Author Topic: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH  (Read 5806 times)

nottoolatetostart

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DH is reluctant FI-er and while I am the frugal one in our relationship, we have a long way to go to be Mustachian.

On the potential chopping block list for 2014 is our home alarm system. Yes, yes, I know, it is embarrassing that we have this. It provides me with no comfort as the last false alarm we had, we heard anecdotally that the cops didn't even show up. DH is very reluctant to cut our home alarm monitoring system despite the fact that the cops don't show. Costing us $450/year and we are no longer under contract, so we could cancel at anytime without penalty.

My question is that I heard that even after you cancel (so there is no monitoring service from the security company), if you activate the alarm (like before we go to bed), the door/windows will sound off in case an entry point is breached. So basically, the intruder will hear the alarm, but will have no idea if the cops are on their way. Does anyone know if this is the case? Any past experience with this? 

We have Protection One if that matters. I'm hoping this is true as it may put DH's fears to bed and we could cancel the service. Thanks for your help! Happy New Year!


Secret Stache

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 01:43:40 PM »
Yes once monitoring service is cancelled you can still use the alarm system.  Be careful with this because if you do have a false alarm while you are away, your home will be blaring until you come home or neighbors call the cops and they break into your home to ensure there is no intruder.  This would likely result in some sort of citation.

I'm satisfied with the little "beep-beep" when a door or window is opened to alert me while I'm home.

You could also purchase security cams for a one time fee and have the ability to monitor your home yourself remotely from any PC, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection if the monitoring is a deal breaker.  Most have settings to send you an email with a snapshot when motion is detected as well.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 01:58:24 PM »
Thanks, Matt!

Funny enough, we only set it once we are home and going to bed for the night because we had too many issues with false alarms with our dog while we were away.


fmzip

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 02:20:12 PM »
A typical home alarm does not sound indefinitely, usually for no more than 10-15 minutes.

I've had mine go off, my neighbor calls me when I am away.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 07:26:12 AM »
Just a quick update for those that might be considering the same thing:

Our alarm company confirmed that the alarm will continue to work despite not paying for the monitoring service. The representative said "we encourage you to continue to use your alarm despite not having the monitoring service."

With this info, DH agreed that we could cut the monitoring service since he wanted the alarm aspect. We need to pay 1 more month to give them 30 days notice (complete rip off if you ask me since they process it right away), but luckily, we were under our last month at the promotional rate at 19.09 (thanks to calling in earlier to negotiate a lower rate in Oct 2013), so it could be worse and luckily, we are not under contract.

Total savings on this alone:  $429.99 for 2014. (39.09 * 11 months)

Yeah!!!!  2014 is turning out to be an awesome year already. I am so proud of my reluctant DH in agreeing to do this. Hope this info helps anyone else also considering this. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 07:27:57 AM by nottoolatetostart »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 08:23:57 AM »
We've got one, a bit cheaper per year, but still close to your expenses. We set it whenever we leave the house, even if it's a quick run to the store, and when we're in for the night. We've never had a false alarm and the police response in our neighborhood is quick according to neighbors that have had an alarm event - around 15 minutes (got quite a few police living in the neighborhood as well).

We live in a bedroom community of a large city that has a high crime rate, but our area doesn't have serious crime and we live close to a state police headquarters. So mostly the reason we have it is for deterring the amateur/kid type from choosing our house to break into since there are plenty of other houses that don't have security systems at all.

I've been debating about canceling the monitoring service for years, but my husband is also reluctant. I'll have to bring it up again and mention that the signs won't be removed and alarm will still go off and see what he says, but for peace of mind (even if it is technically mostly a false sense of security) we might need to keep ours.

jrhampt

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 10:27:36 AM »
We also stopped paying for the service a couple of years ago but still use the alarm.  Since we're mainly concerned about home invasions, we set it before we go to bed at night...this way no one sneaks up on us.

ohyonghao

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 05:39:28 PM »
I'd been considering getting an alarm system for my house but was hesitant because it doesn't quite fit into the budget.  My friend has had one for 5 years and got a citation from the city for not having a permit, and then a charge from the city the second time it went off.  He cussed out the monitoring agency after he had a police officer invade his home with guns drawn at night when the alarm went off and it was set to silent mode (this was before he cussed them out and they came and fixed it).  In the 5 years he has had it I don't know of a single instance in which it has actually done anything.

That being said, his cousin has his own security camera system which he recently used on a home invader who was working his way through the neighborhood.  I might go this route instead, and also install the home invasion detection and just monitor it myself.

Thanks for this topic.

Cromacster

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 05:58:29 PM »
Security systems are there to make you feel warm and fuzzy.  MMM has touched on this a few times.  It sorta falls under the maid category.

Do the things that make your house less desirable to break into.  Kick proof doors, no visible high ticket items (tv stereos etc), motion sensor exterior lights

Then ask yourself why you feel you need an alarm system.  Do you live in an area where you are worried about someone breaking in and causing harm?  Or are you just worried about your stuff being stolen?  If someone really wants to accomplish either thing an alarm won't ultimately stop them, so hopefully you take other steps to protect yourself if these are you true concerns.

Also discussed at length here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/home-security-systems-worth-it/

T-Rex

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 08:54:36 PM »
The alarm and signs are a good deterrent. They let someone know they will be pursued relatively soon and it would be in their interest to get a head start. I would just get a shotgun or a pistol or a dog if you don't have those already. Police can't respond fast enough to provide home defense, and are not held liable if anything were to happen to you.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 05:28:36 AM »
Thanks for the link, Cromacster. I read over that discussion thread.

We have a 50 lb dog that has wonderful hearing and goes bonkers when even the same mailman comes to the door each day.

I don't give a damn about any of the contents in our house (just not super sentimental to things), other than people and dog in it. I could care less if all of our contents were taken as we long as we were safe. The alarm would give us a heads up that someone was in our house in case we did not already hear someone entering.

I'm glad we canceled the monitoring service and still got to keep the alarm.

Mori

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 06:01:23 PM »
Just curious--I have protection one as well and it has an "auto renew" clause in my contract for one year. Did your contract not have this? I've got a mental note to cancel it on the right month, I'm just trying to determine if there's an easier way. :)

chasesfish

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 06:10:29 PM »
Thanks for the link, Cromacster. I read over that discussion thread.

We have a 50 lb dog that has wonderful hearing and goes bonkers when even the same mailman comes to the door each day.

I don't give a damn about any of the contents in our house (just not super sentimental to things), other than people and dog in it. I could care less if all of our contents were taken as we long as we were safe. The alarm would give us a heads up that someone was in our house in case we did not already hear someone entering.

I'm glad we canceled the monitoring service and still got to keep the alarm.

+1.  We love our hound mix and he goes nuts if someone gets near the house.  He also provides us more comfort than an alarm system

oldtoyota

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 06:14:31 PM »
Don't fee bad that you had one. We got locked into a three-year plan after someone broke into our house. It was a bit disturbing. We cancelled it when the contract ran out and kept the stickers in the windows!

dragoncar

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 07:34:01 PM »
If you are tech-savvy, you could add something like this to your current alarm box to text you when it goes off:

https://github.com/mattwilliamson/arduino-sms-alarm

There may be a commercial solution too, but I'm guessing that gets more expensive.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Home alarm system question. I want to get rid of it, but reluctant DH
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2014, 08:08:58 PM »
My house had an old system installed. I ripped it out and recycled the wiring and metal panel box.