How useful is a home security system?

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flyingaway
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How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm

Last Saturday, when my wife and I went to a friend's house for dinner and my 20 year old son was sleeping in his room, some burglars smashed the double glass of my backdoor, entered the house, thoroughly searched every rooms except my son's room, found my safe, pried it open, and took away the cash (my emergency and travel funds). They did not take anything else. My son was sound sleep, but later woke up and though we were home. After he figured out what was going on and was scared, he called police. It was too late.

I lost a substantial amount of cash, but the money probably saved my son.

I did have a home security system. It was not armed as my son was home. Had it been armed, it would make no difference, since the burglars smashed the glass, and did not open the door after that. The police wondered why the burglars did not open the door after the glass was smashed. As that would trigger the alarm, had it been armed. So it seems that the burglars knew more than the police do about the security system.

I am wondering how useful a home security system could be, in your opinion? Even if the alarm is triggered, if we are not home, say, on vacation, the burglars can take their time (they can also destroy the alarm system) and do whatever they want to do, unless my neighbor calls the police. Furthermore, even if we are at home, what can we do? Shoot the burglars? How about the security system is linked to an outside security firm? (sometimes lots of false alarms?) In my opinion, a home security system may work if a burglar is either honest or dumb and do what we want him to do (to trigger the alarm system). As one former professional burglar said on TV, a home security system makes no difference in his actions.

livesoft
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by livesoft » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:04 pm

We keep nothing of value at home. The house came with a security system which we have never used in more than 2 decades. The lead-acid battery is dead and the code was long forgotten.

Can you speculate what is it about the location of your home that would make burglars target your home? Number and types of cars?

I can say that some of the neighbors have had children with questionable acquaintances and the acquaintances were later charged with crimes. These perps did hit some of their friends homes.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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barnaclebob
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:07 pm

One lesson is that a cheap safe is probably worse than no safe at all and a good hiding spot.

rebellovw
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by rebellovw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:10 pm

I have two large dogs - I started with one and them my wife's ex boyfriend (from over 20 years ago) started stalking and calling - so I got a second dog for redundancy. They are like velociraptors - very quiet and then then are on you.

Now I love them so much they are like my children - I'd probably lay down my life for them - but I do feel safe with them.

littlebird
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by littlebird » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:11 pm

Do you have a security sign out front with the name of your security system? Current advice is to use either a generic sign (like from Amazon) or to trade signs with a neighbor who uses a different brand of security system.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:04 pm
We keep nothing of value at home. The house came with a security system which we have never used in more than 2 decades. The lead-acid battery is dead and the code was long forgotten.

Can you speculate what is it about the location of your home that would make burglars target your home? Number and types of cars?

I can say that some of the neighbors have had children with questionable acquaintances that were later charged with crimes. These perps did hit some of their friends homes.
We live in an upper middle class safe area and drive one luxury (used to be two) car. The police said this kind of things has never happened in this neighborhood, they also suspected that the burglars might have some information, as I only started keeping cash at home since March.
Last edited by flyingaway on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:14 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:07 pm
One lesson is that a cheap safe is probably worse than no safe at all and a good hiding spot.
The safe is intended to keep some documents from fire. Keeping money there was not my intention, and I only did that since March.

rebellovw
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by rebellovw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:15 pm

It came across that way to me based on your description that they knew about the safe.

Rupert
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Rupert » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:17 pm

A home security system is completely useless if it isn't turned on or properly designed. A double glass door (or at least the room containing a double glass door) should be equipped with glass shatter/breakage sensors, not just the sensors that alert when the door is opened.

Have any contractors/servicemen been in your home recently? I'd start there. Then I'd start thinking about which of your son's friends might be doing drugs and need some cash. Third on the list of suspects would be neighbors and neighbor kids who might be doing drugs and need some cash.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:20 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:07 pm
One lesson is that a cheap safe is probably worse than no safe at all and a good hiding spot.
I decided not to buy a new safe and use the damaged safe to keep my documents. It might not be good for large fire, but should be better than nothing.

raddoc101
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by raddoc101 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm

How much do you trust your son? I would make sure he doesn't have a drug habit. This could very well be a random burglar, but I would be a little cautious. It could certainly be a friend of his too. Perhaps his friend was snooping around before.

Our home security system has glass break sensors (SimpliSafe). I've been very happy with them and monitoring is 15/ month. We have separate motion activated cameras as well which are no cost monthly (arlo pro)
Last edited by raddoc101 on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm

You say you lost "a substantial amount of cash" - is there a reason why you keep so much cash at home? Is there anyone that knows that you keep a lot of cash at home? Is it for fear of a bank meltdown or issue or fear of a natural disaster? As you learned unfortunately, the chance of robbery is real - the chance you won't be able to access your bank in an emergency is somewhat less likely.
I don't typically keep any cash around the house (always have some in my wallet just in case - but usually not much there either as I use CCs for everything). The few times I've had cash around the house it hasn't been more than $200.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:24 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:17 pm
A home security system is completely useless if it isn't turned on or properly designed. A double glass door (or at least the room containing a double glass door) should be equipped with glass shatter/breakage sensors, not just the sensors that alert when the door is opened.

Have any contractors/servicemen been in your home recently? I'd start there. Then I'd start thinking about which of your son's friends might be doing drugs and need some cash. Third on the list of suspects would be neighbors and neighbor kids who might be doing drugs and need some cash.
There was a contractor who replaced my back door a few months ago.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:28 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm
You say you lost "a substantial amount of cash" - is there a reason why you keep so much cash at home? Is there anyone that knows that you keep a lot of cash at home? Is it for fear of a bank meltdown or issue or fear of a natural disaster? As you learned unfortunately, the chance of robbery is real - the chance you won't be able to access your bank in an emergency is somewhat less likely.
I don't typically keep any cash around the house (always have some in my wallet just in case - but usually not much there either as I use CCs for everything). The few times I've had cash around the house it hasn't been more than $200.
One reason is for travel, so I had cash in several currencies and they took all. Another reason is the emergency money that we discussed here and some other places.

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Watty
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Watty » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:31 pm

It sounds like they had information about your house so I would be concerned about that. It could be that they got information from a cleaning person or workman.
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
I am wondering how useful a home security system could be, in your opinion?
My impression is that most buglers are young people or people like drug addicts looking for easy money. Once the alarm goes off that will scare most of them away.

If you had been away on vacation then it is likely that the alarm system has a motion detector that would have triggered the alarm once they were in the house.

Many security systems also have a panic button that will set off the alarm and also notify the alarm company that the panic button was pressed, and it was not just some random false alarm. Depending on your location the police response to a report of a panic butting having been pressed and not quickly turned off may get a much stronger response than a routine alarm call.

Typically the panic button is in the maser bedroom or a fob on a key chain.

That could have been very useful if you had been home and heard them breaking in.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:31 pm

raddoc101 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm
How much do you trust your son? I would make sure he doesn't have a drug habit. This could very well be a random burglar, but I would be a little cautious. It could certainly be a friend of his too. Perhaps his friend was snooping around before.

Our home security system has glass break sensors (SimpliSafe). I've been very happy with them and monitoring is 15/ month. We have separate motion activated cameras as well which are no cost monthly (arlo pro)
I trust my son completely and he does not use any drug. Furthermore, he knew where the safe is and he knew the code to open it.

rebellovw
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by rebellovw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:37 pm

Son could have mentioned it to friend and said friend or friend's brother, crazy sister or other acquaintance could have done the deed.

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weltschmerz
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by weltschmerz » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:42 pm

I think a home security system is completely useless for warding off burglars, but very useful in giving people peace of mind. A few years ago, a friend's house was burglarized, and they did not have any alarm system. So after they were victimized, they put a system in. Nothing had changed. They still lived in the same world, and their odds of being a victim were the same as before, but that is a difficult fact for people to handle mentally. So they feel they have to do something to protect themselves, and the home security companies profit from this.

The only real security solution is to put bars on the windows, so then there is no easy mode of entry, other than breaking through a wall or a door. Maybe another good idea is some sort of booby trap, with laser beam trip wires and tanks of tear gas ready to deploy...but now we're in Mission Impossible territory.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:45 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:31 pm
I trust my son completely and he does not use any drug. Furthermore, he knew where the safe is and he knew the code to open it.
I understand that feeling. Until said son proves otherwise, you can think that's the case. Yah, I speak from experience.

I was talking with a coin wholesaler a few years ago who said he always has a $100 safe easily found with copies of insurance policies (without any id info) and a few random low value bills and coins that he has in a spot that's one of the first a burglar would look (under the bed, for example). He also has a professional level safe well hidden where any really valuable things are kept. Being a coin dealer, crooks know where he lives and he's been broken into several times and the cheap safe is always broken open and emptied. You might want to consider having the cheap safe and when nobody else is home, have a "real" safe installed in a secure location and don't tell anyone about it. Or maybe don't have emergency cash lying around (I have zero emergency cash).

My in-laws had a break in. They leave a bedroom window open with just a screen. My mother in law's wallet and money were stolen. They installed a security system but since they always want to leave that window open in the summer to cool down the house, they never turn it on. I don't get it.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:53 pm

I currently live in a very low crime town and in my current town - a lot of people don't even bother locking their doors and some leave items like purses and such in their cars. When we had some robberies a few years ago the targets were the "easier" houses and cars - those with unlocked doors and items in cars like purses sitting in plain view on the front seat.
Back when we lived in a higher-crime area - a lot of folks did have alarm systems. The house that was broken into on our street was one without an alarm system.

So I'd think of it as a somewhat of a deterrent to someone that is looking for easy targets but certainly not something that is fullproof.

Regarding my earlier comment about cash - if you were paying a contractor routinely in cash - then he might know you keep a lot of cash around and may have mentioned it to someone. I know what you mean about travel - when I was traveling a lot I would have British pounds, Euros, etc. I'd come back with - and rather than exchange back-and-forth - I'd hold until the next trip.

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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Blueskies123 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:54 pm

rebellovw wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:37 pm
Son could have mentioned it to friend and said friend or friend's brother, crazy sister or other acquaintance could have done the deed.
+1,

I had my kids make sure they turned on the alarm when it started to get dark.
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cswenson
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by cswenson » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:56 pm

I suspect that it was someone you may know. Anyway, I have a dog. She doesn't bark without a reason. But she barks the second any strangers step on our lawn. That's how I know I have "visitors". Having a dog works for me.

A similar break in happened to my sister....she later found out it was her son and his friends. I understand that you trust your son, but I would start with him and ask him plenty of questions. He might accidently spill something to someone.

adamthesmythe
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:37 pm

I've never activated a security system although I have had houses that had them installed.

Partly because I am cheap. Partly because I don't have anything much other people don't have- maybe a smaller TV than some. Partly because I have lived in places sort of upscale so I would have to be randomly chosen from many potential targets. Partly because I read the police some places get so many calls from security companies that they give them low priority.

I would never keep a significant amount of cash at home.

I suspect the best security comes from a dog- a biggish one that doesn't love all strangers. I don't particularly want to keep a dog though,

> Shoot the burglars?

I now live in AZ where some spout off about their readiness to shoot the burglars. (If I lived in TX I would see posted signs about readiness to shoot the burglars, or indeed anyone else). I think the odds of a break-in while the house is occupied is really quite small in the US, and the chances that I could successfully address this with a firearm are also small.

rebellovw
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by rebellovw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:45 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:37 pm
I've never activated a security system although I have had houses that had them installed.

Partly because I am cheap. Partly because I don't have anything much other people don't have- maybe a smaller TV than some. Partly because I have lived in places sort of upscale so I would have to be randomly chosen from many potential targets. Partly because I read the police some places get so many calls from security companies that they give them low priority.

I would never keep a significant amount of cash at home.

I suspect the best security comes from a dog- a biggish one that doesn't love all strangers. I don't particularly want to keep a dog though,

> Shoot the burglars?

I now live in AZ where some spout off about their readiness to shoot the burglars. (If I lived in TX I would see posted signs about readiness to shoot the burglars, or indeed anyone else). I think the odds of a break-in while the house is occupied is really quite small in the US, and the chances that I could successfully address this with a firearm are also small.
I live in AZ as well - and I'm thinking that with all the various gun owners - you would be taking a risk breaking into anyone's house. A nice benefit.

runner3081
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by runner3081 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:04 pm

rebellovw wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:45 pm
adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:37 pm
I've never activated a security system although I have had houses that had them installed.

Partly because I am cheap. Partly because I don't have anything much other people don't have- maybe a smaller TV than some. Partly because I have lived in places sort of upscale so I would have to be randomly chosen from many potential targets. Partly because I read the police some places get so many calls from security companies that they give them low priority.

I would never keep a significant amount of cash at home.

I suspect the best security comes from a dog- a biggish one that doesn't love all strangers. I don't particularly want to keep a dog though,

> Shoot the burglars?

I now live in AZ where some spout off about their readiness to shoot the burglars. (If I lived in TX I would see posted signs about readiness to shoot the burglars, or indeed anyone else). I think the odds of a break-in while the house is occupied is really quite small in the US, and the chances that I could successfully address this with a firearm are also small.
I live in AZ as well - and I'm thinking that with all the various gun owners - you would be taking a risk breaking into anyone's house. A nice benefit.
AZ resident here as well. Two years ago, we had some kids knocking on doors/ringing doorbells and screaming at 2am. Within a few minutes, we had 2/5 of our cul-de-sac neighbors out there. One with a shotgun and one with a .38.

Frisco Kid
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Frisco Kid » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:15 pm

I sold security systems for many years. This has "inside job" written all over it. If your system had either a glass break and/or motion detector it would go into alarm whether the door was opened or not. Whoever did this had information about the alarm system and knowledge of the $ being there IMHO.
No other way to explain it...................

Swansea
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Swansea » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:30 pm

While more expensive, a large barking dog tends to deter most thieves. My friend heard a noise in his garage one night (he had left the garage door open). Opening the door to the garage, he saw two people stealing items. His german shepherd chased them down the street, and came back with a large piece of one of the thief's pants.

PowDay
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by PowDay » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:53 pm

I have a home security system with motion sensors and a front door camera.

A Mylar birthday balloon set off the motion sensor one day, and I had police officers at my door in 4 min flat. Everything is time stamped in the system so I could see the exact response time.

It made me feel better about the $30 a month I pay for monitoring knowing how well the system works.

CFR
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by CFR » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:07 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Last Saturday, when my wife and I went to a friend's house for dinner and my 20 year old son was sleeping in his room, some burglars smashed the double glass of my backdoor, entered the house, thoroughly searched every rooms except my son's room, found my safe, pried it open, and took away the cash (my emergency and travel funds). They did not take anything else. My son was sound sleep, but later woke up and though we were home. After he figured out what was going on and was scared, he called police. It was too late.

Don't you find it curious that they happened to be carrying tools to get into a safe? I sure do. They planned this. Also, they broke in it pretty fast. That says low cost safe all over it. If it weighs, say 300 pounds, it is probably broken into easily.

That being said, I am sorry you were robbed. Hopefully you will find the little poo stains.

CFR
Last edited by CFR on Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CppCoder
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by CppCoder » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:20 pm

Frisco Kid wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:15 pm
I sold security systems for many years. This has "inside job" written all over it. If your system had either a glass break and/or motion detector it would go into alarm whether the door was opened or not. Whoever did this had information about the alarm system and knowledge of the $ being there IMHO.
No other way to explain it...................
Most alarm systems have a mode to disable the motion sensor when someone is at home so that you don't trip your own alarm heading to the fridge at midnight.

raddoc101
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by raddoc101 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:24 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:31 pm
raddoc101 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm
How much do you trust your son? I would make sure he doesn't have a drug habit. This could very well be a random burglar, but I would be a little cautious. It could certainly be a friend of his too. Perhaps his friend was snooping around before.

Our home security system has glass break sensors (SimpliSafe). I've been very happy with them and monitoring is 15/ month. We have separate motion activated cameras as well which are no cost monthly (arlo pro)
I trust my son completely and he does not use any drug. Furthermore, he knew where the safe is and he knew the code to open it.
It's more likely a friend of his or the contractors. Very very likely an inside job as others have stated

Your son knowing the code doesn't matter. If he wanted to steal it and make it look like it wasn't him, he would have to break in. You know your son the best, but I would ask him lots of questions. He may have accidentally leaked the info. And ask anybody else who knew about the safe to figure out what may have happened. Btw, children can be very deceptive. I had friends who were very different than their parents perceived. I hope it's not the case for you.

We have a fair number of gun toting families in our area, which provides some herd immunity. Also just having the alarm sign out is helpful I think.

barnaclebob
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:38 pm

CFR wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:07 pm

Don't you find it curious that they happened to be carrying tools to get into a safe? I sure do. They planned this. Also, they broke in it pretty fast. That says low cost safe all over it. If it weighs, say 300 pounds, it is probably broken into easily.

That being said, I am sorry you were robbed. Hopefully you will find the little poo stains.

CFR
It probably only took a crow bar to break into. They work well for breaking glass too.

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AAA
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by AAA » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:40 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Last Saturday, when my wife and I went to a friend's house for dinner and my 20 year old son was sleeping in his room, some burglars smashed the double glass of my backdoor, entered the house, thoroughly searched every rooms except my son's room, found my safe, pried it open, and took away the cash (my emergency and travel funds).
This does raise some questions. First, I think most break-ins occur midday, when they think people are away at work, and this sounds like it was at night. Second, smashing a door would make a lot of noise. Are your neighbors nearby where they would hear it? Third, why did they search every room except your son's?

hightower
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by hightower » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:45 pm

We have security cameras on our house. One christmas we had a bunch of thefts of packages from front porches on our street. Our camera captured the guys face on camera and we sent it to police. They recognized the guy, arrested him, and now he's serving an 18 month sentence (he also stole a car). So, yeah. They're very useful. If you would have had cameras and/or an alarm system those guys may have never even attempted to rob your house. Get it.

vbdoug
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by vbdoug » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:36 pm

Home security systems are kind of cool and actually very inexpensive. I use an old iPhone 5 and an app called "Presence". Totally free. It has a motion detector and sends me a video if there is any movement. I live in a very secure environment but it's kind of fun to look at your place on your iPhone.

NOLA
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by NOLA » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:40 pm

I'm sorry to hear about the break in. But I'm really glad to hear that your son is ok.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:22 am

vbdoug wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:36 pm
Home security systems are kind of cool and actually very inexpensive. I use an old iPhone 5 and an app called "Presence". Totally free. It has a motion detector and sends me a video if there is any movement. I live in a very secure environment but it's kind of fun to look at your place on your iPhone.
What kind of security camera you have?

takeshi
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by takeshi » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:33 am

A security system is just an added measure. It's not going to guarantee that no one can break in or that no one can steal anything or do harm to your family but it can help, in addition to other security measures and precautions. There are some mistaken assumptions in your post. Some have already been addressed but I'll reply anyway.
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
I did have a home security system. It was not armed as my son was home. Had it been armed, it would make no difference, since the burglars smashed the glass, and did not open the door after that.
As stated above, glass break sensors should have been in place. If the layout of the house and your activity allows, motion sensors can also be armed with some systems even while you're at home.
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
So it seems that the burglars knew more than the police do about the security system.
Police are not security system experts.
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Even if the alarm is triggered, if we are not home, say, on vacation, the burglars can take their time (they can also destroy the alarm system) and do whatever they want to do, unless my neighbor calls the police.
A properly designed system won't be impaired by destroying the system or panel. When my system is armed and a sensor is tripped, the system notifies monitoring and goes into prealarm state. If it is not disarmed, the alarm is triggered. Even if the system is disabled and the siren is not able to go off, monitoring will send out the police.
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm
How about the security system is linked to an outside security firm? (sometimes lots of false alarms?)
A properly designed system should not have a lot of false alarms. We have had a few but they are extremely rare.
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:14 pm
The safe is intended to keep some documents from fire. Keeping money there was not my intention, and I only did that since March.
Regardless, if you're storing valuables then get a suitable safe.


It sounds like you're running on assumptions based on poor security practices, possible information about your valuables and home being leaked, a poorly designed system and then assuming that all security systems are of no use because of all this. You may to avoid relying on DIY solutions (including asking people on a discussion forum site) and have a reputable professional help you address your security concerns. I'm not sure how to address leaked information if that is actually a contributing factor in your case.

Again, even properly designed security measure won't stop the most determined and skilled criminal but there is still benefit in deterring the rest.
Last edited by takeshi on Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:39 am, edited 4 times in total.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:36 am

My OP asks for opinion about the home security system. We have decided to buy some glass/window break sensors (probably a lot as we have a walk-out basement), and two security cameras. Any recommendations? (These thing will not deter sophisticated burglars, just give us a peace of mind, especially when we only have one person at home.)

I agree that the burglars might have some knowledge about my house. But I can rule out my son's direct involvement. If he needs money, all he needs to do is to ask. I have never denied his request for money in 20 years. When we were out for travel, we gave him some cash and he has a credit card (my account). I also told him that we had money in the safe and he can use it in emergency. Usually, when we came back, we returned the cash to us. He could just keep it and we would not ask any question. In addition, he is a college student and usually buy cheap food at school and are not willing to spend our money for anything expensive. So he has my frugal gene.

flyingaway
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:41 am

takeshi wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:33 am

It sounds like you're running on assumptions based on poor security practices, possible information about your valuables and home being leaked, a poorly designed system and then assuming that all security systems are of no use because of all this. You may to avoid relying on DIY solutions (including asking people on a discussion forum site) and have a reputable professional help you address your security concerns.

Again, even properly designed security measure won't stop the most determined and skilled criminal but there is still benefit in deterring the rest.
I agree that we had a false sense of security as this kind of things has never happened to me and my friends here for the past 20 years.

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mrc
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by mrc » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:52 am

Technically this sounds like a burglary, not a robbery. Going through every room in the house except the son's room is a convenient way of keeping it a burglary and not a robbery. Something is just not right here. Security systems are not very effective against inside jobs.
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dubsem
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by dubsem » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:32 pm

From other community forums I frequently check, burglars often case neighborhoods to effectively steal before security shows up. My neighbor lives alone, works evenings, and has an ADT home security system. The neighbor's home was burglarized around 8PM via window smash, and the burglars left the front door open and alarm ringing on their way out. IMO, alarm systems are okay deterrents, but a more effective deterrent is visible cameras that catch people's faces. This assists law enforcement or security. It's surprising how often I see burglars not wearing masks when people post pictures/video.

I realize that if someone wants to get into your house, then they will. The best thing I can do is make it very difficult (i.e. lock windows and doors, lock up valuables, thick curtains to block visibility into house, guard dog, get to know neighbors). Fortunately, I don't have much stuff either so burglars would be disappointed if they visited me :o
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hookemhorns
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by hookemhorns » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:41 pm

Your son slept through them smashing a glass door, breaking open a safe, and searching every room in the house (conveniently, except his)? Hate to say it, but I know who my prime suspect would be. Tough situation to be in as a parent.

Jesa
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Jesa » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:14 pm

I think they are very useful - if they include cameras. Today, cameras are very cost effective and usually come with DVR capabilities. I have 7 outside and 2 inside my house. Use them daily while working from home. I can view them anywhere with internet connection.

If someone is going to break into your house at least have video for the authorities.

smitcat
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by smitcat » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:07 pm

Jesa wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:14 pm
I think they are very useful - if they include cameras. Today, cameras are very cost effective and usually come with DVR capabilities. I have 7 outside and 2 inside my house. Use them daily while working from home. I can view them anywhere with internet connection.

If someone is going to break into your house at least have video for the authorities.
We have camera systems for each location where we work (3) as well as home.
I think they are good for some purposes and are glad we have them.
Two years back we had one place broken into and we have a clear 250 seconds of someone wearing a ski hat taking stuff out of the building.
Of course we handed a copy of that video to the police but it was of no help to them.
Camera's have their limits as well....

Church Lady
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Church Lady » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:50 pm

hookemhorns wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:41 pm
Your son slept through them smashing a glass door, breaking open a safe, and searching every room in the house (conveniently, except his)? Hate to say it, but I know who my prime suspect would be. Tough situation to be in as a parent.
+1
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

JBTX
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by JBTX » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:23 pm

hookemhorns wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:41 pm
Your son slept through them smashing a glass door, breaking open a safe, and searching every room in the house (conveniently, except his)? Hate to say it, but I know who my prime suspect would be. Tough situation to be in as a parent.
My daughter and wife would sleep through a nuclear attack. I on the other hand wake up at a pin drop. Not shocking a teenager could sleep through it, but I'd still remain suspicious.

I think alarms have some value greater than zero, but clearly not foolproof. We have a builder installed system that isn't monitored as we never use. Years ago I worked at a home monitoring company. Seems like I heard that over 95% of alarms police are called for are false alarms.

Monitored smoke/ Fire alarms on the other hand do have value.

Woodshark
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Woodshark » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:07 pm

I've had security systems installed and hard wired in the walls during construction in each of the last two homes we've built. They are not generally turned on during the day but they give me much peace of mind every evening when I activate them as I go to bed. In other words, I rest much better knowing that if someone did break in, I would know it immediately and could take appropriate action. (Grab weapon, secure bedroom, call police, etc.)

Easy Rhino
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Easy Rhino » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:41 pm

Try to ask around the neighbors if there were any other break ins (maybe even find if there's a neighborhood watch).

A local police officer checked out our house and mentioned that burglars may carefully research otherwise quiet neighborhoods then hit multiple houses in series.

Things that could have detected burglars coming in back door:
* glass break sensor
* motion detector
* camera

Dakotah
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Re: How useful is a home security system?

Post by Dakotah » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:38 pm

I agree that this really does sound like an inside job. Your son may not have done it for himself...but maybe there's a friend that needed money for whatever reason, and your son was pressured into doing him a favor. Who knows. If I were you, I would take a look at your son's telephone logs (assuming you have access) to look for any traffic that contradicts what you're being told.

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