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Home Security Systems

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by jqgs214, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Riverhead, NY
    Got a new job that takes me away from home every now and then on overnight trips. The wife and I want to have a home security system installed for her piece of mind. Any suggestions? Go with a big company like ADT or Slomins? Or one of the smaller local guys? Any advice is appreciated

    We have two cats as well, any experience with motion detectors and animals?

    Thanks guys and gals!

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  2. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    trade the two cats for two dogs of your choice. JK not much help from me on electronic type stuff. I am sure someone will help you out we have some very knowledgeable members.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Somehow see if you can get some ADT decals. Put them in obvious locations around the house. That is a big deterrent right there. Then you can put in an inexpensive system from Radio Shack and wire it up yourself. Or go really cheap and just have a couple flashing red leds on a mystery box placed on a wall that is in clear view through entry windows.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-ADT-YARD-...772?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a2a023f44
    http://www.radioshack.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2032341

    or just get a system off of eBay:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ADT-Safewat...015?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23286f1d5f

    Motion detectors need to be set right. They need to sweep the area above say 3 ft in order to not get false triggers from pets. If the detector has an indicator light, you can test this as you set it up.
    n3pro likes this.
  4. RSNovi

    RSNovi Feeling the Heat

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    Michigan
    We have a Guardian alarm. In addition to burglary it can also be tied into your smoke detectors so the fire department would automatically be called.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A couple things to ask about are response times and false call penalties.
  6. Dairyman

    Dairyman Feeling the Heat

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    Check with your homeowners insurance about possible discounts.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I ended up putting several RAB motion sensing lights around the house after there was a rash of break ins around our neighborhood . . . you can dial down the setting, but for now I don't mind if a passing cat or dog trips them since I've got it set to turn off in about 5 minutes and don't really mind the light coming on. One side benefit is that these lights also have a moving red LED light that is lit up in the dark . . . which could possibly make a would be thief wonder perhaps if there isn't a video system set up with these as well.
    n3pro likes this.
  8. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Motion lights are great deterents. Look into a CCTV system that includes a DVR that is network ready. You can run the DVR over the net through a router and check in on your hut when you are away.

    As far as big companies vs small, speak to both. I am not a proponent of the big guys. They are not about service, they are about recurring income. There are plenty of ways to "self monitor" your system. Combine an alarm panel with an automatic dialer and your system can alert you if an alarm occurs and you can check the house through your DVR connection.
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I put in a DSC system myself. It has both hardwire and wireless widow and door sensors. The wireless were about 30 each, compared mayb 3 for the hardwire, but man, they are easy to install. I put in an exterior siren with flashing light as well as an interior siren. Glass break sensor. No motion sensors were cat could go - didn't want any false alarms. Also put in smoke alarm. There is a steep learning curve for the programming with the system I got. I got it from homesecuitystore.com . Got an associated alarm service for about 10 per month. Also put in eyes-on.com board that communicates via home network.
    Not sure how much good they do. Hope they scare away crook. Would like to get cameras, as noted above. Dog not in future. Shotgun is.
  10. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    DVR units are getting more affordable all the time. Just got an e-flier from a supplier today that has a name brand 4 camera 500g DVR for 429. It is compatible with Iphones and the like.
  11. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    Few months ago i put in an 8 camera system w/ 500gb hard drive for 400 on sale @ Costco. It's cool being able to take my phone out and instantly see whats going around the house no matter where i am.
  12. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Just be aware the big box store systems are not at all compatible with real-deal systems. I see the value in them, but keep in mind the lifespan and remedy for failure. Expect 2-3 years of effective data and expect a complete replacement if any component fails and needs replacement.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    In my county there is also an annual permit required for these systems. They charge you $50 or 100$ a year. Supposedly to help cover false call costs. What I'm saying is don't do a monitored system. The monitoring companies are in cahoots with the county since the county often requires monitored systems, they have a backscratching deal.

    Dog, motion lights, a driveway alarm, and then cameras is about all you can do unless you want to be specific like how to protect a shed.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We were ripped off a week after moving into our first house in Seattle. Had a big dog, but he was old. Fortunately they didn't harm him. They broke in a basement door window and opened the door - no deadbolt. Lesson 1, slow the crooks down, don't make it easy for them. Install deadbolts in every door. Lesson 2, use psychology. If the crook thinks you are connected to a central system they will likely go to another home. I got ADT stickers from work and posted them prominently at entry points to the house. I used foil tape breakage sensors in the back of the house where a crook would be less visible. I used motion detectors which had a blinking red light to show they were active. Lesson 3, make it hard for them to hide. I added motion sensing lights in the backyard that illuminated the yard and the basement door they broke into. My alarm system was a Radio Shack unit, no central system connection. Total cost was under $100 and a day's worth of work and setup. We were never bothered again in the 10 yrs we lived there.
  15. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    You become a more likely target if you have just moved in, live on a dead end street, live near major highways or railroad tracks.

    Number one deterent is a dog.
  16. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    The big monitoring companies are a joke. My father paid big bucks to ADT for years. One winter he was away on vacation and his front door blew open. Not a word from ADT nor was anyone dispatched to check. I ended up finding it partly open when I was doing my checks.

    Plus there was a few false (well we assume they were false) alarms and no police response.Only calls to me to check the house when I could. Not to mention he's out in the country so even if there was a break in, the police would take 15 mins minimum, and that assumes that they actually dropped what they were doing and went. Paying for monitoring without good police who will check these alarms is pointless.

    Best thing IMHO is an alarm, but skip the paid monitoring. Have it with a cellular connection so it can call or text you (if it is a true burglary, the phone line is likely the first thing to get cut). Video is great too.

    Lots of yard light is good too. Crooks hate light. Dusk to dawn is good, but motion can work too. Dads place is now lit up like a ballpark! Remove all the thick hedges near windows so that they are exposed.

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