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To Get Adt Or Not To Get Adt, That Is The Question


MorningStar

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So we just bought a house and this ADT guy came over to discuss home security and my husband felt like we should get it.  In the back of my mind, I was wondering if there were something we could do on our own that would be just as effective.  My main concern is that all of our bedrooms are upstairs and it would be hard to hear if anyone quietly broke in downstairs.  I worry a lot more about my children than I do about things being stolen.  That wouldn't be fun either of course, but not nearly as bad as a kid going down for a drink of water and there's someone in our house.

 

It's about $36 a month with a commitment of 3 years.  Considering we haven't even seen yet how bad all of our bills are going to be on top of a mortgage, this makes me cringe.  I also worry about accidentally setting it off, especially if the kids are home and we're not.

 

So what do you all do?  I think a dog would be pretty expensive too, but would definitely wake us up.  Maybe more than we want to wake up. 

 

Suggestions?  :D

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P.S.  There would be no installation fees with ADT because he's giving us a special. 

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Sometimes I think just having the signs outside the house are just as effective.  

 

I would attempt to find out how long it takes for the police department to respond to an alarm.  Talk to the local police department and find out what they think of these systems. 

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Good fences and locked doors will get you most of the way there. Keeping your yard and home in good repair deters most of bad guys. A small yappy dog is actually not very expensive and can be a great pet for you and your kids.  A fire, smoke, Carbon Monoxide alarm covers the rest better unless you, or your family have special medical needs. I'm not opposed to burgler/break in alarms, but if you're counting pennies there are cheaper just as effective ways to go,

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Good fences and locked doors will get you most of the way there. Keeping your yard and home in good repair deters most of bad guys. A small yappy dog is actually not very expensive and can be a great pet for you and your kids.  A fire, smoke, Carbon Monoxide alarm covers the rest better unless you, or your family have special medical needs. I'm not opposed to burgler/break in alarms, but if you're counting pennies there are cheaper just as effective ways to go,

 

I absolutely love it when TSS and I can agree on something... ;)  He gives some good thoughts here...

 

MS... I do have an alarm system, monitored 24/7... and I don't think I could be without one, living alone as I do.  But... but, with children I could see where there could be some difficulties.  I've set off my own alarm several times, but could always get it off and call in the false alarm before dispatch had time to make any calls.   

My police dept has an annual fee of $45 for all alarms because of the problem of false alarms...  the monitoring fee per month is $25 (I expect this to increase soon).  There are some small annual fees from the monitoring company (lock box), and fees for false alarms if they send someone out.  The fire, smoke, CM is part of the  system.   I wouldn't feel safe without the alarm, and I always set it when I leave the house so it is just part of my routine.  Your kids would have to be fully trained and be able to remember the code and what to do, etc..

 

A search on the internet into less formal systems will give you info on less expensive alternatives.  I actually like the small dog suggested by TSS... wonderful for your kids/family, but even that has the downside of the dog barking at general nightime noises, etc.

 

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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Thank you!  Yes, the other issue is my allergist said our family should never have pets.  :(  Also, I don't know if we could afford vet bills and that sort of thing.

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The trouble with ADT is when the power is out so is ADT.  Some of the talk shows are advertising a battery operated system that is wireless and you can install it yourself and I understand is quite good.  It was much less costly than ADT.

 

That said I think that with reasonable precautions and you don't live in a high crime area you should be ok without it.  Add the economical wireless system and it isn't a budget buster.

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Thank you!  Yes, the other issue is my allergist said our family should never have pets.  :sad:  Also, I don't know if we could afford vet bills and that sort of thing.

 

If you can't afford vet bills the monthly ADT fees are going to be a bear.

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If you can't afford vet bills the monthly ADT fees are going to be a bear.

 

Speaking of vet bills... my Bobby-cat is in good health because he is strictly indoors.  But, he had chronic gingivitus and had to have most of his teeth removed a couple of months ago at $565... plus his annual/semi shots, and some eye problems every few months... any time I have to take Bob in, it is a minimum of $40 for the exam/meds... since I don't carry pet insurance, it's all out-of-pocket.  I feed him good quality food @ 60 cents a can (2/day because he weighs 20 lbs and he's not fat, just big), and $5+ for dry food...  but sometimes a pet can be well worth it as is Bob.  But with MS's allergies, I guess pets are out...

 

GG

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Motion detector lights are good too. Just make sure they don't shine into the neighbour's bedroom window.

I am tempted at times to buy a motion detector sprinkler...for the deer that came eat our fruit and shrubbery, but it wouldn't be bad for nighttime uninvited guests. :)

Even if you don't have a dog, you can put dog dishes out to make it look like you do and/or put a sign up.

http://lifehacker.com/5858250/three-easy-and-cheap-ways-to-increase-your-homes-security

Random timers for lights and TV/radio are cheap but handy investments.

Edited by calmoriah
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And always.... always... keep your doors/windows locked.  Again, this can be difficult with children running in and out.  Maybe your kids could go in/out a back door and keep front locked.   But after a certain time in the evening all doors could be locked.

 

GG

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Motion detector lights are good too. Just make sure they don't shine into the neighbour's bedroom window.

I am tempted at times to buy a motion detector sprinkler...for the deer that came eat our fruit and shrubbery, but it wouldn't be bad for nighttime uninvited guests. :)

Even if you don't have a dog, you can put dog dishes out to make it look like you do and/or put a sign up.

http://lifehacker.com/5858250/three-easy-and-cheap-ways-to-increase-your-homes-security

Random timers for lights and TV/radio are cheap but handy investments.

 

Venison is good. :diablo: :diablo:

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We have deer living in our back yards all year round now. I think I got two yards away from them last time (dog was out on a walk) trying to startle them away by throwing dirt clods n their direction and being so good at aim, accidentally hit one full on the flank hard. They just stared at me, then shuffled off. It occurred to me as I gazed into their dark eyes that they could do some major damage if they ran at me instead. I was an idiot to get so close.

We have lots of hunters around but it is against the law. One of these winters we are going to end up with starved corpses sprinkled across our yards or injured kids or pets due to having so many winter visitors added to the usual suspects.

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Congrats on buying a house.   Before debating on 36/mth, I would look to put some rainy day money back.  Judging from your 'cringe' comment and not knowing what the bills will be yet, I would suggest sitting down and doing a budget.  Owning a house is much different from renting.  No calls to the manager, it's all on you.  One call to our septic man ran $450 for a new motor (1 yr's worth of ATD in a 2 hour visit).  No "I'll think about it" option is available for a lot of home fixes. 

Is crime a problem in your area?  That may be a considered factor as well.

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If you can't afford vet bills the monthly ADT fees are going to be a bear.

I've had friends and relatives with animals who had very unfortunate illnesses and had crazy high vet bills.  My sister-in-law's dog ended up with a rare blood disorder and spent $5,000 on chemotherapy.  The dog still died.  Call me heartless, but I would never spend that much money on a dog.  My parents' dog has had issues with teeth having to be pulled and that sort of thing.  It's hard enough keeping up with my kids' illnesses. 

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Thanks, everyone!  I don't think our area is high crime, but I know burglaries can happen anywhere.  I like the fake having a dog ideas.  Maybe a doghouse would be convincing?  :lol: 

 

GG, we always lock everything, but some criminals will just smash your windows and that doesn't even set of ADT, so they put motion detectors inside the house if you want.  Yeah, I can see my kids setting off the alarm in the middle of the night.  I just want something that will wake me up if someone is trying to enter our house or perhaps even just in the backyard.  They usually break in from the back.  I like the idea of floodlights.  I just need them shining in my face through my window or something.  I just heard an awful story on the news today about a man sneaking into a house and sexually assaulting a little girl.  :( 

 

I'm very suspicious of anyone who knocks on our door.  I really don't want them knowing anything about our belongings, our children, etc. 

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Put the sound of a guard dog growling and barking on a motion detector loop. Start low and slow to give you time to shut it off if tripped accidently. Put a " dog on premises " sign on your doors.

:lol:  My husband and I talked about inventing an alarm with a man's voice that booms, "GET THE ______ OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!" followed by the sound of shots being fired. 

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Thanks, everyone! I don't think our area is high crime, but I know burglaries can happen anywhere. I like the fake having a dog ideas. Maybe a doghouse would be convincing? :lol:

GG, we always lock everything, but some criminals will just smash your windows and that doesn't even set of ADT, so they put motion detectors inside the house if you want. Yeah, I can see my kids setting off the alarm in the middle of the night. I just want something that will wake me up if someone is trying to enter our house or perhaps even just in the backyard. They usually break in from the back. I like the idea of floodlights. I just need them shining in my face through my window or something. I just heard an awful story on the news today about a man sneaking into a house and sexually assaulting a little girl. :(

I'm very suspicious of anyone who knocks on our door. I really don't want them knowing anything about our belongings, our children, etc.

You might be able to get a motion detector for indoors that will set off a noise alarm to wake you up. And just think how the kids will be more likely to come home on time if they know they'll get treated to top volume heavy metal or something else that would scare the.....out of someone tiptoeing around the house (hopefully not so loud for you sleepers though enough to wake you up.

We had motion detectors in and out of the house so we didn't have to figure out where the light switch was. Depending on if you sleep with the bedroom door open or not, the light can be pointed anyway, but personally I'd have it directly in he eyes of the burglars so they couldnt see well.

Edited by calmoriah
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Thanks, everyone!  I don't think our area is high crime, but I know burglaries can happen anywhere.  I like the fake having a dog ideas.  Maybe a doghouse would be convincing:lol:

:sad:

 

I'm very suspicious of anyone who knocks on our door.  I really don't want them knowing anything about our belongings, our children, etc. 

 

You could have a BIG doghouse with a name sign that reads "Brutus" :D   And BIG food/water dishes...

 

MS... I never open the door to anyone ringing the doorbell... There is a slim window beside the door so I say, Step out where I can see you... and when they do then I ask through the closed, locked door, What is it you want?  And if they start talking about something I'm not interested in (99.9%),  I say... Not Interested... thank you...

 

GG

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The thing is to give the burglar/whatever a reason to skip your property and try another. That is why the ADT sign itself is likely the most useful part of the system. Same with a DOG sign . I get asked to install dead bolts etc. The problem is many of the doors have windows in or near them. I tell people , " I own several hammers, I can be in most homes within 30 seconds.". When push comes to shove, GG has the last resort equipment.( or at least an " NRA member " sign on a nearby window. )

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Cover windows with something thick and translucent so people can't see in and it is harder to break. There are some nice fake stain glass design sheets. Put a peep hole in the door, but don't have a light behind it so it gets blocked by you looking so someone can tell you are there if you don't want them to know.

Never leave tech stuff in cars, that is where we've lost iPods and pads.

There is a floor mounted door stop that is about the strongest I've seen. At least an inch thick tube with a flattened circle on top to block the door and a straight stem that goes down into a metal reinforced hole in front of the door. Used by the most paranoid while still being totally rational man I've known. It can be locked into the floor so break all the window side panels you want, you still aren't getting in.

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My dad brought by a super loud motion detector today and some door alarms.  Those should work nice.  :D  Thanks for all of the ideas! 

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My dad brought by a super loud motion detector today and some door alarms. Those should work nice. :D Thanks for all of the ideas!

That's great Morning Star! Reading this thread I realize how trusting and naive I am by leaving my door open all day or opening the door to salesmen. Recently my city put out a newsletter that stated door to door sales people need to go to the city for a license first and need to wear a badge for it. So now if I see they aren't wearing one, they must not have ok'd it through the city.

Funny story in my neighborhood I grew up in. Back in the days that no one locked their doors. My neighbor was the only one that locked her doors, and her house was the only one to get robbed. Apparently the thief thought no one was home, and the rest were home because their doors were open.

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