protecting my house

sourceninja

Diamond Member
Mar 8, 2005
8,805
65
91
My wife and I want to get a security system for our house. However, we can't decide what is the best way to go. I wanted to get other people's experiences on what worked for them. I live in a 2 story house about 3000sq feet with an attached garage. I'd like something with a little key fob to arm and disarm the alarm.

Any suggestions or comments?
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
Buy some sensors/cameras/communications hub and make your own? :D

Seriously, from what I've read, it's not that hard. Expensive, but not that hard...
 

AliasX

Senior member
Jan 29, 2006
508
0
0
SOS is a good company.

You don't want your own. You want a company that calls you 30 seconds after the alarm goes off, and if nobody picks up or a unverified person does, they call the police and send the police to your house. You can get special screens for your windows that sound the alarm if they are cut through, etc. All ofr around $3000. Well worth it in my opinion.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
Originally posted by: AliasX
SOS is a good company.

You don't want your own. You want a company that calls you 30 seconds after the alarm goes off, and if nobody picks up or a unverified person does, they call the police and send the police to your house. You can get special screens for your windows that sound the alarm if they are cut through, etc. All ofr around $3000. Well worth it in my opinion.
Nah, you just need a generator that electrifies all exterior metal surfaces when the alarm goes off. :D

Edit: If done right, that might actually be feasible...
 

Soundmanred

Lifer
Oct 26, 2006
10,784
6
81
Dogs can't shoot your gun when you aren't home. I'm sure he'd like protection when he's not there. Most dogs don't help, they just run up to burglars and lick them.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
641
126
Don't go with ADT. You couldn't find a more expensive company to monitor your alarm. Assuming you want it monitored.

Find a local independent company. These guys actually prefer to install in a residence after it's built.

I have a single story home. Everything is hard-wired. But there is a lot of wireless equipment out there now. We have two keypads. One at the primary entrance and one in the MBR. The whole system took about 11 hours to put in. This was about 17 or 18 years ago. It's essentially been trouble free. I've had to replace the backup battery in the panel several times. Normal maintenance.

I have my system monitored by http://www.watchlight.com/. They're in CA, I'm in Michigan. Less that $10 a month. Talk to your insurance company about having a monitored alarm. The reduction in your premiums will nearly offset the monitoring cost. At least it does for me. These systems will let the monitoring company know if you need police, or fire or both. Cops don't like showing up at fires and likewise, Fireman don't like responding to burglary calls. Forget about an outside siren. Everyone ignores those.

I would never go with a big company for an alarm install. They install a bare minimum of equipment and have outrageous monitoring fees.
 

Pepsei

Lifer
Dec 14, 2001
12,895
1
0
adt sucks... it works as well as unmonitored security system.

where do you live that you need protection?
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
Originally posted by: boomerang
Don't go with ADT. You couldn't find a more expensive company to monitor your alarm. Assuming you want it monitored.

Find a local independent company. These guys actually prefer to install in a residence after it's built.

I have a single story home. Everything is hard-wired. But there is a lot of wireless equipment out there now. We have two keypads. One at the primary entrance and one in the MBR. The whole system took about 11 hours to put in. This was about 17 or 18 years ago. It's essentially been trouble free. I've had to replace the backup battery in the panel several times. Normal maintenance.

I have my system monitored by http://www.watchlight.com/. They're in CA, I'm in Michigan. Less that $10 a month. Talk to your insurance company about having a monitored alarm. The reduction in your premiums will nearly offset the monitoring cost. At least it does for me. These systems will let the monitoring company know if you need police, or fire or both. Cops don't like showing up at fires and likewise, Fireman don't like responding to burglary calls. Forget about an outside siren. Everyone ignores those.

I would never go with a big company for an alarm install. They install a bare minimum of equipment and have outrageous monitoring fees.
Actually, it'd be useful in the sense that the criminal would know that an alarm was installed. As most alarm systems are monitored now, he/she might decide to GTFO as opposed to chancing the cops showing up in a couple of minutes.

 

Auric

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,596
2
71
So you just want to protect the house but yourself and your family, not so much? A monitored alarm may discourage some ne'er-do-wells from burglary but prevents neither damage nor harm. Drug-crazed hippies intent on bloody murder don't necessarily care that the pigs are going to show up after the fact. Ergo, budget for actually securing likely entrance ways. Indeed, try to discourage said ne-er-do-wells from even trespassing by having dogs or a moat or a moat filled with dogs.
 

sourceninja

Diamond Member
Mar 8, 2005
8,805
65
91
I have a 1911 and a glock to protect my family. I'm also moderately trained in combat sports. I'm not too worried about someone getting in while I am home. We live in a great area. In fact it is voted one of the best places to live in my state. The problem is it that a bad area is only about 15 minutes from here, and of course these guys seem to show up to steal stuff in these very quit subdivisions with no street lights where nobody is ever home. They seem to go in cycles, switching which areas are the targets, but when it happens, its 3 or 4 houses. Recently a drug addict robbed the CVS by my house (and several others), and a lady down the street from me found a burgler in her home (he ran out when she turned on the light, but stole some expensive items).

What I want is something to protect me from fire, gas leaks, etc, plus offer nice protection from break ins. I have a few animals, so I need motion sensors that can handle that. I also watch that show 'It takes a theif' and I know they have some nice technology out there that could make using the system a lot easier (keyless entry, turning on lights from your key chain, arm and disarm via key chain, etc).

The main problem is there are sooo many options out there to look at. alarm.com, adt, brinks, local vendors, etc. It is just overwhelming.
 

sourceninja

Diamond Member
Mar 8, 2005
8,805
65
91
I have many things in my house I can not replace and can not be stored in fireproof safes. Many books that are very rare, old video games, very rare guitars, paintings, etc. Sure, I would get money for them if stolen, but I could never get them back. The hassle of getting all the stuff back that can be replaced would be hell. Large LCD tvs, game systems, notebooks, desktops, large flat panel monitors, recording equipment, display items, etc. Are all going to be pain to have to go out and buy again. The cats could be lost as well (they are probably not smart enough to avoid the traffic on the highway nearby and would run if scared). In the case of fire, my favorite clothing, concert tshirts, my pets, all the other things I listed, my backups (I should do offsite backups, but come on, its a house), my furniture we spent so much time hunting down, etc would all be lost.

This is about that extra layer of security when you are not there. We already have a nice safe bolted down in the closet, we keep most of the expensive items and important papers in there. I have access to firearms in under 10 seconds. My cars have alarms, my doors are deadbolted, I have motion sensing lights, etc. But so did the people who were robbed. They know that out here, its hard to tell where that alarm is coming from because of the darkness and all the trees. They know most of the garages in this area have windows (most of the break in's have been though garage windows, then into the house via unlocked door from inside the garage), They know that most of the time people in this area are not home. Luckily, I have a deadbolt to the garage and my garage does not have a window. But I have a nice fenced in back yard with lots of cover from trees. It would be easy to hide back there and take out the back door, sneak in and take what you want right out though the back. Nobody would be the wiser. Also, due to rising tax costs, the area is full of people moving. I would think nothing about watching a bunch of unknown people walking into someone's house and moving them out. If someone however did break in and trigger an alarm, I have a feeling they would not want to stay around and find out the police response time.

I guess what I'm saying is that I have taken all the steps everyone says to take. I own a few handguns, I have a safe, I have trained my wife on the use of both. We have deadbolts on all doors, we lock the door from the garage to the house at night and when we are away. The only thing missing is monitoring of our house while we are gone. I"m trying to find out what the best deal is and who has the best service before I start calling their salesmen in to push their stuff on me.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
60,260
8,413
136
We signed up with ADT about 6 years ago. They "gave" us the wireless alarm console, sensors for four doors/windows, 2 key fobs, and an interior motion sensor....all installed at no extra cost. I paid aobut $100 to have an outside horn installed.
We were pretty happy with the equipment and service...but after the initial contract, prices kept going up and up.

Then, aobut 2 years ago, the city I live in changed its alarm policy, (you already were required to obtain a permit) and won't respond to unverified alarms due to a high number of false alarms.

Along comes Monitronics offering much the same deal as ADT, but when they found out we already had the ADT system, they offered a sweet system upgrade including cell-phone transmitter in case the land line is out/cut, another motion sensor, and a smoke alarm/sensor for the alarm system...again, all installed at no additional charge. IIRC, the monthly rate is about $30, and the system works very well. I've accidentally hit the dammed panic button on the key fob a couple of times :roll: and they are calling on the alarm panel within seconds...if no one answers with the correct information, they call our cell phones.

Since we dropped ADT, they've made several offers trying to get us back...if they'd have tried as hard to keep us, we'd never have switched...
 

everman

Lifer
Nov 5, 2002
11,288
1
0
Originally posted by: oldsmoboat
Why would a ninja need a security system? :confused:
While ninjas themselves are very fast, they can fly, and are invisible, they can't be in two places at once.
 

ChAoTiCpInOy

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2006
6,445
1
81
Brinks....

Don't think that guns are the way to go. Most people do not get the correct training to use a gun and as such when robbed they are actually in more danger because the burgler can take the gun from them and use it against them.
 

ranmaniac

Golden Member
May 14, 2001
1,939
0
76
I don't know which security company I'd go with, however, for the garage / driveway, a motion sensor light is a good idea, and is relatively inexpensive to setup.

 

JC86

Senior member
Jan 18, 2007
694
0
0
At my old place, we had ADT, the monthly monitoring fee was expensive, something around $50. I'm now with the Monitoring Center. They're only $9.00 a month for monitoring costs. Depending on your house's layout, the equipment costs vary but for my 3600 sq ft home, I spent around $500 for the motion sensors and door sensors for all the doors. It's a considerable up front cost but just about all security companies make you pay for the equipment so I think its a wash. They're small so they might not service your area but you can't beat their price.
 

runzwithsizorz

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2002
3,500
14
76
Technology may now be a bit better, but years ago my parents ADT *protected* home was broken into, and alot of things were stolen. The crooks simply cut the phone lines.
Sure, the outside alarm sounded, but was quickly turned off at the panel once the crooks gained entry,(a min. or less). Most neighbors tend to ignor short alarms, thus, the crooks had all the time in the world.
You may want to rethink going with ADT. Just my 2 senses.



http://www.insideedition.com/news.aspx?storyID=1312
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
641
126
My home was broken into prior to my having the alarm installed. I live in a rural community far from the bad guys. My house was a target because the homes are spread way out and there are essentially no neighbors to see what was happening. Low risk for crooks.

There is something to be said for signs and stickers with no alarm. Nearly all break-ins are done for one purpose only. To steal easily carried items to be sold for drug money. These are not the smartest members of society. But they are smart enough to know that a home with an alarm is to be avoided when another home without is available. Signs and stickers let them know there's an alarm. Or make them think so.

There are other good reasons to have a monitored alarm. Say you travel frequently. That monitored alarm can let you know when there is a power failure (sump pump), you have water in the basement, or a broken window (storm damage) among other things. They call you and you know you have to deal with it. By calling a friend or relative, cutting a trip short, whatever.

As I said earlier, outside sirens do nothing. When was the last time you picked up the phone or went running to investigate when a siren went off? I know the answer - never. This makes you no different than the majority of people.
 

Corbett

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
3,074
0
76
I just installed my own alarm recently.

I had called ADT and Brinks prior but they both wanted long term 3 year contracts. On top of that, I dont have a phone line, only cell phone. So each quoted me about $100 for the alarm, but $45 a month for monitoring since they had to monitor over the cell network.

I decided to install my own from homesecuritystore.com Cost about $250 and took about 3 hours to install and program.

Then I went to NextAlarm.com and bought their ABN Broadband router to monitor my alarm via the internet for only $10 a month!

I'm exteremly happy with my decision.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
641
126
Originally posted by: Corbett
I just installed my own alarm recently.

I had called ADT and Brinks prior but they both wanted long term 3 year contracts. On top of that, I dont have a phone line, only cell phone. So each quoted me about $100 for the alarm, but $45 a month for monitoring since they had to monitor over the cell network.

I decided to install my own from homesecuritystore.com Cost about $250 and took about 3 hours to install and program.

Then I went to NextAlarm.com and bought their ABN Broadband router to monitor my alarm via the internet for only $10 a month!

I'm exteremly happy with my decision.
That sounds like a great setup.
 

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