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Talk to me about security systems

If you are my fb friend you might have read this but last night (Friday night) 4 armed, masked me broke into a house in my neighborhood.  They entered through the basement (apparently managing to get the lock open without doing any damage to the door) and then barged into the main floor with guns drawn.  There were 3 residents home watching TV.  They made them lie on the floor and then forced them into closets.  They stole jewlery and other valuables staying in the house for about 45 minutes.  This is an almost identical home invasion to one that happened exactly 2 weeks earlier about 5 miles from here.  Nobody was hurt in either incident but it's still fvcking scary!

We have a very old securty sytem in our house but honestly have no freaking clue how to operate it.  I'd like an updated system and I want it monitored.  The catch, we don't have a home phone and don't want one.  Are there any companies out there that work without a home phone?  How much does monitoring generally cost?  Do most companies install a system for free if you sign a monitoring contract?  I know I've seen commercials for that but wasn't sure if that was common. 

I really apprecaite any help you girls can give me!!


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Re: Talk to me about security systems

  • Wow! That's really scary! I hope the family was ok!!!

    Clark Howard has some good advice for buying a security system here. We don't have a contract for our security system and pay about $18/month for monitoring. My brother is a police detective that investigates burglaries (among other crimes). He says one of the biggest deterrents is a big dog that has a loud bark.

    Will the police in your area do a home security evaluation? I know in Smyrna you can request that the community liaison police officer come to do an evaluation on your home to tell you where you can improve the security; it's free and takes about half an hour. We installed some motion detection lights and trimmed bushes that were covering a window after we had one done.  We also have a very active community watch in my neighborhood. Maybe someone in your neighborhood could work to get one started.

  • Oh no! That's horrible. We had our house broken into (broke the window), but we weren't home. Also, nothing was taken which is fortunate but really weird. Our friend owns a security company based in Suwanee, GA--SSP (Southeastern Security Professionals). We have a security system with 4 cameras and a DVR that records everything, 9 glass breaks, and 7 window and door alarms. They call our cell phone if there's break-in. They also insure all their stuff for two years. I'm not sure how much it costs (can't remember), but it's not expensive and includes installation in the price.

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  • That is very very scary. I have Protection One with cell phone backup incase someone cuts the phone line, so they should be able to monitor your home without a home phone line.

     That said. a security system would not have prevented the scary situation described on the OP. So after getting a system, please look into getting security doors. I used a company by the name of Ornamental security. They have all sorts of designs, for example the bars on my back windows look like window panes. There are also storm doors with very strong glass, which deter that type of thing. I am so sorry that happened, something similar happened to a neighbor of mine last November. It was carried out by the criminals who terrorized the city starting with the shooting of the guy in Virginia Highlands. 

    "HOW many US citizens and ranchers have been decapitated in Arizona by roving bands of paperless aliens, and how will a requirement that I have papers on me make that not happen?"courtesy of SueSue
  • That is super scary. We have an alarm system monitored by Ackerman. It was an existing ADP system when we bought the house, and they could still connect it. We don't have a home phone either. They can do wireless. I think it was around $35 for the first year, maybe two years, because of the wireless thing but then it goes down to ~$20 per month.
  • That is so scary! I agree with others that said a security system doesn't deter everyone. They let you know someone is in. The best thing to do is prevent them from getting in. You may want to look into security doors and enforcing your doors with something like this so they can't get kicked in. My house was robbed 2 years ago and besides getting security doors, we also changed all of our door locks so that you need a key to get in and out. We also have a bar like this on doors we don't use daily.
  • image busybodyk:
    That is so scary! I agree with others that said a security system doesn't deter everyone. They let you know someone is in. The best thing to do is prevent them from getting in. You may want to look into security doors and enforcing your doors with something like this so they can't get kicked in. My house was robbed 2 years ago and besides getting security doors, we also changed all of our door locks so that you need a key to get in and out. We also have a bar like this on doors we don't use daily.

    The second bar posted is supposed to be very good. I used it on my doors before I got security doors and a storm door. My In-laws used it when they lived in New York in the 70's. They were so common there was actually an indentation near the door where people would stick the bar. I believe it makes the door very very difficult to kick in. 

    "HOW many US citizens and ranchers have been decapitated in Arizona by roving bands of paperless aliens, and how will a requirement that I have papers on me make that not happen?"courtesy of SueSue
  • image MeredithE:

    image busybodyk:
    That is so scary! I agree with others that said a security system doesn't deter everyone. They let you know someone is in. The best thing to do is prevent them from getting in. You may want to look into security doors and enforcing your doors with something like this so they can't get kicked in. My house was robbed 2 years ago and besides getting security doors, we also changed all of our door locks so that you need a key to get in and out. We also have a bar like this on doors we don't use daily.

    The second bar posted is supposed to be very good. I used it on my doors before I got security doors and a storm door. My In-laws used it when they lived in New York in the 70's. They were so common there was actually an indentation near the door where people would stick the bar. I believe it makes the door very very difficult to kick in. 

    we have that one too! It won't STOP someone, but it'll make it harded to get in and give you time to load your gun(s)... Angry

    I agree tho - reinforced doors/windows may give you more peace of mind in your home.

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  • Thanks for all the suggestions girls.  Of the 4 exterior doors on our house, two have dead bolts that have to be opened with a key from either side, one has 2 dead bolts but only one opens from the outside, but the 4th just has 1 dead bolt that I don't really trust.  It's a door we never use (goes from the outside to the unfinished section of our basement) so that door bar thing might be a good idea. 

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  • UGA, the best part of my security doors and windows are the screens. The ability to leave the doors and windows open it really really nice. Just something to consider. I know what it's like to feel uneasy in your own house, as a result of crime nearby. I hope you make a decision that makes you feel safe. 
    "HOW many US citizens and ranchers have been decapitated in Arizona by roving bands of paperless aliens, and how will a requirement that I have papers on me make that not happen?"courtesy of SueSue
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