Congratulations on completing your new book - I just received my copy from Amazon.
I was wondering if you have any recommendations on home alarms - what should one look for in a good alarm system?
Hope you enjoy my new book, "Bugging Out and Relocating".
An alarm system is the most important step you can take towards improving your home security. Sometimes people focus too much on guns. Guns are great, but its what you end up using when everything else fails in a worst case scenario. For passive defense nothing beats a good alarm. It’s the first thing burglars look for when selecting a potential target. 1) Alarm
2) type of doors and lock
3) if there’s a dog
Generally in that order. Before anything else, an alarm is a deterrent on its own. If your house is one of the few in the neighborhood with an alarm, guess which house criminals will skip? And if your house is the only one without an alarm, guess which one criminals will go for? Bottom line, you just need one.
What to get
Security systems such as ADT that require a monthly payment can be very expensive and are generally not recommended. A security system such as Simplisafe2 Home Secuirty System is also monitored and much cheaper than ADT, and they end up outsourcing to the same call centers when the alarm goes off. In general, a monitored alarm is the best way to go but even a small monthly payment does add up as times goes by. Having said that, if you can afford it, it’s worth it. This is particularly true for properties that are left unoccupied most of the time and are likely to be targeted by more dedicated criminals.
The second best option is installing a security system that while not monitored by a company, has an alarm that will call you to your cell phone. You can even install surveillance cameras so as to check your property through your cell phone. Wireless security systems are easy to install and if done so properly provide a good level of security. The disadvantage is that you will need to replace batteries on sensors, alarm and panel about once a year for most models.
When installing the system keep the following in mind:
1)Cover the main corridors and stairways with motion sensors. Sensors should be placed facing the main entry points, sweeping as much of the room as possible and minding blind spots.
2)All exterior doors on the floor level should have contact sensors installed.
3)The main panel should be close to the main entrance and fairly accessible, but placed in a location that isn’t too obvious whenever possible.
4)Burglars can get inside through windows as well, so buy additional motion sensors for rooms where valuables are kept if necessary.
5)Be very careful who you tell your alarm code to and remember that the alarm only works when you actually turn it on. Alarms with Key Fobs are more suited for people that don’t want to be bothered punching in codes every time they leave or enter the house.
This would be a good basic system for the price. It includes the main console, 5 door contacts, 2 motion detectors, 2 key fobs, panic button and one interior siren. You can program it to call you to your cell phone. You can even listen to what’s going on inside the house and play a pre-recorded message (something like, you are being filmed, the police has been notified)
Fortress Security Store (TM)GSM-B Wireless Cellular GSM Home Security Alarm System Auto Dial System $269.99
This one includes main console, 10 door contacts, 3 motion detectors, 3 key fobs, interior siren, exterior siren, one panic button and uses both land line and GSM dialer and will call you if the land line is forcibly cut. You can call and talk to anyone close to the main console.