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Posted: 2/15/2013 4:05:04 AM EDT
I will soon be the proud owner of a home's worth of debt and really want to protects the bank's investment (and my belongings).

I figure this would be a great place to get opinions on home security/alarm systems. What do you guys use? Any feedback, including prices if you don't mind, would be a big help. Feedback on actual incidents, twarted or not, would be good as well.

Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 4:15:19 AM EDT
Some quick thoughts:

Get a loud siren and place in location (vent in attic or soffit is good) where your neighbors can hear it.
I prefer wired systems over wireless but if the house isn't wired that will make a difference.
Cell radio is better than land line (easier to cut line than jamb cell) but both is best if you have land line.
Ask installer to setup for very short entry delay. This will limit smash and grab style burglaries.
I prefer motion sensors over glass break sensors.

Alarms will not stop a burglary. They will only limit the amount of stuff that will be taken.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:30:06 AM EDT
I just installed a ge nx8e myself. It took awhile but its worth it to understand how to troubleshoot, make changes, and add sensors.

Stick with GE/Honeywell and don't get raped on monitoring.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 5:31:10 AM EDT
I did the following in this order.
1- harden the exterior as much as practical
2-exterior lighting around entire perimeter
I've got low wattage led's on a photocell that give a full moon type look then motion sensor halogen lights that kick on when they see movement.
I didn't want the house lit like a prison 24-7
3- full wired alarm on everything with glass breaks, motion sensors, glass breaks, heat, smoke and co detectors
4-driveway alarm that lets me know when someone is halfway down the drive
5- camera system that started with 1 camera over the crib and now covers entry points and driveway

Point being, an alarm system is only a small part of protecting your family and property
I have heard good things about 2gig and ge simon & neworx
I currently have a 10 year old dsc system that has worked fine but I'll be upgrading soon but not sure to what as of yet
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:18:17 AM EDT
Dogs in different sizes can fill multiple roles both inside and out.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:27:46 AM EDT
There is a sticky in the safe and home security section where this question had all sorts of answers. Might be worth your time to check it out.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 7:21:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 7:21:44 AM EDT by chopps]
Alarm with outside siren, 7 motion detectors, 3 glass breaks,all doors have sensors , 2 garage door sensors, all windows are pinned closed, shotgun/9mm bedside,1 year old 110lb male rottweiler, owner & wife who sleep very light, and a cop who lives next door who works the 7 a/m to 3 p/m shift so he is home at nights works for me :)
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 11:48:30 AM EDT
Depends on what you want, monitored or not.

I have a monitored system that is currently with CPI and I am so happy with their service. Prior to CPI I had ADT and I do not have very much good to say about ADT.

My first gripe, was the sales person bold faced lied to me regarding questions for what I needed. ADT has a six moth money back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied, and I had to bend over backwards to get ADT to honor it. My complaint to ADT to document my issues is about 5 pages long in 12 pt font but I will briefly explain my complaints:
1. I wanted more than door/window intrusion and I was sold motion sensors. I have pets (cats) and my concern was my pets setting off the motion senors. I was told no, they are pet immune. Turned out not true at all, when I left and when my cats came downstairs, with my motion sensors on, I got notified there was am activation.
2. When my pets set off the "supposedly pet immune" motion sensors enough, I called ADT and the advise I was given was to cover up the motion sensors when I was away. Made lots of sense to do with monitors that I paid for and for a service I was paying for
3. I called my sales person for options, he called back some time later saying that he talked with his manager and they could give me a whopping 10% to buy glass break sensors to replace the motion sensors. Again I clearly express my concerns with motion sensors when I bought the service. Shortly after I returned his call and told mim that was an unacceptable option and I wanted to invoke my six month satisfaction guarantee, and this was after he reminded me I could invoke it. My sales person then told me that his manager would need to speak to me and he would be able to do so.
4. Weeks go by and no call from his manager. I call several times with no reply; eventually I do get a message from my sales person that he was at a "manager" meeting and would call. More weeks go by and nothing. I call my sales person many more times with no response; again I finally get a message from my sales person that he and his manager has tried to call me multiple times with no reply. Not possible, I do not turn off my phone, so I had no miss calls or messages. Plus he knew my cell phone number because he called it to make the sale and it is on my contract.

To shorten my comments:

5. Finally heard from the manager months later, he had no clue what was going on, or what I formally wrote in my letter that I mailed certified or problem. After discrediting his arguments, he swore he would authorize my money guarantee and refund it to me. Months go by and nothing!
6. After calling ADT directly and being passed off to the local office/franchise (no answer or return call), I finally found a number to customer satisfaction (I believe that was who I called) and I got some help.
7. When a tech came to pick up the equipment, they tried to take my glass break sensors, was not provided by ADT but the sales person tried to sell me, but were instead purchased from CPI.

Aside from my complaints above, the remote system (I can not remember what it was called) is antiquated! It has to be hard wired to the modem!

So from my experiences with ADT, I would not recommend ADT. CPI is so much better for what it offers, technically advanced and costs less and I have had CPI for a year now and I am happy.

My system is monitored. Regarding the cost, that will be how many doors and windows you want connected along with glass break, fire/smoke monitoring, remote system, etc. So that would be something per individual and what I pay for most of the bells and whistles will not be an accurate measuring stick for you. Call and talk to services and see what is best for you. I have expressed my experiences with ADT and CPI.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 12:29:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By robpiat:
I just installed a ge nx8e myself. It took awhile but its worth it to understand how to troubleshoot, make changes, and add sensors.

Stick with GE/Honeywell and don't get raped on monitoring.


Rob. How many hardwirded zones do you have with that? Cell backup? And can you make it text it email you?
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 12:37:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 12:44:14 PM EDT by chopps]
Originally Posted By Blue69:
Depends on what you want, monitored or not.

I have a monitored system that is currently with CPI and I am so happy with their service. Prior to CPI I had ADT and I do not have very much good to say about ADT.

My first gripe, was the sales person bold faced lied to me regarding questions for what I needed. ADT has a six moth money back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied, and I had to bend over backwards to get ADT to honor it. My complaint to ADT to document my issues is about 5 pages long in 12 pt font but I will briefly explain my complaints:
1. I wanted more than door/window intrusion and I was sold motion sensors. I have pets (cats) and my concern was my pets setting off the motion senors. I was told no, they are pet immune. Turned out not true at all, when I left and when my cats came downstairs, with my motion sensors on, I got notified there was am activation.
2. When my pets set off the "supposedly pet immune" motion sensors enough, I called ADT and the advise I was given was to cover up the motion sensors when I was away. Made lots of sense to do with monitors that I paid for and for a service I was paying for
3. I called my sales person for options, he called back some time later saying that he talked with his manager and they could give me a whopping 10% to buy glass break sensors to replace the motion sensors. Again I clearly express my concerns with motion sensors when I bought the service. Shortly after I returned his call and told mim that was an unacceptable option and I wanted to invoke my six month satisfaction guarantee, and this was after he reminded me I could invoke it. My sales person then told me that his manager would need to speak to me and he would be able to do so.
4. Weeks go by and no call from his manager. I call several times with no reply; eventually I do get a message from my sales person that he was at a "manager" meeting and would call. More weeks go by and nothing. I call my sales person many more times with no response; again I finally get a message from my sales person that he and his manager has tried to call me multiple times with no reply. Not possible, I do not turn off my phone, so I had no miss calls or messages. Plus he knew my cell phone number because he called it to make the sale and it is on my contract.

To shorten my comments:

5. Finally heard from the manager months later, he had no clue what was going on, or what I formally wrote in my letter that I mailed certified or problem. After discrediting his arguments, he swore he would authorize my money guarantee and refund it to me. Months go by and nothing!
6. After calling ADT directly and being passed off to the local office/franchise (no answer or return call), I finally found a number to customer satisfaction (I believe that was who I called) and I got some help.
7. When a tech came to pick up the equipment, they tried to take my glass break sensors, was not provided by ADT but the sales person tried to sell me, but were instead purchased from CPI.

Aside from my complaints above, the remote system (I can not remember what it was called) is antiquated! It has to be hard wired to the modem!

So from my experiences with ADT, I would not recommend ADT. CPI is so much better for what it offers, technically advanced and costs less and I have had CPI for a year now and I am happy.

My system is monitored. Regarding the cost, that will be how many doors and windows you want connected along with glass break, fire/smoke monitoring, remote system, etc. So that would be something per individual and what I pay for most of the bells and whistles will not be an accurate measuring stick for you. Call and talk to services and see what is best for you. I have expressed my experiences with ADT and CPI.




I was incorrect please ignore
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 12:42:14 PM EDT

I have service with ackerman for my house with all the bells and whistles.

It was funny when I was trying to add all the custom stuff I kept getting blank stares and confusion, until I finally got one of the techs bosses and he came out.

He was laughing the whole time we were setting up things I wanted done. "You're a nut, this is overkill!"

It makes me happy.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 1:16:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gajeep94yj:
Originally Posted By robpiat:
I just installed a ge nx8e myself. It took awhile but its worth it to understand how to troubleshoot, make changes, and add sensors.

Stick with GE/Honeywell and don't get raped on monitoring.


Rob. How many hardwirded zones do you have with that? Cell backup? And can you make it text it email you?


6 HW Zones and about 40 wireless sensors. HW zones are near impossible to do on a finished house with a hard ceiling basement. My cell phone doesn't work well in the basement so I am not optimistic about a cell backup. However I will likely still try down the road. I also have a couple of nice fey fobs to arm/disarm.

Motion/Glass Break are overrated because folks don't want to pay for a comprehensive alarm system. ADT etc make it out like you get coverage from a sensor vs just covering all the entry points. I have a few motions that were here as well. I am most concerned about when my family is home which is when that would be auto bypassed anyways. I did smoke / heat detectors in every BR as well as a few others. Having monitored quality smoke/fire is worth the $9 / month on its own. I am not setup for monitoring yet but maybe next week I'll do it. I have a phone line already at the panel.

If you want to do more home automation, start with an ELK system. The GE / honeywell systems are capable, but less intuitive, on adding modules etc.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 1:28:50 PM EDT
I has an hai, in my last house. Just want worth the cost.

I will do all hard wired as most of the house is already wired and the basement is not finished. Problem is i want 24 zones
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 1:43:32 PM EDT
Just checked mine is a Honeywell and love it.
Monitoring is $17.95 per month after 12 months of free monitoring.
Keyfobs here to and I forgot a few of my motion sensors are wireless so I can move them around to change it up.
Has wireless cell and text if someone trips it to and 3 voice keypads.

I thought It was CPI but was confused Safecom installed it and Monitors it.


They were so much cheaper than ADT/Ackerman or the others.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 2:09:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 2:10:43 PM EDT by robpiat]
Originally Posted By gajeep94yj:
I has an hai, in my last house. Just want worth the cost.

I will do all hard wired as most of the house is already wired and the basement is not finished. Problem is i want 24 zones


A quality wired system will support 48-192 zones. Keep in mind sensors can be wired together at the panel to form a zone.


I came to the same conclusion on the home automation. It's cute but doesn't have a whole lotta value.

Cameras are up next.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 6:07:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gajeep94yj:
Originally Posted By robpiat:
I just installed a ge nx8e myself. It took awhile but its worth it to understand how to troubleshoot, make changes, and add sensors.

Stick with GE/Honeywell and don't get raped on monitoring.


Rob. How many hardwirded zones do you have with that? Cell backup? And can you make it text it email you?


If you have Honeywell ademco then you can use an EVL-3 module to IP enable the panel and that gives you a web interface and email notifications for events. I don't have this setup but I am looking for a system and email or text is a requirement. I have a few reservations about ip enabling the panel but I think with enough layers of security at the network level I can feel very comfortable about it.

I had posted in the security forum about the EVL-3 to see if anyone had used the module but I didn't get any responses.
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