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Old 09-12-2011, 09:54 PM   #61
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Thank you Leonidas!!

So many overlook hardware and door frames. Some times this old lady feels like she is whistling in the wind.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:57 PM   #62
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...(snip)...
So, I added the alarm system so I can maybe get those few extra seconds to wake up and grab a gun if need be. (Hey, it's my phobia and we all have something we are unreasonably afraid of. )
...
Let us say that the alarm goes off in the night and you are upstairs in your bedroom. Now what? Do you call the cops or go downstairs with your gun and turn on the lights and check the closets, etc?

One night our alarm did go off. Maybe it was a bird (bat or owl?) hitting the window and setting off the motion sensor -- I don't know. DW thinks it might have been a burglar. But it was kind of unnerving to go downstairs in my own house with a loaded gun and probably not a good defensive plan. If someone is coming upstairs that is a more obvious situation to take action in. I asked a guy who came out to give us all a talk about neighborhood watch, he said to call for the police. Is this the best thing to do? Opinions?

I know it sounds a bit paranoid but we live on the edge of town with a state park behind us and a trail. If the alarm goes off you have to do something to resolve the situation.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #63
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A word about loud alarms. If you are not there to turn them off and they are battery powered, they can stay on for quite a long time, and that does tend to bother the neighbors. That has happened to us 3 times. Once it was our apartment (company installed alarm system) and we were traveling. The alarm blared for over 12 hours and the entire building (12 floors, 25 units) was really pi$$ed at us. Happened twice with neighbors in S Florida when they were away traveling. A few minutes is easy. An entire day is enough to make someone want to break in the house and steal the alarm. And there is nothing the police can do.
.
I'm not sure whether there is anything the police can do or not, but when our neighbor's ear-damaging alarm went off on a summer evening many years ago, I called the fire department and waited in the driveway. When they arrived, I enjoyed watching them force entry and search the house for any evidence of fire.

This was an unmonitored system so there was no indication of what type of sensor (motion, continuity, smoke, heat, water, etc.) activated it.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:43 PM   #64
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We used to live in a cul de sac where people's heads turned to follow strange cars coming in and the mayor's relations, a couple cops, and several gun nuts lived. Now we live on a slightly busier street with a public trail backing the yard (albeit on the other side of a 6 foot fence with no gate). I don't think we have significantly increased risk, especially with my crack security guard (a 50 pound bear-hunting dog who sounds like he is 100 pounds when he barks, seen below on mobile patrol). DW is home a lot and since we are now in a state where I can feasibly acquire such things, we have a taser and will be adding a firearm or two soon.

We do have a specific weakness that I need to correct: really crappy doors/locks/frames. What do I need to get (besides new doors and locks) to make it tough to just open one of the doors with a kick? There is the front door and a flimsy back door in a pretty private backyard where I imagine someone could get in without anyone noticing.
Nice "backyard" Brewer! Is that DD and the dog enjoying the wild, wild West?
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:55 PM   #65
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One night our alarm did go off. Maybe it was a bird (bat or owl?) hitting the window and setting off the motion sensor -- I don't know. DW thinks it might have been a burglar. But it was kind of unnerving to go downstairs in my own house with a loaded gun and probably not a good defensive plan.
When you go hunting for somebody it's offensive, not defensive.

Cops don't search buildings by themselves. Fools get killed rushing in while a wise man calls for backup and waits. And if they know there is a potentially armed suspect inside, they set up a perimeter and call for a canine to go in and eat apprehend him, or call for SWAT and let them try to bore him to death before they teargas and flashbang him into submission.

Put yourself in a good defensive position and call 911.

If you are dealing with a sneaky cat burglar type then the alarm should scare him off. What is a Cat Burglar?

But if you're dealing with the hot prowl/home invader type - then don't worry about looking around in your closets to find him/them - they'll be looking for you.

These guys are all rare as can be. They exist, and they are out there enough that we are treated to plenty of news stories about their deeds, but they are rare. We're not into winning-the-lotto /struck-by-lightning kind of rarity, but close.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:12 AM   #66
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We used to have a small yappy poodle. It would make sure we would pay attention if something was amiss on our property so I could take care of it. We didn't replace him, but he was a good companion and fellow squirrel chaser. When he was watching, I didn't have to worry about any intruders on our property, whether they were human, rabbit, squirrel, or stray cat or dog without our early warning going off.
I am hyper-vigilant, but with good reason. I had a co-worker whack-job threaten me and make an attempt to maim me a while ago. I have removed myself as much as I can, but in my mind, he is still a threat. Because of him, I upgraded and we have good quality steel doors, frames that are reinforced, locks, a couple well hidden gun safes but quickly accessible and maintain adequate insurance for any other thieves. I and DW have carry permits and go to the range frequently enough to be sharp. Twenty plus some years of martial arts doesn't hurt either.
We don't advertise wealth nor live in a way to attract attention. Most importantly, we maintain a tight security on our house. If we don't know you and you haven't been vetted, you don't come through our first outer steel door. (we have two to each entrance. Mainly for energy conservation, but also added security.
Everything of much value has been engraved and serial numbers are recorded, pictures taken. We don't keep anything that we couldn't replace, and really have nothing to steal.

Could we do better? Yes. We really haven't worked a plan if we are intruded upon. It was suggested that we have a code word to implement our plan. "Alamo! Alamo! ALAMO!" and actually do drills.
I am working on a tornado/vault safe room but it had taken a back burner until I sell finish selling a second property. Possession will be October 6. It is planned to be built from cinder block filled with concrete and reinforced with rebar to FEMA specs and a door with locks to my specs. It isn't very expensive, but having gone through one natural disaster, I know how far even a little advance planning can go. The extra motivation plus is that it will be my quiet-man cave.
Lastly, if the worst happens, we do have a bug-out plan, and our kits loaded to evacuated in a minute or two. It is also our retirement vacation get-away plan. Sweet!
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:50 AM   #67
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Nice "backyard" Brewer! Is that DD and the dog enjoying the wild, wild West?
That is a local state park where dd was watching a storm come in and the Plott hound was watching her. I'd say the state park campgrounds are safer than thee house given the ranger patrols (they are armed peace officers).
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:24 AM   #68
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Lsbcal, you gave me warm memories of my father stalking around the house in his "tidy whiteys" and a shotgun whenever we would hear a noise at night. God forbid he'd have actually seen a burglar!

I have the Cycling Investor plan, with 5 noisy but not actually menacing dogs. We live out in the country so the best deterrent we know of to prevent thefts is to limit the workmen we have come to our house to only a trusted few.

Our only theft was during construction, and it was the plumber's crackhead nephew and his buddies who wiped us out, you know, the nephew he was giving a second chance by giving him a job. Never charged, never recovered our stuff (we now record numbers and Dremel our name and contact info on everything).

No keys to our house, a whole lot of glass even if we did lock it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:43 AM   #69
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What do the board members do for security when away from your home and what is your thinking? Suggestions?
I'm not a big believer in "monitored" systems...by the time the cops arrive, they are gone.

We have an alarm system, but it's not monitored, just makes a loud siren noise. If that doesn't scare them off, well...

Obviously a mean dog is good, but we have a Sheltie...so that's out.

Deterrents are good...they will encourage thieves to move to the next house, but apparently you had several and they still got you...sorry to hear that.

There are some small things you can do...for example I have two expensive show cars in my garage, and I don't leave the keys in them...rather they are hidden in a closet....they'd have to search for a bit to find the keys. We also have a small "kit" in our master closet...and my wife and I practice a "robbery drill" once a year...we run into the closet with a cordless phone (it's a large closet with a little hidden area), and we keep in that closet a large wooden pole, a siren, and some pepper spray.

I fully support anyone's right to own a gun, but I won't have one in my house.

Hope you catch them.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #70
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Obviously a mean dog is good, but we have a Sheltie...so that's out.
We have two (see the pic to the left to see the "smart" one ).

Sometimes a bit of noise is all you need to scare off somebody. As a sheltie owner, you know they like to "talk", loudly.

It's not the size of the bite. but the size of the bark that matters in a lot of cases, IMHO ...
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #71
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We have two (see the pic to the left to see the "smart" one ).

Sometimes a bit of noise is all you need to scare off somebody. As a sheltie owner, you know they like to "talk", loudly.

It's not the size of the bite. but the size of the bark that matters in a lot of cases, IMHO ...
Yep. Just enough to make the casual/lazy thief move on to the next house. My semi-brainless beagle will not scare anyone off, but she sure is loud (for any or even no reason, sigh...).
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #72
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We live in a very safe town and in an unpretentious house that only an idiot burglar would choose vs. the other homes, so we've been perhaps too unconcerned about home security. We lock the doors when we're not home and at night--probably best to keep them locked all the time, though. If someone wanted to break in I imagine they would just break a window.

Our only personal security issue here in more than 30 years was a little bit of vandalism directed at one of our children; we called the police but also dealt with the parents. One home on our block was robbed during the day but since the only thing taken were supposedly well-hidden firearms, I think that was also a personal issue or at least committed by someone who knew where they were.

At night we are armed with our phone; if we lived in a less-populated area I would want a little firearm handy.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:04 AM   #73
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...only an idiot burglar would choose vs. the other homes...
I thought they were all idiots ...

A lot of risk (of jail, getting shot, etc.) over a few dollars in cash or merchandise. I would believe that most folks today keep their "electronic" money outside the home, and any valuables (such as a stamp/coin collection) in a secured safe or better yet, in a bank security box...

Of course, if they need to feed their drug habit, anything is possible.

Just my simple POV...

BTW, the only "thefts" we have in our area are the young folk who check for open car doors and steal change, CD's, or portable Nav systems; as far as I'm concerned, that a shared blame between them and the car owner who does not secure their auto.

The other is those (mostly teen's) who will take advantage of an open garage door and steal any beer that's around. Being of "senior age", they have not yet stole my cases of Metamucil that I store there ...
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:13 AM   #74
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When you go hunting for somebody it's offensive, not defensive.

Cops don't search buildings by themselves. Fools get killed rushing in while a wise man calls for backup and waits. And if they know there is a potentially armed suspect inside, they set up a perimeter and call for a canine to go in and eat apprehend him, or call for SWAT and let them try to bore him to death before they teargas and flashbang him into submission.

Put yourself in a good defensive position and call 911.
...
That's what I'll do if it happens again.

I should mention for others, we check our doors before going to sleep because once a door was left unlocked and it blew open setting off the alarm. Would be a bit embarrassed if a policeman came to the house to find this situation. Also since it was the only interior door on the alarm (door from kitchen to garage), he would have had a hard time seeing the situation for what it was.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:39 AM   #75
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I thought they were all idiots ...

I would believe that most folks today keep their "electronic" money outside the home, and any valuables (such as a stamp/coin collection) in a secured safe or better yet, in a bank security box...
Apparently, my neighbors don't like banks or safe deposit boxes. Our local paper likes to list recent robberies in town. There were a few within a couple of blocks to note: 1) One claimed a suitcase with $20k cash was taken, 2) another claimed $15-25k jewelry was taken, 3) newly built custom home, $1.4 mil, no lights and no security with a cheap side garage door got kicked in and multiple furs were taken. Right after this, lights on all the time, security installed.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:46 AM   #76
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Apparently, my neighbors don't like banks or safe deposit boxes. Our local paper likes to list recent robberies in town. There were a few within a couple of blocks to note: 1) One claimed a suitcase with $20k cash was taken, 2) another claimed $15-25k jewelry was taken, 3) newly built custom home, $1.4 mil, no lights and no security with a cheap side garage door got kicked in and multiple furs were taken. Right after this, lights on all the time, security installed.
Sounds like they were drug dealers ...
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:47 AM   #77
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We have lots of ground level glass. Deadbolt locks and plenty of nosy neighbors who keep tabs on everything. They know some plants are about to flower before I or DW notice it. They tell DW or me at the Y swimming pool or in the diner.

No strangers linger more than a few minutes before at least two biddies are on the horn to the local PD or 911.

Besides, either DW or I are at home most of the time.

The joys of small town living.

The downside? I can never take a leak outside in the daytime, unobserved. There are upsides to privacy
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #78
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ADT sign, not the alarm system. I have two motion detector lights mounted on the roof, with large floodlights that come on. Have not had any issues, a couple kids were in the back yard once and the lights came on and they hightailed it. Plus we are less than 1 mile from the PD, so criminals generally go further away........
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #79
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Don't count on not being robbed when you are living near a PD. I lived exactly 1-1/2 blocks from one of Chicago's innercity PD's and was totally robbed of everything. God bless Chicago's PD cause they really tried with the dogs, fingerprinters and everything else. Unfortunately, it didn't help and I remained...robbed. The robber was a "virgin," so no record of his prints anywhere.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:53 PM   #80
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I noticed that...love the breed. We actually taught ours not to bark. Put 4-5 pebbles in an empty coke can, tape over the hole, sit next to her...each time she barks...shake the can vigorously. This startles them, and they learn not to bark. She still barks occasionally, but not incessantly...mainly when the doorbell rings.

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We have two (see the pic to the left to see the "smart" one ).

Sometimes a bit of noise is all you need to scare off somebody. As a sheltie owner, you know they like to "talk", loudly.

It's not the size of the bite. but the size of the bark that matters in a lot of cases, IMHO ...
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