January 21, 2005

Serious George - Reccomendations on a home alarm system? Hi all, does anyone out there have a suggestion on an (realitively) inexpensive home alarm system. I don't need it to be wired to a security company or the cops since I live in an apartment building with lots of nosey neighbors, but a friend of mine's apartment has been hit a couple of times recently and it made me want to be a bit safer with "my stuff" than I had in the past. I have a cat, so motion detection is out, but I'd like to get my windows and front and back doors on a (hopefully) wireless system and I'd like to keep it cheap (under $200?). Thanks.
  • Cool... consider yourself lucky with the nosy neighbors. That's an ace in the hole right there.
  • Run some visible wiring along your windows in an alarm configuration, then go somewhere shady and buy fake security company stickers for all your windows. Works like a charm - unless somebody is specifically targeting your place because they think you've got the Hope diamond in your freezer, they'll glance at your setup and move onto an easier target. Your garden variety crackhead has to be in and out of your house in eight minutes if they're any good at it, so nobody wants to risk getting caught intently casing your wires and stickers, let alone take a chance and actually tripping an alarm.
  • I can't remember the name of the company but there are some inexpensive little electronic alarms that have been advertised on late night TV lately that seem like they would fit your needs exactly. And they were $19.99 plus shipping and handling. Shame my sieve brain's already checked out today or I could probably remember the name of the company. Like this eBay auction (and no, its not my auction, it was the first one I found). Good luck.
  • I thought the cat was the home alarm system.
  • I'm with moneyjane; stickers and alarm-looking wires. And maybe bear traps next to the windows.
  • Realitively?
  • Bite me muff-pub.
  • Try here.
  • I figured the first thing some scumbag would steal is my computer. I've been using this and this for over a year now and I feel much safer.
  • I have an alarm system, and you can have them set the motion detectors to not go off for something small as the cat, works pretty good. Cat never set it off, but I have twice.
  • Like Fes said, having a cat doesn’t necessarily rule out motion detection - many models are pet immune these days, and they seem to work well in my experience. The size and layout of your apartment would dictate how many you’d need (I think they have about a 10m range) – if you only need 1 or 2 it might be cheaper/easier than contact sensors on your doors and windows.
  • Can the cat get along with a dog? 'Cause a dog is the best thing to have in the house for deterrence.
  • Sorry, that's not what you were asking.
  • My dad actually did what moneyjane suggested. Our house got robbed about 15 years ago -- some guys literally pulled a moving truck up to the garage and cleaned us out. My dad got some big red stickers shaped like stop signs that say "Warning -- this property is protected by (I forget the name) Security." We haven't been hit since! (Of course, we also got a series of big dogs.)
  • ...an invitation for tampering and ball removal. Jesus Murphy! Don't mess with Argh...
  • squidranch, talk to your landlord. I lived in an apartment building where they offered a security system to tenants. Some units had all the devices, and you just had to pay to activate it when you moved in. If the apartment wasn't set up, they'd handle the installation. If other apartments in your building are being robbed, maybe this is something your landlord would like to be involved in helping tenants handle. That is, if you have that kind of landlord. I'd also invest in renter's insurance, if you don't have it already.
  • Hi all, I can't have a dog in my apartment building, so thats out of the question. No one else in the apartment has had their apartment robbed, but in the surounding neighborhood there has been home and apartment robberies. And as far as I know, there are no other alarm systems in my apartment building. The thing is, that I am on the bottom floor, on the street and not behind our security gate. I'm gonna go to radio shack and see what options they have, and thus armed, then do a bit of shopping on ebay.