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Old 07-16-2009, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Long Island N.Y.
197 posts, read 218,405 times
Reputation: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfly10 View Post
this is completely anecdotal, but when I lived in Los Angeles, I knew two people who were broken into right after they had alarms installed. Both were convinced it was an inside job from the alarm company installers. Not a statement against alarms, but certainly makes me think I'd really like to check into the company and installer if it's possible. Installing one is a great opportunity to case a place.

In another instance, I had a friend who moved into a house in Hollywood, installed an alarm. The house next door was having a bunch of work done too. A few weeks later, she got got repeated calls at work that her alarm was going off. Each time, was a false alarm. Nothing taken, nothing broken, etc. Company couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. She got so disgusted, she stopped arming it when she left in the morning and went to work. She got broken into and they took the flatscreen, jewelry, computer equipment etc. In her hedges there was a broken section leading to the backyard next door. She was convinced that the first false alarms were set off by the workman next door to annoy her till she stopped setting it and then they broke in - having seen her move all this new equipment into the house. Far fetched? Maybe but it's possible.
If an Alarm Company could not figure out whats wrong with an alarm that
they installed, then they should not be in business, most alarms today
are broken up into many zones so they can find the problem, which also displays on the keypad. If you do not trust the alarm company that installs the system, put it in yourself, there is a website for that purpose.
Do It Yourself Security | Ademco | DSC Security | GE Security | Visonic - Index
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:51 PM
 
1,770 posts, read 1,243,748 times
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The goal of the average burglar alarm is not to stop Ocean's 11, but to deter the average burglar. The average burglar is a kid, usually in his early to mid teens, that prays on targets of opportunity - people that leave their windows open, their garages unlocked, maybe a ladder out in the backyard for easy access to an upper floor. Alarming your house (along with other, common sense security methods like securely locking windows and doors, clearing line of sight to windows, exterior lighting, etc.) is a big deal: it makes your house less appealing than your neighbor's house, which is ultimately the best security the average home can get.

Of course, if a professional burglar targets your house, they can probably do what they want regardless of your security measures. Although modern alarms with motion sensors, battery backups and cell transmission equipment can't be easily defeated, there is still a lag time between the alarm going off and the arrival of the police. This lag time can vary dramatically based on type of alarm (some have a delay before the monitoring company is notified, which is designed to reduce false alarms), quality of the monitoring company, normal emergency services lag time and your proximity to the nearest cop. Burglars are not typically in the house for longer than 10 minutes so they can do a pretty decent sweep of what you've left accessible in only a few minutes. If they know you have the hope diamond in your house, better hire an armed guard

Anecdotally, I grew up in Garden City which is known for a 90-second average police response time. Let me tell you - the cops don't race over with sirens blaring for automatic alarms (nor does the fire department, but that's another thread).

Dogs are great if you train them how to respond to intruders. However, nearly everyone trains their dogs to be nice to strangers since we don't want them tearing up the mailman or the neighbor's kid. Thus, they are typically valueless as security guards unless the burglar has an aversion to dogs.

Forgot to mention the insurance savings - our insurer refunds about 75% of what we pay for monthly monitoring, and it would be close to 100% if we didn't use the cellular call-out.

Last edited by Interlude; 07-16-2009 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
875 posts, read 1,469,811 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interlude View Post
The goal of the average burglar alarm is not to stop Ocean's 11, but to deter the average burglar. The average burglar is a kid, usually in his early to mid teens, that prays on targets of opportunity - people that leave their windows open, their garages unlocked, maybe a ladder out in the backyard for easy access to an upper floor. Alarming your house (along with other, common sense security methods like securely locking windows and doors, clearing line of sight to windows, exterior lighting, etc.) is a big deal: it makes your house less appealing than your neighbor's house, which is ultimately the best security the average home can get.

Of course, if a professional burglar targets your house, they can probably do what they want regardless of your security measures. Although modern alarms with motion sensors, battery backups and cell transmission equipment can't be easily defeated, there is still a lag time between the alarm going off and the arrival of the police. This lag time can vary dramatically based on type of alarm (some have a delay before the monitoring company is notified, which is designed to reduce false alarms), quality of the monitoring company, normal emergency services lag time and your proximity to the nearest cop. Burglars are not typically in the house for longer than 10 minutes so they can do a pretty decent sweep of what you've left accessible in only a few minutes. If they know you have the hope diamond in your house, better hire an armed guard

Anecdotally, I grew up in Garden City which is known for a 90-second average police response time. Let me tell you - the cops don't race over with sirens blaring for automatic alarms (nor does the fire department, but that's another thread).

Dogs are great if you train them how to respond to intruders. However, nearly everyone trains their dogs to be nice to strangers since we don't want them tearing up the mailman or the neighbor's kid. Thus, they are typically valueless as security guards unless the burglar has an aversion to dogs.

Forgot to mention the insurance savings - our insurer refunds about 75% of what we pay for monthly monitoring, and it would be close to 100% if we didn't use the cellular call-out.
You can say all that you want that someone whom is going to commit a burglary does not care if there is a large dog in the house but as I said I have asked this question of many burglars arrested in my precinct by myself and by other officers and all of them said that they would not break into a home or business with a large dog but would do so to a home or business with an alarm.

The majority of people looking to break into a home are not going to take the chance of breaking into a home with a large dog on the off chance that the dog may welcome them and lick their face rather than attack them.

Mikealarm referred to the show "It Takes A Thief" where they broke into homes with dogs and the dogs licked them. Remember that this is a television show. Do you really think the people doing this show would take the chance of being mauled or do you think they know the dog/s is/are friendly before breaking in?

The excellent thing with dogs such as Rottweilers and German Shepards is the fact that both of these breeds are territorial by nature and do not have to be trained to guard, they do so instinctively. My Rottweiler is fine with people whom walk in the house with me but if that same person tries to walk in my home alone the dog will attack. I have a friend whom tried it and he had to quickly close the door because the dog came angrily charging.

I am not saying an alarm is completely useless but I personally will keep my dogs and forgo the alarm.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Long Island N.Y.
197 posts, read 218,405 times
Reputation: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Egobop View Post
You can say all that you want that someone whom is going to commit a burglary does not care if there is a large dog in the house but as I said I have asked this question of many burglars arrested in my precinct by myself and by other officers and all of them said that they would not break into a home or business with a large dog but would do so to a home or business with an alarm.

The majority of people looking to break into a home are not going to take the chance of breaking into a home with a large dog on the off chance that the dog may welcome them and lick their face rather than attack them.

Mikealarm referred to the show "It Takes A Thief" where they broke into homes with dogs and the dogs licked them. Remember that this is a television show. Do you really think the people doing this show would take the chance of being mauled or do you think they know the dog/s is/are friendly before breaking in?

The excellent thing with dogs such as Rottweilers and German Shepards is the fact that both of these breeds are territorial by nature and do not have to be trained to guard, they do so instinctively. My Rottweiler is fine with people whom walk in the house with me but if that same person tries to walk in my home alone the dog will attack. I have a friend whom tried it and he had to quickly close the door because the dog came angrily charging.

I am not saying an alarm is completely useless but I personally will keep my dogs and forgo the alarm.
So everybody should get a Rottweiler or German Shepard instead of a Cocker Spaniel and forget the alarms. So how come Best Buy electronics
Jewlery stores, PC Richards & all banks, and thousands of business rely on Alarm Systems, and do not have dogs? Most Police officers that I know always recommend putting an alarm in, and I have put alarms in plenty of police officers homes and they do not have dogs.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:07 AM
 
1,770 posts, read 1,243,748 times
Reputation: 1155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Egobop View Post
I am not saying an alarm is completely useless but I personally will keep my dogs and forgo the alarm.
Not saying that dogs are useless, in fact, they are very useful precisely for the purpose you have stated. A barking dog — even a small one — will deter burglars. The noise draws attention, which is the last thing burglars want. However, dogs are never a proper deterrent. They only become scared like humans if strangers become threatening. It's not fair to your pup to rely on its canine bravado.

Look, anecdotal evidence aside, I'm sure there is research as to this very topic. Your "ranking" of dogs far above monitored alarms is just incorrect:

Search for "dogs as security" yielded this guide as a top hit:

Dogs and Personal Security: An Introductory Guide

Quote:
Jack MacLean (Secrets of a Superthief) reports the results of a survey of over 300 prison inmates who'd been convicted of burglary or other residential crimes. Three of the questions were about dogs and home security:

...

How effective is each of the following likely to be in preventing burglary, breaking and entering and grand theft?

0 - not effective 1 - somewhat effective 2 - very effective

Monitored burglar alarms[8] 1.51
Electronic sensors in windows 1.35
Closed circuit TV cameras in stores 1.31
Private security patrols 1.14
DOG IN HOUSE 1.11
Weapons in home 1.10
Guardhouses protecting homes 1.07
Random police foot patrols 1.05
Better exterior lighting 1.02
"Neighborhood Watch" programs 0.98
Safes/strong boxes 0.83
Local burglar alarms 0.83
Deadbolt lock 0.79
Timed interior lights 0.78[9]
Note that this is a guide which specifically advocates using dogs for security and it even admits that burglar alarms are more effective.

Some other interesting facts I found while searching:
Quote:
Burglary is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. A person can be convicted of burglary even if nothing was actually stolen.
A burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States.
On average, a burglary results in a dollar loss of about $1,600.
About 30 percent of all burglaries are classified as "unlawful entry," meaning the burglar was able to gain entry without using force — often through an unlocked door or window.
Nearly 66 percent of all burglaries are residential, and of those, 62 percent occur during the daytime. Most burglaries occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when no one is likely to be at home.
Renters are more likely to be the victims of property crime than homeowners.
Only 13 percent of reported burglaries are solved, or "cleared," by the police.
Only about 15 percent of property stolen in burglaries is recovered by the police.
Nearly 85 percent of all burglaries occur in large metropolitan areas.
Almost half of the nation's reported burglaries occur in the South: 45 percent, as opposed to the Northeast's 11, the Midwest's 20 and the West's 24.
The highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months of July and August, when many people are away from their homes on vacation, or have left windows open for ventilation.
Arrest records reported to the FBI indicate that approximately 70 percent of all burglary arrestees are white and 86 percent are male.
About 30 percent of private homes have security systems. Homes without security systems are two to three times more likely to be broken into.
Source: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_03/pdf/03sec2.pdf (broken link)
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:56 AM
 
270 posts, read 598,446 times
Reputation: 56
A guard dog is definitely useful, but Best Buy isn't going to go through the hassle of caring for a live animal or dealing with any liability issues resulting from that at each of its stores

I don't think anyone will disagree that security systems serve their purpose, as do guard dogs. Security systems just happen to be a hell of a lot more convenient to deal with, and offers you an insurance discount. A large dog may actually cost you more in insurance.

Finally, any system, mechanical or electrical, is only as good as how its configured. Configure it incorrectly, and it will not serve you any good. This is definitely true for security systems - you shouldn't have any false alarms, and if you do, the system should identify where the signal si coming from so that you can isolate it and rectify the problem.

You don't need a multi-thousand dollar sophisiticated system with turret guns, laser sensors, and biometric capabilities. A system with door/glass sensors (or door/motion at least), a loud siren, easy to use console, battery backup, and connectivity to a monitoring system that is not easily defeated is all you need. Everything else is icing on the cake at best, or unnecessary at worst.

To the OP - don't get suckered into paying too much for monitoring. Make sure whoever you go with has a UL-listed monitoring center. I pay $11 a month for mine, but I already had a full system in place.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:12 AM
 
2,350 posts, read 3,470,299 times
Reputation: 475
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpg71 View Post
To the OP - don't get suckered into paying too much for monitoring. Make sure whoever you go with has a UL-listed monitoring center. I pay $11 a month for mine, but I already had a full system in place.
how much is too much ? The 10% insurance discount is about 10-15 dollars a month.... I'm sure the monitoring is more expensive than that....
Lets say you are getting a new alarm system installed for a 2 story house.... approximately how much will it cost and what will you get for it ?
Are there tiers of services, like level 1, 2 and 3 that cost X, Y and Z dollars per month ?
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
875 posts, read 1,469,811 times
Reputation: 443
As I have said in previous posts, I am not saying that alarms are completely useless or that everyone should have a dog instead of an alarm. I personally have two large dogs and do not feel the need for an alarm. What I have stated about actually asking burglars is 100% true as well. I have absolutely no reason to lie about this.

In Brownsville, the preferred method of breaking into stores with alarms was through the roof. Yes, the alarm would go off, the police would also respond and walk around the building and see no sign of a break in and mark the job as unfounded. In the morning the owner of the store would call the police and they would take the report for the break in. This started happening more and more often and actually reached the point where some of us would carry aluminum fold up ladders so that we could climb to the roof to check for break ins when responding to alarms. We eventually caught a number of burglars this way.

Jewelry stores do actually get burglarized on occasion. Many stores such as P.C. Richards and Best Buy tend to have not only security systems but also security guards whom have to check up on them during the night. When I was eighteen years of age I worked for Wells Fargo as a security guard (unarmed, of course) and one of the places I had to work was inside of a department store from 9 PM until 9 AM from closing until opening. There are many stores that do this.

The person whom lives behind my house was burglarized this past winter and had and still has ADT. The person that lives next door to me and was burglarized had and still has a dog (a Boxer) that he had left in a crate when he was not home. The person with ADT had the alarm on and they broke in. Would they have broke into the house with the Boxer if it was not in a crate? We have no way of knowing that.

They broke into the house with the Boxer by breaking the large back patio door window. They were able to see the dog in the crate through the back patio door window since the shade for it was left opened. Would they have broken in if they saw the dog running loose through the window? I was not home that night either and my home was not broken into. Could this have been because they were able to see my Rottweiler and Shepard/lab mix walking freely through the house? I tend to think so but of course we have no way of knowing this for sure.

Not everyone wants large guard dogs and anyone whom does not have them would be better off having an alarm rather than nothing. My suggestion to those whom are wondering if they should get a guard dog or an alarm is to get a guard dog. This is, of course, just my opinion. Everyone is different and thinks differently and I criminals are no exception. I am sure there are different things that deter different criminals. Perhaps we can at least agree that some burglars would be deterred more by dogs and others more by an alarm. Of course there will be some that are deterred by neither.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
875 posts, read 1,469,811 times
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One thing I never understood that I think those of us discussing this can agree on is people whom own guns whom decide to put up a sign on their fence or house stating that their home is protected by a gun. This is one of the most ridiculous things a person can do since there are a lot of criminals (not even those that normally commit burglaries but individuals that want a gun) that will stake out that house just to break in when nobody is home knowing that most people do not travel with their firearms. This is like putting up a sign saying "Please break in when I am not home and get yourself a firearm".

Firearms can be good for protection when you are home but people should never let the fact that they own one to be known to the general population.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:44 AM
 
270 posts, read 598,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egobop View Post
One thing I never understood that I think those of us discussing this can agree on is people whom own guns whom decide to put up a sign on their fence or house stating that their home is protected by a gun. This is one of the most ridiculous things a person can do since there are a lot of criminals (not even those that normally commit burglaries but individuals that want a gun) that will stake out that house just to break in when nobody is home knowing that most people do not travel with their firearms. This is like putting up a sign saying "Please break in when I am not home and get yourself a firearm".

Firearms can be good for protection when you are home but people should never let the fact that they own one to be known to the general population.
Agreed. On a side note, I remember thinking some time ago that an alarm system should, before triggering the audible siren, first have a recording of a person saying "I have a gun, and I'm trained and not afraid to use it - you've got 10 seconds to leave before I make use of it." then have the distinct sound of a shotgun being pumped. I think that would make a would-be thief leave pretty damned quickly.
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