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Alarm Systems

Discussion in 'Wackbag Home Improvement & Car Repair' started by NuttyJim, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. NuttyJim

    NuttyJim Well-Known Member Donator

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    Looking to get one to keep the critters out and keep my wife and soon to be born child safe.
    Any suggestions?
  2. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    Do you plan on having the system monitored? I used to work for one of the three major alarm monitoring companies. if you are we should have a serious chat. I'll save you a lot of money in monthly monitoring and false alarms. Also where do you live? I can suggest some quality alarm companies in your area.
  3. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    Where did you go? I'm all giddy, I love talking alarms systems. Seriously!
  4. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    All systems are pretty much the same. The only difference being the bell and whistles you get (cellular backup, temp sensors, cctv streaming to your smartphone) Sounds like you don't need any of that with the exception of the cellular backup which just a module that attaches to the system that allows it to communicate with the monitoring company or you though your smartphone even if the phone lines goes down. Keep in mind that the industry is starting to shift the primary means of communication to IP (internet) If you getting a new system this won't be a problem.

    Alarm monitoring can range from $9.99 to $50+ depending on who you go with. ADT and Brinks have their own in house monitoring but pretty much every other alarm dealer uses one of three monitoring companies. Keep in mind that regardless of what you pay the dealer for monitoring they are only paying us 1-3 dollars an account. It's a huge cash cow so if you find someone that will offer it cheap say 20 a month your getting the same high level of service as you would paying someone down the road 50 dollars a month. Also its almost always contract based. You will sign a year or two contract for monitoring but any good company will offer you discounted service and repair while you have a contract with them.

    Believe it or not most alarm dealers know very little about the monitoring there are selling you. That's why you need to talk to me before you set up your monitoring. I've made a millions calls to very angry very sleepy people in the middle of the night because they let the dealer just set up their monitoring and it had me calling because the keypad battery registered low at 3am. If your dealer doesn't actually sit down with you and figure out how you want all the different types of signals being handled they are lazy (and in the majority unfortunately) and it will cause you headaches.
  5. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    I can't think of any dealers in your area that stand out to me but i'll look into it.
  6. NuttyJim

    NuttyJim Well-Known Member Donator

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    Biggest thing is just not getting ripped off or pissing off local police for false alarms. Looking for burglary rather than fire coverage since we're covered under our home owners for more than rebuild cost of property. I would want nothing more than contact alarms and motion sensors.

    Thanks for your help
  7. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    As a cop i guess i don't even have to explain to you the consequences of false alarms. But in most areas you usually get 2 to 3 false alarms a year and then the city starts fining you. Some require you register your system with them and will just stop sending police if you've had too many false alarms.

    For the majority of moderately intelligent people and higher they may have a false alarm that actually gets dispatched on every 5 years or so so you should be fine. Just make sure your CTV (call to verify numbers) or the number(s) we call before calling police/fire/ems are always kept up to date and that your central station passcode, or word,name, or number, that you use to disregard alarms is simple and easy to remember. It does not need to be complicated at all. Also you can have more then one passcode so if you want different people in the house to have their own codes you can do that so you know exactly or gave the code to disregard.
  8. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy. Donator

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    My concentration under Business Admin was Security Management, so I know a little about this but that focused more on corporate security. OW would know more about monitoring and maybe about specific technology available.

    There are two types of monitoring, one where you have a company do it (like OW did) and one where you monitor... in which the system sends you a text/email if an alarm is triggered. The first is easier, and if you do it that way you'll want a professional company to install the system in order to reduce false alarms.

    Basically you'll want two components to the system, perimeter and internal monitoring. Perimeter includes window and door sensors, and that's the only system that would be activated while people are in the house. It will alert you with an audible alarm (and notify the monitoring company) if a window or door is breached.

    Internal monitoring includes motion sensors, and that's a second line of defense used if no one is in the house. It's redundant in that breaching the perimeter should sound an alarm, but still important.

    Keep in mind that alarms are only one part of the security system. The second tier of the system is to slow down the intruder long enough so that defense personnel (you with your firearm, cops, etc) can respond before your family's safety or assets are compromised.

    All exterior doors with windows (or near windows) should have deadbolts that require a key on both sides. Sliding glass doors are shit, and at the very least you should have a security bar that reduces an intruder's ability to force it open. Have secondary catches on all windows that you open, so that they can only be opened a few inches at most. The door leading to the garage should be of exterior quality, since rolling garage doors are not very secure.

    It's also a good idea to have a "safe" room in the house. I'm not saying you need a 1/2" steel-enclosed panic room, but one room in the house (perhaps the master bedroom) could have an exterior-grade door with a deadbolt. That will greatly slow down most intruders who get into the house. Again, once someone has decided to break into a house that is alarmed, your main goal is to hold them off long enough for someone to respond.

    A couple weaknesses people often don't think about include a wood box that can be accessed from both the outside and inside of the house, and crawl space accesses if you have one inside and one outside the house. Motion-sensing lights are also a great deterrent. If you have gates that lead to the backyard (and it's fenced) make sure they are locked.
  9. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    As long as your area's ordinances don't require that you fire alarms be set up for direct dispatch (meaning we call the fire dept first before anyone else which means you do not have a chance to report a false alarm if you burn some food) although many of them do then get both. You will get a discount on your homeowners insurance.

    I do want to stress though that if you can't get CTV for fire alarms in your area then don't do it or at the very least be ready to call your central station the second that thing goes off.

    Also be careful with panic alarms. you will have two codes. One that disables the alarms system and a distress code that disables the alarm system and also send us a panic alarm. don't mix those up, you won't know until the police or at your door. also key fob panic buttons and women DO NOT MIX! bitches be throwing their keys in their purse and setting those off all the time.
  10. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    Also keep in mind that cops going to an alarm call tend to be very complacent about it a lot of times. They usually don't rush and i've had countless alarms where the subscriber would call back saying WTF my back door is kicked in but there are no cops anywhere just to call dispatch back for a disposition and be told that it was all clear. Yeah they actually just drove by the house without taking at least a walk around it. It happens all the time. Panics tend to be taken a little more seriously.

    And whiskeys right about the monitoring. A lot of people will have us monitor it and have the system send them all the info too. I've called people on vacation with cameras at their home and would just casually check the video feed on their phone or computer and then give me the passcode if everything looked fine. That's probably way more than you want but the things these systems are capable of these days are really neat.

    Keep in mind that self monitoring means that if your away and are away from your phone or sleep through it there is no one to call for help. Monitoring through a company guarantees every signal will be handled immediately and properly. I think the avg. response time at my company was 12 seconds.
  11. OccupyWackbag

    OccupyWackbag Registered User

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    Also TEST TEST TEST!!!!!! Once a month call the central station and have them put your system on test. That means they will recieve signals and log them but will not handle them. Set of your alarm, call them back, and make sure they got the signals. I've had people that while we would test our ability to communicate with the system they had their accounts set up to just log the results even if it was a failure. I've had people call in to test there system only to find out that it hasn't communicated with us in years, yes YEARS!

    Again if your monitoring is set up properly then you will get a call or at the very least the alarm company will get a call from us if our test fails. And remember it's up to you and the dealer to set it up they way you want it. We can only handle signal they way you have them set up to be handled.

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