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# A couple of buyer questions

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'll be moving into a new house within a month and having a security system
installed. I'd like to be armed with a litle information before interviewing
installers.

1) Cats and motion sensors: I'm assuming that motion sensors are the heart
of most home security systems. Maybe I'm wrong. But, in the past, I've never
gotten satisfactory answers to the question about how a system compensates
for a pet that may jump as high as the mantle over the fireplace. What are
the right answers, and which answers are red flags warning me to show the
installer the door?

2) Spook methods for home, yet? Are fingerprint or corneal scanners in use
for homes yet, or is this ridiculous overkill and/or outrageously expensive?
I'm referring to a replacement for the typical numeric keypad.

3) Fill in the blank: If an installer does not suggest _________ , call
another company.

Situation: House in a neighborhood that does NOT have much crime. Protection
primarily while away. Basement windows will be changed to glass block within
a week of moving in. Exterior doors are metal, but locks are cheap. I'll be
upgrading existing doorknob locks and adding deadbolts the day after moving
in. Sliding glass doors will be installed in the kitchen within a month, and
I see that as a vulnerability.

Finally: I could be wrong, but intuitively, it seems to me that all else
being equal, it's better to have more distance between a deadbolt and the
doorknob, rather than less. Right or wrong?

-Doug

R

#### RH.Campbell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Sir, whatever your chosen installer says, remember to pay first attention to
your physical security. The presence of an alarm does have an obvious
deterent effect, but the real measure of your home security is the sum total
of ALL the things you do BOTH physical and electronic. Nor does it make a
lot of sense to spend significant dollars on an alarm system to warn after
they are in the home, if you haven't done everything reasonable to keep them
out to start with. Basement windows armoured properly as you are doing;
adding a visible, swingdown patio door to your sliding patio door, plus
screws above to keep it from being lifted are simple yet effective
deterrents against casual entry.

Most breakins (in our relatively peaceful area anyway, your area may be
different) are by simply kicking in the front door. Make sure that you
install a 10 inch heavy duty door strike (the piece that the deadbolt goes
into) that is heavily secured into the jack studs of the door frame with a
number of three to four inch screws. Adding distance between the deadbolt
and the passage set does nothing to increase security. It does however mark
the installation as one done by an amateur to the next buyer of the home.

If your alarm company suggests you install one of their systems and relax -
your problems are solved, personally, I would show him to the door....(since
you asked). I would also give him short shift if he didn't take the time to
explain all your buying options to you since there are several ways to
purchase an alarm system, each with different advantages and disadvantages.
Use extreme caution if his prime concern seems to be getting your name on a
long term contract, or uses a version of the "fear factor" to try to
pressure you into signing right away. Realize this is a "buyer beware"
market and sales pressure can be very heavy. Investigate all your options
with both large and small dealers before you chose your company.

Motion detectors designed to compensate for animals are not an absolute
guarantee against false trips, but they do work effectively if properly
located and set up. Two cardinal "no no's"!! Don't locate where an animal
can climb to within 6 measured feet from the device, and never aim them at
stairs. Some work by "seeing" the animal in a horizontal plane, with a human
"seen" in a vertical plane. Others double check the signal with microwave
(some claiming to check the thickness of the animals legs versus a
humans....).

My website has a significant amount of information relative to securing your
home on a physical basic should you care to sift through a lot of
information, plus much more information relative to all the questions you
ask... (I really have to shorten it....much too long...kind of like my
posts....))

R.H.Campbell
Home Security Metal Products
www.homemetal.com

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
The door strike.....I keep forgetting. It's been WRITTEN into the "week #1"
shopping list.

As far as "after they are in the home", that's when they unwittingly step
into my classroom: "Darwin 101 for Intruders". Bye bye.

R

#### RH.Campbell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Oooooooookay.......don't quite know what you mean by all this but it sounds
ominous...))

Just remember, in most jurisdictions, you can't take the law into your own
hands regardless of how justified you might feel is is. Two wrongs never
make a right !!

RHC

R

#### Reg Siemens

Jan 1, 1970
0
Robert - The theory is that you're doing the human gene pool a favour when
you remove these kind of people. e.g. If you're stupid enough to break into
my home, you deserve to die and the world will be a better place in years to
come, because if left unchecked, your descendents would carry that same
stupidity on for generations.

R

#### RH.Campbell

Jan 1, 1970
0
I suppose there's some logic to it Reg. However, a lot of folks that espouse
these kinds of actions speak with perfectly understandable anger, but forget
that their overreaction to these bad situations will come back to haunt them
if they ever follow through with it. If you are any kind of decent person,
you WILL punish yourself over what you have done regardless of how much the
other party may well have deserved it.

Let me give you a real life example of what happened to me. About eight
years ago, in the early morning, I heard two young thieves breaking into my
neighbours back yard shed. I called 911 and reported it, and was told to
stay inside the house until the police arrived. However, I was in an angry
mood because I had had my van stolen a few weeks before and was in a
decidedly "get even" mood with the low life crowd, so I ignored their
advice. I thought briefly about taking out a handgun and confronting them
with it, but quickly dismissed that utterly foolish idea in less than a
nanosecond. So I took out one of those large Maglites and confronted these
guys, who quickly became quite submissive with the light in their eyes.
However, the older and larger of the two I guess decided he was going to
take on this old guy standing there in his pyjamas, and reached into his
shirt and pulled out a large crome camp hatchet and started to swing it.
Thinking back, I don't know if he was serious or not and was just trying to
bluff his way out of a situation in which I was clearly in control, but as I
saw the glint in the moonlight, I reacted purely by instinct, and smashed
him across the face with the Maglite, knocking him about 15 feet across the
lawn. Blood and teeth flew everywhere, and the two of them ran off howling
in rage and anger. Well, while I was standing there shaking, the police
arrived, and after I told them part of whaty had happened and that these
guys had just run off, they treated me with some suspicion, suspecting there
was more to the story than I was telling. I was composed enough by that time
not to implicate myself, but I think the surly cop suspected what had
happened. I got the impression he would have loved to arrest me for what he
suspected I had done. However, if I had been standing there with a gun, I
guarantee you I would have gone to jail because I probably would have shot
the guy just by instinct. Even if I hadn't, technically I was off the
property where the handgun was registered, so I would have broken the law.
So anyway, the cops went off around the corner supposedly after the two
guys, but not with much enthusiasm I can tell you (and yes, I fault them for
that ....)

Well, the next morning, I hosed down the street and flushed the blood and
quite a number of teeth down the storm drain. But, no matter how much one
can say these guys deserved it, I hurt another person badly, and it still
bothers me greatly to this day. People forget that real world aspect of it
in their bravado of the moment.

So for those that think they would have no qualms about doing such things,
think about it in the hard light of day.....

RHC

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
RH.Campbell said:
Oooooooookay.......don't quite know what you mean by all this but it sounds
ominous...))

Just remember, in most jurisdictions, you can't take the law into your own
hands regardless of how justified you might feel is is. Two wrongs never
make a right !!

What country are you in?

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
So for those that think they would have no qualms about doing such things,
think about it in the hard light of day.....

Obviously. But, your situation was different, and you knew that even while
you were doing it.

My logic is somewhat different. I've seen estimates which say that one in
three households have a gun (here - Monroe County, NY). That sounds high to
me. Let's say it's one in ten. If someone breaks into an OCCUPIED home,
they're accepting a 10% chance of being shot dead. In my opinion, only a
crazy person would accept those odds. Therefore, if I'm home and someone
breaks in, they are assumed to be unstable. The last thing I'm going to do
is reason with them. They have asked to be killed. The only neighborly
response to to accomodate them.

Look at it this way: A mother bear will remove your face just for looking at
her cub the wrong way. It's not an appetizing idea to be on the receiving
end of such a response, but we accept it as interesting when we read about
it, right?

Obviously, my first choice at home would be to retreat to a safe room with a
telephone (and a warm gun). But if that's not possible for some reason, I
have no qualms about protecting my son (cub). And, if I'm not home, and a
creative burglar manages to disable the security system and make off with
half the house, who cares? I'm safe.

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
Unless you have a pet Llama or something) . It too, has it's limitations but it
could work under certain conditions that a pet immune motion detector
wouldn't.

The llama stays outdoors at all times.

Is there another way to enter/exit the basement? What about fire?

Good point. Perhaps bars on one window. Did that in my last house. Hung the
padlock key about 8 feet away on the wall and made the whole family aware of
it. Drilling the cinder block was nasty, though. Old house, blocks crumbled,
had to do all sorts of patching. This house is much newer, though. Might not
be such a nasty job.

For real dead bolt security, I
have a piece of flat bar steel with a hole a little larger than the dead bolt
in it, screwed to the beam frame around the door, positioned so that the dead
bolt goes through the hole when the door is locked. They'd pretty well have to
take out the wall to get past that.

Finally my router will pay for itself!

R

#### RH.Campbell

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'm in Otttawa, Ontario,Canada, but the country doesn't matter really.

We do look at firearms usage somewhat differently than in the USA. There is
no "right to bear arms" for self defence here in Canada as it relates to
firearms, although one can do whatever is necessary to protect their lives
obviously. However, the onus is then on them to prove what they did is
reasonable and justified after the fact AND given the circumstances of the
situation (and that's likely no different anywhere...) And I agree, when all
is said and done, it IS "better to be judged by 12 people than carried by 6"
as the saying goes.

The point I was trying to make is that no matter what the situation
afterwards, you have to live with the decisions you make for the rest of
your life. If you're comfortable with that, then that is all that needs to
be said really...

Regards,

R.H.Campbell
Home Security Metal Products
www.homemetal.com

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
RH.Campbell said:
I'm in Otttawa, Ontario,Canada, but the country doesn't matter really.

We do look at firearms usage somewhat differently than in the USA. There is
no "right to bear arms" for self defence here in Canada as it relates to
firearms, although one can do whatever is necessary to protect their lives
obviously. However, the onus is then on them to prove what they did is
reasonable and justified after the fact AND given the circumstances of the
situation (and that's likely no different anywhere...) And I agree, when all
is said and done, it IS "better to be judged by 12 people than carried by 6"
as the saying goes.

The "castle" concept originated in England, insofar as defending one's home.
Hard to believe, but when a homeowner occasionally ends up in court after
helping an intruder into the next world, that legal concept is all the
attorney needs to mention, assuming there are no odd circumstances involved.
The point I was trying to make is that no matter what the situation
afterwards, you have to live with the decisions you make for the rest of
your life. If you're comfortable with that, then that is all that needs to
be said really...

I agree completely. But, I'm also fond of what samurai sometimes did in
Japan, as late as the 1800s, when someone disturbed their harmony. Off with
the head! Harmony is important.

M

#### Mark Leuck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bravo Robert!

BTW did you ever get your stolen van back?

M

#### Mark Leuck

Jan 1, 1970
0
RH.Campbell said:
I'm in Otttawa, Ontario,Canada, but the country doesn't matter really.

We do look at firearms usage somewhat differently than in the USA. There is
no "right to bear arms" for self defence here in Canada as it relates to
firearms, although one can do whatever is necessary to protect their lives
obviously. However, the onus is then on them to prove what they did is
reasonable and justified after the fact AND given the circumstances of the
situation (and that's likely no different anywhere...) And I agree, when all
is said and done, it IS "better to be judged by 12 people than carried by 6"
as the saying goes.

The point I was trying to make is that no matter what the situation
afterwards, you have to live with the decisions you make for the rest of
your life. If you're comfortable with that, then that is all that needs to
be said really...

Regards,

R.H.Campbell
Home Security Metal Products
www.homemetal.com

Better to be judged by 12 than buried by 6

R

#### RH.Campbell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Yes, the police didn't even bother to visit; just gave me a report number
and hung up. About a week later, it was recovered on a side street about 5
miles from home with both the middle and rear seats missing and a large
number of dings and scratches. What I figure was, they stole the thing to
use in a break in ! They used it to cart away a house load of goods, then
abandon it when they are done so if they were seen they can't be traced...

It cost the insurance company $4000 to fix everything. All of this could have been saved if Chrysler had seen fit to spend an additional$15 back
then to upgrade the locks to their current theft resistant ones instead of
the simple devices they had on 1994 model Chrysler vans. I was using the
"club" on it, but that unfortunately was the one night my wife forgot to put
in on.....

As I see it, this is just another chicken sh*t example of big business being
driven totally by the bottom line and screw the consumer. Auto theft is a
big problem everywhere, costing everyone multi-millions of dollars, and I
lay the blame squarely at the feet of the auto industry....

RHC

D

#### Doug Kanter

Jan 1, 1970
0
RH.Campbell said:
Yes, the police didn't even bother to visit; just gave me a report number
and hung up. About a week later, it was recovered on a side street about 5
miles from home with both the middle and rear seats missing and a large
number of dings and scratches. What I figure was, they stole the thing to
use in a break in ! They used it to cart away a house load of goods, then
abandon it when they are done so if they were seen they can't be traced...

It cost the insurance company $4000 to fix everything. All of this could have been saved if Chrysler had seen fit to spend an additional$15 back
then to upgrade the locks to their current theft resistant ones instead of
the simple devices they had on 1994 model Chrysler vans. I was using the
"club" on it, but that unfortunately was the one night my wife forgot to put
in on.....

As I see it, this is just another chicken sh*t example of big business being
driven totally by the bottom line and screw the consumer. Auto theft is a
big problem everywhere, costing everyone multi-millions of dollars, and I
lay the blame squarely at the feet of the auto industry....

A 5 year informal survey on my part indicates that Chrysler can't even put a
decent engine in their vans. You think they're going to put in better door
locks?

A

#### alarman

Jan 1, 1970
0
Alarminex wrote
Hmmmm! I wonder why FAT ASS BASS, isn't jumping right in on this thread calling
YOU a liar and critcizing YOU for attacking someone who wasn't even doing
anything to you.

At least ...........FAT ASS should be calling you a busy body for butting in to
something that didn't even concern you. I'd think, at the very minimum, he
should be calling you a coward for hiding behind the bright light of the
flashlight, which I'm sure put the other guy at a distinct disadvantage. How
COULD you Robert? You probably provoked him into attacking you, because of the
green and red polka dot pajamas.

Ahhhhh ............ but that's right, you're FAT ASS's bosom butty ...........
uhhhh buddy ........cause you don't think he's a provocateur. You don't think
he's the reason that this group is in turmoil. And you approve of his rotten
nasty conduct that motivates posts like this. You'd just rather blame the
people who wont stand for his bullshit, but can't respond when someone sees
you for what you are.

(poke ...... poke with a pointy stick ! }:-]

Down, boy. Sit. Stay.

Good boy.
js

M

#### Mark Leuck

Jan 1, 1970
0
alarman said:
Alarminex wrote
Hmmmm! I wonder why FAT ASS BASS, isn't jumping right in on this thread calling
YOU a liar and critcizing YOU for attacking someone who wasn't even doing
anything to you.

At least ...........FAT ASS should be calling you a busy body for
butting
in to
something that didn't even concern you. I'd think, at the very minimum, he
should be calling you a coward for hiding behind the bright light of the
flashlight, which I'm sure put the other guy at a distinct disadvantage. How
COULD you Robert? You probably provoked him into attacking you, because
of
the
green and red polka dot pajamas.

Ahhhhh ............ but that's right, you're FAT ASS's bosom butty ..........
uhhhh buddy ........cause you don't think he's a provocateur. You don't think
he's the reason that this group is in turmoil. And you approve of his rotten
nasty conduct that motivates posts like this. You'd just rather blame the
people who wont stand for his bullshit, but can't respond when someone sees
you for what you are.

(poke ...... poke with a pointy stick ! }:-]

Down, boy. Sit. Stay.

Good boy.
js

I've often wondered how much time it takes for him to make posts like this
and if slobber on the keyboard slows him down while doing it

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