Home security question

Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 03:00 am
What it really amounts to is that I haven't kept up with this one for the last several years and the technology may have gotten ahead of me.

Some of the services which you read about such as Vivint or SimplySafe appear to be using cell phone technology. That is, something would set off an alarm in the house while the owner is a way, an automated call would go to the service, and somebody at the service might decide to call the police.

The question is, what are most people doing? The service in those cases would appear to be an unnecessary middleman. That is, that looks like it would be simpler just to have the house call the owner, and have the owner decide whether or not to call the police or do anything else. It seems to be the case that you can buy at least some of the kinds of equipment needed for that at Micro Center or other electronics outlets.
Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 03:14 am
I'm going to guess the service does a very preliminary investigation. That is, they call the householder and use a password to confirm that whoever answers the phone actually lives there - that is, they eliminate many false alarms. I only suspect the police are not set up for this type of ongoing service.

I'll follow along, because I'm kind of interested.
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Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 04:52 am
The services, which ran about $30/mo. ten years ago just report it to the police and let the police make a decision about responding. We did large commercial security systems, but we had home security systems trying to sell us their services all the time. Depending on the service, they kicked back $5 to $10/mo. to the installation company, so it would not really be worth their while unless they were able to install at least dozens, and preferably hundreds of systems a month. Those are usually handled by national companies, and the equipment is rudimentary--and often installed for a very low fee, because everyone is banking on the monthly service fees.

We did large commercial enterprises, such as hospitals and university facilities, primarily cameras, glass breaks, card readers and motion detectors. We did equipment sales, installation and service contracts. One hospital we worked for paid us $40,000/per annum and equipment costs for their cameras alone, and we had several service contracts. Large hospitals commonly have 300 or more cameras installed, as well as card readers for employees, for drug rooms, mostions in drug storage areas, and infant alarm systems (so you can't walk out of the OB/GYN with someone else's baby). We purchased cameras, card readers, glass breaks, motion detectors and cable wholesale, and most of it you cannot just walk in off the street and purchase. It took fifteen years to set up the accounts we had with equipment dealers, so it was serious business.

The home security systems are largely a joke. The very wealthy can afford serious security systems, but by and large, home security is an exercise in closing the barn door after the horses are gone. Very likely, what you get is the police arriving after a break-in and the burglars gone. The cell phone technology has been used for at least a decade, but it doesn't mean much--however the alarm service company is informed makes no difference in probable police responses. Basically, those companies (I won't name them, but I suspect most people have heard of at least a couple) are selling false peace of mind.
Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 07:33 am
Thanks, that's useful info.
Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 12:47 pm
It is.
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Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 06:19 pm
I think Set is basically right about home security systems, they are mostly just deterrents, not protection.

I think the best protection you can get for your money is still a big well trained dog. And the best deterrent is cameras in the house and a sign outside that says, "don't do anything in here today that you wouldn't want to see on YouTube tomorrow".
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Reply Sat 4 Aug, 2018 06:20 pm
There are serious home security systems out there--but you don't get for $99 equipment installed and $30 or $40 a month for the monitoring service. You get them for thousands of dollars and a monthly contract with a private security firm which dispatches armed security officers (and calls the police, too). That's what you see in gated communities, where the home owners are encouraged to sign-up so that everyone's monthly fees are reduced. Good home security is out there, but you won't get it cheaply. The SIM card technology was a true advance, because it meant that criminals couldn't just cut the power drop and the phone lines to your home and shut down your system. In the end, though, what matters is the type and speed of response. Those private security firms don't just want to make breaking-in hard, they want to catch the dumb sons of bitches who try it. Keeps everyone's insurance costs down.
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mark noble
Reply Tue 7 Aug, 2018 12:28 pm
Gunga - If I truly wanted to enter your home - I would.
You'd need more than 'disconnectable' powerered sources to stop me.
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