Protection Against Robberies

fandlilMay 10, 2008

Our house is in a small cul de sac of only 2 houses. We are surrounded by tree and shrubs in the front yard and by a heavily forested area in the rear.

We have a built-in alarm system and use it all the time. And we have labels on all the windows and doors saying that the house is protected by an alarm system. But we don't feel safe because there are been a couple of break-ins in our neighborhood recently, one of them in broad daylight. So we know the area is a target for people who are up to no good.

When we go away, we always tell our next door neighbor, set the alarm and use timers that control lights to go on and off to make the house look lived in. We also have a radio controlled by a timer, so that, if a crook is looking around to find out if this is a good place to break into, he'll go away if he hears the radio. We also take one of our cars out of the garage and leave it in the driveway.

Even with the alarm, we feel the rear of our house is vulnerable because it is surrounded by trees that make it easy for a crook to hide. We were thinking of adding an addition electronic barrier, a motion detector on the stairs to our deck that would trigger turning on a light or, better yet, the sound of a vicious dog barking. Has anybody got one of those things, and where can I get one?

Thanks for your help.

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We have the motion detector lights on the driveway and patio. Most people know they are motion detectors, not really someone inside turning on the lights, but I think it's well worth doing because it makes them more visible. However, animals and sometimes wind blowing branches can set them off, but that doesn't bother us.

Your windows should be alarmed, not just doors. If you have motion detectors on inside the house, you should be ok. Sounds like you are doing everything you can to protect yourself. Be sure someone looks around the house daily to check for flyers, stray newspapers, etc.

Or, you could get a housesitter!

I think we got our lights at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 1:53PM
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thank you, socks12345, I appreciate your response. but I'm still uneasy, and looking to do just a little bit more that will give me the peace of mind knowing that I have that extra measure of protection that will either cause a thief to go away or trap him in the act.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 4:58PM
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There are motion lights that can hook up to radio's, tvs, etc. We have a family member that works for a lighting company and has been able to direct us to several products.
We have motion lights on the front and back of the house- the side of our home is vulnerable so we installed a motion sensor floodlight.
We have a motion light in our hallway that we activate when we leave that will trip on the tv upstairs. There is also a motion nightlight near the windows downstairs that will trip a radio in the kitchen.
Just remember no alarm system will protect you if they break in on you while you are home.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 6:17PM
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These all sounds like good ideas and I, too, may check into adding some of this to my existing alarm. What I also have are stickers adjacent to my alarm decals on each windows stating "Insured by Smith & Wesson. We don't call 911." Maybe it'll make someone think before breaking in...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 6:51PM
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It will make somebody think as they break in. You have a gun--and they can steal it. It sure won't make them decide to run off. These are criminals--they want a gun.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:49PM
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I would remove the quirky Smith & Wesson decals. It does let potential robbers know that you more than likely have a firearm. Like marge727 said- it could prompt someone to rob your home to find a weapon to use.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:57PM
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I assume if you have an alarm system you have signs or window stickers.

You can also mount video cameras on the outside of the house, working or not.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:23PM
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"...or, better yet, the sound of a vicious dog barking"

Why wouldn't you just get a real dog? Even a smallish breed like a Boston terrier or Dachshund can make enough noise to deter a burgular, since they aren't so much worried about being bit as they are of being discovered.

If you're going to be gone for an extended period of time, you could always hire a house sitter. It would seem like a small price to pay for peace of mind.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 3:24PM
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unless someone KNOWS you have firearms and they can easily be stolen, they won't break in JUST to get them. areas where homeonwers are more likely to be armed than not see LOWER breakins, not more. yes, if they know no one is home they may try to come in anyway. but if they know you are armed and home, they will move on to easier pickings.

your alarm system should have inside motion detectors as well as a sensor on EVERY point of entery. people will do doors and forget windows, this is the wrong thing to do. if you want to be able to raise a window and still set the alarm, the sensors can be setup to allow for this. you simply raise it to a set height to line up another magnet with the switch. also, if you have an exterior attic entry it should be locked AND alarmed as well.

my parents installed an alarm on their house years ago. us kids had keys to the doorknobs but not deadbolts. i stayed out late one night and my mom locked all the deadbolts to keep me out. i simply pulled down teh attic access under the carport, went thru the attic and came down the access in her closet. the next day she had the alarm co come put a sensor on the exterior access. neither she nor they had thought about it prior.

anything you do to improve lighting around the home will help to deter most thieves. the problem is that many are drug addicts who jsut really don't care. for those you just need the best alarm system you can get, a good dog, and a gun. if the first 2 don't run them off, use the 3rd.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:03PM
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And your alarm system should be monitored, not just a noise-maker.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 8:42PM
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I have learned a lot from all the these posts. My overall level of protection is a lot better than most, but still needs improvement, and I'm carefully considering some of the suggestions. I thank you all for taking the time to write.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:46AM
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My feeling is that two things happen when you start down this road - the first is that you begin to get more and more paranoid, and no protection seems to be enough, and the second is that the robbers see all the warnings and start to think you must have some pretty cool stuff in there, and try to figure out how to get at it! So it may be better to just let things get a tiny bit tired looking, not exactly shabby, but relaxed, and just lock your door. Maybe they'll skip your place altogether.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:47AM
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I read this thread with interest; I have not locked my doors in over 25 years and have lived the last 15 years in a heavily wooded, rural area.

Although I don't consider the exterior of my home to be "shabby" (Lucy's post) I do think our house is hard to case with the schedules we keep, we always have someone coming and going and work strange hours. Another thing is that we have never kept any kind of firearm, do not have drugs or eye-candy electronics. Sure I have a laptop and a digital camera. My tv's are nothing to brag about and we don't own any gaming systems. I have friends that go down the paranoid path, installing sophisticated security systems, cameras, motion detectors...and yet they continue to live in fear. Doesn't really seem like a security system if they're still paranoid. The most paranoid person I know got a gun and I sincerly believe that he WILL hurt somebody, someday, and not necessarily a "bad" guy.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 12:33AM
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I would get rid of the S&W decals for another reason - liability. If you end up using that gun, even in your home, they investigate you to make sure the shooting was proper (someone DH knows went through this). The decals make you look a little trigger happy.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Home security is good. Monitored better. Both sound off a load alarm which limits the time the intruder has in your home and alerts other area residents. Most times just window decals and yards signs help alot.
Remember, the thief goes right to the MBR and dumps the draws on the bed, grabs what they want. (Isn't that usually where we all put are stuff anyway). Reduce your losses by not putting money and expensive jewerly in your top draws.
A blaring alarms only tells the thief that he only has five minutes to get in and out. Not enough time for the DVD or TV to go.
No matter how protected you think you may be, you can still be burgularized.
Remember to take photos of your valuables in case you need to show what was taken.
You can have all the deterants - motion lights (very good). security system, a dog and on and on.
If someone wants to get into your house , they will.

The PorchGuy

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 6:53AM
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Groomingal - Can you please post a link to some of these products? I've been looking for something to trigger radio or tv noise. I must be searching the wrong words because I've never found anything. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 11:21AM
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Lucy, good thinking, IMHO. I do believe we can paralyse ourselves with fear, or, put another way, people who expect the worst, usually find it.

Not only will people think there are firearms to steal, and the possible liability issue, if you really want to play the scenario, people could well break in to look for these firearms, and be armed themselves.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 12:57AM
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I live on one acre inside the city limits but ringed by trees. During the summer my neighbors would not just casually notice someone prowling around my house. I also have large windows easily accessible off of a patio and a back deck, they are almost floor to ceiling.

I have a monitored security system. The doors are alarmed. I have motion and glass break sensors on both floors. With those, I don't need and didn't want all the windows alarmed. Remember you can't sleep with any of your windows open unless you disable the alarm for the zone that contains those windows. If your controller is downstairs and you are upstairs and want some air in the bedroom...down the stairs you go. This is a huge nuisance and just encourages you not to set the alarm when you are home. But you are more important than your stuff!!

As a separate issue, I do not have a security sign out front nor any decals on the doors and windows. Most of my neighbors do. So I want to look like the house with nothing worth robbing. Because the system is monitored anyone getting in is going to be tagged immediately, maybe I have a busted window to replace but I am not going to lose a lot of personal property.

As a separate separate issue I have the greatest discouragement of all which is two very noisy and very property defensive dogs. When i'm gone they stay home with a dog-sitter. However, you have to want/love the dog and get the security as a bonus. I would never suggest getting a dog for security purposes. Also, not all dogs are defensive or territorial barkers.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:56AM
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