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Old 07-14-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Georgia
2,506 posts, read 6,005,732 times
Reputation: 687

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How good are they and are they really worth it ? (ADT, Slomin etc)
Do they react as fast as shown on TV ?
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
874 posts, read 2,416,973 times
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I really can't say if they work as well as they say. My guess is that it depends on how much money you are willing to spend on the system. The cheaper prices they advertise cover one door. They charge you more for each window, motion sensors, etc.

From my experiences as a police officer I can tell you that alarm systems may deter the common drug addict or petty miscreant burglar but if a professional burglar decides he wants to rob a particular house he will get in regardless of what alarm system is in place.

The best alarm you can have is a large dog or two. A house next door to me and one behind me were burglarized this past winter. The one behind me had no dog and the neighbor next door had one but kept it in a crate. I have one rottweiler and one shepard/lab mix. I do not think anyone will be breaking in with the two of them freely roaming the house.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Long Island N.Y.
200 posts, read 481,865 times
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The more money you spend on an alarm the better it will be, Alarms will stop anybody if it is done the right way, the problem is, if the police respond fast enough.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
874 posts, read 2,416,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikealarm View Post
The more money you spend on an alarm the better it will be, Alarms will stop anybody if it is done the right way, the problem is, if the police respond fast enough.
The police always respond to a burglary call quickly. It is a priority call. The vast majority of burglar alarm calls to police are false alarms. An alarm call goes out to the police as just that; an alarm going off and not as a burglary in progress as if someone called on the phone and stated there is a burglary taking place. Being that the officers do know that the vast majority of burglar alarm calls are false alarms they do still respond quickly but will put other priority calls ahead of the burglar alarm. This is yet another reason a large dog or two is the best burglar deterrent there is.

A large dog or two does deter even the majority of professional burglars. Having one or two large dogs can take away the need of having the police respond after the burglary occurs since the chances are much higher that a burglary will not take place. I have actually asked many burglars that were arrested in my precinct these questions and they ALL had said that they would burglarize a home or business with an alarm before a home or business with a dog on the premises.

I have responded to numerous burglaries where the alarm was bypassed so saying that if an alarm is done the right way it will stop anyone is not true. There are actually professional burglars whom can bypass alarms and there are many whom just do not care about the alarm. They go in quick and get out quick. As I said, it may deter the common criminal, but not all, and definitely not a professional burglar.

Also remember that alarms do not STOP people from committing a burglary; they are there simply as a deterrent. A large dog (depending on breed; but most large dogs) serves as a deterrent and will do all they can to STOP a burglar that does get in.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Long Island N.Y.
200 posts, read 481,865 times
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The Police respond when they can, if they have some other priority call, do not expect them too soon. In the city of N.Y. the police hardly come at all. If a burglar wants to break in with a dog on premises they will either shoot the dog or distract it, and do what they want, there was a TV show where 2 thieves broke in with a dog many times and the dog did nothing. And you say that a burglar can bypass an alarm, most burglars are too stupid to do that, and I would like to see a burglar pass a motion detector or defeat a Long Range Radio. Alarms have come a long way, you have to be an engineer to defeat them today. Most people have alarms, if they did not work nobody would have them.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
874 posts, read 2,416,973 times
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I do not know what your experiences are in NYC but my experiences there include living in Queens for the majority of my life as well as being a NYC police officer. In NYC police have to respond to burglar alarm calls. A police officer must not only respond to them but must get out of the car and walk around the property and make sure nothing is broken into. An officer whom does not do this can be in extremely big trouble for not doing so.

The majority of burglars are not going to just "shoot a dog". I do not know what your experiences with shooting guns are but moving targets are much harder to hit than a still target is. Also, if you shoot a dog and the shot is not lethal the dog will not stop coming at the person. If the dog is not shot in a spot that makes it unable to move that dog will keep going. I know this as a fact since I have worked with a number of officers that had to shoot dogs. Shooting a dog or a person one time and having them fly back 10 feet and stop is something that happens in the movies and not in real life. If the bullet does not hit a spot where the dog or person is not physically able to move the dog or person can keep going. A higher calibre weapon of course increases the chances of doing damage. I have actually been to shootings where people were shot as many as eight times and lived. Of course I have also been to shootings where one shot killed.

If a burglar is brazen enough to burglarize a home where he/she is willing to shoot dogs than he/she is not going to let an alarm stop them or people being home for that matter.

Also, as I have stated, I did ask this of burglars arrested in my precinct and they all had said they would try to burglarize a home or business with an alarm before trying a home or business with dogs. As a matter of fact, none of them said they would burglarize a home with large dogs.

I had also stated that most larger breeds of dogs will go after an intruder. I did not say all dogs will. The majority of dogs will go after an inruder though. This is especially true with Rottweilers, German Shepards, Pit Bulls, etc.

Before anyone starts to question my experiences as a police officer I will let you know that I spent my first four years in Washington Heights and Harlem. The remainder of my career was in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Brownsville is an extremely high crime area. I have spent time on the midnight shift, four to twelve shift and day tours. I also was in a gang unit within the precinct, plain clothes anti-crime within the precinct, SNEU (street narcotics) within the precinct,etc. I was an active officer and have extensive experience with many felony and violent crimes.

With all of this being said I will also add that an alarm system is better than nothing if you are willing to spend a lot of money on them. The majority of people will not dispute the fact that a large dog or two freely roaming the house is definitely more of a deterrent to a burglar than an alarm system is.

My suggestion to anyone looking to get an alarm is to not waste money on one of the annoyingly loud systems that just repeats "Burglar call the 911" or something similar. If it is not an alarm system that notifies the police it is useless. There are homes with this annoying system near my home and nobody calls the police because they go off all of the time. I, personally will walk to the house with the alarm going off to see if it looks like someone broke in but none of the other neighbors around me bothers to do so. I must admit that there is one home a few houses down whose alarm blares this at least once each week and it has gotten to the point that even I do not bother checking on that one any longer.

I know this is a long post but I want to make one last point on police response time. People have to remember that a system such as ADT, where the alarm goes off and they try to verify a break in and notify the police consists of a longer process than people think. These places will know the alarm is going of and try to notify the owner of the alarm. They will then call the police. The number they call is not the dispatcher whom is delegating the job to the police; the majority of time they will be calling 911. The 911 operator puts the job in the computer which pops up on the screen for the person whom dispatches the jobs to the police. This person then gets on the police radio and gives out the job. This means that there are often times a police officer can take as quickly as two minutes to get to the job once he receives it but it seems like the officer took a long time due to all of the minutes taken up by the above process.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Georgia
2,506 posts, read 6,005,732 times
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Excellent police response (pun intended !), thanks. So the gist of the matter is that if you want to keep a alarm system make sure its one that notifies the police (service from alarm provider I guess).
Big dogs are huge deterrents for the petty burglars out there, but a professional can get his way around anything.
I don't think I have the "Monalisa" at my home, so professionals are probably ruled out .... big dogs.... I might consider in the future.... so for now I have to explore the only other alternative....

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Little Babylon
4,087 posts, read 7,169,125 times
Reputation: 1631
A home alarm system is more for the home owners peace of mind than stopping their house from being robbed. I train with a couple of cops and a deputy and they told me that even a semi-pro bugler may take a chance on a house with a home alarm knowing most of the time they're disarmed. So even the most expensive alarm system with the best LEO response time is worth nothing if the home owner doesn't use it.

Also criminals can beat most any alarm system going the home invasion route or just cruising around and waiting for a golden opportunity and taking it.

I do have my doors and windows set up with chimes and a setup that lets me know which door or window has been opened.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:56 AM
 
1,917 posts, read 4,492,852 times
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ADT, Slomins, etc pretty much put the little guys out of business. Problem with that is the little guys seemed to have better central station monitoring than the ADT's of the world.
Criminals know how to bypass these alarms. Simply cutting the phone line (From the outside) buys the crook several minutes (Even if you have cell back up). The cut wire sends a signal to central monitoring who in turn sends a call to your house. Obviously they get a busy signal and don't follow it up!. This actually happened to me at 3am once. The sirens are now mounted inside your house-that's right-inside- due to years of neighbor complaints about sirens wailing at all hours. ADT's customer service is horrible. I recently cancelled my service after they didn't show up for a service call.
The actual expense of the system has little to do with how easily it can be circumvented by a crafty criminal.
They love installing wireless systems because they are easy to install/work with.
As for the police, I wouldn't count on any cops racing to your house. My wife hit her panic button twice in 5 years (Both times accidently) and it took the cops 10 minutes to show.
If your house is empty all day then I would get an alarm simply because it prevents crooks from actually hanging out in your house after they rob it. Other than that, I wouldn't waste teh money. Just my .02.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:11 AM
 
270 posts, read 842,446 times
Reputation: 61
My alarm system serves its purpose dutifully - it saves me money on my home owners insurance, enough to offset my monitoring service fee.

As a secondary benefit, it gives me peace of mind when I have to leave my house unattended for a extended period.

Beyond that, anyone truly set on robbing me will figure out a way around whatever obstacle I throw out there. Are alarm systems perfect? No. Every single one of them can be defeated. But for the two benefits above, for me, it's a great setup.
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