Bungalow security alarm

My wife and I are both "young" pensioners and we live in a detached bungalow in in a small town. I want to have a security alarm installed and would like to know readers' views on suitable security systems for my bungalow. I get up most nights to use the toilet so would prefer a system which would allow me to do so without the system being activated, and also one which would -be intruders would be made aware of externally.
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My best advice is have window blinds installed on all the windows and good locks and a chain stop on the outer doors. An alarm system today is useful if it has monitoring from a NACOSS Alarm Receiving Centre, as a bells only system is more often ignored by neighbours and passers-by as a nuisance noise.
Window blinds, either venetian or vertical, that are closed at night when you go to bed, and good locks with sturdy chain stops on doors, fitted with proper anchor points, are the best way to put any would be bandit off attacking your property. Have a word with your local Crime Prevention Officer and take their advice on any upgrades to door and window security, which your property may need.
Once you've spoken to them, then it is you're choice of which way to go in keeping you from becoming another victim of opportunist thugs.
Please don't jump in, to the "I want an alarm system to make me feel secure" syndrome. An alarm is only as useful as the response it gets from anyone that hears it and does something about it, and this type of response is becoming less and less now'a'days. So make an appointment with your local CPO and get some real reassurance that you've done what is advised to make you less of a target.
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Surrey Police ditched this role for cost saving purposes a couple of years ago. All they do now is send out a leaflet highlighting points already raised here.
My view is that an alarm is not a good method of security when the house is occupied as to trigger it, the culprit is already in. Deterrents and external security far better as you really only need to put off the opportunist. If you've got millions stashed under your mattress known to a crook, no alarm, locks etc will stop them having a go at getting their hands on it.
A decent wired alarm will be programmable, for example the normal entry door becomes an immediate alarm trigger when the system is set in night/occupied mode. You can disable sensors on your route to the loo provided you are still covered for all the entry points into the house by PIRs'/magnetic/impact sensors.
Colin
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But surely anyone breaking into a property would run at the sound of an alarm, regardless of the publics general attitude to it? If an alarm goes off these days, you can guarantee some neighbours will at least peek out the window (if only to find out who to be annoyed at!), and if there was anything untoward going on, they would phone the police.
The point is that if someone breaks into a house and there is no alarm, then they are free to take much longer at searching through your valuables than they might if it becomes a smash and grab instead. If they know when you are returning, they can take a hell of a lot more, and practically empty you out. That could happen anywhere these days, most folk wouldn't even bat an eyelid at someone loading up a van, especially with the practically non-existant ties people have now with their neighbours. They'd just assume you are moving or something.
Fraser.
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I'll give you one instance, of which I know many, where an intruder bashed a back door so hard, that it went in like a dolls house. He was in the house with door closed behind him in a second. The neighbours looked out and of course, saw nothing untoward. Everything looked secure, nothing was out of place. One neighbour even came out and had a look. Nothing. The house was secure, so it must be a false alarm.
After the twenty minute off time for any external sounders, which the law states is necessary, the thief had nearly emptied the house into the kitchen and wondered back and forth to his car with all the major sellable items in the house. He even made himself a cup of tea, then took the caddie. He even rinsed the cup he'd used. So after their initial investigations, the neighbours had tucked their heads under their wings until the noise stopped. The bandit, by this time, had been away on his toes for almost 5 minutes.
The point of this tale, is to show that although people will show concern on the security of their neighbourhood, the thugs are just that bit more experienced in their trade and can evade untrained inspections. But if the alarm system had been monitored, then the house would have had police response and the police are trained in the things to look for in such cases. A neighbour will only shake a door gently to see if it is secure and if it shows the slightest resistance, then it is assumed that the door is secure. A police officer is trained to bash the door hard and find out if it is only being held by a small wedge that someone has placed behind to fool any would be vigilante. The alarm is already sounding, so the bash on door is not going to do any worse, is it.
The best security available today, will still be by-passable by someone who has no thought other than to do his job and rob the property he's targeted. Once your targeted, you will become a victim. So the best solution is to not become a target in the first place and do your uproots to deter the bandit as they look at the property and not wait until they find a loophole in your defences.
An alarm is only as good as the response it receives, and should not be relied upon to deter the determand thief.
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On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 11:49:23 +0100, "Brian"

Why? (this isn't as silly a question as first appears).
Consider - what is the risk? Is a break in at night something you should really be worried about? If so - spend the money on better locks and double glazing. Blinds are another (quite expensive) option - most continental houses have them and they make the house warmer as well as more secure - downside is you are always waking in the dark!
An alarm will generate a physical response in about 30 minutes if you are lucky and have a full monitored alarm (not a simple dial up system sold at inflated prices by the likes of ADT as "monitored" alarms). Cheap dial up systems are very easily defeated. You need two independently triggered sensors before it counts as a real alarm. How will you achieve this if you want to wander the inside of the bungalow at night?
Forget the alarm and spend the money on some simple improvements to the physical security of the house. If you still feel you are living in Fort Apache - move.
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Peter Parry.
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Good advice from PP.
Three more things to ponder instead of an alarm: 1. There are many unwanted dogs in RSPCA kennels. Consider giving one a home. 2. Put a metre wide path of gravel round the bungalow. 3. Don't go over the top with locks and bolts on your external doors at night. If a fire occurred, you would want to get one open as quickly as possible - and most burglaries occur during the daytime - not at night. -- Geoff Beale Extract digit to email.
wrote:

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wrote:

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Yup.
Yup again.
I'd also add don't have an easy way of getting in if you forget or lose your key. A hidden key or a window which only you think you can open from the outside will easily be found by a determined burglar.
--
*I get enough exercise just pushing my luck.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On a related topic, where do the assembled gurus think you should keep spare keys *inside* the house? I want the scrote to have to climb back out through the broken glass carrying a TV and hopefully bleed to death, not unlock the front door and stroll out.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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wrote:

Where wouldn't you look ? Remember that the scrotes is probably very experienced at what they do for a living.
Just in case you're not keeping up with news. Youngsters are now breaking in to steal car keys. That's all they want, car keys, so where do you think they'll look.
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[15 lines snipped]

It's a "don't think of the white horses tail" problem, though. Everywhere *I* can think of, someone else can too...
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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Sort of answers the question don't it ? A good idea is to keep the door keys in the door and stop the determined buggers from damaging everything trying to gain entry. But that sort of defeats the purpose of having the locks in the first place. :-))
Leaving the keys with a neighbour is more convenient if you've locked yourself out or lost your own keys when out for a night on the town, but this can also make you vulnerable is they get broken in to. Leaving them half way across town at a relatives house is not to convenient but is a bit more secure.
If you label the spare keys as something like a non-existent work place can put off anyone trying them in the doors of your house, but as long as it is a label of somewhere non-existent and with no address on it.
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Huge wrote:

Tony
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Giving a home to that (those!) dog(s) might help in this direction if you pick wisely! Might save your telly too. -- Geoff Beale Extract digit to email.
I want the scrote to <snip> hopefully bleed to death,
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On 4 Oct 2003 13:02:32 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

I keep meaning to buy a small key safe, with a simple combination lock. No doubt the keys will still end up lying on a kitchen shelf most of the time, though.
There seems to be a school of thought that identity crime is a major problem. Possibly better to make sure all your bank documents and the like are not easily found, than worry too much about your TV.
--
John
Mail john rather than nospam...
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Me too. That's what prompted the question!

And buy a shredder.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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On 5 Oct 2003 12:30:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

Screwfix have a couple. They're not especially cheap - I'm tempted to get a slightly larger safe and chuck stuff like passports in there too. I have ample cellar to bolt one to a wall in an unobtrusive spot.

Tick. 12 special offer in Staples for a modest electric one (not especially fine, nor a cross-cutter, but I chuck a random handful of the bin contents into each kitchen bin bag). Easy 12 worth of entertainment shredding the crap that arrives through the door, imho.
--
If you're happy and you know it, clunk your chains.

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On 5 Oct 2003 12:30:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

At somewhat less than Screwfix prices, Argos have two. The cheapest is only 25 on their web site. Both are considerably larger than "key" safes and have mounting points for floor bolts (I'd really prefer wall mount, but I guess they should work sideways). Battery operated backed up by...
...keys !
I guess you could hide just one key somewhere really really obscure, as it will be strictly for emergency use.
--
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Hello Brian

Try to avoid wireless systems. While some report success, a lot more report far higher instances of false alarms. Same with very cheap systems - false economy.
As for actual systems, obvious things are:
1. Magnetic switches on all doors. Essential. 2. Sensor switches on windows. (Buy good quality, cheap ones prone to false vibration alarm in strong winds) 3. PIR covering main hallway at least. Maybe additional one in lounge.
Most alarms now allow variable setting. For example, mine has "Full" and "Part" settings, others have more options. Each one can be setup to only work on specific zones, so my "Part" is doors and windows, but not internal PIRs - so you can walk about inside without anything going off. Both are easy to set - a useful thing to check when buying or instructing an installer. Alarms that are complicated are more likely to be forgotten.
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
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