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How Much Does a Home Security System Cost?

Thinking about investing in a home security system? If so, you’re likely wondering, “How much is this going to cost me?”

There’s no set price that all homeowners pay. The cost of a home security system varies depending on a variety of factors, which makes this is a tough question to answer.

However, the typical price range homeowners pay for a security system include:

  • $99 to $1,000+ in upfront costs
  • $30 to $80 in ongoing monthly monitoring fees

To help you budget, we’ll break down all the factors that determine what you’ll pay, both in upfront and ongoing fees, for your home security system.

Want a specific price estimate for your home security system? Richmond Alarm provides free, no-obligation home assessments and quotes.

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Upfront costs of a home security system

Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $99 to $1,000 in “upfront costs” when they install a security system.

The upfront costs of a home security system include:

  1. Cost of equipment
  2. Cost of labor (if system is professionally installed)
  3. Activation fees

Let’s take a look at how each of these 3 line items affect your security system bill.

1.Cost of equipment

The “basic” equipment that typically comprises a security system include:

  • Control panel or “hub”. This device controls the entire security system by connecting all security products and controlling communication among them. The control panel also communicates to dispatch personnel in the event of an emergency. A control panel can vary from a simple panel to a sleek touch screen.
  • Door/window/glass-break sensors. These devices monitor all doors and windows in your home and alert the control panel if an issue occurs.
  • Smoke alarms. These are smoke-sensing devices that sound an alarm if/when it detects any amount of smoke in the area. These devices alert the panel and communicate to the monitoring center even if you don’t have the alarm set. This means with a professionally monitored solution, you have 24/7 protection.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms. These devices monitor for dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide (an odorless, colorless gas also called the “silent killer”). These devices also alert the panel and communicate to the monitoring center even if you don’t have the alarm set.
  • Motion detectors. These devices monitor for and alert the control panel of any suspicious movement in the surrounding area.

You may want to consider the cost of additional security and home automation products, such as:

  • Cellular communication/smart phone control. This feature allows you to control your security system from your smartphone or any web device. That means, no matter whether you’re at home or far from it, you can arm/disarm your security system and control individual security products using your phone. This also means that you’ll get alerts on your smartphone anytime a security device alerts the control panel.
  • Indoor/outdoor security cameras. Installing indoor and/or outdoor cameras can help you keep an eye out for children, pets, burglars, etc. Plus, if you have smartphone control, you can view live video and/or recorded video right from your phone, no matter where you are.
  • Video doorbells. With a video doorbell, you can be alerted immediately via a smartphone notification when someone steps onto the front porch. As soon as motion is detected on the front porch, the camera on the doorbell activates two-way conversation and records the event.
  • Smart locks & lighting. With smart locks and lighting, you can lock and unlock your doors or turn lights on/off no matter where you are, all from your smartphone.
  • Flood/water leak alarms. These devices monitor for and immediately alert the control panel of any unwanted water leaks.
  • And more…

Live in the Virginia area and not sure what security products your home needs? Just contact Richmond Alarm Companies. Our security experts can assess your home and help you build a customized security system that fits your security needs.

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2.Cost of labor

If your security system is professionally installed, you’ll need to budget for an additional $300 or more in labor fees.

Some security companies try to minimize the cost associated with the installation process, however. For example, at Richmond Alarm, we offer FREE installation for most residential security systems.

You may decide to install your security system on your own but these DIY systems do have a few downfalls, such as:

  • Safety could be compromised by improper installation
  • Limited to no guidance, only over-the-phone help (someone who can’t see the inside of your home)
  • Have to teach yourself how to use the system
  • Only package options, no custom-designed systems
  • Voided equipment warranties if installed incorrectly
  • You do all the work

On the other hand, the pros of a professional installation typically outweigh the cons (see below).

Professional installation


  • Safety devices are installed to meet local code requirements
  • Customized system for stronger security
  • Face-to-face communication, a pro can walk you through how to use your system
  • Experienced professionals can use any existing security products you have (which lowers the cost of equipment)
  • You don’t have to do any work!


  • Need to schedule an appointment
  • One-time installation fee
  • Less control over system setup

3.Activation fees

Your activation fee is the one-time cost to activate your security system. This fee can range anywhere from $25 to $125, depending on the company.

Be warned, though, sometimes companies don’t mention the activation fee at the time of purchase. Always ask your security company about their activation fees before you sign off on anything.

Ongoing costs of a home security system

After you’ve paid for equipment, installation and activation, you may opt to have your system professionally monitored.

Having your system professionally monitored means that security experts are on standby 24/7 and are alerted immediately whenever an alarm is triggered in your home. From there, these experts will reach out in seconds to help you and determine whether authorities (i.e. police, paramedics, fire department, etc.) need to be dispatched.

Richmond Alarms offers 24/7 monitoring services. In fact, we’re the only 5 Diamond monitoring center in Central Virginia and we consistently have a 60% faster response to emergency calls than other monitoring companies.

If you choose professional monitoring, you’ll pay anywhere from $20 to $80+ per month.

Your monthly monitoring cost really just depends on:

  • The number of products being monitored. The more products being monitored, the more you’ll pay every month.
  • The type of products being monitored. Adding in home automation products (vs just basic security products) will raise the overall monitoring cost per month.
  • The type of monitoring you choose (landline vs cellular). Landline monitoring is typically much cheaper than cellular monitoring. However, most homeowners don’t have landlines anymore, which means that in most cases, cellular monitoring is the realistic option.

Do I need professional monitoring?

Some homeowners opt to “self monitor” their system to avoid any ongoing monthly fees. That means the homeowner calls authorities or handles the emergency themselves when an alarm sounds. But the big risk here is that if you’re unavailable (i.e. asleep or away from home) when an alarm sounds, your home and safety is at risk.

A professionally-monitored system, on the other hand, calls for help even when you can’t.

Want a quote for your home security system?

Just contact the professionals at Richmond Alarm Companies.

We’ll send over a professional who can walk through your home and determine your precise security needs—for FREE. Then we can design various custom security systems, each with an upfront price quote, so you can pick the system and monitoring option that best fits your budget.

Schedule a free quote