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Home Security In Canberra

By Leinna - 16 June 2010 44

As a recent burglary victim, I’m looking at ways to make my home more secure.  Fortunately the theives didn’t get much, but I feel quite vulnerable in my home at the moment.

I’m asking the Canberra community for advice on installing security systems and who would be a good, trustworthy company to go with.  AAMI didn’t have any suggestions for me (but they’ve been really good with the insurance claim).  Any other security tips would be really appreciated as well – thinking of going CrimSafe on all accessible windows and doors, upgrading to mechanical garage doors with keyless entry, etc.

Or if you want to share opinions on what should happen to lowlife criminal scumbags feel free.

What’s Your opinion?

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44 Responses to
Home Security In Canberra
icantbelieveitsnotbu 3:58 pm 16 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Statistically the chances of you being burgled again is almost zero … but then, that’s probably not going to ease your fears.

Unless you’re the target of a follow-up burglary once you’ve settled your insurance and got your new stuff. They’ve been in your house, know the layout, know where stuff will be kept etc.

You sound like an expert? Cop or Crim?

johnboy 3:55 pm 16 Jun 10

monitored systems can, however, call the fire brigade.

liability 3:52 pm 16 Jun 10

One thing to watch for – some companies will supply and install an alarm system for a very cheap price providing that you sign up to a five or ten year contract for them to provide a back to base monitoring service. This can be very expensive if you move house, as they will try to get you to pay out the remainder of the contract.

As mentioned by other posters, there is very little point in getting a monitored system, as the security company response times are usually very woeful. Police will not respond to intruder alarms in domestic homes, but should respond to duress alarms [i.e. panic or holdup alarms], or at least that was the case when I made enquiries a couple of years ago.

Captain RAAF 3:28 pm 16 Jun 10

Get a game trail camera (or two), about $300 and hide it well.

You won’t stop the filth from robbing you but when you provide clear pictures to Mr Plod of the crims, they’ll take it from there.

They also give you the added benefit of being able to take vigilante action also as you can roam the surrounding neighborhood looking for them. =-)

georgesgenitals 3:24 pm 16 Jun 10

I’d be more inclined to spend the $$ actually securing the home. Make sure windows have decent locks, good quality security screens on external doors, deadbolts, etc.

If you can make the house hard to get into, most burglars will simply find an easier target.

jimbocool 3:05 pm 16 Jun 10

Sammy the internal ear-splitting siren is good in theory (and I once worked in a job where I accidentally set off the alarm in the strongroom so I know how disorienting and unpleasant it can be – even worse than a vuvuzela). However, a standard part of the burglar’s kit is earmuffs and/or earplugs which will keep them happily at work for the five minutes it takes to rip off your valuables.
As an O’Connor resident I can say from hard experience that the only things that deter the buggers are back-to-base alarms and cameras.

Skidbladnir 2:54 pm 16 Jun 10

I would avoid CSS and S1 as if they were bleeding from their eyes.

ricci 2:50 pm 16 Jun 10

I wasn’t happy with Argus Security some years back and dropped them. They may have improved since then.

Sammy 2:29 pm 16 Jun 10

From the OP:

Fortunately the theives (sic) didn’t get much

Doesn’t sound like it’ll really be worth coming back.

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:20 pm 16 Jun 10

Statistically the chances of you being burgled again is almost zero … but then, that’s probably not going to ease your fears.

Unless you’re the target of a follow-up burglary once you’ve settled your insurance and got your new stuff. They’ve been in your house, know the layout, know where stuff will be kept etc.

johnboy 2:18 pm 16 Jun 10

I don’t know Sammy, I know plenty people who get farmed.

Sammy 2:07 pm 16 Jun 10

Statistically the chances of you being burgled again is almost zero … but then, that’s probably not going to ease your fears.

I’d personally not bother with a monitored alarm system. They take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to turn up, and most burglars know this. Our previously monitored system went off one night when we were out at dinner. They phoned us to tell us it was going off, and asked if we’d like them to respond. We said yes, as we were about 30 minutes drive away, finished up our dinner, strolled to the car, and drove home. It probably took us 50 minutes to get home after receiving the call. They still hadn’t turned up, and turned up about 20 minutes after we got home. A decent burglar could completely strip a home of all the valuable assets within twenty minutes or so.

Our alarm system is not monitored but has two external and two internal sirens, with a short reset time (4 minutes) so it doesn’t piss the neighbours off completely. Basically it makes a ton of noise inside the house, such that any burglar will be unlikely to hang around with that level of disruption. We also have really good neighbours who have inspected the house on the odd false alarm. Following a string of false alarms while we were away one summer, we ditched all the reed switches and went for dual PIR sensors (microwave and infra-red) and false alarms have ceased.

A decent alarm system will likely cost you around $1000, but most alarm companies operate on a “install cheap and then reap the rewards on the ongoing monitoring costs” business model, so you may find it difficult to find a standalone installer.

Poindexter 2:05 pm 16 Jun 10

We recently had an alarm installed by Custom Security Services, after recommendations from other family members. We found them to be friendly, responsive, and easy to deal with. They were happy to configure it the way we wanted (wired smoke alarm, panic button in bedroom, etc). They also turned up when they said they would.

We’ve had no false alarms yet (touch wood!). They showed us how to bypass the smoke alarm if we burn the toast. I have set the smoke alarm off and they were calling the house within a minute to make sure everything was OK (and if not they call the Firies).

…and because you mention feeling vulnerable in your home, you can also set the alarm but bypass your bedroom so that when you are sleeping the rest of the house can be armed.

All in all, a good experience.

Admittedly, I’ve been told that the thieves will just look for a white box with a blue light attached to the house, and will move on if they see one…. but we are glad that we have something a bit more substantial than that.

Skidbladnir 2:01 pm 16 Jun 10

For those who suddenly get interested as a result of hearing stories about damage mitigation for monitored systems, there is this thread from the “Where can I get a good cup of coffee\good handyman\cheap hand shandy?” days of RiotACT…

The “Recommendations for Security System installation/monitoring?” thread.
Or when Jb asked the exact same question about a year later:

Personally, I recommend Lindon Burgess, owner\operator of CrimTech Systems, Master License #: 17501770.
Highly knowledgeable, professional, cleans up his mess, and takes complaints seriously.
(Disclosure, I worked with him at a different secutiy company for two years, but do not get paid for recommendations or sales. Also, that is not Lindon’ face on the website.)

grundy 1:59 pm 16 Jun 10

I got hit twice in 3 months in O’Connor a few years back.
We got a real security system installed eventually, but in the interim, we put up a few fake cameras on the outside of the house. (Bunnings/DickSmith etc should stock these)
Never had a problem after that.

Though that could’ve been because the cops caught the scumbags… (The last one left a full hand print on a mirror, the dumbass!)

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