Re: Burglar Alarm

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hth Neil
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I made the mistake of buying one!!! After a catalogue of problems and failures I finally removed it; still trying to get the money back!

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Remote keypads didn't respond when clearing the alarm, worked OK setting it, but not clearing. First PIR failed within two days, second one failed a week later. A number of minor things like setting zone names, and the names ONLY being used for event recall, not normal operation. Stupid error messages like "fault" (and nothing else) which you then have to call the premium rate support line to find out what it means. Tech support only avalable 9-5 on a premium rate number, totaly useless to people like me who's employers block premium rate numbers; had to take half a days leave to find-out what "fault" meant! Every time I set the alarm and opened the designated entry/exit door it was logged as a zone fault in the event history; how the **** am I suposed to get out of the building, through a window!

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You don't say if you are doing it yourself or spending that to have it installed. If it is the latter it is quite a tight budget, if it is the former that is quite a generous amount. You will always get differing opinions and experiences but (professionally) I'd advise hard wired systems (not radio linked sensors) with easy setting (for all the family not just techno bods) of zones or where you can store different configurations i.e. it is easy to set one way if you leave the house and another way if you go to bed at night. Wire it so you can use it overnight isolating downstairs and perhaps any vulnerable spare upstairs rooms if they have a flat roof etc. It is also a good idea to buy a system with more than enough zones in case you add the garage, shed another outbuilding (many get break-ins overnight). You may want or be able to add an autodialler so it can ring you on a mobile if it goes off, or you can get alarms monitored if it is professionally installed. Some insurance companies give discounts for alarms but look at the terms carefully - the saving is often only 20-30 quid and you may be uninsured if you forget to set it or aren't on a maintainance contract.
Don't have too many PIR sensors, make sure the sensors aren't facing directly at heat/movement sources such as cookers and sunny windows, make sure the sensors aren't too sensitive(you can usually adjust). When you site sensors it is a good idea to spray and wipe with insect spray and put a piece of cotton wool concealed just behind previously soaked in insect spray.
Most of the work for an alarm is done just by a burglar seeing the box on the front of the house so the ones with flashing LEDs show it is real. When you get it, it is important it has credability and you respect your neighbours. Make sure it doesn't keep going off and you properly shut internal doors, don't have curtains flapping etc. otherwise people don't take any notice. Many areas have by-laws saying alarms should only activate for around 5-20 minutes max. Make sure neighbours know where to get a keyholder if you are away.
Test your alarm around once a month, the bell box batteries tend to last only 2-3 years. Many people don't realise their (bell box and panel) batteries have failed as they test on the mains and if switched off the alarm dies in seconds.
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I am planning to install myself but have not ruled the professional option dependant on price. I live in the west midlands region and have a big 3 bed semi, I would like to cover all 3 bedrooms, upstairs and downstairs landing/hallway, and 3 rooms downstairs. An auto dialler would be desirable but not essential.

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I'm curious - why bother covering the bedrooms? I wouldn't have thought it was the most likely point of entry, unless you've got some sort of accessibility which a burglar would use (low roof, substantial drain pipe, overhanging tree, etc).
I'd have focussed on the main thoroughfares within the property, and for sure the doors and windows.
Andrew
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wrote:

It isn't necessary to alarm all the bedrooms unless they are vulnerable or you have a particular risk to protect. Some burglars have burgled each bedroom individually to avoid typically one sensor on a landing but it is usually a targeted premises with known valuables. In Sanj's example it sounds like overkill and a lot of hassle hiding all those wires under floorboards etc. Most three bed semi's would only have around 4 sensors - as I said, the fact that you are alarmed significantly reduces the risk with most (not all) burglars but doesn't prove such a deterrant to overnight burglars as lots of people don't set 'em.
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If Maplin don't come back with a sensible refund offer, mine will be advertised on ebay soon, with a full description of why I'm selling it! So if you want a bargain....

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On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 13:22:03 UTC, Dave Plowman
*A fool and his money are soon partying *
I hate to say, it, but the Daily Mail (!) printed that one yesterday!
--
Bob Eager
rde at tavi.co.uk
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They probably nicked it from the same source as me. But I was first. ;-)
--
*Happiness is seeing your mother-in-law on a milk carton

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 14:30:55 +0000 (UTC), "Martin"

You cannot be serious. I hate to say it but it sure sounds as though Maplins are dealing with this correctly!
If I read the above correctly then you've thrown away the original packaging, the goods are no longer in new condition, and you've knocked holes into a PIR to fit cables? Why on earth should you expect them to refund you in full under these circumstances?
Andrew
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On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 17:25:10 UTC, Andrew McKay

Because it didn't work. We're not talking DSR here, but SOGA.
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Bob Eager
rde at tavi.co.uk
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On 19 Jul 2003 19:10:40 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net (Bob Eager) wrote:

I'm probably missing something really obvious here so please forgive me if I am.
I have installed a couple of complete alarm systems where virtually all components were sourced from Maplins. I would guess I may have bought some mains cable from the local Wickes shed, and possibly some other relatively minor stuff. But the lions share of active components were from Maplins - excellent service offered.
Both included the whole works, from the well featured alarm panel, remote key switches, PIR and smoke detectors, pressure detectors, everything.
And every single component worked out of the box exactly as it said on the box. I recall having one failure - the remote key switch mounted just inside the front door had its front panel attached via a flimsy ribbon cable etched onto a plastic substrate, and I managed to trap it when screwing it together, and it broke. Poor design maybe, but Maplins weren't at fault themselves.
So exactly what didn't work? The whole alarm system, one component, a zone?
Andrew
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(Bob Eager) wrote:

Main problems listed in a previous post.

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On Sun, 20 Jul 2003 05:15:25 +0000 (UTC), "Martin"

Okay, found it. Had to search a bit though :)
Sounds to me as though you may have had a dodgy control unit, as all clues lead back to that.
From memory the PIRs derive their power from the control unit, so just maybe if the power supply back there is playing up it could cause PIRs and so on to fail. Plus it is the common element for every component.
I don't recall that you changed the control unit so maybe that's worth checking out?
Andrew
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wrote:

purpose, you are entitled to a FULL refund (from the supplier) plus any incurred costs; basically whatever is required to get you back to the state things were in before the purchase. It is up to the supplier to pass his costs/losses on the his supplier/manufacturer.....
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Are you saying they've refused to replace a faulty PIR, for example? Cos I've got the feeling we're not getting the whole story here...
--
*You can't have everything, where would you put it?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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See previous post!
London SW 12

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On Sun, 20 Jul 2003 05:22:03 +0000 (UTC), "Martin"

I won't pretend to be an expert with these matters. However my experience suggests that if you want a full no questions asked refund then materials need to be returned in A1 condition, with original packaging, etc.
Now in your case you'd installed the system and the packaging was no longer available, plus the PIR had been physically changed from its shipped configuration (as you needed to do).
I think Maplins were probably entitled to try and help resolve the problems rather than offer a full money back. I'm not saying for a moment that you shouldn't have eventually got your money back, but you do have to give them a reasonable chance to resolve the problems.
I suppose the issue is whether the "reasonable chance" was completed or not. We'll never know :)
Andrew
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Because they don't sell things like this that don't work. And you cannot expect them to give you a refund for something that has clearly been used, but you *can* expect them to repair or replace it, and they would.
--
*It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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