Author Topic: Mustachian Home Safety  (Read 8515 times)

Tami1982

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Mustachian Home Safety
« on: November 21, 2012, 02:50:54 PM »
So, it looks like someone attempted to break into my tiny house.  I do not know why anyone would attempt this as I live pretty poorly and have nothing of value, but looks like they did.  My lock was all messed up and dents in frame and in door.   I am confident they did not get in and I blame this on my dead bolts that I always lock. 

Now I'm feeling a little less secure and trying to think of inexpensive security measures.  Should I upgrade locks?  What about a security system or camera system?    My schedule is pretty all over the place.  I come and go randomly, my friend comes and goes from my place as she wishes, so she's around to and I have a dog that is home off and on as well. 

Thoughts? Ideas?

kisserofsinners

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
  • Age: 40
  • Location: San Francisco
    • Monkey wants a house
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 02:59:44 PM »
Really i wouldn't worry about upgrading. Remember: your lock actually worked just fine. :)

All and alarm will do is tell you you're being robbed. It does nothing to protect you at all. If you're worried about you're stuff being taken, get renter's insurance.

kudy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 945
  • Age: 36
  • Location: RV Traveling the U.S.
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 03:21:58 PM »
an alarm doesn't call the police?

I've always wanted an infrared camera pointed at the front of my house, but that's mostly because I'm a gadget-head, not someone who actually needs one (althought, my car window was broken once).

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 03:35:05 PM »
I'm glad they didn't get in.

I recommend an interior light or lamp on a timer that turns on before it gets dark or occasionally during the day. This will make it appear there is activity inside. Also keep a cheap radio on inside at a decent volume that would suggest someone could be home. Clear away any shrubs or other obstructions so your door can be plainly seen from the street or by your neighbors. Post a sticker in your window by your front door, and one of those small signs on the lawn or nearby, that says "These premises monitored by an alarm system." You can find them at places like Home Depot or online.

You can mount a decoy camera if you like for added deterrence, but an actual alarm or camera won't do you any good unless it's constantly monitored. It's not worth it to hire a company (like ADT) to monitor it unless your last name is Gates or Rockefeller.

Doing these things will deter most thieves. Your neighbors' houses will look like easier places to rob than yours, and that's all you need.

iamlindoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
    • The Earth Awaits
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 03:58:56 PM »
I have a background in law enforcement and the advice I/we would always give to people is that the most effective means of protecting your home is a large, well-trained dog.  It's more or less the only external force that cannot be turned against you and often a menacing bark is enough to convince most burglars to go elsewhere to seek lower-hanging fruit.

Because of my background we have firearms in the house, but I would strongly advise against firearms ownership unless you can make the commitment to extensive training needed to effectively use a deadly weapon in a dynamic scenario.  Here I mean literally hundreds of hours of training in all sorts of scenarios (low light, moving target, weapon retention, etc.).  Too many people become firearm owners out of a desire to protect their home or themselves and instead find the weapon turned against them or used in a tragic accident when they don't engage in the necessary training.

I know you didn't bring up firearms but I'd rather address it explicitly in case it was a lingering idea in the back of your mind.  A weapon is a tool like any other, but it's only a worthwhile tool when combined with a high degree of training and experience.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 04:04:41 PM by iamlindoro »

Tami1982

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 05:04:59 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  The Sheriff came by and seems to believe the only reason they didn't get in is because they may have been interrupted by a neighbor coming home or intimidated by my large, loud, dog:)  iamlindoro - I got the dog one covered:)   The cop seemed unimpressed by by doors and three inch screws in my lag plate (I think that's what it's called.)   It looks like they tried to pry it open with a bar.   He says if they wanted in, they'd have gotten in and likely got interrupted by the neighbor or intimidated by the dog. 

I have no bushes blocking anything, fencing that blocks my front windows, my front door faces a street, giving a clear view, and my rear door is easily seen by my three neighbors and completely unobstructed.  I do have one lamp on a timer, but perhaps should get another timer.  The one is probably getting predictable.   I don't do the tv or radio on thing, because I've always hated coming into a house with noise thinking I wouldn't hear if anyone was already in here, but may need to reconsider.  My exterior is pretty darn well lit all the time.  (I never turn them off.) 

I have owner's insurance (not a rental) and have considered a camera system more for the idea that I could see if I thought I heard something and that if something did happen I might at least have recourse. 

I don't like guns.  I've never felt comfortable around them - despite growing up with a hunter father and brother and using them when I was younger.  I thought about it when I moved into this house alone, but just would worry the entire time that someone would hurt themselves with it or find it and to be honest I don't know if I could shoot someone.  A more likely scenario to me is that they would get my gun and shoot me! 


Matte

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 218
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 06:56:43 PM »
Saw some nifty security cameras at Costco, It had a spotlight, motion camera on it, looked very good and programmable, it had alarms.

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 07:46:28 PM »
I keep my house secure so that I have piece of mind.  I live in a good area where this doesn't happen often (you might too) but I still have a very secure house.  Mine is probably excessive, but I sleep easy at night because of it. 

Dogs: I have (2) Rottweilers (not originally for security, but because I love the breed),

Entrances: Secure doors/windows, or even a "security door" as a storm door.  They make some really nice looking ones.

Gun:  I have a firearm which I've taken defense classes with and I'm confident I can use it.

Camera:  Something that I REALLY like is a camera system that is connected to my home wireless network.  When it sees movement it will send me an email at work with a short video clip of that movement at my front or back door.  It can be set up to text a short video clip as well.  I've gotten messages showing me videos of the mail man coming to the front door, or of the meter man walking by my back door to check the meter.

Lighting: Lastly, motion sensing lights are a big help.  I have one on the gate going into my backyard and it even surprises me sometimes when I walk back there.

Again, I might be excessive but it gives me peace of mind.

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1381
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 09:46:27 PM »
Tami, I'm also really glad that they didn't get in!  And I hope and pray that you'll be able to feel secure and comfortable - maybe someone can come stay with you for a few days?  Thank God for large and loud dogs, eh?!?!

Tami1982

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 01:15:20 AM »

Entrances: Secure doors/windows, or even a "security door" as a storm door.  They make some really nice looking ones.


It's just entirely a coincidence, but my mom is buying me storm doors for Christmas and my brother is installing them (front and back door) this weekend.  An entirely different note, we are not telling mom about the attempted break in:)  My dad knows, but mom would flip!

Camera:  Something that I REALLY like is a camera system that is connected to my home wireless network.  When it sees movement it will send me an email at work with a short video clip of that movement at my front or back door.  It can be set up to text a short video clip as well.  I've gotten messages showing me videos of the mail man coming to the front door, or of the meter man walking by my back door to check the meter.


That has to be the COOLEST system I've ever heard of!  Can you link me to a manufacturer? 

Tami, I'm also really glad that they didn't get in!  And I hope and pray that you'll be able to feel secure and comfortable - maybe someone can come stay with you for a few days?  Thank God for large and loud dogs, eh?!?!

Thanks PJ.  I was, surprisingly, not terribly upset.  Which is really not my usual MO, but for some reason I remain unfazed.  I think if they had gotten in, it would be a different story.  I have my dog with me and that maybe makes me feel safer than it should.   Also, my best friend lives 3/4 of a mile away and is purposely driving by and stopping in to show activity at the house when I am not home.  I have an opened ended invite to come hang with her if I am nervous and that is reassuring.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3955
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 08:23:08 AM »
Camera:  Something that I REALLY like is a camera system that is connected to my home wireless network.  When it sees movement it will send me an email at work with a short video clip of that movement at my front or back door.  It can be set up to text a short video clip as well.  I've gotten messages showing me videos of the mail man coming to the front door, or of the meter man walking by my back door to check the meter.


That has to be the COOLEST system I've ever heard of!  Can you link me to a manufacturer? 

I don't know what system CBR Shadow's using, but I actually just did some heavy research recently on "mustachian" alarm systems and networked security cameras for a client I'm working with, so I can actually make a couple well-informed suggestions.

For security cameras, you mostly get what you pay for. The best bang-for-buck cameras I've found are the Ubiquiti airVision system. The indoor dome-style camera has a microphone and SD card backup, networkable, does motion detection, and can deliver 720p video. The outdoor barrel style doesn't have as many frills (like SD card), but both models do e-mail on power up/down and motion sensing. They run about $100 a pop give-or-take on Amazon. The only downside is that they don't do IR night-vision (like the Logitech ones for example), but you get a far better camera for the money and make sense if they'll be in places with at least a little light around the clock or near a motion detecting light anyway.

Alternately, there's the Edimax cameras, some of which can do night vision, but the firmware can be buggy on them if you don't upgrade it. http://www.amazon.com/s/keywords=edimax+camera

The IC-3030iWn might be a good option if you go that route.

As for an alarm system, if you really want to go that route, there are self-install, self-monitoring systems available now for a surprisingly reasonable price if you feel it necessary. Thanks to mainland China imports, there's an abundance that are surprisingly decent that use a GSM radio to call with. PiSector has a good selection starting at about $150 with the GSM02. You'll want to just make sure that the sensors are well mounted and secured and you keep on top of batteries for the things. As for the wireless service to use, it's recommended to go T-Mobile due to the bands the system uses and T-Mo providing better EDGE service. You can pick up a pre-paid SIM and keep the service active for about $10 every 90 days until you hit the magic $100 mark, at which point $10 will give you a year's worth of airtime. The alarm system can dial up to six phone numbers, send SMS messages up to three numbers, can be remotely enabled or disabled via the phone, has an intercom system, and can even use hard-wired sensors from older alarms.

Security, even on the "cheap", can get expensive... but if you DIY, you'd be surprised at what you can get.

That said, I agree wholly with iamlindoro's advice and think simple noisemakers and lights are your best defense.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 09:55:00 AM »
Because of my background we have firearms in the house, but I would strongly advise against firearms ownership unless you can make the commitment to extensive training needed to effectively use a deadly weapon in a dynamic scenario.  Here I mean literally hundreds of hours of training in all sorts of scenarios (low light, moving target, weapon retention, etc.).  Too many people become firearm owners out of a desire to protect their home or themselves and instead find the weapon turned against them or used in a tragic accident when they don't engage in the necessary training.

I highly agree that a large dog is excellent in home protection.  I also agree that guns do come with their own risks and training in self defense is of utmost importance if you go that route.  But I simply want to provide some counterbalance to your suggestion that "literally hundreds of hours of training" is needed for a firearm to be appropriate.  Basic self defense training taken for a little as eight hours is enough to have the basic needed for self protection.  A relatively cheap short barrel shotgun is easy to use, has low penetration of walls, is extremely effective, has a huge deterrent effect, and is safer than a handgun.  I would suggest repeating the training in one year and repeat after that at an extending interval to maintain competency.  The training should include live firing of the weapon you purchase, and should not be viewed as a simple formality.

I would never suggest a gun for someone not willing or interested in using it for self defense, but for those who are the bar is not as high as you suggest.  But we can absolutely agree there is a substantial bar that should be in place regarding training and competency, and a gun in the home must be treated with the respect and caution it deserves.  I'm certainly glad you brought the subject up, a firearm can be a very valuable tool in the defense of ourselves and loved ones, and training in that regard is unfortunately rare.  Yes, some firearm owners have the weapon turned against them, but many people without training use a firearm in self defense without tragic accident.  Each person and each case is different, just need to make sure your situation is well thought out and good advice is taken before making a decision.

It sounds like a gun is not a fit for the OP, which is probably true for most people.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 09:56:39 AM by James »

chucklesmcgee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 10:41:26 AM »
Do you have kids or anyone you think an intruder would really want to harm when you're gone? If you're living pretty cheaply, you might not have anything worth stealing. Might be better just to leave the door unlocked. I'm serious. How much would you really lose if someone broke in and took everything they could carry (and that someone else would want to buy)? How much do all these gizmos cost and how likely will they actually do anything? How likely is it that someone will even try to break in again?

Ok, great, suppose you've installed a fancy smancy security camera system. You've just gotten an email of someone breaking into your house, (or I guess already having broken into your house) you get the email 2 minutes after the break-in, check the video and at 2:30 you call the police, which you've known to add to your address book. At 3:00 you're connected to an operator (cell phones take forever to dial) and explain the situation and your address. At 4:00 the operator has recorded your address and routed it to police in your area. Chances are they'll be able to get over in maybe 5 minutes...maybe. So 9 minutes later the police show up and the guy's gone. 9 minutes is a long time to rob a place if you're already in. Oh but great you got him on video right! Yeah, they'll totally be putting in extra shifts to find that 5'10"-6'2" 160-190 lb male wearing jeans and a black shirt with medium length hair. Meanwhile, you're out the cost of your cameras and your door or window has still been busted in.

There is the cost effective route of just getting a sign that says you have a home security system if you do want something: http://www.amazon.com/GE-45400-SmartHome-Security-Yardstake/dp/B000VY0HGM/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1353605212&sr=1-3&keywords=home+alarm+sign


alfor

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 01:54:04 PM »
I totally agree, and I used to work for a alarm system company. They make money with your fear. Don't give in.

1. You have a dog (best protection)
2. Install alarm sticker (best bang for your buck)
3. You could add a fake camera (overkill ?):
  http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=110&cp_id=11016&cs_id=1101602&p_id=8428&seq=1&format=2


jwystup

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 09:26:07 PM »
I know how you feel on the not-telling-mom thing, my car has been broken into (well, opened, since it doesn't lock at the moment) and there is no way I could tell my mom!

I think everyone already said things that I had thought to say except for one thing that actually aligns with some mustachian principles: leave your car in the driveway if you can. Since I bike to work daily my car sits in the driveway 95% of the time. It'll make intruders think that there might be someone home, and they'll think twice about breaking in! As far as the non-locking car goes, I'd rather they mess with my crappy car that has nothing of value in it than my house.

Invictus

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 07:16:14 AM »


 I'll make a suggestion for the firearm and the relevant training as well. If you're lucky enough to live in the US, there are a lot of training options and firearm makes, models, etc to look into.

 Make sure you have the requisite locks, insurance and alarm systems good to go, but do yourself a favour and really re-consider your view on firearms/conflict. Physical security mainly protects your STUFF, personal security and self defense protects your LIFE, which is infinitely more important.

And, if it's a concern, I've never heard anyone who's ever been in an actual combat situation spout the ol' fear-mongering trope of "A bad guy is more likely to take your gun and use it on you." Self-defence is a human right. Don't deny yourself your rights.

Hope everything works out.

thurston howell iv

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 08:34:14 AM »
I have big dogs- barking usually scares away anyone who even bothers to knock... And I leave the radio on during the day tuned to NPR (mostly people talking)... Always sounds like someone is home...Automatic lights for when it gets dark. Usually a car in the driveway. No issues.

Of course locking the doors and windows and making it hard for people to look inside always helps.  Random work schedule is great. No way for the intruder to plan.

Intruder wants an easy score. They do not want to deal with the hassle of a dog or the worse hassle of a dog alerting neighbors or the owner who might be inside and armed...  If it looks like a hassle, they will move on to easier pickings- like places with unlocked cars, unlocked doors and windows, front doors made of glass...etc..

Will

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2012, 09:17:59 AM »
I have one of these in my house.  I was able to find it online for less than $35, but even at that price, it is pretty mustachian and well worth investigating!

FakeTV makes your home look Occupied
Burglars do not like occupied houses
FakeTV is a small electronic device that produces exactly the same sort of light a real television makes.  From outside after dusk, it looks like someone must be home watching TV.  FakeTV light mimics the effects of scene changes, color shifts, and on-screen motion.

FakeTV gives the impression of "people home", and that makes your home an unappealing target for a break in.


You might be thinking, "Why don't I just leave a TV turned on?"  Umm, hello! That wastes a lot of energy.  A FakeTV uses LED lights, so it uses about as much energy as a nightlight and it only comes on at dusk.  It really does look like someone is watching TV; you just have to make sure you set it up on a second floor, or if it is on a first floor set it so the device itself can't be seen.

They have a website:  www.faketv.com

Invictus

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 09:33:36 AM »


This is pretty relevant. I had this sent to me a couple of times, and apparently it comes from legit interviews with career criminals.



1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... And taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at faketv.com.)

8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU:

1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs crimedoctor.com; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Tami1982

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2012, 02:02:23 PM »
Thank you everyone for all the input you've offered.  I really appreciate it!  I've installed storm doors on both my front and back doors since I last wrote.   

I do not think I'll change my mind on the gun, I just really dislike holding life or death in my hands, I just find it repugnant.  I have no problem with people owning, having, or using guns.  Just not my bag:)

I'll probably pick up a window sign (do those really discourage people?  I'd almost think it would make them think you had stuff worth protecting. Which, I really don't. LOL) 

Comments also led me to look through my house and see what did I really have of value and it's pretty much zero.  My computer, printer, tv are all old.  I have no gaming systems.  I have no jewelry of value, sentimental or otherwise.  Even if they took most of my stuff I'd been very inconvenienced  With of course, the exception of all the documents on the computer.  So I backed that up today on multiple thumb drives.  (Makes me wish for a portable hard drive.) 

Thanks again, guys.  Lots of great input and questions that made me think.  It's appreciated!

iamlindoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
    • The Earth Awaits
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2012, 04:23:37 PM »
Consider DropBox for your critical documents-- then you can even lose the thumbdrives or have the hard drive fail and you can still get at it from a new computer.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4752
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2012, 09:55:09 AM »
If they're critical documents as in "sensitive", not just as in "personally important" (like W-2s, not like college papers and t-ball coaching plans), you should check out SpiderOak, a free Dropbox competitor that's substantially more secure.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2012, 10:45:08 AM »
With of course, the exception of all the documents on the computer.  So I backed that up today on multiple thumb drives.  (Makes me wish for a portable hard drive.)

I think most cell phones will also act as a USB drive.  I know the fairly cheap, dumb, pay-as-you-go one I have does, so I do occasional backups of source code to it.

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: Mustachian Home Safety
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2014, 05:06:35 AM »
If they're critical documents as in "sensitive", not just as in "personally important" (like W-2s, not like college papers and t-ball coaching plans), you should check out SpiderOak, a free Dropbox competitor that's substantially more secure.

Thanks