Monitored Burglar System

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I'm looking for a monitored burglar alarm system for my house. My insurance agent tells me a monitored system will reduce my home owners insurance policy by $80.00 a year. I estimate the annual cost of the system will be around $125.00 a year for a net cost of about $45.00 a year.
Any recommendations for a good monitored system? Does any group or publication evaluate these systems? Any personal experiences (good or bad) with these systems?
Thanks,
Mike
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Mike wrote:

Get to know the neighborhood police officer.
I'm not joking.... They will know which INSTALLERS cause the most false alarms. In one town ADT will have fewer false alarms. In another it will be Brinks.
Another thing to look at is the control panel. Ask to see and get instructions on the model of the panel that will be INSTALLED. (Beware of "Bait and switch") You don't want to be confused when you're trying to turn of the alarm in a hurry. (Forgetting it's armed when you're tired and open the door to get the paper at 5am...)
Also find out how it is to add/change "guest" codes for when you have someone house-sitting etc.
Brad
BTW: I've used ADT. The warning beep is the same tone as the keypress on mine, so it's confusing to some people.
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I just had a rather expensive motorcycle stolen from my garage. I am now also looking at monitored systems, do you know if they have zones? What I'd like is a system that will emit a loud siren if the garage security is breached but won't make the entire house go off at the same time. These scumbags obviously had time to work on the bike as it was locked up in there.
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Any of the monitored systems have zones. You can have a zone for the garage. However, what I don't understand is why you would want the garage zone to not set off the alarm for the house when tripped. All the systems I'm familiar with have zones that can be armed or disarmed as you wish, but once a zone that's armed is tripped, it set off the alarm for the entire system and it gets reported to the alarm center. That seems very reasonable to me.
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Brad Bruce wrote: /snip/

Also make sure you ask the cops how MANY of each brand (ADT/Brinks/etc.) are installed. Obviously, the more systems are installed, the more false alarms there will be.....
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We have ADT and they are OK. Personally, I would look into a local place---ask to see their facility---and you will probably get better, more personal service. I've heard good stories about local people who know their customers and fire/police departments.
Some things you want to consider:
*Get two panels and/or remotes. You can have panels in two locations and remotes in standard locations. If they want to charge you a lot, find another vendor. At very least, get a panel/control center for each main floor of living.
*The water and fire sensors are (really) the most useful. If your basement floods, the alarm goes off, etc. Also, some have temp sensors that can tell if your boiler if off (and you are on a cruise or something).
*Find out if your town charges for false alarms. (Mine doesn't thank god.) For fire alarms, most send the department immediately, regardless if you call in.
*Teach your family that if there's trouble, just walk up and smack the emergency buttons on the panels :). Then call 911.
*Call them and disable the system ANY TIME you change batteries, etc. I guarantee you will set off the alarm occasionally.
*Stock up on sensor batteries. Nothing worse then one dying at 10 p.m. Sat. night.
*ADT will want to slap stickers all over your windows, etc. Don't let them. get the stickers from them and then you can control where and how they get installed. The previous owners of my house let the bozos install them upside down, etc.!

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Very useful information. What are zones?
Mike
<BKS> wrote in message

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I'm curious about this one...
We have a monitored system (GE Concord Express) and it has the ability to commandeer the phone line in order to dial out. If I hit the panic buttons, I assume it will call immediately. Will it bust in on my 911 call in order to do this? (Although, police are supposed to respond to a 911 hangup.).
Jim
Mike wrote:

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Yes it will. I had the fool from ADT call my 70 yr old father one time when I was out of town to have him check why the alarm hadn't 'called home' to do the self-test. Without warning him what it would do, or how to stop it, they had him hit the panic button to trip the alarm. Of course with the siren blaring he couldn't understand the idiots instructions, and before he could get them clear the alarm cut them off and dialed in.
He finally decided to punch in the entry code, which cleared the alarm and shut off the siren.
I gave them an ear full when I got home. I've also removed my father from the backup call list. If they can't reach me they can't reach anyone in these situations.

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Zones, in the context of an alarm system, are individual sensors. A 'zone' could be a glass-break sensor on a particular window, a motion sensor in a room, a door-open sensor, a smoke alarm, or whatever. If the alarm gets triggered, the system will record which zones were tripped, allowing you to know exactly where the burglar went within your home. Most systems allow you to program groups of zones, so that you can, for example, arm only the perimeter sensors without arming interior motion sensors (useful at night when you're home). Zones also help your alarm monitoring company know whether they should call the police or fire department upon an alarm.
Regards,
George Wenzel
--
George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@recursor.invalid
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Even better, my system has a 'zone' for each sensor, it reports exactly which sensor has been tripped and the order they are tripped in.
--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/
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snipped-for-privacy@access4less.net says...

<snip>
Isn't that _exactly_ what I just said?
Regards,
George Wenzel
--
George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@recursor.invalid
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false
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Good idea.
Mike

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Buy your system and maybe your service separately. Package deals require contracts.
In most parts of the US 15-18 per month is the service fee for a no contract service.
Check out Clark Howard's website for useful information.
Colbyt
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Hi All:
I used to install residental systems. To answer all your questions, yes, the system can be armed to activate when your garage door is opened.
You should set yourself up with a good company that offers free service while you have your system monitored with them. Most will include this in the monthly cost or may charge you $5.00 more per month. Its worth it, changing out a keypad alone may cost $100.00 depending on the system. Also, the big companies (ADT) don't need your business. Your system can be down for a week before they'll set up a service call for you. The little guy runs like hell when your system is down. I worked for a small company (4000 accounts) and we basically knew all our customers. When someone had a problem, we were there within 12 hours. I can't tell you how many accounts we stole from the big guys cause of this. Ademco is also a big name in security so if your offered this equiptment its usually pretty good.
Good luck on your search!!
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I have ADT and have never had an issue with service..always fast and friendly.

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SEPrince1 wrote:

Ademco is owned by Honeywell nowadays.
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Thanks,
Mike

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Thius is a good thing. A monitored system will reduce my home owners insurance by $80.00 a year not that irt's very expensive now.
Mike

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