I've been thinking about installing a home security system in my house since I bought it 9 years ago. Since some a#@hole just broke into my locker at the gym and stole my keys, I'm really thinking about it now (I didn't have my ID in the locker so I doubt he knows where I live, but still). I also remember reading about another forum member who had his place broken into and a lot of his possessions stolen - terrible.
I am leaning towards a local system that does not incur a monthly charge from an alarm company because money is tight. I am lucky enough to live in a good neighborhood, so I know if an alarm goes off and I'm not home, my neighbors, who are great, will call the authorities.
I am very handy will tools, so I'm not afraid to tackle a do it yourself project. On the other hand, I know there are some times you definitely want to hire a pro, and since this should be a one time cost, I'd be willing to fork over the $$$.
Security bars and gates are out, because it would really stand out in the neighborhood - nobody else for at least a mile has them. Also, my house has so much glass in it would look ridiculous.
Any thoughts or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. The thought of some punk taking the things an honest citizen has labored a lifetime to earn makes me sick.
The more noise the better you are....I can tell you from experience with answering several of the home alarm calls per week that most of the monitored systems are very slow.
By the time the call actually reaches the patrol unit the criminal is long gone.
Many systems simply sound a very loud alarm and activate all lights in the home.These are best in my opinion as no burglar likes noise and light.
The drawback to these audible only systems is that you have to have a good battery back up as a smart burglar knows how to disable your power to defeat many audible alarms.
I honestly believe that the best alarm is a very loud and large dog.If a criminal is determined he may be able to defeat most alarms or simply smash and grab a few items and run away within seconds.I can not ever remember any burglar entering a home guarded by a large dog.
My alarm is named Zeus and he is 230 lbs of pure love.He will put on a good show and his bark will scare even the most determined criminal however he is not really very aggresive.I do believe he would protect my home however and do not worry when I am away.
There are good alarms on the market and I am not saying they do not work.I will say that I have never answered a call to a 24 hr monitored home and found the burglar still inside.I have caught burglars in the act but it has always been phoned in by a good neighbor who was paying attention.
The neighborhood watch programs do work well if everyone gets involved.Nothing like a little old woman living next door who gets in everyones business...they see everything.
Good luck to you in your search and hope you never have to actually be a victim again.
There are some nice wireless systems out there. I've got a Honeywell that Sears used to sell, sensors on all doors & windows. It's modular, so you can add additional motion detectors, lighting modules, alarm horns, freezer alarms, water (flooding) alarms, etc if desired - but not required. Came with a couple wireless remotes for your keychain. I've seen this system on eBay now and then also...
I've seen some wireless systems at Home Depot & Lowes also...do a Google search or perhaps epinions.com for wireless alarm systems?
You can save a lot of wiring grief by going with the wireless systems. Place passive PIRs in strategic locations looking at walkways and main entrances. Wireless glass breakage detectors on windows, and a panic switch on a keychain with an extra one for the bedroom.
While you're at it, consider an X-10 interface that can turn on all of the house lights in an emergency.
Oh, and a big honkin' external siren, of course. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evilgrin07.gif[/img]
A good friend of mine just had his house broken into last week. Not only did they make off with near $20K worth of stuff and part of how he makes his living, but they shot and killed his dog.
What kind of jerk kills a man's dog... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jpshakehead.gif[/img]
They kicked in the front door, took what they could grab quickly and took off. Apparently they took some worthless stuff like the TV remote but left some valuable stuff like the TV behind.
I'm thinking of getting an alarm system now as well.[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/xyxgun.gif[/img]
I'm with Robocop. My wife used to work for an alarm monitoring company. Only one in five thousand calls were verified as legitimate. No kidding!!! My personal opinion is they give a false sense of security. And by the time service would arrive to the scene, they would be long gone. The monitoring company had a rule: After notification of an alarm, you have less than one minute to dispatch. Period. I will say, I think video survalence is the only alarm that has any merit. Since all action is captured on tape.
Jason-this is exactly why I don't believe in a conventional alarm. It simply wouldn't helped in this situation. They *might* have been caught due to the time it would take to remove that many items, but it wouldn't have saved their dog.
John is right. For those who don't know, a robbery involves confrontation and a burglary doesn't. Most burglaries end up being robberies because the perp. ran into somebody that foiled their plan.
I saw an ad it today's paper for a gadget that contains a 1.3 megapixel still camera controlled by a PIR motion sensor. It was around $250, but it could be useful in getting a photo of the intruder(s) for the authorities.
I help my brother install a wireless security system in the past. It is actually pretty neat. It uses lithium cells in all the transmitters (long life use ~5 years between battery changes). It was setup so that loss of contact with any sensor was the same as a sensor activation.
It was customizable with different contact switches such as reed switches, fire alarm, whole room ultrasonic glass breakage sensors, motion alarms, pressure mats, etc. It allowed an insane number of sensors to be monitored. The sensors could be named and grouped into zones.
My brother didn't want the monitoring fee, so this one was setup to call his cell phone (actually, it had a call list). It would tell you the zone and sensor that was tripped (in one of those computerized voices). I think it would let you reset it over the phone (the number that it dialed).
DLink has some neat cameras, if you have broadband.
It will take pictures based off motion or can be remotely controlled. Some are setup for a wireless network, only needing power. The pictures can be uploaded to a server, so that they are not on site. I haven't used any, but have considered buying one for premise monitoring. The drawback is that they aren't weather resistant. http://www.dlink.com/products/category.asp?cid=60
Wireless is good. More noise, and light at activation is good. A video recording device located in a bottle neck (hallway, or such) will help catch the person. Sound would also be a good. You can get systems that will auto dial several numbers, and relay a recorded message. If doing this DO NOT program 911 as one of the numbers. They get a little upset about it.
I like the idea of video surveillance systems, with an easy interface to control from your Internet or phone while away from the home or business. There are many great link removed available, I think this one looks great for monitoring lights, thermostat controls and even the garage door or freezer.
You can also access the stored videos for up to 60 days, in case you are away on vacation while - heaven forbid - some problem arises and you need a visual.