Author Topic: Should I get a Security system?  (Read 1943 times)

Kaplin261

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Should I get a Security system?
« on: January 13, 2017, 08:05:48 AM »
I dont really have a hole lot of things that I would miss if my house was broken into. However I'm more worried about my family when we are at home. We live in a really nice neighborhood with no crime. I will be working nights soon and I'm worried about my wife and 3 year old son.

I dont want a system that has monthly fees like those that monitor your system and alert the police if there is a problem. I am handy and would DIY my own system.

The system I would go with would be some cheap battery operated door recessed sensors that operate on Zwave. I would need 3 of them would bring my total to $100 for just the sensors, I would then need a Zwave hub, im thinking a (used) smartthings hub from amazon $70. Then some sort of app that monitors the sensors and sounds a alarm on our phones or a Zwave siren $30. The app would also need to arm and disarm the system.

Am I wasting my money here? Is this Mustachian?

Cromacster

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 08:34:59 AM »
Honestly, if your looking to spend a couple hundred bucks you're better off ensuring your doors and windows are secure.  Making your home hard to break into is better than having alarms and what not which go off after they have already gotten in.

Look into kick proof doors or other things you can add to existing doors.  I use and reccomend Door Devil, no affiliation.

Secure your windows by making sure they can't be pryed open.  This Article goes over some of the basics.

Then there's the standard exterior measures:
Bright Motion Sensor lights
Discouraging landscaping, ie prickly bushes near windows, landscape rock (which is loudish when walking on)

Then just situational stuff:
Don't leave electronics boxes easily visible.
Don't have your big flat screen visible from the street.
Keep a tidy exterior and lawn.

Above and beyond:
Get a dog.  Probably the best alarm system and it only requires food and belly rubs.  They discourage people from breaking in, but don't expect them to defend you unless you want to train it or buy one for such purposes
Get a gun and extensively train yourself and your wife in it's operation.  Also if your working nights develop some sort of system if you ever unexpectedly come home early, you know, so she knows its you coming in at 3am.

Edit to add:

If you still want to have the zwave stuff go for it.  I get it, I'm a gadget guy too and I find home secruity equipment pretty fun to mess around with, just don't forget the basics :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 08:40:50 AM by Cromacster »

Thinkum

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 08:35:22 AM »
I have thought about this as well. My answer so far has been pretty simple. Make sure I have lights on outside all night. LED all around and motion detector except over the front door and over the garage. The next thing is locking my backyard gates, always.

Around here, we have cars mostly broken into, and there have actually been the very rare door kicked in. So the next thing I would advise and I need to get on, is reinforced door jams. Lastly, if you need something more I would get a set of outdoor cameras with either cloud storage or an included HD. No one can tell you what will make you feel safe, only you can accurately determine that when measured against your financial well being.

One more thing, if you want to get some local opinions, try using NextDoor, if you do not already. It can be really helpful to know what's going on in your neighborhood. Good luck!

GuitarStv

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 08:38:05 AM »
It depends on how dangerous your neighbourhood is.  Personally, I would move to a better place before spending money on an alarm system again.  I don't think that most alarm systems make you or your family any safer than not having them, and the ones that are effective are expensive enough that it's not worth bothering with.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 08:46:50 AM »
I live in Chicago (city proper, in a moderate crime neighborhood), and even here home invasions when people are home are pretty rare.  We're two women and a baby and we don't have one, despite our realtor recommending one.  We have deadbolts and a motion detector light on the walkway that goes from our front to our alley.  I think we could spend a lot of money on the illusion of safety, or we could just live our lives knowing that crime is a small risk that is dwarfed by driving our car or eating red meat.

Edited to add: my mother lives in a small town/rural area, and she does have one because her home has been broken into 3 times in 30 years.  All the burglaries took place during daylight hours when no one was home.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 08:50:00 AM by SimpleCycle »

Kaplin261

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 09:07:02 AM »
I have thought about this as well. My answer so far has been pretty simple. Make sure I have lights on outside all night. LED all around.
One more thing, if you want to get some local opinions, try using NextDoor, if you do not already. It can be really helpful to know what's going on in your neighborhood. Good luck!

I have front porch lights and back porch lights with 4 watt led bulbs in each fixture for a total 16 watts with a timer that turns on at dusk and goes off at dawn.

I'm a member of my neighborhood's NextDoor and im also a member of the facebook group. Super safe neighborhood, I have not seen any reports of breakins. But for under $200 I can feel a little better about my family while I'm at work, getting alerts when doors open or a motion sensor trip.

I don't think we will be getting a dog, a dog would probably cost 10x the amount of a cheap security system. I don't want a gun in the house while my son is growing up.

Cwadda

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 09:21:43 AM »
You could put stickers on your windows without having the actual security system? It's not much, but better than nothing.

MerryMcQ

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 09:53:28 PM »
I'm struggling with the same question. My husband works nights, I'm deaf, and I'm not able to sleep on the nights he's gone - someone could kick in the front door and I would not wake up. Our kids are teens but if I am in my room, they could shout for me and I wouldn't hear them.

We had a big, loud dog (trained to alert me), who made me feel very secure. But she passed away suddenly last weekend, breaking all our hearts. She was a great comfort but I don't think we can handle the emotional roller-coaster of bringing in a new dog. We're thinking of a security alarm, improving our window security, and putting in motion detector lights around the house. If the alarm linked to my phone, I wear a wrist band that vibrates and will wake me up if I get a call or text... so I think that would work.

Our neighborhood is great, but one neighbor has caught people on two different occasions trying to jimmy open his bathroom window...

I'm pretty sure even a monitored alarm would cost less per month than food & vet for dog.

chasesfish

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 10:54:44 PM »
I'd second the dog and learning to use a firearm.  Most of our neighbors have security systems, we just have a the small house next to McMansions.  We also don't own much stuff of value and are primarily worried about a break-in at night.

Kaplin261

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Re: Should I get a Security system?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 01:14:56 PM »
I'd second the dog and learning to use a firearm.  Most of our neighbors have security systems, we just have a the small house next to McMansions.  We also don't own much stuff of value and are primarily worried about a break-in at night.

Statistically owning a firearm puts you at a higher risk of being hurt.