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Intruder Alarms

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#1 geronimo



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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:31 AM

We were broken into last week and I'm now thinking of getting an alarm installed. Having spoken to a couple of firms I realise it's not as easy as I thoguht it would be - does anyone have any advice and/or firms they can recommend. We have a cat which, according to one compnay (ADT) was no problem but to the other one (Banham) it was, so I'm confused. Also they both recommended different sensors (movement or shatter/vibration) as well as different bell options (external v internal). Then of course, there's the "monitored" or "not monitored" debate. Any experience of these things would be greatly apprecited.



#2 leep



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Posted 07 December 2007 - 03:48 PM

Sorry I cant help with that...but wondered also if anyone knows if it is possible to get just an alarm box (shell) as a deterrent?
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#3 Spoon


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Posted 07 December 2007 - 04:22 PM

Don't bother with monitored. Mine went off once while I was in Devon and the monitoring office called me to say. They said to send my other nominated keyholders round to meet the police as I was too far away. Other keyholders weren't in. Monitoring lady said she couldn't call the police then as there'd be no-one there to meet them (hello? Maybe a burglar would be there to meet them?) and she left it ringing for a few hours.

Second experience of monitoring: Got up with a hangover and set it off by mistake. Monitoring lady rang and I said: "No, thanks, I'm at home, really sorry, it was a mistake. I'll turn it off and reset." This is while the thing is blaring and blaring at 7am. Through the din, she asked: "Well, why didn't you call and let me know?" Me: "Because you rang me within 30 seconds - you're ringing me now. I'm sorry. Please don't send anyone." She: "Too late."

Mortified, got dressed, went outside and lay practically prostrate on the driveway to wait for the police, in apologetic regret for their wasted journey. Heard the sirens, placated the neighbours, etc.

Who turns up to answer my burglar alarm? The fire brigade.

They couldn't have been nicer and said it happens all the time but I was so, so sorry. Goodness knows what the monitoring office was thinking when it sent eight firemen to apprehend a non-existent burglar.

Honestly, monitored has so far not been worth the hassle (or the 20/month).

That said, I recommend my installation company, run by Rob Day on 01708 221 977. Just make sure you say no to the monitoring. Rob or his dad comes over and assesses what you need. There was no big sell or overdoing it, just an explanation of movement, beams, shatter, etc and the assessment - such as being able to leave certain areas free to move around in at night according to what you need.

#4 James



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Posted 07 December 2007 - 05:07 PM

Yes you can get empty bell boxes. I put one up before installing a full system. I got the supplies from a company near Mitcham Junction - can't remember their names at the moment though.

The insurance companies don't give out discounts for having an alarm so what you pay for is up to you. I didn't go for a monitored service but I did get an alarm system that takes a mobile sim chip as an upgrade option. Instead of a company calling you, the box makes a mobile call or text message to numbers you key into the system - its the same difference but without the overheads, plus there isn't a phone line to be compromised. If you have a dial-out service they can sometimes snip your telephone cables or call your phone number to stop the alarm going out properly. Burglars also squirt shaving foam into the external bell boxes so nobody hears them so you are probably better off with an internal speaker as well. A favourite trick is to smash the window and run off, then come back later when hopefully nobody has responded. So set your alarm to go off for about three to five minutes in the first instance (any longer could really bug the neighbours in the middle of the night) and then get it to re-arm. That way when the burglar comes back it goes off again when they re-enter the property. Don't put trembler switches on the front door - the vibration doesn't settle down quick enough and will cause difficulty setting the alarm before you leave. Point the room sensors away from windows, not towards them. Go for the movement and infra-red sensors with pet option - that way if a cat walks around its not a problem, and if something rolls off a table it doesn't go off. Get heat rate of rise detectors for the kitchen area, smoke detectors for the bedroom and a panic button next to the bed. Set your system up so that it takes two devices to be activated to sound the alarm, e.g. window trembler and room sensor.

Sleep well ;)

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#5 Dazza


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Posted 07 December 2007 - 05:23 PM

Fat lot a good my monitored alarm did ! They smashed the door down & was out within a couple of minutes & in the car, you cant protect yourself against that however my nieghbours were brilliant & had called the police before they even managed to get in !

Good neighbours are worth more than any alarm system.

However if you want me to reccomend an alarm company try Guardian Alarms who are a local monitored alram company in Croydon.

Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#6 Borgus



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Posted 08 December 2007 - 09:26 AM

You can get an external alarm box from Maplin Electronics (see http://www.maplin.co...e...ox&doy=8m12). Auto-dialers, which can call you directly if the alarm is activated, are also avialable.

Plug-in timers, with user and random settings, are available from the likes of Maplin, B&Q, etc.

My view on prevention of burglary is very practical, but selfish. If someone really wants to break in, then they will do. The idea, I'm afraid, is not prevent these animals from breaking into your property, but to make your neighbours property seem a more attractive and easy target.

Have a visible alarm.
Leave lights (winter)/radio (summer) on timers.
Always lock all external doors and windows.
Secure sheds and ladders.
Lock valuables, credit cards, passports, etc. away.
Don't leave keys lying around.
Always put the car in the garage.
Never give information to callers at the door.
Record model, serial no., etc. of expensive or attractive items.
Mark property with postcode and house number.
Never advertise when the place is empty!
"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph

#7 geronimo



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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:18 AM

Thanks for the advice, though I agree with Borgus, that if they want to get in they will - also, Dazza's recent expereience seems to bear thsi out as he had an alarm too.

#8 h_scholes



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Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

Hi, we want to upgrade our old (wired) alarm system to a digital one and add a couple of new sensors. Can anyone recommend someone to provide some advice and fit a new alarm for us (plus remove any obsolete bits of the old system)?

#9 Elmo


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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:57 AM

Bit far away from Palace, but we used Wickham Security: http://www.wickhamsecurity.co.uk/ It's a family firm and members of the master locksmiths assoc.

Very happy with the system, but as earlier posts have said, it's only part of what we do to make the house less attractive to bad people. Local PCSOs have been round with smart water kits recently - it all helps.
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