Need Advice on Home Alarm

library_girlFebruary 27, 2012


We're in the middle of a fairly extensive remodel and our GC asked us if we want to do any security alarm wiring before they install the drywall. We live at the top of a hill, off of a busy street, so you might say we're somewhat secluded. We had security cameras installed to point down our driveway and towards our back yard (and garage area). I feel comfortable with that for watching our house when we're not home. If something's stolen, well, that's what insurance is for.

I'm concerned, though, if someone breaks in while we're asleep. We do have 2 small dogs that sleep in our room, who will bark if someone makes very much noise, but my 20 yr. son is able to come home, enter through either our front or back door without making enough noise to wake the dogs.

I'm thinking the best alarm would be something that uses motion detection and sounds an alarm both outside and inside. I wouldn't want it to be too loud in either location, as we do have deer that may set it off and I wouldn't want to disturb the neighbors. I mainly want something that will let an intruder know they've been detected by an alarm and will let us know in our bedroom that the alarm detected something.

Any suggestions?

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Ron Natalie

Home alarms usually use a combination of perimeter sensors (doors and windows) and interior (motion detonators) and sometimes things like glass break sensors. The alarm can be set to arm everything (AWAY, as you would if you were going AWAY from home) or just the perimeter (STAY, so only the doors opening would trigger it but not people walking around inside).

The initial alarm is usually some beeping heard inside the house (emanating from the control panels usually). If you don't reset it, then the monitoring center will call the police and possibly trigger a louder alarm.

Unless you have deer inside your house, it should not be a problem.

Put the wiring in now, it's much easier even if you don't really want the alarm.

He most likely has to be putting in smoke/CO detectors prewired anyhow, I'd connect these to the arm as well.

Most alarm companies will be glad to come out and talk to you and give estimates. The install cost at this stage isn't really that high and might be subsidized if you sign up for the monitoring (it's sort of like buying cell phones).

One feature I have that I really like is that the monitoring company I use subscribes to That gives me the ability to see when the alarms trip (or even if the doors are opened) on my iPhone and set or disable the alarms remotely .

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Another way to choose an alarm system is to work backwards. if you install an alarm system, will you have a 24 hour monitor? If so the biggest player is ADT. Brinks used to have an operation, it was spun off into a company called Broadview, which was then bought by Tyco, which owns ADT.

If you want monitoring, then you need to install a system which is compatible with the monitoring company. Certian monitor companies only cover certain areas. Also some towns want you to go with certian companies because of the large number of false alarms etc. In my town, the local police require you to register your alarm system with them.

Some alarm companies, have alarms which are not loud enough for building codes. It sounds nuts but that is the case for me when I built. So I had fire and smoke from my alarm company *AND* alarms which are code compliant which are seperate.

If you do decide to install an alarm, it is best to do so before dry wall. You get a neater, nicer finish and it is cheaper too.

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I'll bet the dogs know that it is your
son moving around in the house. They
would also alert you if it was a stranger.
They just seem to know that sort of thing.
My chihuahua does.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 10:43AM
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as an aside, many folks don't realize that many homeowners insurance do not cover items like jewelry, computers, TVs, home theater equipment and cameras. That is, the things most likely to be taken. These items usually require a special 'rider' to the insurance plan and documentation as to the cost.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Safety should really be our number one priority and I agree that a home alarm system is what you need. Although we have our budget to consider and think about, we should focus on choosing an alarm system that does not only cover the interior of the home but it should also send an initial alarm whenever someone gets within the perimeter around your house. It would also mean well if you choose an alarm system that is sensitive not only to sound but to motion as well. A CCTV camera would also help in monitoring your home to ensure you and your loved one�s safety. Just think about an alarm system being a great investment that you and your family can use giving you a good night�s sleep every time.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:56AM
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