To monitor or not?

Somehow I don't know that today's question will bring up as many great responses as yesterday's Komodo vs Coder discussion. The question of the day relates to home alarm systems. The house we're in has an alarm system built-in and now we're faced with wondering whether to have it monitored or not.

What I think I would rather is to have a fire and carbon monoxide alarm that is monitored, perhaps with a panic feature that is monitored as well, and to have the security alarm send me a message.

In that way I can figure out whether to take action, avoid the false alarms that go along with a family living in a house where the unexpected happens and we don't always use the door that was planned.

To date my main experience with alarms, mainly in businesses, has been with setting them off by accident. Back in the day I set off the alarm at the search and rescue cache, which was a sheriff's department facility. That brought an armed response from the deputies, fortunately we knew them and it wasn't a big deal but it still points to just how useful they might be to us.

On the other side, however, the office doesn't directly enter the house. So it would be nice at night to have a little more sense of what might be happening in the office. Though perhaps the solution there is more along the lines of EvoCam would be the better route to go.

So the question becomes whether or not it is worth having a monitoring service. What have people experienced? What works for you and if you had it to do over would you do it differently?