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Old 08-20-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Home Security, need advice


The other day I had a discussion with a guy who basically breaks into foreclosed homes for the bank. After talking to him I realized just how easy it can be for someone to get in your house and has motivated me to start looking at some home security. So I have a 1500 sq ft house. We have 1 door in the front, a sliding glass door, and a two car garage in the basement with an additional two doors leading into the house. Along with that we have a total of 7 windows on the ground floor. Although of those windows 3 of them are at least 10-12 feet up so I am thinking they may not need to be secured. Does anyone here have experience with this stuff? I have been trying to read up on it but could definitley use some advice. I dont want to go overboard and spend money on things I dont need but I also want to make sure my family is safe.

Not sure if this was the right forum to put this in. Maybe a DIY Home Security forum is in order?

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:18 PM   #2
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Home Security, need advice


What kind of home security are you interested in?
The best way is an alarm system that is monitored
Lights around the outside to deter intruders
Bushes trimmed/min size near the house so people can't hide

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:46 PM   #3
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I'm looking at the visonic powermax+ wireless system. It would be monitored as well through a company "Alarm Relay" they have a pretty good deal 8.95/mo because its a DIY company really. Unlike ADT where they have installers, techs and stuff like that. I have a friend that has been using their service for a few years and has never had an issue with them.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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Home Security, need advice


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Originally Posted by spider10382 View Post
The other day I had a discussion with a guy who basically breaks into foreclosed homes for the bank. After talking to him I realized just how easy it can be for someone to get in your house and has motivated me to start looking at some home security. So I have a 1500 sq ft house. We have 1 door in the front, a sliding glass door, and a two car garage in the basement with an additional two doors leading into the house. Along with that we have a total of 7 windows on the ground floor. Although of those windows 3 of them are at least 10-12 feet up so I am thinking they may not need to be secured. Does anyone here have experience with this stuff? I have been trying to read up on it but could definitley use some advice. I dont want to go overboard and spend money on things I dont need but I also want to make sure my family is safe.

Not sure if this was the right forum to put this in. Maybe a DIY Home Security forum is in order?
A good system would be Perimeter protection and lights activated by a motion sensor. IR sensors and floor mats should be part of the system! (Now more than ever) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
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Home Security, need advice


I've got quite a bit of experience in door security. A city I used to work for developed a door security requirement for new construction based on working with the police and feedback from the building community.

I was surprised to hear from security experts and police that crooks are less prone to break glass than they are to enter through doors. Glass makes noise and that attracts attention.

The common thing they do around here to get in is spread the door jambs with a 36" 2x4 with a heavy hinge in the middle. It gives crooks incredible leverage and easily allows them to fairly quietly open a door without operating the deadbolt or doorknob. The jambs are simply spread apart. Our solution was to require blocking between the studs three studs out from the door at latch height. We also required solid wood or plywood between the jamb and the studs to help prevent the jamb from being spread.

Long screws on you doors' strike plates and hinges will give a lot more strength. 3" screws will bite into the studs and make the door harder to kick in.

U-shaped door edge protectors at the deadbolt will significantly strengthen wood doors from being kicked in. The tiny amount of wood between the deadbolt and the door's face isn't strong and is a weak point that always fails when a door is kicked in, especially when the jamb and strike plates are very secure.

Check out the "jamb brace" system for exterior doors (google it for their website). I've personally tried to kick down a demo door with their system installed and it cannot be done. I'm 6' 7" and 300lbs. After I tried the SWAT team cops tried with their ram and failed. The door has to be broken or folded in the middle for even them to get in. Great product system that can be retrofit to an existing door or installed in a new door.

The millwork companies that supply builders in a number of local cities that have physical security ordinances make their doors with the jamb brace system installed in the jamb at the factory. Custom doors or remodel jobs just get a retrofit kit that goes on in the field.

Sliding doors can be easily braced by installing a "charlie bar". Very easy to do in just a few minutes.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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Remember than an alarm is great but it doesn't keep the crazies from getting in if they want in. The guy that just wants to steal the TV isn't as scary or as dangerous as the guy that wants to harm people or their kids. It is always best to combine physical security measures with an alarm system for actual security and not just perceived security.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Yeah, if someone wants in they will usually get in
I locked myself out once & used a hammer to smash the door knob off
-no deadbolt
A new doorknob/lock was less $$ then a window pane

One company I worked for as a contractor installed a security system
The doors were locked on weekends
It had a sensor so that someone exiting the building the door would unlock
They had the same thing on every floor
We had to work on a weekend & the Project Mgr was late showing up
He was surprised to find us in the building & accessing all floors
We simply threw sheets of paper/thin cardboard thru the weather seal to trigger the motion sensor
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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Going with the "if they want to get in they will", you should think about doing some kind of camera on the outside of the house, and hide where it records the video/images. That way, when they do get in, at least you should be able to identify them. The other thing to keep in mind, is that if you use sensors on the windows, the windows need to be closed for the alarm to be armed.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:58 PM   #9
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The two types of security are perimeter protection and interior protection. The perimeter is the doors and windows. Interior would be motion sensors and glass breaks. Many people opt for the interior because it works fairly well and it is much less expensive.
The problem is that this does not provide for any protection when you are home and still want to arm your system. If you have both forms of protection you can arm your system when you are home in the stay mode and the perimeter protection is still on.
This allows you to move around the house with the alarm on.
If you have perimeter protection it also stops the thief before they enter the house. The motion sensors will only trigger once they have entered the home or business. Once inside they will probably take something.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:14 AM   #10
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A good dog goes a long way to discouraging bad guys...
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #11
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I have a Visonic Powermax+ --Love it
I did a lot of research AFTER purchasing an Ademco Lynx that I did not like.
A lot of people rate the Ademco higher then the Visonic but I don't know why. To me, the Visonic is much simpler to understand and program.
It is also manufactured in Israel---Not Communist China!
You can get a lot of information from www.diysecurityforum.com
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:39 AM   #12
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Home Security, need advice


I have locked myself out of my home many times and have mastered the art of getting in with my Ingles MVP card. I can pop almost any door open with them, unless, you use the deadbolt. I really like the termite's idea of the blocking around the perimiter of a door. If you will do your part of locking deadbolts, windows, and for goodness sake don't hide a key under the mat. You will likely avoid most break ins. Just watch an episode of Discovery Channel's "To Catch a Thief" and it will open your eyes. He rarely breaks anything to get in and an alarm only makes him hurry.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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I have never had a home invasion--(knock on wood)---but I sometimes go to the extreme.
I have two sons that are in law enforcement and from what they tell me, I take precautions.
(1) Make it look like your home--lights on, radio playing etc.
(2) Outside motion lights and security yard lights.
(3) Security warning signs.
(4) USE THE SECURITY SYSTEM YOU HAVE!
(5) Security camras--operating or dummy.
A large majority of breakins are during the daytime, you just have to make it as undesireable as possible for the thieves.
I arm my system at night and can move around without opening a protected entry. When I leave, I arm the whole system, with lights on and a radio playing.
If I am gone overnight or a few days, I inform the neighbors and I have the lights and radio on timers.
I added extra loud sirens and they will draw attention. Most systems have a siren that sound like a large bird.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #14
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My most recent experience.. I bought a new door knob and deadbolt for my solid wood garage entry door. I was not aware that if you lock the knob portion that you are still able to turn the knob and open the door from the inside! (stupid design if you ask me) Anyway, i went to grab a tool from the garage during the winter in shorts, no phone, no key, no car keys, yep door was locked. My options came down to going up through the attic into the ceiling or kick the door in. Bye Bye door. it was old anyway and it didn't take much effort.

The jamb split and i was in. The next day i installed a new steel door, new trim, and of course exchanged the door knob for a different type!

I am looking to get a small security system as well here in the near future.
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:09 PM   #15
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My friends had their home broken into! The thieves entered by way of the passage door, into their attached garage!
The door had a plexiglass window in it! The thieves merely melted the Plexiglas with a propane torch. Reached inside and unlocked the dead bolt!

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