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Home Security
Old 04-09-2008, 06:43 AM   #1
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Home Security

Home Security.

Yesterday I had the misfortune of someone kicking in the rear door to gain entry to the house. No one was home at the time and this happened between 8 and 1:30 in daylight hours. They were actually neat as it took me a few minutes to realize what had taken place. They left behind close to 20 to 30 dollars worth of change, mostly quarters and the only ting we noticed missing was my wife’s cameras and lenses.

I was wondering if this has happened to anyone one else and how so the rest of you secure your home. Do you go with a company with monthly fees of have you installed your own system, no system at all or just how do you do it? Any recommendations?

Thanks you,

Bob

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Old 04-09-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
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No system at all - just standard door locks - never been broken into in over 30 years of living in my own apartments & houses. I suppose I could have spent thousands during that time on security systems/companies.

It's kind of a risk management and hassle/expense thing I guess - depends on where you live & what items of value you may keep in your house I guess
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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My last two homes, including this one, have had alarm systems installed with 1 year or more of provided monitoring. After the prepaid monitoring I never have continued to pay. The current system is functional locally; that is it will sound within the home, but is not monitored by any company externally. I figure that gives me enough time to jack a round into my bedside helper before investigating the cause (no kids or pets in the home so anyone other than DW would be fair game).
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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When we first moved into the house and at a later point when DW became concerned about our daughter coming home alone after HS classes we used the alarm system. The problem is you never have to access it so you forget how anything works. Then you start forgetting to activate it. Finally, you conclude it is a waste of money and disconnect it. We do leave the stickers on the front and back doors as a disincentive to B&E.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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i've had a b&e through a basement window many years ago, and a relative had a prowler at night while she slept, through a first floor window. my current defense is to use deadbolts on the doors, lock the windows and lights on timers when i'm not at home ... but if there's a will there's a way.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerr View Post
Home Security.

Yesterday I had the misfortune of someone kicking in the rear door to gain entry to the house. No one was home at the time and this happened between 8 and 1:30 in daylight hours. They were actually neat as it took me a few minutes to realize what had taken place. They left behind close to 20 to 30 dollars worth of change, mostly quarters and the only ting we noticed missing was my wife’s cameras and lenses.

I was wondering if this has happened to anyone one else and how so the rest of you secure your home. Do you go with a company with monthly fees of have you installed your own system, no system at all or just how do you do it? Any recommendations?

Thanks you,

Bob
We have a security system through guardian and pay $33/month for monitoring.

My uncle in another part of the country does monitoring on the side for $10/month. He "farms" this out and only keeps a fraction of the $10, but makes money on the installations too.

Our system is this:
all doors are contacted. If a door opens, there will be an alarm which notifies guardian, which notifies police and me.
there are two motion detectors strategically placed. If someone does get in on main level without opening a door, they cannot walk far without siren going off.
There is also a smoke detector hooked up to guardian
There is also a heat sensor hooked up by furnace to guardian

Couple of points- most security system usage is in event of fire, not a burglary, and of those fires, guardian told us more fires start by a furnace than at any other place in the house.

Guardian was contracted when we specced the house we live in now, and all wiring was put in before dry wall.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by d View Post
i've had a b&e through a basement window many years ago, and a relative had a prowler at night while she slept, through a first floor window. my current defense is to use deadbolts on the doors, lock the windows and lights on timers when i'm not at home ... but if there's a will there's a way.
I agree you cannot stop someone if they are bound and determined to get you or one of your possessions.

I don't like guns, and wife has been a survivor of a violent crime in the past, so I know what you mean.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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My house was broken into twice, about 20 years ago. I lost a TV and VCR. I was rather impressed -- they picked up the TV and its remote the first time, and the VCR and its remote the second. They also tried, without success, to break into a locked file cabinet. These happened during the day, and the police opined that it was probably neighborhood kids.

I replaced my doors with steel ones, and put bars on the windows. Probably an over-reaction, but being broken into has that effect.

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Old 04-09-2008, 09:39 AM   #9
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Fact of the matter is you cant secure your home to even a 50% level from someone who wants in. When I've locked myself out it usually takes me under 2 minutes to get in with minimal damage. Most door and window locks just arent that useful, and glass breaks easy.

Alarms suck because they go off all the time, people forget to set them, they're expensive and now a lot of counties are charging up to $500 for responding to a false alarm.

Think herd...someone is going to be the straggler that looks attractive and someone is going to be the young healthy strong one that is a lot less interesting as a target. You just need to look a lot less interesting than one of your neighbors. Which is easy and cheap.

I bought an alarm company sign and window stickers on ebay, stuck the sign in the ground and applied the window stickers on any window you can reach from the ground. About $25. Now the only people who will try to break in are the people with eye trouble or those who dont care if theres an alarm or not.

$1.50 "beware of dog" sign on the side fence gate. My dogs would probably do nothing more than bark at someone who walked into the yard, but seeing that from the street while my neighbor has neither a sign nor a dog...makes him look a lot more attractive as a target.

Lock your windows and put one of the thumbscrew type window locks on all of them that is very visible and prevents opening the window more than a few inches without removing the lock. Remove all the 1/2" screws from your door hinge and striker plates and insert 2-3" heavy duty screws that will go right through the door frame and into the stud next to it. Replace any cheap cheesy outdoor locks with deadbolts that have a full metal sleeve in the frame, not just a plate.

Get a fake outdoor camera with a blinking battery powered LED and screw it up under the corner of your house where its moderately inconspicuous unless someone walks up your driveway.

Throw in a sign "I'm armed and all trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again. Dogs will eat whatevers left over".

Total, about $50. Maintenance: a couple of batteries a year for the camera. No false alarms, no hassles, no problems. I'd say this reduces your chances of a break-in by more than 80%. All you're going to get after this are unreasonable wackos who would come flying onto your property if chuck norris was standing in your driveway with an assault rifle.

Cuz that guy across the street has a front window open, no alarm signs, no dog, and no chuck norris. Herd straggler.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Fact of the matter is you cant secure your home to even a 50% level from someone who wants in. When I've locked myself out it usually takes me under 2 minutes to get in with minimal damage. Most door and window locks just arent that useful, and glass breaks easy.

Alarms suck because they go off all the time, people forget to set them, they're expensive and now a lot of counties are charging up to $500 for responding to a false alarm.

Think herd...someone is going to be the straggler that looks attractive and someone is going to be the young healthy strong one that is a lot less interesting as a target. You just need to look a lot less interesting than one of your neighbors. Which is easy and cheap.

I bought an alarm company sign and window stickers on ebay, stuck the sign in the ground and applied the window stickers on any window you can reach from the ground. About $25. Now the only people who will try to break in are the people with eye trouble or those who dont care if theres an alarm or not.

$1.50 "beware of dog" sign on the side fence gate. My dogs would probably do nothing more than bark at someone who walked into the yard, but seeing that from the street while my neighbor has neither a sign nor a dog...makes him look a lot more attractive as a target.

Lock your windows and put one of the thumbscrew type window locks on all of them that is very visible and prevents opening the window more than a few inches without removing the lock. Remove all the 1/2" screws from your door hinge and striker plates and insert 2-3" heavy duty screws that will go right through the door frame and into the stud next to it. Replace any cheap cheesy outdoor locks with deadbolts that have a full metal sleeve in the frame, not just a plate.

Get a fake outdoor camera with a blinking battery powered LED and screw it up under the corner of your house where its moderately inconspicuous unless someone walks up your driveway.

Throw in a sign "I'm armed and all trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again. Dogs will eat whatevers left over".

Total, about $50. Maintenance: a couple of batteries a year for the camera. No false alarms, no hassles, no problems. I'd say this reduces your chances of a break-in by more than 80%. All you're going to get after this are unreasonable wackos who would come flying onto your property if chuck norris was standing in your driveway with an assault rifle.

Cuz that guy across the street has a front window open, no alarm signs, no dog, and no chuck norris. Herd straggler.

You had me at Chuck Norris
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
$1.50 "beware of dog" sign on the side fence gate. My dogs would probably do nothing more than bark at someone who walked into the yard, but seeing that from the street while my neighbor has neither a sign nor a dog...makes him look a lot more attractive as a target.
This pretty much describes my strategy. My dogs would only lick anyone they got
to, but door-to-door soliciters and religion-pushers generally walk away quietly from
my front door when my dogs charge up and the big one (120 lbs) jumps up and smacks
her front paws on the window there while they all bark.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:24 AM   #12
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Dogs, that's all I got, and the benefit of a automatic gate opener that is a long way from the house, so you can't really see the house from the road. Also have two relatively itinerant neighbors, so they are home a lot. I think that helps during the day. Alarm systems don't work out in the country--they'd pack up the whole house before the cops get there.

I like CFB's ideas--make yourself less of a target than the next guy.

CyclingInv, that is funny, my most ferocious-sounding dog was my old girl Anna, who only had one tooth left at the end!
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
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You might want to talk to your local police department's public relations folks. They should be able to come to your home, go over it, and make recommendations. They should do this for free.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:37 AM   #14
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Oh and one other thing. If you dont have critters in the house you can pick up a pretty effective alarm system for under a hundred bucks and install it yourself. Radio shack and a bunch of online sellers offer an X-10 compatible alarm setup with a couple of battery operated door open sensors and a motion sensor, with a regular on/off remote control and a keychain remote to arm/disarm.

Its all compatible with the rest of the x-10 stuff, so detected motion or an opened door can trigger anything a/c powered to come on or off, lights, music, external sirens, an alarm can be sounded, and the one I have also takes a phone line and will call you and tell you that an alarm has been triggered.

I used it on my wifes vacant house while we were remodeling. It never went off, and I never worried about there being a problem that I wouldnt discover until the next day.

Here it is...
X10 Security Systems Deals | Best Prices on the Web | Protector Plus Offers

You can also set it up to make a "bing" sound when you're home and someone opens one of the exterior doors. Thats awfully handy when you have a 2 year old that just became able to reach the doorknobs and a wife who forgets to lock them.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:48 AM   #15
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Just keep old stuff that nobody would want...best deterrent yet...and another reason to LBYM
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:53 AM   #16
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Mmmm, theres that too. Anybody breaking into my house cant help but clean things up a bit while they're ransacking...
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:59 AM   #17
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I was looking for a system before this thread popped up, I just ordered one of the systems from X10, I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:04 PM   #18
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Yeah, with +90% being false alarms, I wouldn't bother with a monthly fee security system. Police charge $50 /visit after a warning, here.

Never could figure why any one would want to steal a bunch of used stuff but it happens. Try calling the local pawn shop to retreive your stuff.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:45 PM   #19
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I also have read that it's best to leave an extra vehicle (if you have one) out in the driveway to make it look more like someone's home. Don't put it in the garage. We live in the country (no close neighbors) and have always done this when on vacation.
So far 12 years and no problems.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:59 PM   #20
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We use ADT and pay a monthly monitoring fee. A couple of years ago, before we had a system, someone tried to break into our neighbour's home through the basement window. She works from home and once they noticed she was home, they took off.

I'm pretty sure they didn't try to break into our house back then due to one of our dogs....he was 80 lbs. and would bark like crazy at anybody and everything. He died last year and our other dog is just a 45 lb. lap dog...I'm sure if anyone broke in he'd let them take whatever they wanted .
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