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Old 06-13-2012, 06:42 AM   #21
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We have had one in our home for last 12 years. While we have no immediate plans to sell I will read the contract. We travel a great deal and while we have a great observant next door neighbor, she's not home all the time. Our cat is useless as a protector. We had some false alarms (while away and at home) during the first years we had the system. The police came everytime but were very polite and helpful. Not sure we need it in our relatively crime free town but it provides a sense of security real or imagined.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:52 AM   #22
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We have a couple of dogs, watchful neighbors, firearms in a state with a "make my day" law, and lots of insurance we need to install a beefier door in the back of the house, but I cannot see installing an alarm system on top of it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #23
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Discussion of dog breeds aside, you can still save $$ on your homowner's policy by having a UL-Listed company monitor your alarm.

Near the end of your contract, contact a 3rd-party monitoring service (like Watchlight-Alarm Relay) and you will likely get a quote for under 10 bucks per month. In our case, we paid them just under 10 bucks per month and continued to save over 16 bucks per month on our homeowner's policy (monitored fire alarm).

The switch was easy- the technician helped me re-program the dial-out function in under 5 minutes.

Just make sure you send your termination notice to ADT or Brinks via certified mail. See Clark Howard's website for details on switching alarm monitoring service.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:43 PM   #24
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We had some nuisance level stuff (things missing from our yard etc).

For $50 we bought a FAKE security camera (looks very real) and stuck it in plain sight. 18 years and counting with no vandalism!
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:54 PM   #25
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We have Safeguard at our Arizona home. it is monitored but they also patrol and inspect the place when we are not there, bring in mail, packages, etc. Charge about $140/ month which seems reasonable to me.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:38 PM   #26
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What kind of unmonitored home burglar alarm systems do most people here use, and did you find them adequate?
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:46 PM   #27
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I never thought the ADT type systems would work all that well. Burglar in and out before having to worry about getting caught. I had a search online a year or so ago looking for a fairly simple motion sensor attached to a friggin' loud siren type alarm. I think my aunt did this after a few break ins....evidently it is LOUD.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #28
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Depends where you live.

We had an alarm installed in a former house of ours. We asked the installer about monitoring. He said forget it...by the time the police arrive the thieves are gone. His recommondation was to install a second loudspeaker (large house) and another 2 motion detectors. The point was to scare them away before they grabbed anything. We followed this advice.

Interesting enough, the local police office agreed with this advice. They said the best prevention was a big dog (which we declined), inquisitive neighbours, and a good check on all doors windows etc.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:45 PM   #29
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Our La Quinta place was broken into - the glass door was spendy to fix, they took a TV, printer, and computer monitor - and bottles of booze. They left anything we cared about or that was irreplaceable, which was nice. After getting things fixed we went through the thought process and realized all we wanted was to not have our stuff taken. Didn't care if the cops showed up, didn't care if the burglars were caught, didn't care if we had a movie that provided clear and damning evidence in court.

We went with a couple fake cameras outside, a real ADT sign (check Ebay), and a couple fake indoor dome cameras with motion sensing 9V battery operated red LED lights. We'll see.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:55 PM   #30
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BIL had their house broken into a few days ago. They have a loud external alarm that is not monitored. The thieves smashed out a glass panel in a rear door. A neighbor heard the alarm and came out, walked over and looked in the front window. He noticed a van parked nearby with the driver talking on a cell phone. He made a note of the license plate and went in to call the police.

BIL returned home less than 10 minutes later, just before the police arrived. They reckoned the thieves were inside no more than 4 minutes, and they just grabbed a few items including some cash from a bedside drawer, spare car keys for the 2 cars and a laptop. SIL seemed more upset about the fact they used a pillowcase from her matching bed set to stuff their booty in.

In their case having a loud alarm, and neighbors who cared, definitely limited the extent of the theft.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:41 PM   #31
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Clark Howard says run the other way from those monitoring contracts. I've just trained the neighbors to start taking pictures and call the cops when they hear mine going off, and vica verca.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:54 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by bondi688 View Post
What kind of unmonitored home burglar alarm systems do most people here use, and did you find them adequate?
I had one a few years ago. Can't remember the brand. Darn thing went off one time when I was at work and neighbor called me complaining that it had been going off for close to 30 minutes. It was suppose to shut off after 5 minutes. Anyway I disconnected it and that was the end of that. Didn't trust it anymore.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:35 AM   #33
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I pay $8 a month for UL listed central station monitoring. If you currently have a system in the house, they can set it up through the dial in phone line and reprogram your system. If you have some technical skills, it is relatively easy to replace the panel if you label all the door and motion sensor contact wires.

As far as false alarms, I have had only 2 in the 20 years I have been using my alarm system.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #34
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So, if you have a monitoring contract - check it to be sure you can cancel when you want to.
No contract with ours, same company for 30 years. Have central monitoring, Cost is $250/ yr. As back up, we have several Internet cams, which we can view from iPhone / iPads when away. We have no children, so we have several loaded guns close. So far never had a break in. I don't expect if we had a break in while we were home they would walk out alive, and I don't even live close to TX :-)
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #35
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Do you have a monitored security alarm system?


Not really, unless you count the number of long guns and pistols that are housed in our place.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:51 PM   #36
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No contract with ours, same company for 30 years. Have central monitoring, Cost is $250/ yr. As back up, we have several Internet cams, which we can view from iPhone / iPads when away. We have no children, so we have several loaded guns close. So far never had a break in. I don't expect if we had a break in while we were home they would walk out alive, and I don't even live close to TX :-)
There were two break ins on our block at two different houses many many years ago, one daytime, one nighttime and all that were reported stolen were the guns. Always thought that was sorta ironic. (Also wonder if some stolen illegal substance might not have been reported....)
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #37
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Interesting enough, the local police office agreed with this advice. They said the best prevention was a big dog (which we declined), inquisitive neighbours, and a good check on all doors windows etc.
That was the same advice I gave out except I was more specific about the dog: "Large, ill-tempered with strangers, and territorial".
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:23 AM   #38
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Answer sort of depends on where you live, and what the local risks are. We recently did a home technology remodel and had a system from a company called Alarm.com installed by our technology contractor. Picked them due to robust web interface and no commitment. Not professionally monitored at the moment (that is an option we can add at any time). System sends me text messages in the event of an activation, as well as anyone else I designate. I can activate or deactivate with my smartphone. We also have cctv that will activate on motion on a independent system also viewable by smartphone. I can make a quick decision and call the police myself if needed. I don't like monthly bills for monitoring and agree with previous posts as to the low value of going that way - for many people.

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Old 03-24-2013, 12:23 AM   #39
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Very tamper proof windows and doors that would take hell to breech. Full 16 cam CCTV with hours of battery backup monitored only by us. If they actually want to come in there's plenty of hot lead waiting. Glad the state changed their views and now have more authority for violators of home and property. No more waiting for a breech, can just get them conveniently through the door.

With cams running 24/7 we've helped local police catch "other" activities in the area. They approach us to see if we backed it up. Sure what time frame do you need
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:21 AM   #40
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I have simplisafe, which I installed myself in approx 5 minutes. It is not monitored, but the alarm is very loud. Came with front door stickers, signs were extra fee. I am very pleased with it, esp the additional panic buttons on other floors.
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