Best Home Security System?

judithnOctober 2, 2012

Hi Everyone! We've had some break-ins in the neighborhood and I'm finally putting in a home security system. I'm basically wondering about customer service differences, both companies have mixed reviews on the internet. So I interviewed 2 companies (ADT and Guardian) The have roughly the same cost for the same equipment. The monitoring fee is about $6 higher a month w/ADT but ADT will let me have a 2 year contract instead of the 3 year contract. It's a basic system, a couple of motion detectors and door sensors that we'll use mainly at night and when we're away. I have a cat and Guardian says their motion detectors can be set to deal with her (even though she's mostly in her room upstairs). I'm just wondering really about customer service and any experiences you might have with these companies. Thanks for any tips, advice, insights :)

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A big dog is the best security system. I'd ask your local law enforcement agency for advice. Call the business office.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:13PM
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Yes, golddust, but pets can be harmed or let out. We are also considering it because it might be a deterrant, and we also have cats. Even if the intruders get in, they really "only" have 60 seconds to get in and out, which limits how much they can take.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Judithn - We've had a security system in almost every home (we've moved frequently) primarily to protect our multiple dogs, and to a lesser extent, our stuff, exactly for the reason you mentioned.

We've tended to skip the big companies and go with a reputable local installer who has a good relationship with a monitoring company in the general area (vs. cross country). They all seem to sell the same basic systems, with some variations.

I'd suggest calling three companies to get estimates and then figure out what feels right. There are usually basic packages that you can customize, so it's best to figure out exactly what you want so that you're comparing apples to apples. The prices can vary greatly.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 7:54PM
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I agree with gold dust! My boy Jaxson Brown barks at anything in the street, yard, or comes to the door. ; o)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I would discourage anyone from getting a dog as a security measure. Dogs require love, discipline, exercise and a regular routine. They should be acquired primarily for companionship not security.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:26PM
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I agree with you, funnygirl. When I posted here recently about an attempted break-in at our house, numerous posters had the same advice: Get a dog! We already have cats, and consider them our "children". We aren't in the market for any more "kids", so getting a dog for protection or companionship wasn't an option that was even on the table for us.

I will admit, however, that we have posted BEWARE OF DOG signs in a couple of prominent places. Would-be crooks have no idea if "Rover" is in the house and about to storm through a doggy door, or around the back or side, out of view but just waiting to pounce. ;-)

We have also locked our back gate - something we hadn't thought was necessary before. And we've just ordered security doors - decorative iron and tempered glass - to go in front of our regular passage doors. If anyone wants to kick in a door, they have to get past the security door first, and in all likelihood, they won't waste their time. We considered putting security bars on our windows, but have nixed that idea, based upon conversations with local law enforcement. They maintain that it's usually the door that's kicked in, but if a window is used to gain access, the thief wants to go out the door with the loot - not back out the window. Our goal is to make it as difficult as possible for a criminal to get in and out quickly.

We have used ADT to monitor our security system for 9 years and have always been very satisfied with their service.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 8:55AM
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i agree with gold....stop by your local law enforcement office and talk to the police.

Our officers were very helpful. So helpful, we did not install the system we thought would be best.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 8:58AM
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We're very happy with ADT. We by-pass one of our motion dectectors if we leave and the pup is there. Not a problem at all. We have set the alarm off twice in 15 years (oops!) and the response time from the police department was very quick. Any communications I have had with the company monitoring have been good.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Definitely check out local places. We started out with Brinks years ago and eventually all the security companies were bought out by ADT. We dumped them as soon as the contract was up. A place near Dallas got a lot of compliments on various message boards for my area and their big draw was their wireless monitoring. We had wanted to get rid of our home phone for years but needed it for the alarm system. This company was much cheaper plus allowed us to save on losing the land line.

We have 2 labs and they wander around the house all day and have never set off the motion detectors. Most companies can mount them in such a way so that they won't be tripped by animals.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smith Thompson Home Security

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:45AM
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We have Guardian; have had ADT & a local company; so far Guardian has been the best. In our old house; we originally had ADT; contract expired so we went with Guardian who found some things were not working correctly. The same thing happened here when we finished our local 1 year monitoring & went back to Guardian; again they found that the local company did not do our smoke detectors correctly to work with the system.

We have not switched over to the new system because we've been debating whether we're selling or not. We don't want to do another contract if we plan to move.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Funnygirl and others, that's a GIVEN. My boy is loved way beyond what most people would consider normal. He's appreciated for being my companion, some'one' to walk with, talk too, and my dinner partner almost every night. I don't know what I did before him and can't imagine my life without him. He's not just a dog, he's my (((((best friend)))).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:29AM
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If by testing it regularly you mean checking if your system works, then itâÂÂs okay to do that I guess. ItâÂÂs normal to want your system to be working in the best way possible. Nothing wrong with that I guess.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:35PM
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"they really "only" have 60 seconds to get in and out, which limits how much they can take."

They have as much time as it takes for the police to get to your house.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:47AM
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