Whole house alarm system when guests are single rooms

I need input on this - I have a whole house alarm system and I have some rooms that are airbnb. The problem is that the alarm is currently powered off because there are few times when the house is unoccupied for any time more than a few hours etc, and with the multiple rooms I am reluctant to ask people to set the alarm because… well, as well all know, guests are not that careful and certainly do not want to follow instructions.

Two questions:

  1. how do people with my situation deal with alarm systems? It is a keypad near the entrance to the house.

  2. what do I do with my recurring billing? Dos I simply stop using a service provider if my system is literally turned off for weeks at a time?

I think you have to help us understand why you feel the need for a whole house alarm system in the first place. Is your neighborhood particularly dangerous? Have there been break ins regularly on your street? Did you install due to a general fear of being robbed? Did you buy a house that already had a system installed?

I think the answers would be informed by understanding why the system is installed in your house and your motivations for keeping it.

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well, as most of us, I have had the house for 14 years - and installed an alarm back then. I got a small deduction in my homeowners insurance for it. But otherwise, no, no break ins etc. locally in my neighborhood I think.

I have actually had it turned off for the time I have been hosting.

I am clearly not in the "most of us"category. I have never felt fearful in any of our houses [thank goodness I have been so lucky]… but if it is not required for your personal safety, I can’t imagine paying those huge monthly fees. So my pragmatic advice is, if you don’t need the system, don’t ask your guests to deal with it and don’t pay for it. Strangely the presence of monitors and those door stickers can be a deterrent.


I’m not a “most of us” either. I’ve lived all over the States and the world, and never lived anywhere (including Saigon) where I felt the need for any kind of alarm system. Personally I’d turn it off and get rid of the monitoring company and monthly payments.


I have two whole house alarm systems…and they are both turned off…one for over 10 yrs. They were installed by the previous owners. One house (Tahoe) I rented for two summers as a vacation rental and the other (Las Vegas) was purchased three months ago.

The first thing we did was cancel the alarm service companies and stopped the bleeding of the costly monthly payments. Neither neighborhood was classified as either high or even low-crime so it was money down the drain to have them. One property was pimped out with a hidden floor safe and a customized secret drawer for jewelry and such. The other property had a wall safe and the owner wrote the combination on the wall beside it. Yes, both owners were elderly.

I checked with both the alarm companies and local law enforcement to see when the most recent calls were for attempted entries/burglaries. There was never a call except once at the Tahoe property. The Sheriff showed up because the alarm went off for an unauthorized entry…us, together with our realtor, who was showing us the place.

You have to first consider whether you really need an alarm system. If you have one, why would you entrust strangers (your short term guests) with the know-how of how to operate it?!

When you cancel service, the keypad and all the wires in the windows and signs, etc., stay. Trust me…just having that front door keypad (disengaged but still blinking) and the stickers on the windows and sign in the yard will deter the criminals from even attempting entry…and it won’t cost you a cent.

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