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Discussion Starter #1
I'm posting an article tomorrow on my site on my experience with installing a home security system, but I was wondering what other frugal individuals think of security systems in general? What companies do you use? What methods of traditional home security work best?

I already have a well lit home on a good street with all windows visible, but as a shift worker my fiancee wanted the peace of mind when I'm not home.
 

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Decals without the actual system would fit this category better. ;) And tend to work okay.

ADT Security systems comes to mind first... I believe the neighbours have LS.
 

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I have a home alarm system. One thing to note is that premiums drop after a few years of service. Basically, the higher prices of the first few years pay for the hardware, after that, you're just paying for the monitoring. Note that you'll need to phone customer service to get your rate lowered.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
may be worthwhile looking at an independent dealer. they tend to be less expensive for the monthly monitoring.
My research showed that a lot of the smaller competitors don't monitor directly so if there's any issues they take the backseat approach. One of the main reasons for me to go with ADT was that all the equipment, monitoring, etc is all done directly by them. There's no third party involved that comprises quality and services. There were cheaper companies (AlarmForce & Reliant Home Security) but I guess it's a question of personal preference.

I think the decals are a huge deterrent for most people looking at a house, but I'll bet there are clues that indicate to them whether the services is active or not. I've heard of a few people who have signs (no service or hardware) that were broken into.
 

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Don't want to sound like a sour-pus...

Caveat: we've have only the basic private service alarm.

Emprical studies have shown that people with direct line access monitoring are really no better off than people with no alarm system.

By the time the response system is put into effect, lots can happen. I think the truth of the matter is that if the physical siren alarm does not deter, then a household can be in trouble. If its peace of mind or real safety you are after... Go for reinforcing locks, securing dead bolts with metal guards, securing windows, patio doors etc.

My personal experience (friend's experiences) have been that these alarms are actually best to safeguard from fire. Getting response quickly for some that can take half an hour, an hour... vs. break in's that can ben over in 15min.

That's said, we've opted for the small company, live monitoring they aren't gonna be any worse the the name brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Get $150 off an ADT system

I used the coupon for my new home system and got then got an additional discount because my business is run out of my home office. The coupon is good for residential or commercial properties and is better than the $99 offer on the ADT website since the $99 is only available on a wired system. I elected for wireless on all doors, windows, etc and signed on for the fire & flood monitoring.

I think secure locks are a huge deterrent to theft since most theives want to get quick access in & out of the greatest number of homes they can. If someone really wants something they'll make sure they get in, but hitting one home in a good neighbourhood with an alarm can bugger up their entire night if they plan on hitting more than one house.

Mogul: I got a 10% discount on my home insurance but some people say you can get up to 20%.
 

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We do not have an alarm system and practice some common-sense approaches i.e. no high-end furniture or electronic boxes on the curb, no flyers or newspapers lying on the front porch, car in the driveway when we are out of town, good relationship with neighbours who watch out for each other.

I do not think home alarm system is necessary but I do understand it gives you the peace of mind, especially if you have young kids at home, and that can't be measured in dollars and cents.

It helps that we live directly across an elementary school and a soon-to-be-completed high school so traffic and visibility are never an issue (which could be construed to be a negative for folks who desire privacy).

I do have a few *Beware of Dogs* signs posted at various strategic locations. Whether potential thieves or burglars want to see what's inside, they are more than welcome to be my guests.
 

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Get $150 off an ADT system

I used the coupon for my new home system and got then got an additional discount because my business is run out of my home office.

Mogul: I got a 10% discount on my home insurance but some people say you can get up to 20%.
Saw your blog post, figured I'd comment here instead. If you have a home based business, I'd suggest letting it pay for the alarm install and monitoring...

We've had ADT in two previous houses and in 2 current businesses. No complaints. We don't have an alarm in the current house and not just because I no longer have a home based business to pay for monitoring ;) It's a deterrent, but residential alarms are way down on the priority list for the local police department. By the time they respond, the thief is long gone.

By a gun and one of those signs "house protected by smith & wesson three nights a week - you guess which three!" :D

Oh, and $800ish a year seems a bit steep for house insurance too?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, and $800ish a year seems a bit steep for house insurance too?
I realize that, but this is the first home policy since I never had home insurance when renting. It appears that your auto history and credit rating mean squat to CDN home insurers. It's a lot cheaper than competing companies when I take into consideration the big discount they offered on my auto policy. Put the two together and it was the best deal by about $500 vs. competing quotes.
 

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Brad, Brad, Brad... I have a better home security solution.
Buy a sign displaying "small dog inside home" and place it in your front window.
Buy a male rottweiler, call him mimi and stuff his face until he's a mean 130lbs of love. Man's best friend for life.

.... on cold winter nights, when you are work slaving away to pay off your mortgage, your wife will be sound asleep and safe :)

Security problem solved. :)
 

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Brad, Brad, Brad... I have a better home security solution....Buy a male rottweiler, call him mimi and stuff his face until he's a mean 130lbs of love. Man's best friend for life.
Hmmm......cleaning up after pet hair and dog shyte in my backyard each week vs. a maintenance free system?

I love dogs, but not that much at the moment :)
 

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I realize that, but this is the first home policy since I never had home insurance when renting. It appears that your auto history and credit rating mean squat to CDN home insurers. It's a lot cheaper than competing companies when I take into consideration the big discount they offered on my auto policy. Put the two together and it was the best deal by about $500 vs. competing quotes.
Ouch. They can be nice investments, but they are an evil industry to deal with.
 

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I'm posting an article tomorrow on my site on my experience with installing a home security system, but I was wondering what other frugal individuals think of security systems in general? What companies do you use? What methods of traditional home security work best?

I already have a well lit home on a good street with all windows visible, but as a shift worker my fiancee wanted the peace of mind when I'm not home.
Thanks for sharing
 

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I was wondering what other frugal individuals think of security systems in general? What companies do you use? What methods of traditional home security work best?
I live in a reasonably nice neighbourhood that backs onto a forest, and I believe that it's my responsibility to ensure that my home is safe and secure for my family.

- I have a security system in my house. It's monitored for fire and burglary, which gets me (I believe) a ~10% discount on my home insurance. I pay $15/mo for this feature, though for privacy reasons, I'm not comfortable sharing the name of the company online.

- I switched from Bell telephone to Vonage (VOIP), which cut my phone bills from around $70/mo to $23/mo, but this complicated my security system's ability to contact the monitored server. As a result, I opted to install a cellular system with battery backup, for an additional monitored fee of $12/mo. So I've saved money by switching phone systems, and also gained the advantage that cutting the power and/or telephone lines do not affect my system's ability to phone the switching station. (So, in summary, I pay $12 + $15 = $27/mo for security monitoring.)

- I recently installed a new front door with triple-point locking.

- I recently redid all of the strike plates in the other doors in my home, opting for very large strike plates with 3" screws.

- On one door which has lots of glass, I use a double-deadbolt lock, so that you cannot simply break the glass and unlock the door from the outside.

- I bought and use a FakeTV (www.faketv.com). Works great.

- I've wired some of my hall lights to light switches with programmable on/off times, so parts of my house remain lit during the night.

- I keep my fence and shed locked at all times, and keep my cars locked as well. I also keep the door from my garage to the house locked.

- I do not keep a garage door opener in a car when it is parked in the driveway.

- We use our security system regularly -- whether we're home or not -- as we have the ability to turn on/off specific zones.


K.
 

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Not sure about other cities, but in Winnipeg you must have an alarm permit prominently displayed on your house. Decals are useless.

The thief knows if there is no permit, there is no monitoring even if you have lots of fancy decals.

Monitoring is really worth it. Sure you cant get a cop to respond most times but what you are doing is making your house less attractive to break into than your neighbors.

You are well lit, have a monitored alarm system, and your neighbor doesnt. Chances are they will break into your neighbors house.

Think of encountering a bear. You dont have to out run the bear, just the person next to you.

More importantly monitoring for fire, low temperature, and CO is why you really want an alarm.

Light smoke will set off your alarm, and get the FD rolling. Once the flames are shooting out your front window, and your neighbors call, it is too late.


If you have an alarm, use it.

One of my friends never used their alarm system. They had a hallway entrance table with a lovely mirror which you could see the alarm panel in it. Thief's saw the green light and kicked in the door.


Canadian PC dislaimer:

by thief I do not mean a bad person, I simply mean a good person who makes bad choices, due to their childhood abuse, and drinking/drug problems.
 

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I've had a system by ADT and was satified with it. My landlord had it installed in our suite and theirs. Ours is relatively bug free but there's goes off every other morning. Generally after they've both gone to work. I checked for the first little while but have just started to assume they are not getting broken into. There are home security systems that will email, text or phone your cell phone should your alarm system go off. It should help with the unresponsiveness of police or fire depts. There are also settings that allow you to monitor you system or change it's settings via you iphone ...etc.

Cheers
Lexy
 

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Amelia that system sounds very futuristic it seems like we are moving closer and closer towards the matrix everyday.
My dogs have always made a great home security system but I have heard more and more of burglars harming your animals to get in the house. As much as I love the protection they provide I would never want anyone to hurt them just to get in the house. So I broke down and got a security system too.
 

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We have a security system and pay about $28 / month for the service. When the company installed it, they gave us a ton of stickers to put everywhere. We used about half the stickers and gave the rest to some friends. So they have no system but have stickers on their doors and windows.

If I was a thief, the stickers are what would deter me if anything; if I had the balls to break into a house that stated to have an alarm system and still broke in, I doubt it would matter if it really had one or not!
 
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