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Old 05-03-2013, 02:32 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nv
6 posts, read 8,945 times
Reputation: 16

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Sharing my story 4/28/13

So I have researched a lot about home security and home automation in the forums and it has essentially all been negative towards the though of having one in Las Vegas areas. Thus, why I created an account and wanted to share my positive story with you guys.

Most of the reasons I could find that were negative had to do with the response time delays with the 3rd party security guard company or shady business being done in Las Vegas.

In my research that I did I had one main question, and obviously that was about the response times. For the past year or so I had thought about getting a system and put in the research but nothing seemed to fit exactly what I wanted and seemed worth the money (I am a single lady in a 3 bed/1.5 bath home) just like many of you have said in these forums.

Over the past few months I had seen a few commercials on TV about using your phone or computer to manage your lighting, door locks, cameras, thermostats, etc and this really caught my attention especially with how much it has been on TV lately.

A few days ago, I had a clean-cut younger guy come knocking at my door and at first glance I thought it was construction guys or something so I hurried to the door to open it to find what appeared to be a door-to-door salesman. In my area of town, its pretty secluded and doesn't get door knockers that often so I was a bit thrown off at first.

Anyway, shortly into he introduces himself he asks me if I was familiar with his company and I said no, then he pulled out his iPad and showed me the national commercial his company plays and instantly I recognized this as the Home Security/Automation company I had seen in the last few months that sparked my interest.

He explained what his job was and some other details about the system, but basically I wanted to provide a summary of the questions I asked and had seen here in the forums with what I found out between him and my neighbor, who is a LVPD officer. As he described he said it was sort of similar to some of the older systems and deals you read about on the Forums where you helped them advertise by keeping a sign out, but that he wanted me to tell my friends about how systems can now do all the home automation features from your iPhone and tell people about the direct dispatch to the police (like whats described on the commercials) The 3 main questions were

1. Do the police or armed guards respond to my alarm in event of break-in?

He answered that the system they use which is Cellular with 2-way voice (like OnStar) the monitoring station will come straight through the panel and if the can get a confirmation of a break in that they can dispatch the police directly. Found this to be true after I asked my neighbor friend, he said that most companies don't have that capability with the systems he sees.

2. Can the cameras, door locks, thermostat and other automation stuff be tampered through the wireless connection?

He said that in his 5-6 years, he has never seen or heard of anything like that happening.

3. After telling me the costs, He had mentioned something about possible savings between the energy management package and home insurance discounts, so naturally I asked how much people save?

He said the company tells him I'll save around $25 a month in utility savings with Energy and anywhere from 10-20% on your yearly insurance policy, but he said on the safe side he has typically seen $15-20 with your utilities and 10% on the discount.

There were a few other questions that I had that aren't as important but would be more than happy to post if anyone wants to know.

After his presentation and my questions were answered, I told him that I wanted to do some research myself and ask my neighbor about the dispatching directly to police thing. After reading on the forums, I was worried he would get too pushy at this point but he said thats perfect, and he had an appointment with my neighbors down the street in a little while and encouraged me to come down after if I wanted to talk to them about it. I thought this was bizarre, but I was very curious at the same time as I was friends with the house he went to.

To keep this as short as possible I ended up doing my research online and actually found out alot of information that I didn't expect to find.

Of course there were a few negative things on the company, but when I read them 99% had to do with the sales guy being too pushy or dishonest while canvasing.

The most surprising thing I found was that they had a B+ on the BBB, which I don't always take to heart anyway but also I found all the national agencies recognizing them.

Once I was okay with the company, I had thought about the idea of just getting the basic security system, but after I saw my neighbors system that had cameras, thermostat, door locks, and all the other goodies they throw in I decided I was going to get their "Full Automation" package they offer. I ended up waiting 2 days due to my schedule to call the Sales guy back, and he had set up 3 other neighbors up the street from my place in that same week.

All in all, The technician and sales guy were great and I am very happy with everything so far and will post a pros and cons below about the first week that I have had it.

Pros

Iphone App can view cameras, change my thermostat, unlock my front door, disarm system, view history
System dispatches directly to police station if confirmed break in through the speaker
Up-front costs compared to what I saw vs ADTs
Cameras are LED and see at night

Cons

Install time was a little longer than he said it would be was just about the only complaint I could have with him

Overall, everything checked out with what the sales guy said with what I got in return for getting the Home Automation package. I dont know the savings or anything yet, but I will return with the updates when I get my bills next month. I am a single lady, decent size home and this is like the perfect thing for me to have. Its way better peace of mind knowing I can see a full history and control everything on my phone.

I made this long enough, if you have any questions just private message them or post them below and I will try to not write a book again!

Thanks LV people!


Anyone else have Home Automation and care to share the savings on their Utilities?



One thing I couldn't find info on was the LED lit cameras I got to see at nighttime as if they were in daylight. It is probably my favorite and it can see so well at night.

Last edited by observer53; 05-03-2013 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:18 PM
 
1,359 posts, read 2,751,872 times
Reputation: 853
I'm a previous 9-1-1 operator from another state. Experience has taught me the best security system is one with an audible alarm. Response times from the security system vary and can be great; also those from the police force. If someone is truly breaking into your home and think they are undetected, the five minutes or more they have before anyone responds or they know they were detected can mean the difference between life and death. All the other things you spoke of are just goodies. Get a simple system, screens wired if you like to have your windows open and for sure, an audible alarm that alerts everyone, including the burgeler, the minute he has been detected.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡) (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ ̡
7,112 posts, read 10,850,060 times
Reputation: 3866
^^^
Yes, a loud, annoying audible alarm is the best. Mine is a high pitch solid tone. Very annoying/irritating even to whoever lives in the home. Whenever it goes off by accident, the house turns into a mad frenzy to turn it off. I can only imagine an intruder would be going through.


(╯□)╯ ︵ ┻━┻
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Giethoorn, Netherlands
629 posts, read 980,737 times
Reputation: 736
Through my research, this seems like it will be the most affordable, simplest system that would suit most people's needs:

Scout

Releases August 20

The Tattletale at Home Depot is nice too, but twice the price
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:00 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,134,962 times
Reputation: 5398
Sales Pitch. Clever one.

Notice no pricing? A real user would virtually always discuss the cost.

I also agree with JJ. A loud local alarm. Particularly with a cop next door.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nv
6 posts, read 8,945 times
Reputation: 16
Yeah this one is a really loud alarm... and cost lvoc for
Spoiler
all the home automation stuff was 68.99 per month and a one time $99 activation fee
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Vegas, baby, Vegas!
3,977 posts, read 6,331,039 times
Reputation: 3700
I have completely Home automated my security system with camera's and more.
check some of my other threads for things I have done.

Jonathan
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:05 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,134,962 times
Reputation: 5398
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettyinpink2013 View Post
Yeah this one is a really loud alarm... and cost lvoc for
Spoiler
all the home automation stuff was 68.99 per month and a one time $99 activation fee
That suggest a system worth $6,000 to $7,000. Sounds high to me by a factor of 2 or 3.

MacG...how much you got invested in your system?
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Vegas, baby, Vegas!
3,977 posts, read 6,331,039 times
Reputation: 3700
since its all home brew stuff, and off the shelf prob round 2 grand

Jonathan
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,671 posts, read 7,975,503 times
Reputation: 2933
Since most Las Vegas homes built in the last 25 years are already prewired with alarm contacts for the perimeter entries, the most sensible choice IMHO is a hybrid (wired/wireless) system from DSC, Honeywell, or GE. You can get a basic wired system for under $200 and have it monitored for under $10/month. The only reason I even need wireless is for the overhead garage door and outside garage entry door, which were not prewired. The builder was even nice enough to provide alarm wiring for smoke detectors (they're more for notifying me there is a fire when I'm not there; I rely on separate combo photoelectric/ionization detectors to wake me up in case of fire).

Advantages of a "real" alarm panel include:

1) You can have it monitored by just about any central station in the USA, because the systems comply with standards for alarm system communication
2) You can have "smash and grab" protection for all-in-one systems, which are otherwise vulnerable to that type of attack.
3) You can hook up just about any kind of external siren, like the 120db one with flashing blue strobe light and tamper detection that I have mounted on the front of my vacation home
4) You can hook up expansion boards that can drive relays, increase the number of zones, etc
5) They still work and can dial out even if power, phone, and cable TV lines are cut

Even if you plan to self-monitor, it's best to buy a system that is can be monitored, because that tells you it was designed by people who understand residential security, and that it's not just a toy.
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