DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   General Chit-Chat (
-   -   Anyone have a home security system? (

jamesaaland 10-17-2010 03:31 PM

Anyone have a home security system?
Curious how many here either subscribe to a home security service or have
created their own.

A few years ago I was with ADT for 1-2 years.
It was OK I guess.

Now we're in a different home and I'm looking again for a home system.
This time though, I want to have those DIY system.

What do you guys have?

havasu 10-19-2010 11:50 AM

A DIY system will not be monitored, and just either notify you silently via a cell phone, or blast an audible alarm throughout your neighborhood.

An audible alarm is annoying when you have a false alarm, and your neighbors have to listen to the sound until it resets. If they call the police, you will most likely be charged a fee it the activation is because of a malfunction or user error.

A silent page to your cell phone is also a recipe for disaster. Do you return home and check for a bad guy inside your house, because this is your third activation this week and assume it is probably a false alarm? Are you armed? Can you handle the thought of what to do if you find an intruder inside your house? If he runs, will you shoot him in the back? Are you prepared to go to jail because you killed a kid trying to steal a piggy bank containing $12?

Most municipalities really get annoyed at the DIY alarms, will charge you a call out fee, and possible will charge you for their own inspection fees with an annual renewal. Also, most cities allow for a set amount of false alarm activations before they place you on a no response list, meaning they will not be there for you at all.

As I've said before, leave the alarm system to the professionals. Make sure you do not use the constant battery using contacts. Go hard wired if possible. Have a good, solid, battery back up. Lastly, find a company with their monitoring station locally to prevent up to a 30 minute lag time.

I have had a hard wired system for the last 22 years, with a recent updated installation. The monitoring station is local, knows my habits, and knows that I am an avid gun collector. This information is sent to our local police department, where I am also on file and knows that my german shepherd will bite, and can find me anywhere on this planet. I have yet to have a false activation, so if my alarm has been activated, the cops know it is most likely the real thing and plan accordingly.

Sorry for being long winded, but this is something people don't think about when they pick up one of those Radio Shack Alarms, believing they are going to save your property or your life.

rnddude 10-19-2010 12:36 PM

Yes, two standard poodles. They even bark at ME when I approach the front door!

havasu 10-19-2010 01:50 PM

Just keep in mind, no dog will protect you from someone who wants your property. It is just another layer of defense to cause the bad guy to choose another home to break in to.

This is why law enforcement also recommends learning to know your neighbors, keeping shrubs trimmed below windows, the use of motion detector lights around your property, keeping windows locked and cleaned (for possible later abstraction of latent prints), notifying your paper delivery people to stop service while you are gone, stopping the mail service, keeping radios on to simulate someone being home, automatic on/off lights set at your normal routine, driveways empty instead of having a visible car out front, pinning or "broomsticking" any sliding doors, and the use of gardeners to make it seem as if someone is home instead of being on an extended vacation.

One final thought, most daytime burglars use the ruse of being a door to door salesman. They will knock and if you answer, they will try to sell you something you won't want, and if you don't answer, they kick in the front door. Being in law enforcement, ALWAYS call the police when you have a door to door salesman that just seems fishy to you. This would stop one of your neighbors from being a potential victim or burglary.

carnuck 11-03-2010 11:19 PM

Our 4 legged alarm chased someone off this past summer. The guy got the window open and bypassed the alarm but the pooch got him his best time in the 100 yard dash and clearing the fence.

Speedbump 11-04-2010 07:33 AM

Seventy five pound chocolate lab and a three pound yap yap. Nobody is going to get in past those two. And if they did, there is a .45 and .38 waiting for them. The wife outshoots me and I'm pretty good.

I honestly think alarm systems are a false security.

Alonzo 11-04-2010 04:53 PM

Like havasue said, if you are going to get one, get a monitored one. Don't waste your time with diy systems. And get one hard wired.

I am a disabled Law Enforcement. I am at home all day and I have numerous guns in lock boxes scattered around my home. So I started thinking that an alarm system was a waste of money. Well one day when I stepped out, burglars decided to pay my home a visit. They knocked on my door and when no one answered, they kicked the door in. The alarm sounded and they ran off. Less than 1 month later, the same thing happened again. What saved my home from being robbed was the alarm. Most people think because they are armed and have dogs that no one will rob their homes, but sooner or later, you have to leave home. Thats when the alarm will save you from burglary or fire.

Also, if you have gas in your home get it monitored for carbon monoxide. I also had an experience with that. I had someone come in and do work for me and they had to go into my attic. Not much room in that house and he ended up crushing the flex duct that pulled air into the heater. And he didn't say a word. Later that night, before going to bed, the alarm went off for carbon monoxide. If we didn't have that, we would have gone to bed and that would have been the end of that.

peterrogers 11-17-2010 10:09 AM

Alarm Systems Work
There is a big difference between DIY alarm equipment, and DIY alarm monitoring - not at all the same thing, but they are often confused. There are some really good DIY equipment offers out there that are professionally monitored, 24/7. The best system offer cellular monitoring (with a built-in GSM module) so there no phone line requirement - or vulnerability. In addition, the best next-gen systems offer remarkably advanced services: remote control for arm/disarm, text and email notification, free apps for iPhone, Droid, and B'berry, and even video services. Shop hard, and check the reviews of any company you consider. These systems work - and the best ones are safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable than their predecessors. And don't forget the insurance discount, on top of the peace of mind.

SirGSS 12-17-2010 10:45 AM

Throwing two cents in here, but a hard-wired system really is no different from a wireless system, in terms of functionality. They operate pretty much exactly the same. If you've got the money and want to throw down the cash for a lot of remodeling, you can get a hard-wired system.. But it really doesn't matter.

Frankly, I'm more a fan of a wireless system. It allows a greater deal of positioning for sensors and customizing the security for a home. And you should be able to plug a wireless sensor directly into a wall outlet to provide it with sufficient power. You can use batteries, but that probably would be a drawback in the long-term, and I suppose that's the only real advantage to a hard-wired system over a wireless. As I said before, though, if you don't have a hard-wired setup already in place, then you can expect to throw down some serious cash.

Also, I have to agree with those who suggested getting an actively monitored system through a security company. I don't say that because I work for one (though, let's be honest--That probably colors my view just a bit :rofl:) but because I really do think it's better that way. As havasue pointed out--Going home to check on each and every alarm can really be frustrating, dangerous, and time-consuming. A monitoring company can handle the major aspects of that for you, moreso if you get some form of CCTV installed in your home. Regarding CCTV in particular, Honeywell has a "Total Connect" system they've rolled out in the last few months. Among other things, it offers the ability to remotely view a live security camera feed from an iPhone. Pretty handy stuff, I think.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Or maybe three-fifty, all things considered. Yay diarrhea of the mouth. :rolleyes:

Antwan 12-27-2010 06:09 AM

Anyone have a home security system?
Our house has a Brink Home Security sign on the front window, and a sign post in the back. They will think we have Brinks Home Security, and that's what matters

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:21 AM.