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Thread: Alarm systems worth the cost?

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    Alarm systems worth the cost?

    The wife and I just bought a home and we start to move in tues. We both work about 25 mins away from our home and the home is in a good neighborhood. We own a large Husky and Pit bull that are allowed to have the home to themselves when we leave. We are considering getting a security system for the home and I like the idea of having some type of monitoring service but don't know if its worth the cost. We are going to change the locks as well as a few other updates to the home as well. Does any one here have one and what companys to avoid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    The wife and I just bought a home and we start to move in tues. We both work about 25 mins away from our home and the home is in a good neighborhood. We own a large Husky and Pit bull that are allowed to have the home to themselves when we leave. We are considering getting a security system for the home and I like the idea of having some type of monitoring service but don't know if its worth the cost. We are going to change the locks as well as a few other updates to the home as well. Does any one here have one and what companys to avoid.
    A husky and a pit bull?

    You already have a security system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    A husky and a pit bull?

    You already have a security system.
    Well they have saved our home from a brake in before when I was living on a military post. The pit bull has a nasty bark and is protective of my wife. I consider dogs to be some what of a deterrent for most but I deploy in July and most would agree dogs are a early warning system. The wife knows how to use a firearm and out shoots many of my gun buddy's. She hates being alone even with the dogs, I want her to feel even safer even with the dogs and guns. Would even buying the same ADT sign do the same as another deterrent? I have never been a big fan of them but since I will be working a good distance away from the home it came up in a discussion one night.
    Last edited by zack991; 02-27-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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    Regular Member bom1911's Avatar
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    If you are going to put in a system, I recommend staying as far away from the services like ADT as possible. Go to safemart.com and buy a do it yourself. You can set up the monitoring for $100 or so a year. It's much cheaper, and you aren't bound by a contract with a company like ADT. They have yard signs and window stickers too.

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    Regular Member CalicoJack10's Avatar
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    When it comes to locks and such, it is always better to go with the higher end stuff. You get what you pay for. I would suggest "Schlague Primus" or "MEDCO" locks, as they are fairly cheap for high end locks and they are basically pick and drill proof (Not completely pick/drill proof, but as close as you can get). These locks work well with Kick Plates, and putting pins in the window frames will help a lot with the windows.

    As far as alarm systems, it is important to remember that the "Monitoring Systems" are there for nothing more than an alert in case something happens. They are nothing more than fancy smoke detectors that report to a central database. Putting in things like a DVR with camera's monitoring the most common access points (Doors, garage if attached) is always worth your time as long as you make sure to hide the DVR from intruders. I am a locksmith and safe/security expert. If you PM me more of what you are looking to do I can send you a layout for what you might want to do according to your budget.

    I normally charge about $300 for doing that, but since I am not coming out to your house and designing it from the ground up, I will give you this one for free. Just let me know.
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    One thing that no one has outright mentioned yet is the monitored fire service. While I do agree that the dogs are a good deterrent (I have some myself), if the house catches on fire, the dogs won't be calling 911.

    So not only do you have intruder detection, but a faster way to protect your home and loved ones in case of fire.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    I installed the alarm system but don't use the service. Most the time the blaring horn will scare the crooks away if you are not home. Dogs are the best alarm system in my mind though, they let you know before they get into the house.
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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Your system should be 'layered', imo. Dogs are not the end all. Firearm, not the end all.

    Motion detector lights, alarm, door locks, window locks, trimmed shrubbery, (nice neighborhood), non-lethal options, handgun (carried inside and concealed around the house in stable locations), alertness - all part of the layered system.

    Point is if ANY layer fails there are backup layers. You WILL forget to alarm, you WILL forget to lock door (say during a nap), your dogs may not bark one time, your carried gun might jam. You have other layers, you get a concealed gun from under the table and worry about clearing your carry gun later, and so on.

    HTH

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    We have a monitored system and have had several positive experiences with it. They are almost instantly on the phone when there is a 'fault' indication, even something so trivial as a weakening master-system battery. The previous comments are spot on... even the most protective dogs cannot call 911 in case of a fire, or flood, or smoke (prior to the fire) or even carbon monoxide accumulations...

    The monitoring is worth the cost -- if there is no response when they call, appropriate emergency services are notified and respond. Given the discount on our homeowners insurance from having a monitored alarm system, the cost is really trivial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    One thing that no one has outright mentioned yet is the monitored fire service. While I do agree that the dogs are a good deterrent (I have some myself), if the house catches on fire, the dogs won't be calling 911.

    So not only do you have intruder detection, but a faster way to protect your home and loved ones in case of fire.
    Agreed thanks for the replys we just got back from lowes and bought all new dead bolts and door handles and other necessary things goodies such as all the tools to put in said new security upgrades. Bad news with my new tools the wife went to Linen and things fr new kitchen stuff.
    Last edited by zack991; 02-28-2011 at 09:02 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    Agreed thanks for the replys we just got back from lowes and bought all new dead bolts and door handles and other necessary things goodies such as all the tools to put in said new security upgrades.
    Good move. 95% of home security involves deterring the bad guys just enough that they'll go elsewhere. A couple of light timers can work wonders.

    Bad news with my new tools the wife went to Linen and things fr new kitchen stuff.
    Oh, well. She probably deserves it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Your system should be 'layered', imo. Dogs are not the end all. Firearm, not the end all.

    Motion detector lights, alarm, door locks, window locks, trimmed shrubbery, (nice neighborhood), non-lethal options, handgun (carried inside and concealed around the house in stable locations), alertness - all part of the layered system.

    Point is if ANY layer fails there are backup layers. You WILL forget to alarm, you WILL forget to lock door (say during a nap), your dogs may not bark one time, your carried gun might jam. You have other layers, you get a concealed gun from under the table and worry about clearing your carry gun later, and so on.

    HTH
    +1

  13. #13
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    "Funny" experience with our alarm system.

    We had guests over for a long weekend, instructed them in use of alarm. Female guest goes out and we alarm and male guest takes a nap upstairs. My partner and I go nap, then get up and take bath in master bath, both doors shut. female guest comes home and male guest tries to let her in by keying alarm, but first he claims he knocked on our bedroom door. She comes in. In a few moments knock at the door (we're still in the shower).

    It's a very large female cop! She insists on coming in and staying around while the male guest 'explains' we're in the shower, yada, yada. Says the guest keyed the 'PANIC button' alarm. (Gah!)

    I'm sure we came close to the cop busting down the BR door and walking into the bathroom and seeing two very surprised and very nekkid homeowners with eyes like saucers in full flagrante delicto! Fortunately, she finally believed the guests and left.

    Yeah, right. Dumbarse. We go to all this trouble to use alarms responsibly, and put away our guns and stuff, and this moron who can't use the keypad signals the cops to come look inside the house. (AND the cops believed them).

    Fortunately, we missed all this and the company called back and we told them it was OK. Sheesh.

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