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Old 01-21-2015, 04:25 PM   #21
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My experience with burglar alarms is that they make you feel like a prisoner in your own home. I'd be more stressed about accidentally setting the silly thing off every day than I would about having my house burgled. No thanks.

If I were really concerned about intruders, I'd go the large dog route.
I had the opposite perception. My alarm helped me to feel secure in my home. And I am not a dog person. I travelled a lot, so a dog would have been a major headache.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:30 PM   #22
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If you are in a urban setting and want to have a neighborhood type watch (selected homes and not the entire block) , I suggest you create a group that watches each others home. I would contact the 3 houses across the street, the house on either side, and the three homes in the back. Perhaps you still want an alarm but at least you would have more eyes/ears and support.
My next door neighbour was a stay at home Dad. One day he spotted smoke coming from a neighboring home. He immediately called 911 and rushed over, broke the door down and rescued the frail senior who lived there. She had been overcome by smoke inhalation because she did not have a smoke alarm. My neighbour was a hero. And get a smoke alarm!
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:36 PM   #23
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I have the Simpisafe system (about 3 years) and would highly recommend them. The price is reasonable and there is no contract. I also have one at my Dad's place and it comes in handy to know that he's not fallen or otherwise incapacitated. I will get a text when he arms it at night and another in the AM when he gets up. If I don't get the message, then I will call and check on him. I also have a pretty robust video surveillance system inside and outside the home and a litany of 'second amendment' devices for our security. THAT BEING SAID...

Alarms are a good tool, but don't expect them to reduce the risk of burglary to 0. My DW in her property management experience has had to deal with many break-ins where there was an alarm on the premise. A new "trick" is where the robber will go break a window or bust open a door and if an alarm goes off, they will just sit concealed and see the response time of the police. A few days later, they will break in again and grab the loot. This has happened several times as reported by local law enforcement and twice with properties she manages over the last 3 months.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:36 PM   #24
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My experience with burglar alarms is that they make you feel like a prisoner in your own home. I'd be more stressed about accidentally setting the silly thing off every day than I would about having my house burgled. No thanks.

DH and I discussed getting an alarm system from time to time, but we had the same sort of feelings.

Then came that Monday afternoon when we walked into our home after being away for less than an hour, found stuff strewn about our house, our back patio door ajar, and, as we stepped toward that patio door, just missed encountering the robber as he ran out our front door.

I became very stressed about leaving the house, much more than I ever felt about having an alarm system. Talk about being a prisoner in your own home! Needless to say, our opinion of alarms changed drastically.

FWIW, we don't arm it while we're home, only when we're out. And our system is very easy to arm & disarm. I won't say it's idiot-proof, but close enough.

People keep mentioning dogs, which is all well & good, if you wanted a dog in the first place. We do not.

Yeah, I know, if someone really wants to break in, they will. But the combination of the alarm sign and window stickers, the alarm permit in a very conspicuous location, the loud beeping noise when a sensor is triggered, and the very loud alarm if it isn't disarmed in time, will hopefully deter most.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:48 PM   #25
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We recently had a robbery in our neighborhood - in the middle of the day. I've beefed up our system - I have a driveway gate, exterior and interior cameras, and a monitored alarm system.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:50 PM   #26
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I'm just curious how many of you out there have installed burglar alarms?a friend of mine across town had his front door kicked in and his house completely ransacked. And then on New Years Day all the vehicles were out of sight at my home and at 8 a.m. In the morning 3 sketchy looking men knocked on my front door..... as I was getting ready to answer the door the knocks got progressively louder, they seemed startled when I answered the door and all they had to say to me was "did you lose a cat? "This seemed really wrong to me and I firmly believe had I not been home they would have kicked in the door and robbed the house.
I hope you called the police to report what happened.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:59 PM   #27
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Obviously you have to like dogs to have a dog. The dog's first purpose is unlikely to be as an alarm. That said I think a dog is likely superiour to an alarm system since the alarm is unlikely to bite and the dog might. That is going to be a deterrent unless the burglar knows the dog (in which case they might know the alarm system as well and the weaknesses that have been pointed out)

Granted the dog might be traveling with you (or at a kennel if you are out of the country/area) so it's only good during the day/nights when you don't travel. We used to have an alarm that came with the house that was just a very loud horn. But we removed it as the system was breaking down and we couldn't leave the house armed since it would go off randomly (and also if the power bumped). Getting an alarm is something we have considered but right now we have not been travelling so we are ok for now. Additionally we always ask our neighbour to watch out for our home when we are going to be away

A gun isn't much use if you aren't there as mentioned unless you set up some kind of booby trap...I think there have been some Darwin awards for those in the past :P
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #28
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One other idea that I did after my house in Houston was broken into 3 times in 3 months, was to put plastic film on the windows so that they would not shatter, making it much harder to get in. At the time the response time for the police ran 20 mins for an emergency call, so an alarm system would not have done much good other as burglars would not stick around till the cops arrive.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:33 PM   #29
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One drawback is many systems require a landline for monitoring or an expensive cell option.

I found one that is IP based, it uses your internet connection for monitoring, It can use your existing system ( reprogrammed ) or they sell their own system. It basically uses a custom voip device for connectivity . They have a self monitoring option where the system will send email/sms text to you and then you can call 911.

www.nextalarm.com
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:11 PM   #30
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One other idea that I did after my house in Houston was broken into 3 times in 3 months, was to put plastic film on the windows so that they would not shatter, making it much harder to get in. At the time the response time for the police ran 20 mins for an emergency call, so an alarm system would not have done much good other as burglars would not stick around till the cops arrive.

Your situation would make my blood boil. I think I would be forced to do what this elderly 97 year old man did a year or two ago in Kentucky after his house kept getting broken into. He waited up all night every night until two perps came again. And he then administered quick justice saving the tax payers the lengthy cost of a trial and incarceration.


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Old 01-21-2015, 08:24 PM   #31
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One drawback is many systems require a landline for monitoring or an expensive cell option.

I found one that is IP based, it uses your internet connection for monitoring, It can use your existing system ( reprogrammed ) or they sell their own system. It basically uses a custom voip device for connectivity . They have a self monitoring option where the system will send email/sms text to you and then you can call 911.

www.nextalarm.com
That's the beauty of the Simplisafe system. No connections required at all as it uses a GSM module. As long as the cellular system is up and working, It works great. They use T-mobile primarily and if that's not available in the area, it will use Verizon. The base station (what communicates with the dispatch center) also has battery backup so there is no need to connect anything to the system.

I wouldn't like the system that has to connect via landline or IP based since many robbers will cut any lines that might transmit to a dispatch center. This is also why my camera system has a UPS hooked up in case someone decides to cut the power to the house.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:30 PM   #32
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There are a couple homes on my jogging route that are fenced in (chain link) and have mean looking dogs (pitbulls and rottweilers) that stay out in the yard when the homeowners are away. They definitely do a great job of letting you know you're not wanted on or near the property. I purposely move to the other side of the street when I come close to these homes and without fail they're at the fence barking and growling as soon as I get within 100' of the property. I know if I was a burglar I'd be moving on.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:56 AM   #33
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Most / all the replies so far seem to be from residents of stand-alone housing. As one myself, that's understandable. But I'm curious whether living in an apartment or condo building eliminates the usefulness of alarms or monitoring for individual units. When DW and I consider moving to a multi-resident building, one of the plusses is what we perceive as the luxury of the ease of reasonably worry-free "lock and leave" travel, but I'm sure apartments and condo get broken into as well. What do such residents do for peace of mind?
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:23 AM   #34
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I suspect having an alarm sign in the front garden bed is as effective as having an alarm system.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:01 AM   #35
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There are a couple homes on my jogging route that are fenced in (chain link) and have mean looking dogs (pitbulls and rottweilers) that stay out in the yard when the homeowners are away. They definitely do a great job of letting you know you're not wanted on or near the property. I purposely move to the other side of the street when I come close to these homes and without fail they're at the fence barking and growling as soon as I get within 100' of the property. I know if I was a burglar I'd be moving on.
Years ago some teenagers broke into the next door neighbors house and took a bicycle and some small items. The neighbor's response was to get a German shepherd and confine it with a wireless fence. For ten years that dog threatened every time I went into my own yard, got the mail or someone walked down the road. Delivery people often left packages on my porch rather than be intimidated by the dog. We had once been close to these neighbors, but after the dog, their kids grew up as strangers to me. Eventually the dog died and it was not replaced.

Now my asshat neighbor on the back of my property has a Rottweiler doing pretty much the same thing. So, guard dogs come with their own drawbacks.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:40 AM   #36
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I suspect having an alarm sign in the front garden bed is as effective as having an alarm system.
Used to work for ADT. Among security and police types they know but don't readily admit that having the sign is just as good as having an alarm as far as keeping people out. After a sign on the door you've pretty much reached the point of diminishing returns on alarms

If it's a real pro he's cased the neighborhood and your house and has his routine down pat. He will not be deterred even if you have an alarm because he knows(or has convinced himself) he can get in and out and split before the police arrive.

If he's an amateur, drunked up or stoned on his ass, an alarm will not stop him either because he probably didn't even notice the sign in the first place and has not thought any of this through and has no fear of getting arrested.

The bells going off would be good for YOU when YOU are inside the house. You get the heads-up and can call 911 or get the shotgun. Also, a nominal "noise maker" system (the kind you can buy for 10 bucks at Target or Home depot) would be the coup de gras to scare off anyone who was equivocating and possibly alert a neighbor if you live close enough to other people. But again it's the point of diminishing returns.

An exterior monitoring system with cameras would mostly be good for when you are
already home and just want to filter who answer the door for. If it records that might help the police catch the burglar after you come home from vacation
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #37
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Now my asshat neighbor on the back of my property has a Rottweiler doing pretty much the same thing. So, guard dogs come with their own drawbacks.
Not to disagree but that's the a$$hat neighbor's fault not the dogs. The dog lacks proper training/socialization. Some people shouldn't be allowed to have a dog.

My a$$hats neighbor's small dog barks starting at 3:00 AM till 6:00 every day, they've had the dog for ~6 years. I've never seen it petted, played with or let inside the garage even at -10 F. I offered to find it a good home, that started the sparks flying!

Animal control out here is the sheriff. I have two options keep calling and they may declare it a nuisance dog and take it away, sheriff said that rarely happens.

Option two is if it's on our property and attacks us or any of our animals it's legal to shoot it. That condition was met last week, tried to bite DW on our driveway, but I couldn't do it(not for lack of equipment), it's not the dogs fault!

Law seems odd given we're 50 miles from the statue of "Old Drum", but I guess the state changed the law since 1870. Actually the first LEO that told us that was in Johnson County, where the Old Drum case happened.

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Old 01-22-2015, 01:33 PM   #38
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The neighbor connections are precious. A family moved in next door and gave us their phone number. In the first week or two I saw an rental truck in front of their place and two guys carrying out boxes. I called my neighbor on his cell number. it turned out it was his FIL & nephew but he was VERY glad to get the call.
I grew up in a Sh!t neighborhood in Chicago but we knew who belonged. Someone was always home and kept an eye out, 'say who is that messing with Frank's car?' out on the street. Except for fighting over snow cleared parking places we looked after each other well enough that alarms were not necessary and getting the police to come, forget it.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:56 PM   #39
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Not to disagree but that's the a$$hat neighbor's fault not the dogs. .........
I totally agree, but it doesn't make it any more pleasant to be charged by a growling 100 pound dog. It is simply a trained surrogate aggressor.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:21 PM   #40
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Used to work for ADT. Among security and police types they know but don't readily admit that having the sign is just as good as having an alarm as far as keeping people out. After a sign on the door you've pretty much reached the point of diminishing returns on alarms

If it's a real pro he's cased the neighborhood and your house and has his routine down pat. He will not be deterred even if you have an alarm because he knows(or has convinced himself) he can get in and out and split before the police arrive.

If he's an amateur, drunked up or stoned on his ass, an alarm will not stop him either because he probably didn't even notice the sign in the first place and has not thought any of this through and has no fear of getting arrested.

The bells going off would be good for YOU when YOU are inside the house. You get the heads-up and can call 911 or get the shotgun. Also, a nominal "noise maker" system (the kind you can buy for 10 bucks at Target or Home depot) would be the coup de gras to scare off anyone who was equivocating and possibly alert a neighbor if you live close enough to other people. But again it's the point of diminishing returns.

An exterior monitoring system with cameras would mostly be good for when you are
already home and just want to filter who answer the door for. If it records that might help the police catch the burglar after you come home from vacation
Pretty much exactly our thought process that drove how we are secured. Well, that and being a helpful neighbor, especially to the houseful of crap car driving herb smokers. Want to be viewed as useful and not an other. Pretty easy to help a guy who's PU won't motivate and thinks changing the oil adds ATF fluid to the tranny. And thinks the oil pressure gauge shows ATF level. And adds then ATF to the power steering reservoir rather than down the ATF dipstick tube after getting the oil/ATF thing straaightened out. Thing rolls now, which made me look like a mechanical genius and... useful.
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