Does anyone know where I can get monitoring for an existing home security alarm? I was just at an estate sale and bought this big box of what they called gagets for $12. In the box was a brand new GE Simion XT (appears it was never installed) Verizon cellular card, 6 door sensors, 4 motion sensors, 4 smoke alarms, remote touch screen and some other stuff.
I had in mind to put the touch screen by the door then hide the main unit in a closet or something. I talked with several different alarm companies, one wanted to send a professional to rip mine back out and install theirs. One other place said my stuff was compatable, but they would only monitor my system if I purchased it from them. They were not at all impressed that I got it from an auction.
I’d like to do it with cellular if I can because I don’t want to get a landline, but one place that charges $8.95 will only monitor it if I have a landline. The biggest problem with cellular, the only strong signal I get here is from Verizon. We have a small local GSM company, but they don’t play well with others (I know T-mobile won’t work here at all) Not sure if AT&T will roam here but I know they can’t be activated here. Already tried a GSM Tracfone here and it’s a no go.
Some other facts I found out, if I have one monitored smoke detector and contacts on my front and back door, then just take basic monitoring for around $10 via landline, I get the same insurance discount as if I have 10 smoke detectors, montion sensors, window alarms, etc. and pay $45/mo for interactive monitoring. I’ve also learned the local cops are very very slow to respond to calls from alarm companies since almost all home security alarms are false alarms and they said they would likely just drive by 40 minutes after getting the call.
Makes me question just how much I want to spend on a monitoring service, but at least they would let me know if something happends and I can have the neighbors run over and check if I’m not around.
One thing that absolutely blows my mind is why anyone would want to save money when they put in a home security system. I will say this only once, never ever attempt to install your own security system, always get a competent professional installer to do the job for you.
We recently had a case locally where a guy bought a system for under $500 form Simplisafe. Sounds good so far, the system came UPS, he installed it himself and monitoring was $14.95 a month. Not bad. Several months later his house was broke into. The alarm went off and the monitoring center call the police dept. A cop reported he drove by the house but didn’t see anything so he wrote it up as a false alarm. The guy came home and found his back door had been forced open with a pry bar. They suspect at least 2 or 3 were in the house and one drove the vehicle. The first thing the crooks did was try to hit the remote keypad with a hammer, they were a bad aim and knocked several holes in the wall but eventually smashed the keypad to pieces. He had mounted several 110 db sirens inside the house and a siren outside the house. The crooks found the base station which is this tower like triangle cone shaped thing – everything on it is enclosed including the back up battery – now they tried smashing the base, but even after damaging the housing with a hammer, the sirens continued to sound.
Crazy thing, the sirens couldn’t be turned off and continued to sound but the base was badly damaged. Now to add insult to injury, the guy was fined for the false alarm, no alarm permit, disturbing the peace and creating a nuisance. He found himself facing nearly $800 in fines for improperly installing a sub $500 system. You seriously don’t want a smoke detector monitored because if the fire department responds and nobody is home or they are unable to contact a keyholder, they have to use forced entry to verify there is no fire. They also have to send you a bill for responding to the false alarm.