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Home Security System Ideas

Police BadgeWhen we built the last custom home, we determined that we needed a security system. Our house was large and in a moderately remote location. Given that all the lots were five acres, the few neighbors that could even see our home weren’t likely to hear anything. Installing a security system seemed to be a wise investment.

Rather than go with a well-known company, like ADT or Tyco, we found a local company that offered us a package deal. They would provide and install an intercom, central vacuum system, and fire/theft security system.

This seemed like an efficient way to handle multiple smaller issues all at once, dealing with just one company.

I can’t recall the name of the local company (I’ll post it when I find it), but I know it was not ADT Security or any other well-known national brand.

We were sorry.

The sales representative that came to the construction site misrepresented just about every aspect of the package.

  • The price quoted wasn’t honored and they asked for more after installation.
  • The intercom unit capacity wasn’t remotely what we were told and so they ended up daisy-chaining multiple rooms. This resulted in roaring speakers and dead speakers. The entire system was very low quality, the buttons began to fall off and apart within a short time. Oh, yea, and the radio would come on randomly in the middle of the night at full volume. (When you’ve just gotten your newborn to sleep and the phantom intercom wakes him up, come talk to me.)
  • The central vacuum was supposed to have a wet/dry option. Upon install the company had no idea what we were talking about. They had agreed to sell us additional tool packages for a good price. The company also had no idea what that meant.
  • The security system had a camera outside (that was only installed over the “dummy camera” after much intervention). The motion detectors never, ever worked. The alarm would come on (sometimes in the middle of the night) for no reason and the override didn’t work. The only way to stop the migraine-inducing screeching was to disable the entire unit. Which…ahem…meant that the smoke detectors were deactivated as well.

Needless to say, we are going to be much more careful about our selection this time around. We are looking for ideas and feedback — and referrals! — for great home security companies. If you have experience with an ADT security system, we’d like to hear your impressions. If you have used another large company, we’d like any idea you have as well.

We will still consider a local company — as we really prefer patronizing small business — but they must have a sound history of good service and quality products.

Your input is appreciated!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Sarah Patino February 5, 2010, 1:25 am

    We have ADT. Love it!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 5, 2010, 10:22 am

    Details, Sarah! Details! What do you like? What things could be better? 🙂

  • Lee February 9, 2010, 7:33 pm

    I used to use ADT for small commercial building security. They used to offer packages for small businesses. Of course they were constantly trying to up sale, but the installation went well with no problems to speak of. Also, the monthly monitoring service was fine.

    This was a couple of years back and I never had a problem with their service.
    .-= Lee@Woodworker Plans´s last blog ..Are Woodworker Plans Really Necessary? =-.

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