Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Alarm or not to Alarm

Ben and I are thinking of getting a security system for our house. We have been contemplating it, and finally started doing some research and we found that it is a little expensive, but not too bad. The installation is the really expensive part, because we don't have a phone line so they would have to install a special cell-phone thing to our house to use our cells for the alarm. We want the alarm for two main reasons:
1. Ben is going to start traveling within the next year, so I will be alone with two small children for weeks at a time (yeah, not looking forward to that...)

2. The worse the economy gets, the more desperate people are going to get, which we believe will increase robberies and overall crime rates

I also saw a third reason on the news the other day:

3. There are 2 robbers in our neighboring county (Jefferson) who knock on people's doors during the day. If nobody answers the door, they go in and rob the house. Of course, I am home during the day- usually. But, when I take a shower, I put Audra in her bedroom to play (with the monitor on so I hear everything that is going on and I make sure her room is completely safe). What if those robbers came to our house while I was in the shower and Audra was in her bedroom by herself??? That thought scares me more then anything.

So, we started looking more into an alarm system. We are currently looking at ADT and Brink- I believe the two biggest home alarm companies in the country, and I need some advice:

Do any of you have an alarm system or know somebody who does? Do you/they like it? Is it worth the money? I haven't looked up statistics to see if people with alarms are less likely to get robbed, but has anybody heard anything about that? Is anybody else considering getting one (that one is more of a curiosity question)? Any information would be most helpful!


  1. We had ADT installed a little while ago and we love it. We also had to get it through our cell phone, but I think it was worth the extra $$. We've had some robberies in our neighborhood and once we found out, we called and got it set up. I haven't worked with Brinks, so I can't compare, but ADT has been wonderful. The customer service was and is excellent. They worked with us to get the best deal for our needs and I know they would do the same for you. Because the way our house is set up, we had to get half wired and half wireless. We wanted all wire because it was cheaper, but it just couldn't be done. It does make us feel safer. Whichever one you choose, it is definitely worth it. Plus you get some sort of discount on your homeowners insurance too. Not too much, but still, it's somethng. ;)

  2. We had ADT in Bonney Lake and LOVED it! I miss it here though. It gives you such peace of mind; however, we always knew in the back of our mind that someone could still break in, take some things and be gone before the police could get to the house. Knowing that, we still went with ADT because at least the police would be alerted should something happen. Also, we had it hooked up so that if our house caught on fire, our local fire station would be contacted automatically. Another nice thing! We loved it, like I said. It was also nice to have for wandering children in the middle of the night. A few nights the alarm went off because Andrew, then five-ish, went out the front door. AHH! We were glad to have the alarm in place because can you even imagine?

  3. Jason's comment was: "how does she sleep at night in such a scary world?" This is how my husband feels about the potential threat of robbery. :) I am lucky if I can get him to remember to lock the door, but thankfully we live in a secure building. An alarm system would be SO over the top in his world.
    I say if you are home alone for long stretches of time and you need the peace of mind and don't want to buy a large menacing dog, then hey, go for it.

  4. At our last house, we had an ADT system (and a 120 pound dog), and I absolutely loved it! I feel so much more secure when Rich would go out to sea, and the added plus is that your cuties can't go outside without you knowing it! Even when it is disarmed, it beeps when a door is opened. We had a couple times it went off when one of us forgot it was armed, and ADT responded almost immediately! I would definitely recommend it! We have considered getting it here, but it is soooooo safe here we haven't been ready to make the investment yet; I am hoping we will in the future though. It brings soooooooo much peace of mind! I guess what I am saying, is ALARM away girl; you won't regret it!

  5. It sounds like perhaps the best thing to do is have them come out and go through the house to give a true estimate of the costs? I guess I will call them to set that up- it is really good to hear from you all that it works and it is worth it! Mostly I am worried for when Ben starts traveling, and we don't want a dog:)

    Can you have it armed while you are inside during the day- so you're still walking around, but not going out? Do they call you first when the alarm goes off, or how does that work? I guess we can ask all these questions when we talk with them...

  6. If someone wants into your house badly enough, an alarm will not stop them. But if you are in an area where you are the only alarmed house, they would pick somebody else to avoid the trouble. I know a few cops, and they all say to avoid the cost of installing an alarm and find a way to get your hands on the signs that you put up that say your house is alarmed. It is the sign that deters crime, not the alarm itself. At least that was what they said.

  7. yes, you can have the alarm on while you are inside the house. i have it on during the day and we always turn it on at night. from what i rememeber, adt calls your phone almost immediately when it goes off and the cops are notified just as fast. plus the alarm is so loud that if someone did break in, the neighbors are bound to hear it too. plus, what i really like is the "secret" code they give you so in case there is the chance that your house is broken into with you home and the alarm goes off, you can use the secret code to turn off the alarm, but really it just sends a quiet signal instead of the loud one.
    but i do think that the best thing you can do is to call both and set up appts for them to come out and give you their price. then you can ask all the questions you want and make an informed decision. it sounds like those who've responded have all had ADT, so i would check out Brinks just to find out. we would've done that but my homeowners insurance had a deal with ADT which is why we went with them.

  8. Travis and I looked into it and actually decided against it. It seems that just having the sign in your front yard is as effective as having the system. Amateurs will just go to a house that doesn't have the sign. The percentage of houses that are actually robbed is VERY VERY low, so your chances aren't very likely. Also, breaking into a home even with a security system is super easy for the mildly seasoned robber. So we opted out because being robbed is less likely than getting in a plane crash. They had a whole 20/20 episode about it, you should look into it.