Advice for Renter DIY Home Security

Old 11-25-17, 03:06 AM
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Advice for Renter DIY Home Security

I am a renter in a TX apartment and had a recent break-in. Considering DIY Home Security options. Would request advice from the community.

700 sq.ft rented apartment in the first (ground) floor.
Fairly handy. Will be able to program as needed.

Considering to purchase the following.
1) Vista 20P
2) 6160RF
4) Honeywell Ademco 5834-4 Four-Button Wireless Key Remote - 2 numbers (to use it as a keyfob)
5) Honeywell Siren - 2 numbers

Is this a wise decision? Or should I consider standard devices like Simplisafe?
Please advise. Thanks in advance for your help.
Old 11-25-17, 03:39 AM
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Depends on the level of security you're looking for. The SimpliSafe system is inexpensive and can be active or passive. But it can also be bypassed easily by those thieves who really want to get in. Other system usually lock you into a contract and you don't have any flexibility.

I have the Simplisafe system as does several of my family members and I can testify that it does work and response time from authorities is very good.

Those who are in the "security" business are not very confident of the "DIY" systems and can poke all kinds of holes in it. Again it's the level of security you want. In a high crime area I would not use "DIY" systems. But in a typical suburban neighborhood or low crime area, the DIYs work well and can give you the amount of security needed to keep out the rift raft. My humble opinion.
Old 11-25-17, 05:33 AM
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I'm a renter too. All I did was buy one camera & one DVR from the local CCTV store. The total cost with tax was a little over $300.
Old 11-25-17, 06:12 AM
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Our daughter has the Simply Safe system and is very happy with it. She is not in a high crime area.
Old 11-25-17, 08:12 AM
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As a rule of thumb, simply having an intrusion alarm system "hardens the target", and makes your location a less desirable choice (crooks are generally lazy).

For an apartment renter; this is one of the circumstances that the all-in-one wireless systems like the simplisafe, or one of the Honeywell Lynx models isn't a bad choice. You just have to put the base station in a location that is not an easy "dash and smash" spot. There are DIY friendly monitoring services that you can set up accounts with that don't lock you into recurring contracts. Then, when you move, you can take all of your hardware with you.

While the Vista really is a better system, in the long term, it does require at least as much wiring as it takes for the siren and keypads.
Old 11-30-17, 08:48 AM
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Another option would be a smart home hub like SmartThings (or Wink, or Nest's new security system).

I have been using SmartThings v2 hub and sensors for past 1-2 years and like it. It is not perfect but for me it is a low cost, no monthly service fee security system. Plus you can get into the world of home automation :-) Note that it requires full time internet connection as most of the system logic is web-based. I slowly built my system up mostly only buying devices when I find a good deal.

Right now you can get this setup for about $100:
SmartThings hub $50 on sale
2 wireless door sensors and 1 wireless motion sensor $52

With this you could stick the door sensors on with removable "Command Strips", hang motion sensor in a central area with tiny nail (in case someone broke in through window). SmartThings can be set up to notify/text you. As with any security system you have to arm it / turn it on every time you leave. With SmartThings you can use the smartphone app to automatically arm when you leave area (this gets complicated if you don't live alone though...leads to false alarms).

Then watch for lamp modules on sale; I found them for $10 each few months ago. These plug right into an outlet, then a lamp plugs into it. While you are away, you could automate lights to turn on & off..... that would probably be a better deterrent than any alarm system. Also with a cheap Amazon Echo Dot (on sale for $30) you can say "Alexa, turn on living room lamp".

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