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Recommendations for a Security System?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by velvetfoot, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I have to read more about wireless cameras.
    Is the current thing to have them save images or video (?) to a remote server or a local dvr?
    I have a game camera currently aimed at the house, but that unit is far from perfect.
    I wonder if there is some that integrates all these things: alarms, cameras, motion sensor (home automation, ie, lights).

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  2. Fish On

    Fish On Feeling the Heat

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    you can look into D link network cameras. they have motion detection that can be sent to your iphone and send u a text or email.

    you can also look at it anytime u want to on a secure server.

    there a little pricey but there wireless and work real well.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. Is the quality good enough to I.D. someone?
    It'll have to wait some, though. The burgular alarm stuff just came in the mail and I have to work on the new hearth first.
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Security systems buy (vaporous) peace of mind but do little beyond that. Our house has been broken into twice. Thieves are in and out so fast and know exactly where to look that the most the security system does is secure the profits of the security monitoring company. But you feel better because at least you may get a call that your house was broken into and you can get home to check the loss and repair the damage. Even if thieves are caught, in our area that is of little consequence. Property crimes are just a notch above an expired parking meter in police priority. Assaults, drugs, domestic violence, etc. get attention from police and prosecutors.

    The best strategy is to get over it. If you have property you want, you can be sure someone else wants it too. Let 'em have it. It's only stuff, and probably stuff that is not needed for food, shelter and necessary clothing anyway. Everything else is frosting. If you're uptight over stuff, you probably have too much. And if you can't let it go, then your stuff has become your god.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My wife is the one who wants it. I get sucked into it with the technology I have to figure out.

    I like the idea of cameras to catch the f*ers.
  6. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Almost all the network cameras have an impressive array of features. You can stream to a local or network HD or in the case of a failure most have an SD slot so you can store pics on board. They will have multiple streams in them, with the primary stream outgooing to the server and a secondary going to the card. This comes in mighty handy when the theif walks over to the camera to cut the line. Always get a nice face shot when that happens, and even if they're smart/lucky enough to take the recorder you've got your backup at the camera. LOVE IT!

    Vivotek is a camera we use, and it has free software so you can do lots of stuff. The quality of the picture can be 1mp on up. I would suggest at least 2mp, and more is always better because the better the resolution the more likely you are to be able to use digital zoom features. Just remember you're looking for pictures, not movies. The cameras are all web based so you can go in and set up schedules and motion detection. You can cross-trip these with your alarm panel too, but cameras can also send email alerts to a smart phone so its usually not needed unless you want to use cell backup with the alarm panel.
  7. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Agree'd. It is an alerting tool, not a prevention tool. Desperate theives won't care there is an alarm going off, and smart/professional thieves know that they have more then enough time with the alarm going off.

    Window opening sensors don't do squat unless you are dumb enough to leave your windows unlocked. Most are just going to either kick in your door or break out a window. If you do go down the super-security system, go after glass break sensors, door sensors, and motion detectors. Also be sure to have your alarm set at all times, "i'll be back in 5 minutes" will get you every time.

    Take a note from the people that live with daily breakin threats (the ghetto). Iron screen doors with double cylinder locks. Iron window guards on all first story windows. Then a home security sticker in the front door (but usually no security system inside). Security system does squat other then alert you to the break in, and camera's will rarely do much good. Think about how often a bank is robbed at gunpoint (with a good camera system) and the person is never caught. That is armed robbery where the police will actually spend some effort into it. A home burgulary with be nothing more then a file on a shelf, your video's used only if they catch someone in the act later on to see if they happened to catch your guy or not. They aren't going to actively look for the person in your video (unless you live in a really nice area where there is tons of money and police but nothing ever happens and the police have all sorts of spare time...in which case you probably don't have a problem anyways)

    -Always lock your doors, even if you are home.
    -If you have a connected garage, never leave the garage door open and always lock the door between the house and garage
    -Always lock your windows
    -Use a good quality deadbolt, use the long 4" screws for the deadbolt plate and the hinges, and put in hinge pins
    -If your screen door locks, lock that too
    -Don't show off any valuables, eg if you have a nice TV make sure its not viewable from the street
    -If you have side windows next to your door or windows in your door, they will get broken out if the first kick does not open the door.
    -Make it hard to determine if you are home or not. Don't leave mail pile up. If you have exterior lights put them on a timer so they are always on.
    -A knock on the door at midnight really is not someone who got the wrong address. They were seeing if anybody was home.
    -Any out of sight from the street window or door is prime for breakin. If you are rural, all windows and doors are prime for breakin.
    -Don't set the big box your TV came in out on the street. Cut it up, put it in a bag.

    Lock picks, security disarming systems, phone line cutting, silent entry by wedging the door open, running away as soon as the alarm goes off, etc are all movie idea's. They are going to get in through a window or door. If you lock them or not determines if they will kick it in or open them normally.
  8. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    An alarm may or may not scare off someone who breaks in... I figure it can't hurt.

    The alert factor when home and sleeping is a big one for me. Search Mont Vernon murder if you're not familiar with the event. An alarm could have made the difference between life and death.
  9. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Indeed. It is important to keep in mind the objectives when putting one in. Front door and a couple windows doesn't cut it. Motion detectors don't do anything unless they are set to be on. From the sounds of what I could find about that trial, they got into the basment without being heard, which probably means either unlocked window/door or very poorly secured one. Has there been any indication on how exactly they got into the basment?

    Taking care of the low hanging fruit to make it harder to break in is important too. For the Mont Vernon murder, the same way that the alarm could have alerted them (if you have motion detectors in the basement, most people do not) by making the basement hard to get into could have helped out as well. Something as simple as having a lock on the basement door to main living area could have helped in that case too.
  10. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    If i remember correctly, entry was made through a basement window, either broken or pryed.

    Here's the sad part about that case;

    "Cates said he and his wife used the house’s alarm system for “just a brief time†after they moved in because of a malfunction in the alarms’s wiring system. They later disconnected it, he said."
  11. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Mont Vernon Murder
    OMG, that is the most horrible thing I have ever read. No wonder your wife is insistent.
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    How 'bout a bounty on home intruders, or at least a tax credit. Moms could get paid to stay home again.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I thought I'd close the circle and note that I installed the system and it's now being centrally monitored for about 10 bucks a month.
    I just did the basement and first floor.
    Hard wired contacts for doors and basement window, one motion detector in breezway (entrance), glass break sensor, and wireless window contacts.
    Also, two 2-wire smokes.
    I originally had motions on the first floor and basement, but since we have a cat, and I wanted to absolutely minimize false alarms, I did away with them.
    I installed the Envsilink 2DS for remote self monitoring; that works great and installed very easily. http://www.eyez-on.com/EZMAIN/envisalink2ds.php
    That's it.
  14. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    My niece lost her young husband, after his death, her home was broken into and she was burglarized. Her three sons were so frightened, they didn't want to stay there. She had a professional system installed with no successful break in since. For her and the kids, worth every cent.
    I have outside lights on all around the house. I also have dogs that will bark.
    From what I understand, random break ins have a 50% less incident rate in homes where they are easily detected. The few times someone has come near here, they made a rapid retreat when the dogs started barking. Many things can be done to make your home a less attractive target. Like don't have a lot of dence shrubbery near the home that provide a place to hide. Set stops in your windows so they can't be open more than a couple inches. Put a board in the track of sliding doors. Don't leave things out that can be used to help with the break in. I.e. ladders, loose bricks etc.
    I'm an old Vietnam vet and have a few other ideas, but everyone needs to do what will is best for them to keep the family and home safe.
  15. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    In our area anyway the signs are a deterrent many homes around us have been broken into but non with security signs. We pay for simplisafe $20 a month no contract and it works well. The advantage is our insurance went way down and evened out the costs so I figure it is worth it. My wife feels much safer as well when she is home alone due to the panic button on her key chain.

    Pete
  16. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Will need to ck with my insurance. That trade off is an excellent suggestion.
  17. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Our ins. savings are 11 bucks a year!
    Don't know what to make of that.
  18. Crane Stoves

    Crane Stoves Burning Hunk

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    sometimes its worth just paying for a 2 year contract with brinks or ADT to come install a system for you, your get a system, you get it installed, you get it monitored for 2 years, then you get to keep the system as a stand alone alarm after the 2 years end (all this for a mere $24.99 per month or w/e).

    The #1 thing you can do to protect your home is exterior lighting (member who made comment about motion lights is right on target), next best thing is to make sure shrubs are not engulfing your house, I love the idea of simply getting some alarm signs and stickers LOL.... its all about preventive measures (that does more then any alarm).
  19. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    ADT, Brinks and Guardian are our other alternatives and they are all in the 45 to 50 range with a three year contract. I am adverse to signing contracts which is the main reason we use simplisafe they provide the same services for way less over all. You buy the equitment up front but that is not much in the long run. Another insurance bonus I forgot to mention is they will not raise your insurance after a burglary if you have a security system. My first wife and I where robbed at our home and our insurance jumped 450 a year after that so we switched companies. Now it is back down and I intend to keep it that way and not get burglarized.

    Pete
  20. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    This is the alarm and response team. D2011-11-08_16-53-04_856-1.jpg
    View attachment 66184

    We looked into a monitored system at one time. Probably would cost less than feeding this crew, but likely not as effective.

    Attached Files:

  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I have Vivint. Runs about $40/month. Wireless system, have door sensors on all my people doors and the garage door, motion sensors, glass break, fire alarm, cold sensor, wireless remotes too (works just like a car key chain deal).

    I got it mainly for the cold sensor, I was worried if I was gone a few days the heat could shut down and freeze everything, but having it "watch" the house is nice too. Not much threat for theft here as my house is hidden. All my friends say "Would have never found this place by just driving around". BUT never know.

    If you get a break in and a theft results the insurance will be a bit easier to deal with if you had that security alarm, and it's good for a per month discount on your homeowners as well.
  22. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's something else I could do - the freeze notification.
  23. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I monitor 3 homes during the winter months and I could not do it without these Freeze Alarms.
    The unit will call my cell phone if the Temp drops below 45 Deg F or what ever you set it to. Also if the battery is low or the home loses power for more than 1 hour!
    Great unit!

    >> http://www.freezealert.com/freeze_alarm_products.htm

    The best I have seen. NO false alarms. NONE !

    You can also buy the same unit from Amazon and other places but you pay more for the same unit!

    BTW:
    The new model will also call you if your house catches fire! That is a nice extra feature!

    Attached Files:

  24. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Have to have a land line to the house I would imagine? Not too many people have that anymore.
  25. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

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