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LAST UPDATED: May 27th, 2022

In 1997, a man named James A. Stein founded National Certified Alarms, Inc., or NCA. The company has headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, and does business in 18 Tennessee counties. NCA has some of the lowest home security systems in the industry, starting at less than $10 a month. NCA uses Central Station (also known as C.O.P.S.) alarm monitoring services and offers both digital and landline-based solutions. Current and prospective customers can find a wealth of information about the systems on the NCA website. The company prides itself on excellent customer service.

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The Good

  • Price
  • Variety of Alarm Choices
  • Online Resources
  • Self-Installation


When investigating different home security systems, you'll find prices all over the board. Some companies charge exorbitant amounts, while other companies have reasonable prices. NCA charges very competitive monthly fees for its systems. In fact, at a starting price of $9.95, few, if any, alarm system companies have better deals that this. Even the more expensive options are less than $30 a month.

Variety of Alarm Choices

It might seem logical that every potential customer would want a wireless system. Of course, this isn't the case, as everyone has different needs and preferences. NCA recognizes this, so the home security company has wireless and landline-based systems available.

Online Resources

Perhaps you're nervous about purchasing a system from NCA because you've never had a system before. There's nothing to worry about. NCA has a vast library of educational resources to help homeowners understand their system. You can also find online videos that explain how your system works.


In addition to professional installation by a technician, NCA gives you the option of self-installing your alarm equipment and it can then monitor anything you would like. You also have the ability to arm and disarm your home alarm system from your mobile smart device.


The Bad

  • Upfront Fees
  • Available Only Locally
  • Unclear Warranty Information
  • No Home Automation
  • Unable to Purchase Equipment from the Company Itself

Upfront Fees

Yes, with NCA you'll enjoy low monthly costs. Don't be caught off guard, however, by the initial costs the company charges. For every system you purchase with NCA you may be required to pay upfront fees. Make sure you budget this into your decision whether you want to go with NCA for your home security needs.

Available Only Locally

NCA doesn't have a very large coverage area. The company only serves the Nashville community and surrounding areas, so if you live outside of this area, you'll have to take your business elsewhere. It isn't always a bad thing to have a company that only does business locally, but companies with a national presence have a lot of clout and credibility.

Unclear Warranty Information

It's important to be aware of a company's warranty information; however, NCA has no online information about warranties on its products. Consumers and prospective customers are advised to contact customer service to find out about this critical information.

No Home Automation

Home automation is an important aspect of home security. Unfortunately, NCA does not offer this perk.

Unable to Purchase Equipment from the Company Itself

Because you are also unable to purchase equipment from the company itself, NCA is really best for those who have existing equipment, such as motion detectors, a window or door sensor, and fire alarm, that meets the company's requirements, or those who are willing to purchase equipment to work with NCA.

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The Bottom Line

Making the right decision what home security system to use is not a decision to take lightly. There are many factors to consider, including cost, contracts, product variety, quality, reliability and customer service. While NCA has a lot of positives, the local operation, unclear warranty, and lack of home automation features, and inability to provide equipment will be a turnoff for some customers. If these factors are important to you, you should consider looking into top home security companies before becoming an NCA customer.

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William Kyzer

I have used NCA for many years. I had them take over equipment installed by a large national company which kept increasing charges. Their service has always been excellent. Alarm response has been excellent. I have never had cause to question any aspect of their service. I recently did an upgrade to wireless service and was very pleased with the installation. The published rating for this company appears to be based on local TN service and non-published equipment charges. I like having a local company that I can reach out and touch. As for unpublished charges, ask for a quote. NCA honors its quotes. I feel this low published rating is unfair and consumers should see the rating for what it is. NCA is an excellent company.

6 years ago

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Penny Bartlett Lebanon, TN

If you're looking for a home alarm system do not buy NCA. We used them, and boy are we sorry. So bad we decided to purchase a new system, from ADT. We had finished our contract with NCA, and advised them of our new system. But they keep charging us, and the price keeps going up. I have no recourse but to contact my attorney at this point.

2 years ago