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Old 06-17-2016, 07:41 AM   #21
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I wonder how many burglars avoid homes with dogs? Maybe a beware of dog sign might help if you don't have one. Have also heard there are even systems that will activate barking dog sounds.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:37 AM   #22
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We live in a very safe community where every house has alarm systems. I have an ADT system, however we don't know the password and it's not monitored.

My wife seldom leaves the house, but when she does our main alarm is a 100+ lb. male rottweiler named Hank. And nobody gets past Hank.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:26 AM   #23
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Well, the monitoring is $10 a month, not 20 or 40...and yes, they contact ME. Moreso, I know the activities of the alarm...specifically when I have a house sitter when we travel. I know when the sitter comes and goes, so if they are contracted to be AT THE HOUSE for a set amount of time, then I can verify this.

I only bring this up because we had a dog sitter who was specifically contracted to spend 2 hours a day AT THE HOUSE...and guess what? She spent about 2 minutes there each visit. With the monitored alarm, I was able to call her out and let her employer know what she WASN'T doing.

Also, as far as checking it "myself", I would certainly want to know if someone might BE IN MY house when I get home. Without an alarm (that is monitored) then I might just walk in on someone and well, that's not ideal.
That's a nice "bonus" for monitoring then. Actually, I have a monitored system myself too, but probably the main reason for me is that it also monitors for smoke/fire and for carbon monoxide. A couple of years ago, we did have a CO alarm go off while we were out of town, fire department showed up, met our daughter at the house, measured CO levels and found unsafe CO concentrations. Turned out that our HVAC system had a crack and delivered some of the exhaust gases straight into our house! Anyway, made the monitoring charge more than worthwhile for us.

You are getting an awesome deal at $10 a month - hang on to it!
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:19 AM   #24
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That's a nice "bonus" for monitoring then. Actually, I have a monitored system myself too, but probably the main reason for me is that it also monitors for smoke/fire and for carbon monoxide. A couple of years ago, we did have a CO alarm go off while we were out of town, fire department showed up, met our daughter at the house, measured CO levels and found unsafe CO concentrations. Turned out that our HVAC system had a crack and delivered some of the exhaust gases straight into our house! Anyway, made the monitoring charge more than worthwhile for us.

You are getting an awesome deal at $10 a month - hang on to it!
An alarm system that saved your DD's life: totally worth it!
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:28 AM   #25
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I wonder how many burglars avoid homes with dogs? Maybe a beware of dog sign might help if you don't have one. Have also heard there are even systems that will activate barking dog sounds.
That's a good idea-we will get beware of dog signs and put them at the gates. Maybe even a dog to go with it Also, the security signs should help signal "go elsewhere" and maybe a sign that says "Smile you're on camera!" which I saw at a house recently. We just purchased a security system and will install it ourselves. Getting a new garage separate entry door with a deadbolt too. The current one is old and could easily be breached.
Thanks again to all for your experiences and suggestions!
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:37 AM   #26
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That's a good idea-we will get beware of dog signs and put them at the gates. Maybe even a dog to go with it Also, the security signs should help signal "go elsewhere" and maybe a sign that says "Smile you're on camera!" which I saw at a house recently. We just purchased a security system and will install it ourselves. Getting a new garage separate entry door with a deadbolt too. The current one is old and could easily be breached.
Thanks again to all for your experiences and suggestions!
Keep in mind that a deadbolt offers very little security in regards to a breach. If you want to harden an entrance, you need something along these lines (at the 12:00 mark, you can see how easy it is to breach a door with just a deadbolt):

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Old 06-17-2016, 01:04 PM   #27
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Keep in mind that a deadbolt offers very little security in regards to a breach. If you want to harden an entrance, you need something along these lines (at the 12:00 mark, you can see how easy it is to breach a door with just a deadbolt):

The really large effect here is the use of 3.5 - 4 inch screws vs the 1/2 screws in the normal package.

The long screws go into the wall studs joining the lock to the house frame.

The long strike plate spreads out the force on the lock side of the frame.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:17 PM   #28
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Agree with all of the above about Dead Bolt installations.

After a robbery at our house, we felt violated and vulnerable. We sought Police advice during the resultant theft investigation on effective counter measures and how we could harden our home to thieves. In addition to the Dead Bolt installation methods recommended above for our main doors, we also added Dead Bolt Storm Doors that have decorative metal designs, and have ballistic plexiglass - looks like glass over the metal designs. We also had burglar "zombie" bars installed on all windows of our home.

Our home is hardened more than the vast majority of homes. While we do have a monitored alarm system - we don't count on it for much other than having it for when we are away from the house.

Anyone breaking into our home will have to work at it and will make a lot of noise and it will take them some time. We will be able to call the Police and ambulance as we prepare to receive the "guests".

We have good motion sensitive lighting outside, especially for the walk from the driveway to the front door.

We had the Police out to review our installations and they agreed that what we have done makes our place unattractive to the majority of criminals.

For us it has made more difference in how we feel than I would have thought it would.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:28 PM   #29
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Well. We were burglarized today. Got home from my hour and a half walk up the hill, walked in, and there was a big blank spot where the TV used to be. They took other stuff too, the checkbook, some petty cash, and a few other things. Had to close the checking account, etc. DH is now talking about getting a home security system, but I don't know....we really don't have that much stuff worth stealing that's lying around, other than the computer and the TV. Insurance should cover some of it. I'm wondering if others have experience with home security systems, who you use, and do you consider it "worth it". If you don't, what are your top things you do to secure your house and belongings.
Feeling violated and all that, and just glad I didn't walk in on the person while they were at it. Thanks, and I hope everyone had a better day than we did.
sorry hear about it - my wife got burglarized when we were dating and it was really horrible, after I moved in we had a security system installed and it was pretty expensive, this was around 1988. I got a call from the alarm company at work one day and there was an attempted break in - we had security window screens installed on the back and the perp set off the alarm pulling one off. System paid for itself that day.

since then I've always had a security system in my house, until now, we just don't have that much crime and we have elderly neighbors on each side that stay home during the day. DW is FIRED so she stays home too

You'll feel better getting ADT or one of the big box security services. Installs are close to free and the monitoring fee is chump change.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:31 PM   #30
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So they fined me $150 for false alarm.
that's very irritating

in Houston we got a few free ones a year, but I'd rather have cops doing alarm calls than setting up speed traps, IMHO
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:13 PM   #31
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You'll feel better getting ADT or one of the big box security services. Installs are close to free and the monitoring fee is chump change.
Yeah...going to disagree with you there on that. At $35 or more a month for a 36 month contract, that's hardly free. And the "free" installations rarely cover more than two doors and maybe a few windows. Our house has 6 door sensors, 9 window sensors and two motion sensors...that would cost an arm and a leg with the ADT-type services.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:34 PM   #32
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We make do with living in a safe area, a security company sign in the front yard and two dogs. At some point I will probably buy a wireless camera system (when I get around to it). The dogs are the critical part. Great deterrent and if I am home they give me the extra few minutes to prepare to repel boarders.
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Home security system?
Old 06-18-2016, 08:49 AM   #33
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Home security system?

ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1466257591.095123.jpg

While I won't confirm nor deny the existence of any particular deterrent at my house, it helps to live in the smallest house in the subdivision, and to look like an indigent...
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:01 AM   #34
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Attachment 24145

While I won't confirm nor deny the existence of any particular deterrent at my house, it helps to live in the smallest house in the subdivision, and to look like an indigent...
Reminds me of those little signs you could buy that were sized like the alarm company signs but said "Protected by Smith & Wesson". However, not sure its a good idea to advertise there are guns in the house, as burglars love to steal them.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:14 AM   #35
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Reminds me of those little signs you could buy that were sized like the alarm company signs but said "Protected by Smith & Wesson". However, not sure its a good idea to advertise there are guns in the house, as burglars love to steal them.
It's true. We had a gun stolen during the burglary. Kind of glad it's gone, to be honest. That said, we have purchased a system (DIY install, no contract, 15 bucks a month for monitoring) and will put out signs, upgrade doors, etc. Thanks to the poster who mentioned the Door Devil also-will look into that.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:14 PM   #36
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I had one of these at my previous house. It even kept security alarm salesmen away. There was a guy walking by with some company and he said 'I guess you don't need a system'. I said 'nope'. He just kept on walking.

My dog does a good job of barking every time someone comes to the door. He will sometimes bark when he sees a golfer ride by in a cart. Got to get me another one of these............
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:14 PM   #37
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That sucks. Sorry to hear of this. We have used ADT for 20 years. I like the feeling of sleeping at night knowing I'll be alerted if someone comes in and also getting home to find alarm on so I know house is empty. Through USAA it's $25 a month. Well worth it to me.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:45 PM   #38
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One problem with relying on the nosy neighbors is sometimes the ambiguity of the situation makes it hard for them to realize.

One case I know of, a van pulled into the driveway of a house, and the guys were carrying out a large tv, when the neighbor said "whats up?". The men said, it had to go to the shop for repair.
Owner was robbed while the neighbor watched.

Other case was a large moving truck pulled up to a very small apt building, and largely emptied an apt. The renters were shocked when they got home from work, and nobody questions a moving truck loading stuff up.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:48 AM   #39
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Yeah...going to disagree with you there on that. At $35 or more a month for a 36 month contract, that's hardly free. And the "free" installations rarely cover more than two doors and maybe a few windows. Our house has 6 door sensors, 9 window sensors and two motion sensors...that would cost an arm and a leg with the ADT-type services.
last time I had one installed it was free with the $20 a month monitoring contract - but that was 1995..
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:25 AM   #40
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last time I had one installed it was free with the $20 a month monitoring contract - but that was 1995..

We got our system installed in 1995 also. I can't remember if installation was free, but I don't think that they have raised the monitoring costs. Still around $20 a month. I've since added ip cameras and an entrance gate for more security.


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