Home Alarms - Anyone have suggestions?

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    Home Alarms - Anyone have suggestions?

    Thinking about installing a home alarm system and I'm looking at the benefits/drawbacks to self installed/self monitored systems. Anyone have one that they like or hate. Never had a home system so any words of wisdom will be welcomed!
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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Personally the cons outweighed the pros when I looked at it, but it depends on where you live/how your house is set up/how often you are/aren't at home, etc...

    Motion sensor lights are the most important IMO, wouldn't mind setting up a few cameras either when I have the money...


    Here's one of my main reasons for choosing against it: A lot of them they are so loud all you will hear is ringing, you won't be able to hear where the BG is in your house, even when the alarm is off your ears will still be ringing. I'm not sure about you, but I know every little creak at home, whether it's doors opening, the stairs, or just walking on the wooden floors. This huge benefit is sacrificed if you can't hear well.
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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Dog ....

    BIG DOG


    Kidding aside ....

    I have motion sensors at the end of the driveway and motion lights closer to the house. You can buy a basic system at your local big box lumber store (Home Cheapo). When the driveway sensors go off, they only alert me inside. When the motion lights go off, they alert whoever is outside and also whoever is inside. Usually this is enough to frighten off anyone who doesnt belong there. If they get past those, I have already been alerted and am on watch. This is a basic system you can design on your own for little money. I did mine for about a hundred bucks. The dog cost me $1500 + food. The downside is somebody has to be home to get the alerts.
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    Member Array macg19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Thinking about installing a home alarm system and I'm looking at the benefits/drawbacks to self installed/self monitored systems. Anyone have one that they like or hate. Never had a home system so any words of wisdom will be welcomed!
    I moved from ADT to SAFEMART Home Security Systems | Alarm Monitoring | Wireless Burglar Alarms to save a few bucks. What a disaster. Self installed cell phone dial up to the monitoring station - within a week I had my first false alarm in 8 years (police attended while I was away). Back to ADT within 3 weeks and upgraded to the new Pulse system. I have motion sensors, door and window sensors and glass break sensors.
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    My main concern is when we are out of town, so the dog thing, while a great deterrent, doesn't work so well when we have the dog with us!

    That was why I was looking at something self monitored as a potential solution.
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    Member Array Moby's Avatar
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    I have ADT. At my business and my home.
    POST SIGNS!!! You want your house to say "Go pick an easier target"

    Also use a cellular relay. Phone lines are easy to cut. I have big dogs (Great Dane and giant mut) so I can't use motion sensors inside.
    Outside lights on motion. Sprinkler system has motion (keeps dogs away etc)
    Camera's, there cheap now days. Mine are in obvious mounts easily seen.

    My house says...DON'T!! There are easier houses.
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    There is no need to monitor the system yourself...this is what the central alarm monitoring center does.

    Alarm sounds...monitoring center is notified...they call house to verify...no verification they call police...monitoring center notifies call list (your cell, friends, family, neighbors, etc. who ever you put on the list) until they reach a live person. Some systems/monitoring centers also have the capability of notify you via text/email.

    Installing a security system is not difficult and can be a way to stretch your budget. I recommend a wired system over a wireless system for a few reasons...wireless systems use batteries that will need to be changed out at some point (added cost and inconvenience), wired systems have the benefit of the ability to more easily install recessed sensors on doors and windows (not seen when closed), wireless systems have a higher rate of false alarms.

    Contact all doors and windows. Install audio glassbreak sensors in every room that has a window or a door with glass. Install at least one motion sensor in a main traffic area of the home (usually a hallway or stairway). If you have a safe, consider installing security on your safe (tamper proof safe door contact, tamper proof vibration detectors) and partition the security system so that you can operate the house security system and the safe security systems independent of one another.

    Do you have any specific questions I can answer for you?
    Regards,
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    Member Array hdatontodo's Avatar
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    I have a self-installed system by simplisafe. It has a cell phone built into the unit so you can reconfig online or turn it off from your smartphone. There are no phone lines to cut. There is no annual contract. You can start small and buy more sensors later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MoreGoodGuy View Post
    There is no need to monitor the system yourself...this is what the central alarm monitoring center does.

    Alarm sounds...monitoring center is notified...they call house to verify...no verification they call police...monitoring center notifies call list (your cell, friends, family, neighbors, etc. who ever you put on the list) until they reach a live person. Some systems/monitoring centers also have the capability of notify you via text/email.

    Installing a security system is not difficult and can be a way to stretch your budget. I recommend a wired system over a wireless system for a few reasons...wireless systems use batteries that will need to be changed out at some point (added cost and inconvenience), wired systems have the benefit of the ability to more easily install recessed sensors on doors and windows (not seen when closed), wireless systems have a higher rate of false alarms.

    Contact all doors and windows. Install audio glassbreak sensors in every room that has a window or a door with glass. Install at least one motion sensor in a main traffic area of the home (usually a hallway or stairway). If you have a safe, consider installing security on your safe (tamper proof safe door contact, tamper proof vibration detectors) and partition the security system so that you can operate the house security system and the safe security systems independent of one another.

    Do you have any specific questions I can answer for you?
    Yeah, if I get all the stuff will you be up for a road trip?

    I wouldn't even begin to know how to run a bunch of little wires all over the house!
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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MoreGoodGuy View Post
    Do you have any specific questions I can answer for you?
    My guess for installation into an existing 2500 sq/ft home for what you describe will cost about 2-3K. Monthly monitoring service on a basic system will be .... um let see ... another $150-$300 p/mo depending on sensors and technology. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Quote some numbers based on sq/ft.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Yeah, if I get all the stuff will you be up for a road trip?

    I wouldn't even begin to know how to run a bunch of little wires all over the house!
    Sure...as long as we can work in some range time and you pay me in ammo we could probably work something out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MoreGoodGuy View Post
    Sure...as long as we can work in some range time and you pay me in ammo we could probably work something out.
    I'll go start prepping cases right now. Just let me know what calibers I need to start loading up!
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    Mine is self-installed................110# Male German Shepard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcher View Post
    My guess for installation into an existing 2500 sq/ft home for what you describe will cost about 2-3K. Monthly monitoring service on a basic system will be .... um let see ... another $150-$300 p/mo depending on sensors and technology. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Quote some numbers based on sq/ft.
    Basic monitoring should cost about $30 - $35 per month.

    Equipment and installation will run you several thousands of dollars depending on the house and how difficult/easy it will be to wire.
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    Thank you.
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