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Posted By: nickbuol Any Experience With Home Security Systems? - 08/04/11 02:54 AM
When we bought our house a couple of months ago, it came with an existing ADT system. The previous owners spared no expense it seems with the system (they have sensors on doors, windows, garage doors, smoke sensors are tied in, motion sensors...)

Anyway, I know that there are other companies out there providing similar services, but with newer technology - our ADT system needs a phone line, and some systems use ethernet, or cell signals. The newer systems have touch screen, remote (key FOB and smartphone) access, tie into heating/cooling, offer electric auto-locks for doors, etc...

The reason I am asking is someone from Vivint stopped by our house today trying to get us to switch. I like the idea of a cell technology based system instead of land line (no need for a home phone) and the touch screen, smart phone, key FOB, etc. We probably wouldn't tie it into our thermostat, or get the power door locks, but it *seemed* pretty good. They wanted $50 a month.

Not sure if they are good, or what is out there that people have experience with, thus the reason I am posting.

Posted By: Ken.C Re: Any Experience With Home Security Systems? - 08/06/11 05:14 PM
The question for me whenever dealing with a non-land line anything is "what happens when the power goes out?"
I believe that the cell phone technology ones use a battery backup so it is covered.
Posted By: grunt Re: Any Experience With Home Security Systems? - 08/06/11 08:14 PM
$50 a month sounds pretty expensive to me for monitoring. You should be able to find a major company more in the $30/month range. Also, once you talk to Vivint they are known to be quite persistent.

Many companies should be able to piggy back on your existing system w/o having to change out anything but the brains. I would suggest you check out the local BBB and any other local resources to find which companies servicing your area are the most reliable. Then have several of them come out and review your system and needs and make an offer.

Also check with the local authorities to see what the most prevalent problems are being caused by. Likely it’s entry during the day while at work. This will help you place emphasis on what is going to give you the most for your money and effort.

Truth is what you should want is to deter entry to your house which actually has nothing to do with monitoring. If you have outward signs of an active alarm system you will deter most would-be thieves, anyone else breaking into your house is likely going to do a “smash and grab” (likely because they know or suspect you have something worth risking an active alarm) and will be long gone before the police arrive. Active monitoring is great for early fire response (especially when not home) and duress alarm (in case of a home invasion) otherwise deterrence is your best defense followed by loud sirens and flashing lights to scare the crap out of them and make them want to leave if they do break in.

The more outward signs you have of an active security system generally the better. Yard signs, bright lighting, motion sensor lighting, an outdoor siren(s) (active or fake) prominently displayed, nothing blocking the view of windows or doors from the street or adjacent properties, curtains always closed when not used to let light in, valuable items not easily seen from the outside even through partly closed curtains, a peephole or camera for the front door so you can see who’s there.

One of the best things you can do besides displaying an active alarm system is not to throw anything in the trash that would give away information about you or what is in your house. The obvious stuff like credit card statements, bills, etc. . ., but also empty prescription bottles for pain killers, boxes for expensive electronic equipment even liquor bottles, anything a thief, addict or even local kid might want.
That is kind of what I thought. Thieves look for "easy targets" and we have the blue ADT signs in the front and back yard, plus a couple of the window sticker ones. When ever we leave, we don't make it look like "nobody is home" or that people can just look in the windows, etc...

I've heard of some people just shutting off their monitoring service and using the audible alarm built in to the system since as far as they would know, it IS monitored. Can't really prevent a smash and grab like you said, but even monitored it wouldn't do that.
Posted By: grunt Re: Any Experience With Home Security Systems? - 08/06/11 11:02 PM
The installer for my ADT system (I got a discount for them through my insurance company) said that he gave ADT signs (no systems) to all his neighbors. When a new guy moved in he pulled out the signs and within a month got burglarized. Then came to the installer and asked if he could have a couple more signs and hasn’t had any problems since.

The only reason I have my system monitored is because I can be away from home for up to a couple months at a time with no one living here. It gives me peace of mind that if something does happen my father and I will get notified and he can at least secure the situation. If it wasn’t for the travel I wouldn’t even have monitoring.
ADT can give you all the bells and whistles you desire but you will pay for them. I have an ADT system, just put in last year with our new home and all I have is the basic system with a monitored fire alarm in lieu of the usual motion detectors ( I despise them, to easily set off, even the newer 'pet friendly' ones). The biggest deterent that gets mentioned is those signs as everyone else has already mentioned.
Posted By: Murph Re: Any Experience With Home Security Systems? - 08/11/11 02:15 PM
Originally Posted By: jakewash
have is the basic system with a monitored fire alarm in lieu of the usual motion detectors ( I despise them, to easily set off, even the newer 'pet friendly' ones).

Well why are you setting your pets on fire in the first place????
As a warning to potential theives wink
Back at Camp Mathilda, Pappy once said, "Don't pet a burning dog."
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