Unfortunately, because of an incident the other day I think I need to
install a burglar alarm. I wondered if you had some recommendations.
My own thoughts:
* Simple bell types end up being little more than an annoyance to
neighbours. A dummy alarm might be better.
* Monitored types come with regular payment costs. Police are unlikely
to have the capacity to investigate every time they go off.
But with modern technology there are surely some better options, notably:
* Rather than the alarm annoying neighbours or the police the alarm
could silently send a text to a few mobile phone numbers when it is
triggered and/or via broadband.
* Images could be made available via broadband to a phone app. Something
using open standards would be better than a closed, proprietary system.
* Rather than running wires around the house, detectors (open/closed and
motion) could wirelessly send to the base unit, though to be practical
their batteries would need to last for a long time, and have an LED to
Any corrections to my ideas? Any suggestions for a system that will do
the kind of thing that I have in mind?
We've had a commercially installed wireless alarm for some years. My thoughts
I am told that burglars can recognise a dummy bell box. I do not know
any burglars to check this with. Genuine ADT bell boxes are available
(for a price) on eBay.
IMNHO, dummy bell boxes (and indeed, exterior bells) are a waste of time
and money. All they will do is annoy your neighbours.
They don't. Monitored alarms report to a monitoring station who decide
whether to "police" the incident. That decision is based on the number
of sensors that have tripped (they will not police an incident where a
single sensor has tripped) and whether they can get in touch with you.
If there are more than a (small, diminishing) number of false alarms in
a year, the police will no longer come at all.
No-one will accept a monitoring contract for a self-installed alarm.
Depends who it alerts. Our alarm triggered a couple of weeks ago. We were
in Vancouver. The previous time it triggered (years ago), we were in Malta.
Both times, the alarm monitoring company sent a "patrolman" who sorted things
out. Being alerted is useless if you can't do anything about it. And you're
going to run out of friends quite quickly if your alarm keeps waking them up at
The batteries in our wireless system last at least a year.
If you want a monitored DIY system, there is no such thing.
Today is Setting Orange, the 14th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3183
I don't have an attitude problem.
But it isnt hard for any burglar with a clue to see if it works
or not and have a plausible story in the unlikely event that
someone ask what they were doing there.
Not when the neighbours are prepared to check when the alarm goes
off and you have enough likely to be there to be able to do that.
Leaves expensive remote monitored alarms for dead.
Not so true of the later systems than allow the remote
monitoring to use cameras to see what is going on.
But can't possibly react as quickly as a neighbour who can
show up in person and see the burglar bugger off over the
back fence before they have any chance to actually break in.
We don’t. I still respond to the next door neighbours system even when
one alarm fault saw the damned thing time out repeatedly right thru the
whole night. Same with the other neighbours, they still show up too.
I can often spot a dummy box. I can also disable most working bell boxes
without setting them off  and in most cases I could do this if I
wanted by not alerting the neighbours that anything is amiss.
Burglars that target your typical home are opportunists and smack heads.
They do not know the difference between a dummy box and a dummy box with
a flashing light or a working bell box. They just go further down the
street to the house with no bell box.
 And that includes the ADT ones.
I have a Texecom Premier Elite with a wired module. I get an email and
mobile notification if the alarm is triggered.
(Self installed system)
My system is wired, but Texecom do offer wireless components.
It doesn't matter. They have instructions on what to do and they followed
them. The call was a courtesy.
As it happened, it was a single activation of a PIR and they sent a
patrolman to check what was going on. They think it may have a "large
fly", and we subsequently found a dead hornet in that room. They reset
the alarm and left. Had it been a double activation they would have
called the police and met them there. (Perhaps it's causing confusion
that I haven't mentioned that they are keyholders, also.)
The whole point of this exercise is that we don't need to be available
for more-or-less the right thing to happen. On one occasion, we were in
Malta and we had an activation. They sent a patrolman who found that a
lightning strike had activated the panel and damaged it so he couldn't
reset it. They called the alarm company who sent an engineer, who replaced
and reset the panel, they locked up and left. All without input from us.
Today is Boomtime, the 16th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3183
I don't have an attitude problem.
That is interesting thank you. I did have a PIR fire whilst we were
away, there was no obvious reason so I did wonder if something like a
large fly had been the problem.
Sometime ago I went to investigate a nearby alarm which was ringing,
only to find that the house had been broken into. I called the police
who did come, and then pretty much told me not to waste their time.
Absolutely no problem. Mine phones my mobile if it is set off. Can phone
more than one number too. The external bellbox isn't essential to the
operation - and could be flashing light only, if you still wanted one as a
visible deterrent. (If you think such things work)
*You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me *
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
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