If you heard an alarm ringing somewhere down the road, somewhere in the night, what would you do?
Ignore it? Have a look? Maybe ring the cops?
The sad truth is for many of us, buying and installing a burglar alarm may be no guarantee of beating the bad guys.
People are busy, don't want to get involved, or just don't feel it's on them to do anything about that loud noise that, fingers crossed, is a false alarm.
Alarm monitoring companies will offer to sell you the peace of mind you crave, but how do you ensure you're getting what you've paid for?
This is on the minds of the Fair Go folk as we bring you the story of Adam.
Adam runs a pharmacy in Auckland. He has to keep his medicines secure, day and night, along with all the other stuff that helps pay the bills like the cosmetics and perfumes that a pharmacy sells.
Adam reckons he's lost confidence in his alarm monitoring company to do the job.
You can watch for yourself his story on Fair Go (the video in this story) and the experiences he had with Global Security Solutions, and what Global said about it.
The story raises questions for anyone forking out $49.95 a month who is assuming someone has an eye or an ear on the place, so we've made a wee checklist. If you have suggestions to add, let us know.
THINGS TO ASK A MONITORING COMPANY ABOUT ALARMS
What exactly will happen after the alarm goes off?
How quickly will you respond and what will you do? In minutes or seconds, please, not just using words like "promptly" or "quickly" or "professionally".
What will you do if there is a break-in?
When will you call the Police?
What if I turn it off after hours? Will you check on me?
How will you know if the alarm is working all the time?
How often will you check the alarm is working?
Can you give me a written report on how well it tests?
Can you explain any recommendations to change the alarm or buy new components or a new system?
Would they be essential for it to work - is it working now, does it need to change?
What will all of these things cost?
Whoever you are with, now is the time to ask your alarm monitoring company some of these questions and to think about whether they are giving you that peace of mind.