I have a system that was installed when the house was built. All basement and first floor windows and doors are monitored and there are motion sensors covering the entire first floor.
The panel in the master bedroom shows where an entry is made and allows me to see where someone is moving to and from on the first level.
No monitoring by an outside service. Alarm sounds outside and inside the house. Most neighbors have the same type of system and will call LEO when an alarm is triggered.
Like I said, if I'm not home, then it's only things. And things can be replaced. Yes, maybe not the sentimental value of some items, but we can't take those with us in the end, so I'm not as concerned. We have insurance for what might end up destroyed or stolen. Myself, my husband, and my son -- THOSE are the things I worry about and will fiercely protect and defend. That's what the trigger finger is for. The rest, let the insurance company worry about it.
Originally Posted by OldVet
Plus, we have very observant neighbors and several LEOs on our street. If the crooks really want to have at my TV when I'm not home, they're brave and stupid. If they get it, well, there ya go, TVs can be replaced.
Just some tips from a retired security professional.
1. If the responce form the monitoring company is more than 45 seconds then get another company.
2. There are montion detectors that will not respond to pets upto 80 pounds.
3. Don't use land line or cable monitoring (they are the first to be cut), use a cell system if at all possible. Cost about $350 more up front and about 10$ a month but it's worth it.
4. Alarm systems limit the time the bg can hang around searching for all your hidden GUNS.
5. Use it all the time. And unarmed alarm system is no better than an unloaded gun.
6. USE the yard signs and window stickers. Bad guys like to hit the easy targets.
7. Most systems if you disarm them in 30 seconds (variable 5 sec+) will send a code so the monitoring company will know it's a false alarm.
8. The call pattern required by law now in most locals for buglar alarms is TWO attempts to contact someone before calling the polise. For Fire its call the fire dept. then the contacts. I won't even get into the one like silent holdup and so on.
I hope this helps someone, if anyone has any questions just ask.
Good tips, mkphillips. :hand10: Welcome to the forum.
I had one installed before we moved into this house. At the time I worked some nights and traveled a lot. Now I would have one no matter what my schedule or where we live.
Originally Posted by BukWild
It is not an issue to use: it takes the pressing of 2 buttons to arm.
Recently I upgraded it to plug some security holes. Now every window and every door is covered, most more than once.
Absolutely. If used, it means no silent entry into the house.
Originally Posted by BukWild
When I'm laying in bed and hear the floor creak, I realize it's just the house and not an intruder.
Police response time is about 3 minutes. Yes, a lot can happen in 3 minutes, but the loud alarms may be enough to dissuade an intruder from staying.
For when I'm not home but the family is, the alarm is to bring the cavalry, or dissuade the intruder... and perhaps give the daughter time to follow procedures and arm herself.
For when I'm home, the alarm is to give me a couple seconds' advantage, or to wake me from sleep and let me know it's time. Nothing says, "You're screwed" like waking up to an armed intruder in your bedroom who is pointing a gun at your head. This I would like to avoid, and a properly used securitiy alarm can help me reach this goal.
The cavalry's eventual arrival will help, but for those first few minutes, it's all up to me. So I need to know the instant entry is made.
If the phone line is cut, the alarms start blaring immediately. Tested inadvertantly while working on the phone lines. :embarassed:
Well worth it for intruder notification only, even if there were no police response.
No pets, but when we are pet-sitting, no issues if we don't use the motion sensors. The house is fully alarmed even without using the motion sensors.
Originally Posted by BukWild
A security alarm won't solve every problem, but a good system may give me the advantage we need to prevail during a home invasion.
- If home, we will be notified immediately.
- The police will eventually be notified.
- The extremely loud blaring may disorient the intruder(s), may change their minds, and will certainly eliminate their sense of stealth. The neighbors are close and will hear the alarms.
If the intruders continue and I am home, the neighbors will hear more than the alarms.
Note to self: if the alarms sound unexpectedly, do NOT silence them out of habit. Let them blare, let the calls be made, get the family to safety, direct the daughter to arm herself and empty the gun on anyone who comes through the door other than me, take up my position, and then enter that world where time slows and the senses come alive.
:haha: Your home repairs must go as well as mine. :rofl:
Originally Posted by grady
We went with ADT and have had good service from them. As many have said we have a land line w/cell backup and all the other bells & whistles. Then I installed motion lights and a 4-camera DVR setup with night-vision cameras so we can see anyone approaching the house from any direction. Recently, our next door neighbor, who is an SAPD Captain showed me an ingenious device that is a fake camera with a motion sensor that actually turns towards the source of any motion detected and follows it until the motion source is out of range. I bought a couple of them to put down close where anyone approaching the house could see them. My real cameras are mounted high out of the way to prevent tampering. My LEO neighbor told me that the fake cameras were great because of the motion/following feature and I agree.
The main reason for the cameras was to give us a heads up of anyone approaching the house in the event of a home invasion. We timed about how long it would take a determined attacker to break a window or kick in a door, and made it around 30 seconds from the time they got through till they would be in the bedrooms. The cameras we figured would add about 15 or 20 seconds to that time, with the motion lights and the cameras hopefully giving them a moment of pause.
Of course, the real deterrent for anyone is seeing the Police Captains' car parked next door most evenings......
Originally Posted by rottkeeper
I won't even begin to discuss my store-trip-per-job average.
Originally Posted by grady
If a security system is not the only means, but an addendum to other means, it's a good idea.
1) It's a layer, and although will not stop a break in, will warn you as well as the intruder. But it probably won't scare the intruder off like it shows in the Brinks commercials.
2) I also have fire and sump pump monitors.
3) My system is monitored - "local" company - about 100 miles away.
4) I have pets, so no motion detectors - they work on a focused IR "curtain" which senses movement in the IR signature. The "pet friendly" versions just use a lens to raise the curtain up off the floor. If a cat jumps on the couch, the alarm will go off.
5) Mine is monitored. I've had this particular system for 2 1/2 years, and have not had a false alarm yet.
6) In many areas, you get one or two false alarms, then the SO or PD's bill you for the false call.
7) In case of land line interruption, you can also install a dedicated cellular backup.
To answer Ram Rod's question, if you are monitoring for fire, sump, water, temperature etc., and are out of the house, the alarm company will call you and let you know there is a ____ (fill in the blank) alarm going off. I only set mine at night and when we are gone from the house. In case of a fire alarm, they call the FD first, then call my phone.
Sixto is absolutely correct!! First thing the alarm company does is call the owner to make sure it's a valid alarm. Then, if there is no answer, will call the designated agency. In my case, it's the SO or local FD. That's in the case of intrusion or fire. If it's the sump pump or temperature, they'll call one of my two backups. You can set the protocol/priory up up however you please.
Bottom line is that an alarm system is only one layer of security, and as with any single layer, subject to Mr. Murphy. If you are considering a system, try to find a locally monitored system.
Instruction mode - OFF
Can you tell us what who makes them?
Originally Posted by edr9x23super
When I bought my house it already had a security alarm installed. I never had it reactivated because I figure my doberman, rottie mix and girlfriend's little dog will do the same job as a siren going off, and probably better.
If you break into my house you are either incredibly stupid or as well armed as I am. Hopefully just stupid.
The problem with a cellular/wireless/GSM circuit is that in the event of area wide power outage the cell tower battery backup systems start running down after 24 hours. A wired line will go to a Central Office and usually has far longer running backup systems.
Big time worth it IMO.
Originally Posted by BukWild
I use the alarm minus the motion detecters to avoid the pet issues. Besides one of my pets is a very protective little terror. She thinks she's a doberman, but truth is she's a 20lb Rat terrier.
If you have a house full of valuables and weapons, I'd say it ranks pretty high on the scale for personal protection, for me anyway.
I think they are a good layer of security.
However, I have some reservations about getting one to be monitored.
I answer these alarm calls every day....panic alarms where people press the FOB and activate the "oh crap come help me now" alarm, glass breaks, motions, and door/window alarms, both residential and commercial.
I've answered false alarms for Brinks/Broadview, ADT, and all the local companies....they ALL have issues with false alarms with motion detectors, glass break sensors, and door switches. We have so many false alarms that after 3 where officers are sent the city charges $50 each time, if the homeowner doesn't pay then they go on the no response list. One would think the homeowners would be pressing the alarm companies to put the correct things in place or fix them, etc, but I don't see it happening. I've responded to a few good alarms where the place had been burglarized and the dirtbags gone. We had to clear the house each time and Brinks/ADT/others on the alarm box speaker inquiring for info after the ear-splitting siren goes off (always fun to concentrate on clearing a house not knowing if an armed dirtbag is in the next room while a 120decibel siren is going off so loud it makes your head hurt).
I'm thinking about getting some unmonitored door/window switches connected to a ear-blasting siren to scare 'em off and put up some signs/stickers so the would be burglars wouldn't know any different. Or I may get monitored fire protection and put on door window switches only, no motions, can't decide.
My lab pups are 11 mo old now and are starting to get protective, barking at noises, etc, I hope they fill the role of my last yellow lab that was a great guard dog for an additional layer while we're home.
set up of motion sensors
I realize different companies have different set up options, and folks in other countries have products available we do not. My sister in-law in Australia has a monitored system but the motion sensors won't alert unless the perimeter sensors are first breached. That eliminates much of the false alarm issue and is a nice touch. But, she also uses protective steel window curtains of a type we can't find here.
Originally Posted by 64zebra
I like your idea of monitored fire protection, unmonitored minimum perimeter alarms + dog(s).
Still, from what I have seen of my sister in-law's system (which is a very sophisticated one) they are still too much trouble. Alarms aren't that much of a deterrent whereas other possible measures are a deterrent.
E.g., Security cameras are inexpensive. And even dummy non-functional cameras all over the place will deter if they are highly visible and the BGs can't determine that they aren't the real deal. Similarly, motion sensors, even if not hooked up, but are visible from outside the house, will deter. The BG has no way of knowing if a silent alarm has been tripped.
I have several live security cameras, but plan to go to a pawn shop and look for some more. All they need to do is seem alive (have a led light on them that glows).
The array of motion sensors and cameras only need look alive to give lots of deterrent.