Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Home security system confusion
Old 04-29-2021, 09:23 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
Home security system confusion

This post will sound confused, because the situation is confusing.

Our used house, built in 2004, came with a GE wired alarm system, 2 control pads, and zero info. Most doors and windows have wired sensors.

The lights blink, so electricity is getting to the system.

I like the idea of a wired system, as we had a poor experience in Maryland with Simplisafe.

Where we now live, we can't get WiFi outside, probably because the home is concrete block. So I don't know if wireless would work, especially outside cameras.

Do companies even do wired sensors any more?

Should I call to see if GE still services wired system, and then hire ADT or somebody to monitor? GE doesn't monitor.

Who might take care of wiring for new sensors/cameras?

If we replace the windows with hurricane impact windows, the window sensors would be discarded.

I don't know where to start, let alone what to do.

Thanks for wading through this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20210429_102025899.jpg (260.2 KB, 41 views)
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-29-2021, 10:15 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 68
I've dealt with this type of situation twice and both times was able to find a local private security system installer/contractor who figured out the old systems quickly and easily. This was long ago, so I think I used the printed Yellow Pages.

Bigger question: Do you even need it? Are you gone for long periods? Do you feel unsafe? If you have it monitored, would there be enough local resources for a timely response? Do you have neighbors who would call the police if they heard your alarm?

In both of my cases, I realized it was a waste to pay for monitoring because the homes were out of town and would take much too long for authorities to get to. So I just set them up as noisemakers with no monitoring, just window stickers.

If your system is for fire, that's another matter and might warrant monitoring if the home is not too far to rush to.

If it's more a theft deterrent, the installers I hired both said that window stickers and lawn signs work well and that only the most serious burglars will ignore them. The rest will move on to the next house.
Ramen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 10:28 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
You raise good questions! Our first house in MD, no alarm, was broken into and ransacked - they got a lot.

Our second house had monitoring and an insanely loud alarm - I mean, that thing made your head explode. Burglars got in while we were at work and got away with a few things we'd left out, but the noise drove them off before the police could get there. In fact, the police made a bigger mess of the house (with their fingerprint dust) than the burglars did. The dust damaged a fine handmade wooden jewelry box - I never could get it all out of the wood grain.

Our next-door neighbors, who had not gotten an alarm, had vandals break in and completely trash their home. After that, they got a monitoring system, but fast. The house was lit up at night and there were signs all over.

Where we live, there are so many seasonal homes that neighbors wouldn't be much help. But the sheriff's car does patrol - I've seen it in the middle of the night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen View Post
I've dealt with this type of situation twice and both times was able to find a local private security system installer/contractor who figured out the old systems quickly and easily. This was long ago, so I think I used the printed Yellow Pages.

Bigger question: Do you even need it? Are you gone for long periods? Do you feel unsafe? If you have it monitored, would there be enough local resources for a timely response? Do you have neighbors who would call the police if they heard your alarm?

In both of my cases, I realized it was a waste to pay for monitoring because the homes were out of town and would take much too long for authorities to get to. So I just set them up as noisemakers with no monitoring, just window stickers.

If your system is for fire, that's another matter and might warrant monitoring if the home is not too far to rush to.

If it's more a theft deterrent, the installers I hired both said that window stickers and lawn signs work well and that only the most serious burglars will ignore them. The rest will move on to the next house.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 11:13 AM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen View Post
I've dealt with this type of situation twice and both times was able to find a local private security system installer/contractor who figured out the old systems quickly and easily.
+1
Think of your existing wired sensors as simple switches. Your existing sensors are most likely compatible with many alarm systems. Therefore a competent alarm installer can figure out how your existing system is configured fairly quickly because that’s what they do. I would avoid the large security companies that try to sell you their proprietary systems where you are locked into their service forever.

My house had a basic 4 zone builder grade alarm system installed when built in 1994. I installed and replaced it with a Honeywell Vista 20p system expanded to 24 zones ~7 years ago. Rooms and doors were zoned separately to indicate which zones were open. All my 1st floor doors and windows were hardwired (not wireless). I did add a wireless sensor to the outdoor shed. I’m comfortable with an Envisalink module by EyezOn to self-monitor my system status. There are 3rd party companies that can provide monitoring.

Think of your house security in terms of layers - door locks, warning signs, lighting, alarm system, and cameras. Then hopefully your house will be bypassed for easier marks.

Google key words Honeywell Vista and DSC for alarm panels and components. These systems have been around for decades. You can check pricing on eBay and Amazon.

Good luck!
spencnor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 11:17 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencnor View Post
Think of your house security in terms of layers - door locks, warning signs, lighting, alarm system, and cameras. Then hopefully your house will be bypassed for easier marks.
Don't forget the ferocious dog! The installers I worked with said this is even better than signs and lights.
Ramen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 11:18 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
First step, then, is to look for a local alarm system installer. Will do.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 11:34 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 4,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
First step, then, is to look for a local alarm system installer. Will do.
Yep. We have a mish/mash of new/old and they work well together. I did much of the work myself but if you aren't willing to dig deep into figuring out how to do it, then it's much easier to have someone figure it out for you.
__________________
"I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be." -Peter Gibbons
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 01:39 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
Ha, ha! Maybe a recording of ferocious barking, lions roaring, sirens...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen View Post
Don't forget the ferocious dog! The installers I worked with said this is even better than signs and lights.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 01:50 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Ha, ha! Maybe a recording of ferocious barking, lions roaring, sirens...
Sure, anything to make it look or sound like someone is home. A loud radio, stereo, TV, etc. Even a car in the driveway. An old clunker that never goes anywhere is OK as long as it doesn't appear broken down.
Ramen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 02:34 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
In that case...the first step is actually to develop a list of requirements, so anybody we talk to, will know exactly what we want.

Wish me luck - this is a resort town; services aren't always the highest quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
Yep. We have a mish/mash of new/old and they work well together. I did much of the work myself but if you aren't willing to dig deep into figuring out how to do it, then it's much easier to have someone figure it out for you.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 02:42 PM   #11
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
If we replace the windows with hurricane impact windows, the window sensors would be discarded.
Not if you tell your installers not to, or take them off yourself and reinstall (we did that years ago, easy enough).

We're actually looking at replacing our old ADT hard-wired, land-line dependent system to get rid of our landline. We're a CBS house and our wifi works perfectly well around the outside of the house. ADT actually has a new product "blue" that I'm looking at - has both central and self monitoring and works with Wifi.
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 03:24 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 4,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Not if you tell your installers not to, or take them off yourself and reinstall (we did that years ago, easy enough).

We're actually looking at replacing our old ADT hard-wired, land-line dependent system to get rid of our landline. We're a CBS house and our wifi works perfectly well around the outside of the house. ADT actually has a new product "blue" that I'm looking at - has both central and self monitoring and works with Wifi.
The newer systems have glass break detectors that work pretty well. I was able to add them to my old wired system with little issue and I see them as necessary since we have some big "picture glass" windows.
__________________
"I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be." -Peter Gibbons
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 03:47 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
I'm told that hurricane impact windows also resist intruders' efforts to smash them, although I'm not sure how far that really goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
The newer systems have glass break detectors that work pretty well. I was able to add them to my old wired system with little issue and I see them as necessary since we have some big "picture glass" windows.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:00 PM   #14
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 22,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen View Post
Don't forget the ferocious dog! The installers I worked with said this is even better than signs and lights.
I'll second that! A large, ill-tempered, territorial, suspicious dog is by far the best burglary protection. Some, however, have been known to accept bribes in the form of treats from the refrigerator.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:01 PM   #15
Administrator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sheltered in place
Posts: 34,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
I'm told that hurricane impact windows also resist intruders' efforts to smash them, although I'm not sure how far that really goes.
That's correct. Impact windows are resistant to blows. In addiction, they don't shatter and break, they crack but remain (mostly) whole. They are not easily compromised.
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:02 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,029
Large, ill-tempered dogs carry their own risks, unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I'll second that! A large, ill-tempered, territorial, suspicious dog is by far the best burglary protection.:
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:18 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 68
How much do hurricane windows cost? They sound expensive. You could also have yours tinted in an almost imperceptible shade, basically a clear film that would resist shattering. Some shops that tint car windows do house windows too, in any shade, from almost clear to really dark.
Ramen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:29 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 11,434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramen View Post
Sure, anything to make it look or sound like someone is home. A loud radio, stereo, TV, etc. Even a car in the driveway. An old clunker that never goes anywhere is OK as long as it doesn't appear broken down.
When we go away, I tell my neighbor he can park his extra car in my driveway. Saves him shifting cars around and makes it look like someone is at my place.
__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:34 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 11,434
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
...

I like the idea of a wired system, as we had a poor experience in Maryland with Simplisafe.

Where we now live, we can't get WiFi outside, probably because the home is concrete block. So I don't know if wireless would work, especially outside cameras.

.
..
What poor experience did you have with Simplisafe ?

As for camera's , the wyze camera at $20 for version 3 is a cheap way to put a few camera's in the window, turn off the infrared LEDs as they reflect, and it's almost as good as outside camera's. And super easy.
__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2021, 04:40 PM   #20
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
I'm told that hurricane impact windows also resist intruders' efforts to smash them, although I'm not sure how far that really goes.
Don't I know it! We have multiple heavy duty hurricane french doors (our house is a fish bowl...) and some presumably young twits spent a good deal of time throwing rocks at them, and trying to crow bar their way in, based on the "evidence at the scene." They managed to get a handle off one of the doors, but that didn't provide a big enough hole for even a small hand to reach to get to the lock.

They never managed to break glass and the alarms never went off. I came home to see the missing handle and hole. The cops found plenty of other windows/doors they had tried and figure they spent a good half hour trying various entries before giving up.

We figure our investment in whole-house-hurricane stuff more than paid for itself in that one event.
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
home security, old security system, wired home security


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice needed for home security system street Other topics 31 11-25-2018 03:04 PM
Home security system? Mango1956 Other topics 41 06-20-2016 01:19 PM
Tell me if you think this is milking the Social Security System? Worried in FL FIRE and Money 72 11-07-2007 10:54 AM
Just installed my new security system. Very cost efficient... mickeyd Other topics 8 04-16-2007 03:59 AM
New Vanguard Security System ferco FIRE and Money 10 12-22-2006 11:00 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:34 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.