Need a security system for a new Townhouse/Condo

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  #1  
Old 01-26-04, 02:42 PM
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The Uncle
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Need a security system for a new Townhouse/Condo

Hey Guys,

Naive question here from a newbie on this topic. I just purchased a townhouse and want to install a security stystem as soon as I move in. I had a couple of questions though.

1) Given that the townhouse is in a safe neighborhood, and I have other townhouses all around me, should I bother getting a monitored service (like Brinks, etc). It seems to me that $30 a month is a lot for monitoring, when all I really needs is some kind of deterent.

2) Assuming I get a do-it-yourself wireless system, I have the complication of not being able to install a siren anywhere outside the building (at least not without the permission of the HOA). Could a siren installed inside the house be heard? I would probably get the GE system, based on the recommendations I've read on this forum.

Any comments, advice, etc, would be GREATLY appreciated.

BTW, I've camped out on this forum for a few day and am very impressed by how knowledgable everbody is.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-26-04, 08:03 PM
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KFS03
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Congratulations on your new home. Safe neighborhood or not, a security system can't hurt.

In answer to your first question, I believe that a non monitored security system can serve a person well in densly populated areas. The idea is to get your neighbors to look into the alarm if you are not home. The only problem with that is you are counting on people you may not know to look after the security of your home. If you have good neighbors and inform them about the alarm then you should be fine.

When it comes to sirens, you want the sound to go where the people are who are meant to hear it. If you are using the system as more of a deterent, an inside siren works great. If you want notification of neighbors, then you need something outside. I use an exterior style siren mounted in the vented eaves of the house when customers want sound outside. It gets the noise out and does not detract from the looks of the house. The problem with some wireless systems is that they do not allow for siren expansion (most come with the siren built into the panel/keypad).

If you can tell us which system you are looking at then we may be able to tell you if an outside siren is even an option.
 
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Old 01-26-04, 08:32 PM
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If you're looking into the GE Simon system (one of the best wireless systems on the market), then you will definitely want to go with the Simon 3, and not the Simon 2. The main advantage the Simon 3 has over the Simon 2 is the Voice Event Notification - essentially, this is a built-in voice dialer. It will only call one phone number (land line or cell phone, doesn't matter), but that's better than nothing. And, you can still use the paging features of the system too.

Either one of the Simon systems supports additional sirens via the 2 onboard input/outputs. GE/ITI also makes a Maxi-Blast siren that is great for attic or exterior mounting, if you can.

Good luck!
 
  #4  
Old 01-26-04, 10:44 PM
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The Uncle
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Originally posted by SafeWatch
If you're looking into the GE Simon system (one of the best wireless systems on the market), then you will definitely want to go with the Simon 3, and not the Simon 2. The main advantage the Simon 3 has over the Simon 2 is the Voice Event Notification - essentially, this is a built-in voice dialer. It will only call one phone number (land line or cell phone, doesn't matter), but that's better than nothing. And, you can still use the paging features of the system too.

Either one of the Simon systems supports additional sirens via the 2 onboard input/outputs. GE/ITI also makes a Maxi-Blast siren that is great for attic or exterior mounting, if you can.

Good luck!
The GE Simon III system was precisely what I planed to look into (based primarily on your own recommendations in an earlier thread. )

So, the idea would be to get an external siren and then mount it somewhere in the house? For example, if I mounted it in the garage, would that be loud enough for the neighbors to hear?

It would be possible for me to place a siren discretely on the upstairs balcony, where nobody would see it, I suppose.
 
  #5  
Old 01-27-04, 06:03 PM
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My experience

Although my experience is not extensive, I researched all my alarm options, and found the ITI systems to be the best option.

I bought and installed a simon 3 panel, and it was VERY easy to install, program, etc.

My main problem with the Simon 3 was that the phone dialer/main panel/etc is all contained in one unit, and it would be easy for someone to break into your house, hear it (unless you turn the sound on the panel off), and smash it....i.e. the smash and dash, effectively disabling it.

So my research continued. I found the GE allegro to be VERY similar to the simon 3, but it has a seperate phone dialer, and the keypad panel has an LCD screen (another minus for the simon 3 in my opinion). The problem with the allegro is it did not have as many "zones" I needed, it has I believe only 20 zones, which would make it perfect for a smaller residence, I have over 30 zones to protect.

So I finally bought a Concord integrated unit with 32 wireless zones and 8 hardwire zones.

It has been a bit more complex to install than the simon 3, but I feel secure that the main panel is in a hard to find location, it doesnt make noise, and the whole system provides the zones I need.

If you wont be the type that worries about someone breaking in and smashing the simon 3 panel to disable it, by all means go with the simon 3.

If you can run a few wires, you may want to consider the Concord Express, both 16 zones of wireless coverage with wired built in, a seperate main panel with dialer, and more flexibility than the simon 3.

By the way, Safewatch (Brandon) has been a super help with me in my installation of my system over the past 6 months, I HIGHLY recommend his services and products.


Also, you can find good monitoring for about 15$ a month, I am about to sign up with the C.O.P.S monitoring services through Safewatch security http://www.copsmonitoring.com/home.html

hope this helps in your selection, thought I would try and give back a bit.
 
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Old 01-27-04, 06:31 PM
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The Uncle
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Re: My experience

Originally posted by ortho_resident
Although my experience is not extensive, I researched all my alarm options, and found the ITI systems to be the best option.

I bought and installed a simon 3 panel, and it was VERY easy to install, program, etc.

My main problem with the Simon 3 was that the phone dialer/main panel/etc is all contained in one unit, and it would be easy for someone to break into your house, hear it (unless you turn the sound on the panel off), and smash it....i.e. the smash and dash, effectively disabling it.

So my research continued. I found the GE allegro to be VERY similar to the simon 3, but it has a seperate phone dialer, and the keypad panel has an LCD screen (another minus for the simon 3 in my opinion). The problem with the allegro is it did not have as many "zones" I needed, it has I believe only 20 zones, which would make it perfect for a smaller residence, I have over 30 zones to protect.

So I finally bought a Concord integrated unit with 32 wireless zones and 8 hardwire zones.

It has been a bit more complex to install than the simon 3, but I feel secure that the main panel is in a hard to find location, it doesnt make noise, and the whole system provides the zones I need.

If you wont be the type that worries about someone breaking in and smashing the simon 3 panel to disable it, by all means go with the simon 3.

If you can run a few wires, you may want to consider the Concord Express, both 16 zones of wireless coverage with wired built in, a seperate main panel with dialer, and more flexibility than the simon 3.

By the way, Safewatch (Brandon) has been a super help with me in my installation of my system over the past 6 months, I HIGHLY recommend his services and products.


Also, you can find good monitoring for about 15$ a month, I am about to sign up with the C.O.P.S monitoring services through Safewatch security http://www.copsmonitoring.com/home.html

hope this helps in your selection, thought I would try and give back a bit.
This certainly does help. Thanks!
 
  #7  
Old 01-27-04, 08:00 PM
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Ortho_resident (Cullen - hope you don't mind), is exactly right. If you want the feel and security of a hardwired system, but the convenience of the wireless - go with something like the Concord Express or Concord RF systems. To me, the programming is not necessarily more complicated, but rather different - with the Simon, there is no LCD panel, so the system talks you through programming; with the Concord systems, you have to use an Alpha display keypad to program (LCD display), so the programming changes drastically. But, to me, the LCD programmin of the Concord is actually easier than the "talk you through" programming (especially when you need to review information.)

There's not much else I can add to what Cullen said - I can tell you all day long that the ITI systems are the easiest on the market, but I work on them every day, so of course they are easy for me.

Feel free to take a look around our site (see the link in my signature) and especially take a look at the manuals - they will give you a better understanding of how the systems work and program (not just the GE/ITI systems, but pretty much any major system on the market.)
 
  #8  
Old 01-28-04, 03:44 PM
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The Uncle
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Thanks, Brandon. This has been very, very helpful.

I'm going to go with the ITI Concord system. It sounds like exactly what I need.
 
  #9  
Old 01-29-04, 05:26 PM
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Concord system

uncle,

tried to end you an email, but your emails are not turned on.

Send me an email at: [email protected]

I have a computer file that may help you, and have a few links that I did my research on that made setting the system up pretty easy.
 
  #10  
Old 01-29-04, 05:34 PM
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Don't mind at att Safewatch (brandon)......

If I ever want to get out of surgery, I may go into the alarm business, I learned a lot doing the research to put in the best system for my family...all while doing it myself.

You original advice to me was to go with the concord express, I should have gone with it the first time, but went through buying a simon 3, concord express (never installing it), and now the concord integrated 32rf. I think that the concord express suites about 95% of everyones needs in a super simple, flexible package.

I can also saw that my parents have another wireless system on the market and the sensors are always giving them problems....

not the case with my iti sensors, all picked up the first time when I programmed the system and work flawlessly.

Take it from me, a guy with very little free time on his hands: Brandon is right, these systems are EASY to put in!

-cullen

Originally posted by SafeWatch
Ortho_resident (Cullen - hope you don't mind), is exactly right. If you want the feel and security of a hardwired system, but the convenience of the wireless - go with something like the Concord Express or Concord RF systems. To me, the programming is not necessarily more complicated, but rather different - with the Simon, there is no LCD panel, so the system talks you through programming; with the Concord systems, you have to use an Alpha display keypad to program (LCD display), so the programming changes drastically. But, to me, the LCD programmin of the Concord is actually easier than the "talk you through" programming (especially when you need to review information.)

There's not much else I can add to what Cullen said - I can tell you all day long that the ITI systems are the easiest on the market, but I work on them every day, so of course they are easy for me.

Feel free to take a look around our site (see the link in my signature) and especially take a look at the manuals - they will give you a better understanding of how the systems work and program (not just the GE/ITI systems, but pretty much any major system on the market.)
 
  #11  
Old 01-29-04, 06:05 PM
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The Uncle
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Re: Concord system

Originally posted by ortho_resident
uncle,

tried to end you an email, but your emails are not turned on.

Send me an email at: [email protected]

I have a computer file that may help you, and have a few links that I did my research on that made setting the system up pretty easy.
Thank you. That is very nice of you. I'm going to e-mail you in about two minutes.

I really appreciate your help.
 
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