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  1. #1
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    Home Security?
    My family and I were robbed at gunpoint in my driveway this past weekend so needless to say I'm now on a big security kick.

    I've looked into getting some security cameras so I can see who is at my front door without opening the blinds to look out. x10 has some of these cameras and you can see the videos over your internet connection so if motion is detected it records a video. I also want to get something that chimes in the house whenever someone comes down the walkway. X10 also has one of these.

    Anyone know if x10's products are any good or have any suggestions? Does anyone use a camera type set up like this? I'm completely lost on this stuff so any help would really be appreciated.

    Also, just a reminder to everyone to please be careful and mindful about security issues. I live in a really safe neighborhood and it never crossed my mind that something like that could happen here, but it did.

    TIA,
    Kip

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    My family and I were robbed at gunpoint in my driveway this past weekend
    OMG!
    At least he* didn't actually shoot anyone (assuming positively there, since you didn't say anyone got shot)!

    As for a camera, sorry, I don't know firsthand.

    In a "prior life" I delivered pizzas to a guy who had that whole setup (I could hear the thing play as I walked up, and I also suspect something played when I drove in). I don't know if he had cameras, but since he had a binger for the driveway/walkway, he probably did. But he had a security service too, according to the sign in the yard, so they probably set it up for him. Unfortunately, he wasn't very friendly of a guy, so I didn't ask him how satisfied he was with it.

    I can say to set up any motion-sensitive stuff at a height where every squirrel/rabbit/dog that goes by doesn't set it off--and make sure the detection range doesn't reach into the street (where it'd be triggered by every car that goes by). Our neighbors all have had motion-sensitive lights at some point, and after a few months of them being triggered in the middle of the night (flooding their houses with sleep-wrecking light, that'd come in through their windows), they all ditched the motion-sensors. I would assume any motion-sensitive thing would suffer the same limitations...

    *Most crimes are committed by males, so that's the way to bet...
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  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Wow. Sorry to hear. I can't point you in the right direction on cameras, since I don't own them myself.
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  4. #4
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    Whoa, Kip, that's horrifying. I can understand why you'd want to install cameras and maybe even a moat with alligators.

    We had something weird happen a couple of years ago. I was working in the yard when a car I'd never seen before with blacked out windows pulled into our driveway. (Our house is in a rural area and it's hidden from the road by woods.) As soon as the driver saw me and one of our dogs he threw the car into reverse and sped away. The whole thing was very fishy. It surprised me that anyone might even consider burglarizing our house since one of our neighbors is a state trooper and we have big dogs (one of whom is very nasty with strangers). Truthfully, around here we worry more about wildlife than humans. (Mountain lions, bears, moose, bobcats, etc.)

    I did once watch an interview with a guy who's some kind of home security specialist who said that the best security system is a dog...or two...or more. Sorry, but I can't help with the camera stuff.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Kip,

    Don't go x10... wireless = interference...IMO

    I have a full set up, entire perimiter of house covered, all PC based, with remote view via the web from anywhere in the world.

    Send me an email and I will point you in the right direction. You can get a full set up for under $1,500, 8 cams, PC camera board etc. providing you have a pc to run it on.

    And of course, a Glock can't hurt...

    Happy to hear you are ok....

    Added:

    I use this board and these cameras, all hooked up to one of my PC's. The only mod i did was to add a 250G hard drive to store the videos for a month at a time in case i need them.

    You can have anyone wire them in or do it yourself if you have some basic wiring knowledge, one 12volt line and the BNC video connectors. The wire comes in a spool of 100 feet for about $100 bucks...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    And of course, a Glock can't hurt...
    LOL. I'm going to start calling you Andy Heston...

    I've been thinking more seriously about that myself... Wife is vehemently opposed though...
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Don't know about cameras but I would go for buying a big dog and get it trained. Guns sound like great to some but I'm against them. In your case you would have to be packing one for any protection, if the gun were in the house the scum would be gone by the time you got to the house. If you did have it with you and started a gunfight, could you live with yourself if one of your family got hurt. You got held up at gunpoint, but look at it this way, you and your family are still alive and thats all that matters.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJJay
    but look at it this way, you and your family are still alive and thats all that matters.
    1000% agreement... !

    Agreed that a gun would not have helped you in this scenario... I myself wouldn't have even pulled mine when looking into another barrel with my family outside with me...too risky.

    had the situation developed though, and they would have wanted to come into the house, packing a gun could have made a difference...

    either way, crime can happen anywhere, we live in a nice area where homes are $500K + and cars get stolen frequently and there was one home invasion a few months ago. Seems like thugs go to the "nicer" areas where they "think" there is money...

    A dog is a great early warning system as well, make sure he has a load bark ..
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Wow, Kip -- I'm glad you're O.K.! You must have nightmares about what *could* have happened!


    In general, I think the answer to home security is "layers."

    A camera/alarm system lets you know, as soon as possible, that there are folks outside.

    A dog (or two) buys you time in case they try to break in. And is a good-enough deterrent most of the time, all by itself.

    For a determined break-in, the dog slows any intruders, giving you the time you need to get to a firearm.

    Or, perhaps, to trigger an outside siren/alarm that might make them just take off.

    Just having a camera/alarm system alone won't actually *stop* a determined intruder. It just lets you know they're there. But unless it gives you time to take effective action, and you have some means of doing that -- gun, etc. -- it seems to me it hasn't actually helped you much.

    None of that sounds as if it would have helped in your situation, though. Perhaps a remote garage-door opener would let you drive into the garage and close the door before getting out of your car, but I don't know if what you experienced was a follow-home robbery or a walk-up type.

    In my case I've got a driveway alarm that rings an X-10 chime in the house. The driveway is the only practical way anyone could approach the house. If the dogs weren't already aware of someone approaching the house they sure are once it goes off. They raise the roof, which would greatly slow any break-in attempt and give me time to act.

    Another option is a large dog that rides in the car with you. Not very practical on hot days where you need to park the car in the sunlight, and large dogs take a lot of time to maintain -- exercise/walks, training, vet visits, etc. But getting out of your car at home with a big dog beside you would shut off many robberies before they started.

    One thought: A large dog is a weapon that can't be taken away and used against you.

    That was a scary story, I live in a nice area too, with occasional auto thefts and similar situations. I'm glad you're O.K.
    A joy shared is a joy doubled.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts and suggestions.

    Yes, it was very scary - more after the fact than when it was happening. It seemed like a movie when it was going on. We were getting out of our car when a car pulled up with several people in it and a guy jumped out with a gun. He was just a few feet away and had it pointed at me almost the whole time except a couple of times when he threatened my mom or dad. He got money and my mom's purse, but we are all okay which is definitely the most important thing.

    What's funny is that none of the security measures I want to put in would have helped at all, but I feel like I should do something. I have two dogs so I'm not that worried about someone breaking in.

    A couple of things I learned from all this that may help someone:

    -- Make a copy of your credit cards (front and back) and keep the info in a safe place so if they get stolen or lost you can easily find out who you need to call.

    -- Only carry credit cards with you that you actually use. It's a real pain to have to remember the ones that you have in your wallet but don't ever use.

    -- Don't carry your checkbook if you don't need to. Checks have the bank account and routing numbers on them so they can wire out money. My parents had to close all their bank accounts which messed up all the automatic payments they had set up. Also, checks usually have your zip code so they can use your credit cards at various gas stations and such.

    -- For guys - my dad carried his "real" wallet but pulled out a second smaller card case which had some money around it. The cards inside were grocery store cards, etc. that looked like credit cards but were worthless.

    -- If I had it to do over again, I would have waited another few hours to put a stop on the credit cards. The more places they use the card the better chance you have of getting them on tape somewhere using them.

    Andy - PM on the way.

  11. #11
    Newbie gsantore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    I did once watch an interview with a guy who's some kind of home security specialist who said that the best security system is a dog...or two...or more.
    great quote Michael Harlowe's book K-9 BodyGuards, "You can't call back a bullet."

  12. #12
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Wow, that's scary Kip. Glad to hear you are OK.
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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    We have two dogs that just make a lot of noise as an early warning system. They're not trained for security. I prefer to provide my own deterrent. My daughter has 4 rotweillers and on the fence a sign says, "We can make it to the fence in 3 seconds. Can You?"

    The dogs are very social and playfull and were well trained show dogs and not meant to be guard dogs. Unfortunally my son-in-law's nephew was recently fatally mauled when he taunted one of them with a stick and let him out of the kennel while mom was unaware he had gone out to play. If you want guard dogs, train the dogs and yourself and realize they can be fatal weapons just like the gun. You can't call the bullet back, but you better know how to call the dog back and you must be there at all times in order to do that.
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  14. #14
    Newbie gsantore's Avatar
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    stories like this make me want to consider a camera to HD recorder -- should something ever happen, I would love to be able to provide hard evidence of the interloper for LE ...

    ernie- you're absolutely right on the dogs/training. i have a amstaff that is nowhere near size enough to be a manstopper, but i've benefited from using some of the basic tenets of protective training in developing her discipline -- in particular the stop command that breaks her tunnel vision when her prey drive kicks in ...

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    Criminals continue to take on bolder measures. Not only in urban areas, but rural areas as well.

    The best way to prevent what occured is to create deterants. Where was the guy hidding? Do you have adequate lighting outside? A sign or stickers a security system is present..I can go on and on.

    Even banks get robbed, and they don't always catch the person, even with their very expensive camera systems. Usually the picture rate is turned up to high. They do this to save a bit of money on storage space.

    I had a guy come into my home late at night through our garage. It was obvious we were home, he went through our cars first. My girlfriend at the time suprised him in the kitchen, ran back to the bedroom and woke me up. As I came out of our room, he was in the hallway. Chased the bastard for a bit, never caught him. and my entire gun collection was at my fathers a block away. We did not feel comfortable with the guns and kids in the house. How I would have loved to simply had the pump shotgun in the bedroom. I bet the sound of pumping it would have sent him running.

    This was before I was involved with security systems.

    Now you could NOT get into my house without me know about it, gives me a few seconds to react.

    I am sorry to hear you went through such an ordeal, be thankful it ended the way it did.

    If you want any other security advise, I would be happy to help, just drop me a PM.

    John
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    John

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  16. #16
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    Sorry to hear about that Kip... that sort of thing really changes your life!

    A few years ago, I was robbed home invasion style - opened my door, thinking my friends were coming back because they forgot something, to a gun in my face, got tied up & lost a ton of stuff (thankfully not my computer). I've learned a lot since then, but probably the biggest thing is that not much scares me anymore. You can play the "what if" game all you want, but the fact remains that if someone wants your stuff bad enough, they'll get it. Just don't live in fear. Live smart.
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    Very good quote....

    Quote Originally Posted by Celicaphile
    Just don't live in fear. Live smart.
    John
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    John

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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Kip
    Sorry to hear about that too, and glad nobody got hurt. Years ago someone attempted to break into our apartment while I was home by myself. He had a crowbar and was half-way in. Luckily I scared him away. lol Dummy me, decided to bang on the door and yell at him (although doubt if any noise was probably coming out) Guess he wasn't a real brave robber or I understimated how scarey I must have sounded. lol but he left. Regardless I was scared for years to be home by myself.
    My husband's an electrical contractor and has wired the type of systems mentioned previously and they all appear very happy with them.
    Agree with JJJay Agree that dogs are really good also.
    Don't know if the rest of your family includes any little people or not. Even your wife, talk things out with everybody. Sometimes people do let their fears after something like this happens to them build up without talking to anybody about it and sometimes just talking about it will make them feel a little better knowing it's ok to be scared by it and that other people feel the same way.

  19. #19
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Wow Kip. That is such a horrible feeling I'm sure. Our house was broken into and I felt very violated. I can't imagine how it would feel to have a gun to your head. That kind of hit/run is just bad luck. Glad you didn't get physically hurt. Your tips were very helpful. When nothing goes wrong, I tend to get relaxed about security. This was a good reminder. Thanks.

    Oh..and an after thought..lol. don't keep pin numbers on you or passwords.. even if you think you've been really tricky and reversed numbers or whatever. I learned that when I got my purse ripped off. Of course most people probably wouldn't even think to do that! I just tend to lose stuff so I would keep it all in one place (not good thinking!). Live and learn.
    leeann


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