.

At Midland Alarm Services , we offer our customers what we believe to be a shining example of self-monitoring done right with our SecureComm app. Powered by HKC, SecureComm embodies our philosophy that "no one will respond to your alarm going off faster than you will." We truly believe that putting the power in your hands trumps relying on third party ‘professionals’ any day.

Understanding Third-Party Monitoring

So what is the alternative? Well, third-party monitoring involves a dedicated centre that monitors your security system 24/7. Upon detecting an issue, operators can contact emergency services or the homeowner, depending on the situation. While it offers peace of mind through constant surveillance, it introduces a middleman between the event and the response, which can sometimes delay action. Oftentimes the centre will wait until they have seen up to 3 ‘triggers’ before they take action, so as to avoid unnecessary police responses for false alarms.

Comparing Self-Monitoring and Third-Party Monitoring

Third-Party Monitored Alarm Systems


24/7 Monitoring: One of the primary advantages of third-party monitored systems is around-the-clock surveillance. Trained professionals are on standby to respond to alerts, ensuring that your home is constantly watched over, even when you're unavailable.

Emergency Response Coordination: In the event of a break-in the monitoring centre can quickly dispatch emergency services, potentially reducing response times and enhancing safety.


Cost: Third-party monitoring services come with a monthly fee that can be substantially higher than the costs associated with self-monitored systems. Over time, these fees can add up.

Dependence on External Parties: Relying on a monitoring centre means trusting others to react promptly and appropriately to alerts. Miscommunications or delays in response can occur.

False Alarm Fees: Some local authorities charge for false alarm responses. If the monitoring centre mistakenly dispatches emergency services, homeowners may be responsible for these fees.

Self-Monitored Alarm Systems


Direct Control and Immediate Alerts: Self-monitoring puts homeowners in the driver’s seat, offering direct control over their security system and immediate alerts sent to their smartphones or devices, allowing for quick personal response.

Cost-Effective: Self-monitored systems typically involve lower upfront costs and monthly subscriptions, making them a more budget-friendly option over the long term.

Customisable Notifications: Users can customise notification settings, choosing which alerts they receive and how, enabling them to tailor the system to their specific needs and lifestyle.

Faster Response Times: If your alarm is triggered while you’re out then you’ll receive an instant alert detailing which zone has been triggered. If you suspect this could be a false alarm, you can easily re-set the alarm in an instant. If the same zone was triggered again or a different zone popped up, you would have far more insight into what was occurring at your home and take quick action. If you have a PIR camera installed you would also receive image verification if this zone was triggered, giving you a real-time view of what was happening.

No Noisy False Alarms: In the event of a false alarm you can reset your system instantly, even if you’re lying on the beach in Spain! No more phone calls from your neighbour to tell you your alarm is annoying them!


Responsibility: The responsibility of monitoring and responding to alerts falls solely on the homeowner. If you’re in a meeting, asleep, or in an area with poor mobile service, you might miss an important alert which is why we recommend having each member of the household download the app.

No Emergency Dispatch: Unlike third-party monitored systems, self-monitored systems do not automatically dispatch emergency services. Homeowners must call for help themselves.


When we lay them side by side, the differences become clear. Self-monitoring offers a direct line of sight into your home’s security, with alerts and updates sent straight to your phone. It’s generally far more cost-effective, with our remote monitoring subscriptions starting at just £12.95 a month, without the tie of a contract. Third-party monitoring, while often thought of as the more ‘secure’ choice, often comes with far higher fees and the potential for delayed response times.

Why Self-Monitoring is Poised to Be the Future of Security

In an era where instant access and personal control over our digital lives are valued, self-monitoring stands out as a future-forward choice. The SecureComm app exemplifies this, offering real-time alerts, image verification for disturbances, and even remote support to diagnose and resolve issues without the need for a technician’s visit. This level of autonomy and efficiency is why many see self-monitoring as the way forward and why we choose to provide this for our customers.

The Role of Professional Advice and Support

Choosing between self-monitoring and third-party monitoring is a significant decision when deciding how to protect your home so it’s important to do your research. At Midland Alarm Services, we have over 35 years of industry experience and have tried out and researched every version of home security on the market. We are here to offer advice to ensure you select the system that best fits your needs for your home and your family. Our expertise is not just in installation but in providing ongoing support to ensure your home security system operates flawlessly.

If you’re ready to take control of your home security, contact Midland Alarm Services today for a free, no obligation quote and to learn more about the SecureComm system and how it can fit into your life. Let’s make your home safer, together.


●      Is self-monitored security enough? Absolutely! The immediacy of alerts and the ability to verify disturbances in real time provide a robust level of security.

●      How reliable is self-monitoring compared to third-party services? With advancements like SecureComm, self-monitoring has never been more reliable. With features like real-time alerts and image verification, you're always in the know. Like we said, no one else is going to repsons faster than you are to your alarm system going off so removing the middle man is in our opinion far more efficient.

●      Can I switch from third-party to self-monitoring? Absolutely. If you currently have a monitored alarm system and are looking to switch please give us a call. Transitioning to a system like SecureComm is straightforward, and you’ll likely find it more cost-effective.

●      What technology do I need for effective self-monitoring? A smartphone and the SecureComm app are your primary needs. The app interfaces seamlessly with HKC security systems, providing a comprehensive security solution. If you currently have an HKC system then we can check for you whether the version you have is immediately compatible with SecureComm and if not, talk to you about your upgrade options. If you’re a new customer then getting you set up with a Wireless system and SecureComm is the first step.

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