Home Secutiry System - worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Q Jenkins, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm thinking of getting a home security system installed in my house. However, I'm concerned because I've heard that they are often not monitored, or send false alarms so that the local authorities see them as a "boy who cried wolf" when they get a signal. What is the opinion of the HTF membership on these devices?
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I had one in my last house and will have one in my next. It lowered my insurance about 20% because I went with monitored smoke detectors (I think it was 15% with them).

     
  3. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    Pros :

    Lowers insurance.

    Peace of mind.

    resale value

    (btw. the biggest deterrent .. signs at the windows)

    Cons :

    Monthly monitoring fees.

    Have to remember to set system.

    False alarms.

    (Most false alarms are from friends / relative who don't punch in the code right - motion sensors are the second biggest problem).
     
  4. Bry_DD

    Bry_DD Second Unit

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    I think it's worth having an home security system in your home. I had ADT for almost 2 years and they're pretty good when monitoring my house.
     
  5. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Monitored systems do not call the police, they send a signal to a monitoring center. Someone at the center then calls the police for you. It is actually illegal to use an automated dialer to call 911.

    The systems are nice. Some systems have microphones that enable the monitoring center to listen in to your home in an alarm condition. Monitored fire protection is a great addition: If your smoke alarm goes off, you don't have to worry about calling 911. Just get your ass out of the house and don't worry about it, because the fire department will already be on it's way. Same thing for a break-in: If someone breaks your window at night and comes into your home, you only have to worry about protecting your family, not running to a phone to dial 911 as the authorities have already been dispatched. The 30 seconds you save could give you plenty of time to get to a weapon to defend yourself.

    When you're not home, your house is protected. If a fire breaks out, nobody is going to know until smoke and flames are shooting out of the roof. By the time the neighbors see this and call 911 the house is a total loss. Same thing for break-ins: They won't get out with much if a horn is sounding in their ears and the police are on their way.

    Panic buttons can help save your life in the event of any emergency. If you get hurt real bad, have a heart attack, whatever, you only have to make it to one of the buttons and press it to summon help.

    Just make sure you go with a reputable company. Personally, I'd shell out the money to get a hardwired system. I don't like the cheapo wireless stuff. That's not to say it doesn't work - it does - but you get to replace batteries every once in awhile, and all of the sensors have to be huge to accommodate the batteries and transmitters... On the plus side, you can usually get a wireless system installed for free if you agree to a monitoring contract.
     
  6. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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  7. ChadM

    ChadM Stunt Coordinator

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    This issue was recently on 20/20, I think. Fascinating piece of TV really. They had an ex-con, who is now working as a securtiy expert, break in to a house that had a security system. Basically he entered and took his sweet time robbing the place and left. The security people got the alarm as he entered, took three minutes to call the house (not the police) to see if it was a false alarm, then called the police (about seven minutes after the alarm initially went off). The police arrived 30 plus minutes after the guy entered the house. They also interviewed the ex-con and he did say that the "Protected By" signs were somewhat of a detterent. He did go on to say that a dog or nosy neighbors (stay at home mom's or retired people) were bigger deterrents.

    Bottom line of the TV report:

    Are they a deterrent? Yes, the signs at least.

    Are they foolproof? Not even close.

    Will they catch a burglar? Only if the police are at the donut shop around the corner.

    Edit - to say I have never had a security system besides an 80lb lab and nosy retired very sweet neighbors. Also, I can not find the spellcheck and my spelling is generally terrible. Sorry in advance.
     
  8. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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