I just moved into my first home with FI (yay!) and we have been bombarded with sales reps for cable/internet, home alarm, etc. We both have never had a home alarm system before (growing up with parents) but are sort of considering it in our new home. It would be $20 per month, and would save us 10% off of our home insurance (so save about $7 for a net cost of $13 per month).
I am leaning towards getting it, more for the feeling of safety if I were home alone, as opposed to protecting the house when both of us are away.
Thoughts from those with and without?
I don't own a home, but I would most definitely see about getting one.
@strawbs: I added that option. Thanks!
@Pink Asawa: I definitely would do it.
I also don't own a home, but everyone I know who does has an alarm system. I will definitely be getting one when I do own a home. The peace of mind is priceless in my opinion.
My to-be husband and I have an alarm system, and it's a necessity for us. He is gone a lot and I am home alone a lot. It covers the doors & has a motion sensor (We are not protected against broken windows), but our alarm has a panic system. If our house is on fire, I'm being assaulted or we're being robbed, I literally hit one button and a siren goes off & the police are called.
We eventually want children, and if we didn't have one by then, I would have insisted on it.
I would definitely reccomend one. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Even if you never need it, it's good to have it there.
i've never had one. i grew up in the country with 2 good watch dogs, so they were our security system, haha.
i live on a military base now and i feel pretty safe here, so we don't have one, but if we lived off base, i wouldn't mind having one. my husband works long hours and i'm home alone a lot, so like you, i might just want it to give me peace of mind.
@Pink Asawa: we have one and we got it for the same reason you are thinking of. When FI is away I feel much safer sleeping alone! Even though we live in a really safe area, we feel better when we go on holiday with the alarm on.
In college our sociology professor brought in the criminology expert for one class and I remember it like it was yesterday. Here's what I remember:
Most criminials look for the easy mark-- the unlocked car door, the house with the garage door up and no cars there. The easiest way to protect your home is to get a security system side for the flowerbed and stickers for the window.
That said: I grew up with one. It never went off even in a very busy urban neighborhood. Never had a break in. First house as an adult, we had one. It never went off, never had a break in (one year there were several break ins in the neighborhood). Second house we have one, it's never gone off.
I like having it for when I go out of town especially, but I do have peace of mind having it.
If your adding one after the fact just remember everything is pretty much wireless. DH nor I really like the wireless systems, as you have to deal with dead batteries in things like the motion sensors. Just look into what they are installing and read reviews on it.
Ours is hardwired into our house - original owner had it put in during the build out process. DH has since converted it to do home automation as well (controls a few lights, thermostats and the garage door right now), which is nice as I can arm/disarm with my iPhone.
If I was going to install one now, I'd look into some of the companies that offer home automation. It's actually really useful now that I'm getting used to it.
Absolutely! My mother's house, the one I grew up in, got robbed in broad daylight. I could have easily walked into the guy robbing my house at the time because neighbors said they just figured it was one of the construction workers that had been there just two weeks earlier. It was around the time I would get home from the gym. Whoever did it was never caught.
Peace of mind comes at a price... and in this case it is very affordable.
Think of all the things you and your Hubby will accumulate over time... meaningful Wedding Presents and all the other occasions that spark heartfelt memories & special gifts ... Anniversaries, Birthdays, Christmas... and hard earned "technology perks" of life (stereo - big screen tv - computers etc). Not to mention jewellery, power tools, furniture etc. Or the sentimental stuff, that if someone broke in and destroyed (smashed or threw paint on) would be ruined and gone forever as well
Then as others have said, these monitored systems also offer wide range of other services too... Smoke & Heat Detectors - Carbon Dioxide Detection - Flood Detection etc besides just break & enter.
@Pink Asawa: I would get one, but I would ask the alarm company what their dispatch time is, some can take 10mins to wait for the "abort signal", AKA your you to enter your code to cancel it.
I would also call your local police department and ask #1: do they respond to residential alarms, and #2: Will the police department charge you for false alarms, such as the wind rattled the windows, the dog or cat set it off, your housekeeper/FI doesn't know the code... You'd be surprised. Alarms go off so frequently a lot of agencies won't respond or if they do they'll charge you if nothing is found.
ETA: some places you have to have a permit... Pay the county. I would just call and check it out
We have always had one in my parents home, no break in's but the amount of false alarms we had were countless. Entering from the wrong door, bumping the alarm pad, a door not closed property, setting the fire alarms off etc etc My pooy hubby set off my parents alarm once when I wasn't home, as at the time we lived in the basement and you couldn't hear the alarm going off very well as it was upstairs, so he didn't hear it going off. He had to talk to the alarm company over the phone to tell them if was an accident, had to explain who he was, told them the passcode, but the alarm company still called my parents to find out if he was allowed to be in the house. lol
Not sure if we will get one in our own house. It is piece of mind but can also be a pain in the ass.
I don't own a home, but when we do I would really like to get a home alarm system. My husband will be travelling a lot for work, so I would feel more secure home alone.
We have one but we don't use it - it's not actively monitored by any alarm company. We still g the insurance discount though!
@Pink Asawa: I would not be able to sleep at night without mine!
Ps for me, I couldn't care less about the stuff in the house. Take the dang laptop and TV. I got mine because I had extremely precious cargo- my dogs! I had a neighbor whose dogs were stolen. I'd never Be able to live with myself if my girls were taken!
We don't have one. I'd love to have one though. The area we live in just isn't the best. There's regular car prowlings. Just two nights ago, there were police cars all the way up my street and cops out walking down the middle looking for something. I'm just happy we've got a big dog who sounds pretty tough when she wants to.
We just bought a house and my husband wants to get an alarm system. At that price, I feel like it may be a good idea. Our new house has a TON of entry doors (it's the only thing I didn't like about it!) so it would probably give us some peace of mind.
Our home inspector also said that some of the other best deterrents are 1) a big dog and 2) motion censor outdoor lighting. We already have the first :) Some friends of ours also bought a fake security camera--I'm not sure how effective those are, but they are really inexpensive. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet and safe, but I think it would be nice to have some extra measures of security.
It's pretty cheap and you would get a lot of peace of mind from it. So I think it's a good idea for that. Or just get the stickers!!! However, I agree that most criminals are going to look for something easy. So they will look for doors that are unlocked or a garage door that is up with cars in it. The average one will not bother going through a lot of effort to break in.
When I was in college we had someone come into our house and steal things twice. The first time we were all asleep and the guy took a bunch of DVDs, some backpacks, some Xbox games. He actually woke me up (I was below the living room) and I'm pretty sure me waking up is what caused him to leave (and drop a bag of games on the front porch). My roommates were up smoking that night and left our door unlocked. I'm fairly positive he would never have bothered if our door hadn't been unlocked. Oh, and they actually did catch him because my roommate had a very unique DVD which he tried to sell at a CD Tradepost (which we had gone to with lists) so they ended up catching him and we got a lot of our stuff back.
Second time was Halloween and we had been out drinking and were playing games after the bars in our house. Most of us went to bed and one of our friends left after us and sure enough, left the door unlocked. Whoever it was took some boxed set DVDs and a camera. Our friend actually saw him leaving so came back over and told me he saw someone. I just locked the front door and went to bed, didn't realize DVDs were missing until the next day.
So needless to say, I always LOCK MY DOOR! Never had a window broken or some other effort to get into the house. It was just easy for them because the door was unlocked. I am fairly certain it had been left unlocked on other occasions as well due to parties and people being drunk. Oh, and college towns are the worst for theft, especially during holidays/no classes!
I have 2 german shepherds
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