First Alert Professional Security Systems does not sell directly to the public. The company markets their home security systems through a network of independent dealers. Honeywell, one of the top two manufacturers of residential sensors, detectors, and other home security products, owns First Alert Pro. The company uses another Honeywell subsidiary, Total Connect, for remote and smartphone management. They provide monitoring through a variety of certified vendor monitoring facilities.
First Alert Professional has a dealer and monitoring facility relationships throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. All the companies used are UL (Underwriters Laboratory) and ULC (Underwriters Laboratory Canada) rated. The average monitoring contract length is two years.
Pricing for monthly monitoring contracts, including costs for installation and service activation, varies considerably depending on the local dealer. The Honeywell brand’s product guarantee gives owners protection from defects no matter which independent dealer use.
First Alert Professionals Pros
- Quality Equipment from a Leading Manufacturer
- Good Product Warranties
- Wide Variety of Products Available
- Ability to Customize based on Residential Size and Needs
First Alert Professionals Complaints
- Lack of Pricing Transparency
- Monitoring Contract Lengths Vary Considerably
- Service Quality Dependent on Local Dealer
Home Security Packages Overview and Charges
|Monitoring Contract Length||2 Years|
*Smartphone Remote Management with Honeywell Total Connect is not included
Each First Alert Professional dealer can set prices for the components, monitoring, installation, and activation. Discounts, coupons, local competition and other factors will determine the cost in your particular area.
The so-called list price mentioned on most First Alert Pro dealers’ websites has certain basic costs and features:
Home Security Service Overview
Honeywell has about 40 subsidiary companies including First Alert Professionals. Honeywell home security technology is used by many of the major home security providers.
The business model for First Alert allows independent dealers a great deal of latitude in pricing. Dealers buy products from Honeywell and package them according to what they believe the particular market in their city or region needs. Honeywell provides remote management through another Honeywell subsidiary, Total Connect. The parent company has relationships with different UL and ULC monitoring centers that dealers can exploit for their local customers.
The product lines sold by dealers come from twelve different Honeywell home security technology groups:
- Motion Detectors
- Door/Window Sensors
- Smoke/Heat Detectors
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Wireless Key Fobs
- Glassbreak Detectors
- Control Panel
- Temperature and Flood Sensors
- Asset Protection
- Outdoor Motion Sensors
Honeywell manufactures a variety of sensors and detectors under each group.
In addition to the twelve primary component groups, dealers also sell cameras and smart home devices such as thermostats and locks. The Honeywell control consoles and Tuxedo Keypad will operate Z-Wave devices, the standard used by most home security companies for smart home device management.
Total Connect Remote Services
Honeywell Total Connect services can be purchased through First Alert Pro dealers also. It is not part of the basic package. Total Connect lets you manage all the components of your home security system, including Z-Wave and Video, through a smartphone or portal.
The free app downloads work with iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices. You have four choices of languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English.
The app toolkit receives high ratings from users. There on-line and app tutorial makes it simple to use.
The video feature allows you to view in real-time any events being captured by your home security cameras. You can access archived footage also. There app has a multi-site feature. This feature allows homeowners that could have more than one account to view, for example, cameras located in a guesthouse, principal residence and vacation home using one login. A business user could see up to 100 different sites that have video security installed.
GPS VEHICLE AND ASSET TRACKING
Honeywell has a vehicle and asset tracking function through Total Connect. The service integrates with smart devices connected through the web. You can know exactly where, for example, your teenager’s vehicle in real-time. The system keeps a log of location data also.
You can program various virtual perimeters with this function also. If the vehicle breaches the set geographical parameters, you can be notified by text or email, along with an exact location of the car or truck.
Another useful program included with the GPS functionality gives you the ability to receive notifications if a set speed limit is exceeded.
The most popular keypad most often used by First Alert Professionals customers is the Tuxedo Touch. This control unit has a 7″, high-resolution touchscreen the will manage sensors, detectors, smart home Z-Wave devices and video.
The Tuxedo also has voice command capability that allows you to use spoken commands like “arm” or “show camera one” depending on how you program the keypad.
You can manage all the panel functions through any Wi-Fi enabled device. This includes smartphones, iPads, Internet TVs, and similar devices with Wi-Fi.
You can connect up to 32 cameras to the keypad and view any four of them at one time on the screen.
Other keypad offerings include the 6280 Color Graphic Touchscreen. This Honeywell device also has a 7″inch screen and comes in silver or white. It also can be used as a digital picture frame with slideshows created by the user that play in a loop.
Three other Honeywell wireless 5800 series mini-keypad provide another quick way to access your system from other parts of your home. Two of them, the 5828V and the 5828, have voice capability while the 5839 has a push-button keyboard only.
The 5800 series of wireless motion detectors available include the 5898 Wireless K-Band Dual Tec. This sensor uses standard passive infrared (PIR) and K-Band transmission that minimizes false alarms and provides additional protection.
The two other indoor models, the 5894 and the standard 5800PIR group, have pet-safe models to allow use with pets up to a certain weight.
All models use lithium batteries as power sources. When the battery starts to fail, a low-battery signal will be sent to the keypad.
Honeywell has 14 different types of door/window sensors in their current catalog. Users looking for unobtrusive sensors can purchase standard, recessed, thin or tilt sensors.
The 5800 series of door/window sensors include an ultra-small version, less than 1 ½ inches square. The several types of recessed sensors fit inside the door and door frame to provide complete concealment from the outside.
The Honeywell 5800 WAVE wireless siren has an output rating of 95dB at three feet. It is AC powered but also has a battery backup good for twelve hours. The unit comes with a tamper-proof mounting bracket.
First Alert Pro has four wireless Honeywell smoke/heat detectors. Three of the sensors detect smoke and temperature and one only smoke.
The 5806W3 provides standard fire protection using smoke or particulate sensors. Wireless, the photoelectric system will activate an alarm when a certain minimum of smoke or particular matter becomes trapped or sensed.
The 5808LST, 5809 and 5808W3 all detect smoke as well as temperature rises.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Honeywell has one model of wireless Carbon Monoxide or CO detector, the 5800CO. Powered by a 3V lithium battery, it has a UL2075 rating. The built-in siren will sound in the event it detects CO. The 5800 also sends a signal to your keypad or control console, which will alert the monitoring station. Depending upon the protocols you establish, you will receive a text and/or email alert also.
The unit has an end of life, low battery and tamper message capability that also notifies you and the monitoring station if any of these conditions exist.
Wireless Key Fobs
The wireless key fobs have four buttons that can be programmed individually or paired any way you choose. This allows up to eight functions per key fob. You can arm, disarm, trigger a panic alarm or do whatever other programming applications you set.
The 5834-4 comes programmed and encrypted but you can change the programs using your keypad or console.
Glassbreak, sometimes called shock, sensors have acoustical sensors tuned to the sound of breaking glass. Some mount directly on the surface of the glass while others work at a distance like a motion detector.
Honeywell has four different glassbreak sensors. The 5800SS1 detects breakage of plate, tempered, laminated and wired glass and mounts directly on the surface. The 5819 and 5819WHS have three zones of detection settings given your more flexibility in placement.
The 5853, has the latest sound processing circuit available that analyzes more precisely the sound of the glass breaking as well as the “thump” or “tinkling” sound of the glass striking the rug or floor. It has a 25 foot range and mounts on a wall or the ceiling. You can also select from among four sensitivity settings: max, medium, low and lowest.
The 5853 batteries last for up to ten years.
Three LYNX wireless control panels manage the entire system, including the Z-Wave products. Honeywell’s signature panel is the LYNX Touch 7000. The 7000 has a 7-inch color touchscreen that includes weather notifications and news alerts. Honeywell will upgrade the software automatically through the cellular receiver. The Lynx 7000 also has two-way voice that connects the user directly with the monitoring company.
The LYNX 5200 has a slightly smaller 4.7-inch color touchscreen. It has the same sensor and detector management capabilities as the 7000, including two-way voice and weather and news alerts.
The LYNX Plus does not use a touchscreen but has the same functionality and supports all the Honeywell 5800 series detectors, sensors and other home security devices.
Temperature and Flood Sensors
The 5821 provides protection against temperature fluctuations and flood conditions. You can use this sensor to detect one or both.
There are five temperature ranges: hot, warm, cold, refrigerate and freeze. You can buy two different remote probes separately: one for freeze and one for flood.
You deploy these sorts of sensors in bathrooms, by water heaters or near any other type of appliance that may flood or overflow. It will also detect and signal the control panel if the temperature drops to 45° or below.
The unit has a 10-year batter life.
The 5870API asset protection sensor lets you protect any valuable such as electronics, safes, equipment or jewelry. You affix the 5870 to the asset and if anyone attempts to move or disturb it will transmit an alarm signal. Tamperproof, the 5870 also signals the panel if the battery starts to fail.
You can either attach the sensor directly to the item or conceal it within or somewhere on it. With the control panels or through Total Connect you can also program email or text alert whenever the 5870 is triggered.
Outdoor Motion Sensors
The outdoor motion detector model, the 5800PIR-OD, has two PIR sensors that must be tripped before sending the alarm signal, providing greater reliability. The detection range can also be adjusted for greater control.
This sensor, like the indoor models, will not trigger if small animals or pets wander into range. You can adjust the field of view from 90° to 180° by moving the housing. You can also set the range from seven-feet up to forty-feet.
It also has a tamper switch.
Honeywell has one Z-Wave smart home appliance, a thermostat, though with Z-Wave any manufacturer’s product from locks to light controls will work.
The ZWSTAT thermostat lets you manage your HVAC system through your home security keypad or panel. Besides the standard functions like adjusting the temperature or setting times to automatically do so, the ZWSTAT will notify you when you need to change air or dehumidifier filters or pads.
Based out of Morristown, New Jersey, Honeywell has been in business for almost 100 years. After several iterations, the current Fortune 100 conglomerate concentrates on several key sectors:
- Residential, Commercial and Industrial Control Systems
- Specialty Chemicals and Plastics
- Engineered Materials
The merger of Allied Signal Inc. with Honeywell Inc. coincided with when the First Alert Professional subsidiary began marketing alarm and home security products in 1989. Honeywell did not start marketing First Alert Pro to the home security sector, however, until the early 1990s. This was when the company began inviting independent dealers to join the Honeywell team for home security sales.
The Total Connect services division began in 2007 and was one of the first interactive system allowing users to manage their home security remotely. Total Connect targets the home and business security markets. The system receives excellent ratings for its video interface capabilities.
First Alert Professional maintains close contact with and sponsors regular interaction among all their dealers.
There is no substitute for experience! Please share your First Alert Professional experiences with us. Good, bad or mediocre we welcome your comments. Postings about Honeywell products or Total Connect services would be useful also.
Honeywell provides top-quality products for home security. Many of First Alert Professional’s competitors, some of the biggest home security providers in the industry, use Honeywell products also.
First Alert Pro has plenty of online resources for the user. You can access manuals and detailed instructions regarding the components, connecting devices or using the Total Protect remote management. Honeywell’s reputation for quality products means that technical issues with the sensors and detectors likely will not cause you problems.
The monitoring, backed by the Honeywell name even though it is contracting out, receives good reliability ratings. The two year minimum contracts are less than the industry standard three-year too.
If you want a self-install system, First Alert Pro is not a good option for you. For better DIY security system options check out our Frontpoint review and our Protect America review. If you are concerned about price, First Alert Professional may or may not be a good choice. Price is almost entirely dependent upon the local dealer. Specials, coupons and local package deals can mitigate any pricing concerns depending upon your geographical location.