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A couple of buyer questions

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Doug Kanter, Jul 26, 2004.

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  1. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    I'll be moving into a new house within a month and having a security system
    installed. I'd like to be armed with a litle information before interviewing
    installers.

    1) Cats and motion sensors: I'm assuming that motion sensors are the heart
    of most home security systems. Maybe I'm wrong. But, in the past, I've never
    gotten satisfactory answers to the question about how a system compensates
    for a pet that may jump as high as the mantle over the fireplace. What are
    the right answers, and which answers are red flags warning me to show the
    installer the door?

    2) Spook methods for home, yet? Are fingerprint or corneal scanners in use
    for homes yet, or is this ridiculous overkill and/or outrageously expensive?
    I'm referring to a replacement for the typical numeric keypad.

    3) Fill in the blank: If an installer does not suggest _________ , call
    another company.

    Situation: House in a neighborhood that does NOT have much crime. Protection
    primarily while away. Basement windows will be changed to glass block within
    a week of moving in. Exterior doors are metal, but locks are cheap. I'll be
    upgrading existing doorknob locks and adding deadbolts the day after moving
    in. Sliding glass doors will be installed in the kitchen within a month, and
    I see that as a vulnerability.

    Finally: I could be wrong, but intuitively, it seems to me that all else
    being equal, it's better to have more distance between a deadbolt and the
    doorknob, rather than less. Right or wrong?

    -Doug
     
  2. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Sir, whatever your chosen installer says, remember to pay first attention to
    your physical security. The presence of an alarm does have an obvious
    deterent effect, but the real measure of your home security is the sum total
    of ALL the things you do BOTH physical and electronic. Nor does it make a
    lot of sense to spend significant dollars on an alarm system to warn after
    they are in the home, if you haven't done everything reasonable to keep them
    out to start with. Basement windows armoured properly as you are doing;
    adding a visible, swingdown patio door to your sliding patio door, plus
    screws above to keep it from being lifted are simple yet effective
    deterrents against casual entry.

    Most breakins (in our relatively peaceful area anyway, your area may be
    different) are by simply kicking in the front door. Make sure that you
    install a 10 inch heavy duty door strike (the piece that the deadbolt goes
    into) that is heavily secured into the jack studs of the door frame with a
    number of three to four inch screws. Adding distance between the deadbolt
    and the passage set does nothing to increase security. It does however mark
    the installation as one done by an amateur to the next buyer of the home.

    If your alarm company suggests you install one of their systems and relax -
    your problems are solved, personally, I would show him to the door....(since
    you asked). I would also give him short shift if he didn't take the time to
    explain all your buying options to you since there are several ways to
    purchase an alarm system, each with different advantages and disadvantages.
    Use extreme caution if his prime concern seems to be getting your name on a
    long term contract, or uses a version of the "fear factor" to try to
    pressure you into signing right away. Realize this is a "buyer beware"
    market and sales pressure can be very heavy. Investigate all your options
    with both large and small dealers before you chose your company.

    Motion detectors designed to compensate for animals are not an absolute
    guarantee against false trips, but they do work effectively if properly
    located and set up. Two cardinal "no no's"!! Don't locate where an animal
    can climb to within 6 measured feet from the device, and never aim them at
    stairs. Some work by "seeing" the animal in a horizontal plane, with a human
    "seen" in a vertical plane. Others double check the signal with microwave
    (some claiming to check the thickness of the animals legs versus a
    humans....).

    My website has a significant amount of information relative to securing your
    home on a physical basic should you care to sift through a lot of
    information, plus much more information relative to all the questions you
    ask... (I really have to shorten it....much too long...kind of like my
    posts....:)))

    R.H.Campbell
    Home Security Metal Products
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    www.homemetal.com
     
  3. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    The door strike.....I keep forgetting. It's been WRITTEN into the "week #1"
    shopping list.

    As far as "after they are in the home", that's when they unwittingly step
    into my classroom: "Darwin 101 for Intruders". Bye bye.
     
  4. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Oooooooookay.......don't quite know what you mean by all this but it sounds
    ominous...:)))

    Just remember, in most jurisdictions, you can't take the law into your own
    hands regardless of how justified you might feel is is. Two wrongs never
    make a right !!

    RHC
     
  5. Reg Siemens

    Reg Siemens Guest

    Robert - The theory is that you're doing the human gene pool a favour when
    you remove these kind of people. e.g. If you're stupid enough to break into
    my home, you deserve to die and the world will be a better place in years to
    come, because if left unchecked, your descendents would carry that same
    stupidity on for generations.
     
  6. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    I suppose there's some logic to it Reg. However, a lot of folks that espouse
    these kinds of actions speak with perfectly understandable anger, but forget
    that their overreaction to these bad situations will come back to haunt them
    if they ever follow through with it. If you are any kind of decent person,
    you WILL punish yourself over what you have done regardless of how much the
    other party may well have deserved it.

    Let me give you a real life example of what happened to me. About eight
    years ago, in the early morning, I heard two young thieves breaking into my
    neighbours back yard shed. I called 911 and reported it, and was told to
    stay inside the house until the police arrived. However, I was in an angry
    mood because I had had my van stolen a few weeks before and was in a
    decidedly "get even" mood with the low life crowd, so I ignored their
    advice. I thought briefly about taking out a handgun and confronting them
    with it, but quickly dismissed that utterly foolish idea in less than a
    nanosecond. So I took out one of those large Maglites and confronted these
    guys, who quickly became quite submissive with the light in their eyes.
    However, the older and larger of the two I guess decided he was going to
    take on this old guy standing there in his pyjamas, and reached into his
    shirt and pulled out a large crome camp hatchet and started to swing it.
    Thinking back, I don't know if he was serious or not and was just trying to
    bluff his way out of a situation in which I was clearly in control, but as I
    saw the glint in the moonlight, I reacted purely by instinct, and smashed
    him across the face with the Maglite, knocking him about 15 feet across the
    lawn. Blood and teeth flew everywhere, and the two of them ran off howling
    in rage and anger. Well, while I was standing there shaking, the police
    arrived, and after I told them part of whaty had happened and that these
    guys had just run off, they treated me with some suspicion, suspecting there
    was more to the story than I was telling. I was composed enough by that time
    not to implicate myself, but I think the surly cop suspected what had
    happened. I got the impression he would have loved to arrest me for what he
    suspected I had done. However, if I had been standing there with a gun, I
    guarantee you I would have gone to jail because I probably would have shot
    the guy just by instinct. Even if I hadn't, technically I was off the
    property where the handgun was registered, so I would have broken the law.
    So anyway, the cops went off around the corner supposedly after the two
    guys, but not with much enthusiasm I can tell you (and yes, I fault them for
    that ....)

    Well, the next morning, I hosed down the street and flushed the blood and
    quite a number of teeth down the storm drain. But, no matter how much one
    can say these guys deserved it, I hurt another person badly, and it still
    bothers me greatly to this day. People forget that real world aspect of it
    in their bravado of the moment.

    So for those that think they would have no qualms about doing such things,
    think about it in the hard light of day.....

    RHC
     
  7. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    What country are you in?
     
  8. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest


    Obviously. But, your situation was different, and you knew that even while
    you were doing it.

    My logic is somewhat different. I've seen estimates which say that one in
    three households have a gun (here - Monroe County, NY). That sounds high to
    me. Let's say it's one in ten. If someone breaks into an OCCUPIED home,
    they're accepting a 10% chance of being shot dead. In my opinion, only a
    crazy person would accept those odds. Therefore, if I'm home and someone
    breaks in, they are assumed to be unstable. The last thing I'm going to do
    is reason with them. They have asked to be killed. The only neighborly
    response to to accomodate them.

    Look at it this way: A mother bear will remove your face just for looking at
    her cub the wrong way. It's not an appetizing idea to be on the receiving
    end of such a response, but we accept it as interesting when we read about
    it, right?

    Obviously, my first choice at home would be to retreat to a safe room with a
    telephone (and a warm gun). But if that's not possible for some reason, I
    have no qualms about protecting my son (cub). And, if I'm not home, and a
    creative burglar manages to disable the security system and make off with
    half the house, who cares? I'm safe.
     
  9. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    wouldn't.

    The llama stays outdoors at all times. :)

    Good point. Perhaps bars on one window. Did that in my last house. Hung the
    padlock key about 8 feet away on the wall and made the whole family aware of
    it. Drilling the cinder block was nasty, though. Old house, blocks crumbled,
    had to do all sorts of patching. This house is much newer, though. Might not
    be such a nasty job.

    Finally my router will pay for itself!
     
  10. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    I'm in Otttawa, Ontario,Canada, but the country doesn't matter really.

    We do look at firearms usage somewhat differently than in the USA. There is
    no "right to bear arms" for self defence here in Canada as it relates to
    firearms, although one can do whatever is necessary to protect their lives
    obviously. However, the onus is then on them to prove what they did is
    reasonable and justified after the fact AND given the circumstances of the
    situation (and that's likely no different anywhere...) And I agree, when all
    is said and done, it IS "better to be judged by 12 people than carried by 6"
    as the saying goes.

    The point I was trying to make is that no matter what the situation
    afterwards, you have to live with the decisions you make for the rest of
    your life. If you're comfortable with that, then that is all that needs to
    be said really...

    Regards,

    R.H.Campbell
    Home Security Metal Products
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    www.homemetal.com
     
  11. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    The "castle" concept originated in England, insofar as defending one's home.
    Hard to believe, but when a homeowner occasionally ends up in court after
    helping an intruder into the next world, that legal concept is all the
    attorney needs to mention, assuming there are no odd circumstances involved.
    I agree completely. But, I'm also fond of what samurai sometimes did in
    Japan, as late as the 1800s, when someone disturbed their harmony. Off with
    the head! Harmony is important.
     
  12. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    Bravo Robert!

    BTW did you ever get your stolen van back?
     
  13. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    Better to be judged by 12 than buried by 6
     
  14. RH.Campbell

    RH.Campbell Guest

    Yes, the police didn't even bother to visit; just gave me a report number
    and hung up. About a week later, it was recovered on a side street about 5
    miles from home with both the middle and rear seats missing and a large
    number of dings and scratches. What I figure was, they stole the thing to
    use in a break in ! They used it to cart away a house load of goods, then
    abandon it when they are done so if they were seen they can't be traced...

    It cost the insurance company $4000 to fix everything. All of this could
    have been saved if Chrysler had seen fit to spend an additional $15 back
    then to upgrade the locks to their current theft resistant ones instead of
    the simple devices they had on 1994 model Chrysler vans. I was using the
    "club" on it, but that unfortunately was the one night my wife forgot to put
    in on.....

    As I see it, this is just another chicken sh*t example of big business being
    driven totally by the bottom line and screw the consumer. Auto theft is a
    big problem everywhere, costing everyone multi-millions of dollars, and I
    lay the blame squarely at the feet of the auto industry....

    RHC
     
  15. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    A 5 year informal survey on my part indicates that Chrysler can't even put a
    decent engine in their vans. You think they're going to put in better door
    locks?
     
  16. alarman

    alarman Guest

    Alarminex wrote
    Down, boy. Sit. Stay.

    Good boy.
    js
     
  17. Mark Leuck

    Mark Leuck Guest

    I've often wondered how much time it takes for him to make posts like this
    and if slobber on the keyboard slows him down while doing it
     
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