View Full Version : Buying my first house...

07-27-2009, 10:39 PM
Yeah - finally. Anyhow, it's downtown Montreal and first thing that I am doing before I move in is ensure that the security is 100% solid as I can get it.

Got a couple of Alarm companies coming by to quote me on install and monitoring of the usual stuff. Window sensors, breaking glass sensors, motion detection, doors, fire and carbon monoxide.

What I will be setting up myself is the video surveillance. Whole bunch of good packages out there to buy - but was wondering what some of you are using *Wes* :)

PCI card in a computer, or something like a D-Link camera that uploads direct to the web, or a PVR system. I will be putting camera's outside and inside and yes I want infrared because some peeps just put graffiti on my brand new house - bastiges!!

07-28-2009, 10:25 AM
I am an expert at home security and handle a lot of the public safety duties for several neighborhoods in my area. Want me to post my regular email talking about securing your house, etc?

07-28-2009, 12:32 PM
There are a few ways to do video surveillance.

Two easy ways:
Low end: Costco cheap package deal that has the recorder, cheap cams and all. Quality is poor
High end: Like the webcam I showed you.

DYI ways:
Using USB cams connecting to PC. Cheap, but quality usually is poor. Not good for night vision.
Using real CCTV camera. Decent ones cost range from $100-$400. After testing many of them, of course, the $400 ones has the best quality and has the best night vision. Their output are video signal. You have to use video capture card and some software to do video capturing and FTP uploading for remote achieve. There are also security surveillance card do just that. The card cost about $100-$200 depends on number of channel/camera.

07-28-2009, 01:20 PM
something you should know. It may not seem important, but it really is.

The security DVR's generally run on a linux system and you have to select the times to start if you wanted to scan certain times. There is no paddle bar to move like in windows media. However, you can export them to a keyfob with avideo format...but its still an annoyance. Lets say something happened between midnight and 6 am, but you dont know when.
You have to enter in 24:00 (they generally do 24hr time) and enter 6:00, then select the date etc etc.
You cannot easily scan between that time to see movement. You need to fast foward. To me, it's annoying

Using a video card and computer gives you the scanning options like windows media player has. It's not make or break, but it is something to think about.

07-28-2009, 01:32 PM
Hmm... Both security DVR PC cards I have run on Windows and can be easily scan the video. I guess you are talking about those dedicated DVR boxes?

07-28-2009, 01:52 PM
It would also be handy to have a software that would be able to compress the video down by omitting duplicate frames (motion detection, basically).

Have it record 30FPS, but any one that it finds that matches, within a certain tolerance, the frames immediately before it, are omitted......

They do this on the hardware end with simple motion sensors turning the recorder on, but I think it would be better if it was always recording and just got rid of the stuff that did not matter.....

07-28-2009, 01:57 PM
Lot of security cam software already do that. If there are no (or little) motion, it doesn't record. You can set all the parameter and even what area to detect.

07-28-2009, 02:46 PM
Hmm... Both security DVR PC cards I have run on Windows and can be easily scan the video. I guess you are talking about those dedicated DVR boxes?

yeah, the stand alone DVR's you can buy in home depot.

07-28-2009, 02:54 PM
Wes, thought so (I was hoping that was the case, but I have not done the research...so...)

07-28-2009, 04:23 PM
I am an expert at home security and handle a lot of the public safety duties for several neighborhoods in my area. Want me to post my regular email talking about securing your house, etc?

Yes, please! :D

Congrats on your new home, Garm!

07-28-2009, 05:10 PM
Thanks Lilith.

Ya shifty - post away.

Most cameras that I have been looking at are in the 250 to 350 range. Although most capture cards that's I've seen are running in the 600 dollar range. I'll see about bringing that down.

Although I am tempted to buy the costco ones since they appear to be easy set up - I look forward to the challenge of doing the set up myself.

07-28-2009, 09:16 PM
School is letting out. Lots of kids and teens on the street. Is your house ready for the "summer crime heat wave"?

We frequently hear the same questions coming up at meetings:

- How can I help reduce crime in our area?
- How do I make my house a less desirable target?
- How can I keep people from kicking in my door?
- How do I stop burglars from robbing me blind?
- How do I alert my neighbors that a burglary is happening?
- What can I do to make a burglar more likely to get caught?
- How do I protect my irreplaceable valuables?

These are all good questions, and all have good answers. Below is an impromptu FAQ covering the topics above. Hopefully it will benefit everyone that reads it.

Use the suggestions in the following at your own risk.


* How can I help reduce crime in our area?

-- Join, start or donate to a local security patrol; lots of intown and downtown areas have them.

-- Get to know your neighbors, swap emergency contact info with them. Get to know the 4 or 5 nearest houses to you - one on either side, and up to three of the homes across from you. Agree to watch out for them if they watch out for you. Make a note of what their house looks like normally (what cars are there, etc.) so you'll know when something is out of place.

-- Take "the long way" in and out of the neighborhood as you leave and come home. Look for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. We foil tons of crime this way. As you start to make this drive, you will start to notice what is "normal" so you're better prepared to know what is "not normal".

-- ALWAYS CALL 9-1-1. We were all raised to think of 911 as the life or death number, but in many metro areas, it is the only way the police will be dispatched. If the police are busy with a higher priority call, they will deal with that first. If there is nothing to worry about when they arrive to a call, nothing is lost, they will just move on. Call especially if you have that gut feeling something just isn't right, even if someone "doesn't appear to be doing something wrong" (at that moment). Your gut is usually correct – it never hurts to call anyway – but it will hurt like hell to find out you witnessed a criminal just before or just after they picked a target and you talked yourself out of calling the police and thus didn't do your part to stop it. Do not worry about "overloading" 9-1-1, it's not possible to do this. The operator will prioritize your urgency based on the details you provide, so be descript; include specific activity witnessed, car tag numbers, type/color of car, type/color of clothing, even a person's skin tone...

NOTE: No matter what some folks would like you to believe, providing skin tone and/or suspected race of a person is NOT racist on its own. When we describe cars, we give a color. When we describe houses and buildings, we give a color. There is NOTHING wrong with providing a person's skin color when giving their description, so don't let anyone intimidate you into thinking otherwise.

-- If you have police-related concerns which are NOT immediate, call your local police precinct and ask to speak to the Unit Commander or Watch Commander.

-- Report ALL crimes. Police resources are usually allocated based on need; one of the best indications where resources are needed is through reported crimes. Therefore, no theft is too small to report, even if it is a rake or plant from your front yard. It only takes a minute to report a crime, and you'd be amazed at how many people neglect to report a car break-in, or any other crime, especially if something invaluable (or nothing at all) is taken.

-- Find out which "beat" you live in by calling your local precinct and get to know your "beat officers". Most beats have a day, evening, and morning watch. If you want to meet your beat officer, the precinct that serves you can probably arrange this, call and ask to speak to the Unit Commander or Watch Commander.

-- When your home is going to be vacant overnight or for a couple of days, call your local precinct to see if they do "Directed patrols". Most security patrols offer this service of stopping by to check on your place. Let them know who, if anyone, should be at your house, and can act accordingly while patrolling in your area.


* How do I make my house a less desirable target?

Trim back your bushes and overgrowth so that your house is easily visible to all of your neighbors and burglars don't have a place to hide.

ADD LIGHTING! And use it religiously at night! If you are worried about electric bills, get compact fluorescent lights which use 80% less power. Porch lights should be ON at night, ALWAYS. Install floodlights if you haven't already.

If you're a person who can't remember to turn on your porch lights or flood lights, install an automated wall switch. They cost around $30 at your local hardware store; Home Depot has a great selection from a company called Intermatic. Here is one of the models which has proven very reliable, and installs in the place of any normal wall switch:
- http://tinyurl.com/r4fv8f
You will need to replace the outlet cover to a standard "Decora" style switchplate, which is less than $2-$3. Installation is a breeze for the novice handyman. Put one on the front and back porch, or even on your floodlights.

Install an on/off timer on at least one or two bright lights INSIDE your house, preferably near a window, to mimic someone being inside the house. A DARK HOUSE is a BULLSEYE to a thief. Use the timers religiously; they are a measly $10-20 and available all over the place. Some are programmable, some random. Here are two options, one is random, one is regular:
- http://tinyurl.com/qnsp5p
- http://tinyurl.com/qf6tvp

Keep your blinds CLOSED tight so nobody can see what is inside your home, and if possible, pitch them upwards so a person can't look down and inside. This is especially true in your TV room. If you watch your TV at night and leave your blinds open, you're basically advertising to the entire world that you have a nice TV (even if it’s not). A lot of crooks are hunting for victims at night just by walking the street or driving around looking from the street to see has TVs that are on.

Advertise your alarm, even if you don't have one. Keep alarm signs clearly visible on your windows, doors and in your yard. Understand that this won't stop a kick-in, but it might make a person think twice about hitting your house versus your neighbors.

DO NOT leave your doors and windows open, even your second and third story windows and doors. Use security braces or additional locks on your windows to prevent prying.

DO NOT keep your discarded/empty electronics boxes at the curb for trash pickup. Take them to a cardboard recycler or cut them up in small pieces to put them in the trash. By leaving empty boxes at the curb, you are advertising to the world exactly what you've got in your house, and what they can expect to find when smashing your window or door to gain entry.

If you have streetlights nearby that are either totally out (or blinking) OR they are obscured by trees or other obstacles, call the appropriate folks to remedy the situation - help is only a phone call away. Here is the info you will need to jot down:
- The closest house address to the pole.
- The location of the pole in relation to the address given.
- Any numbers stapled on the pole (most poles have numbers on them).
- Identify whether the pole is metal, concrete or wood.
Most often, your local utility company or city Public Works department will handle the poles; for the sake of this forum, I can't tell you specifically which will handle this in your area.

If you really want to light your place up because it's really dark, call your local utility company and ask them to install a street light in front of your house. It only costs a $10 or $20 a month and can make a huge difference, particularly if you live on the end of a street.

Plant prickly bushes under and around your windows to prevent access to them. Knockout roses are a good option which is cold hardy and requires little maintenance, or for an evergreen, choose any of a number of the varieties of Holly available. There are native varieties of Yucca which are prickly/sharp. The idea is to keep folks away from your windows and doors.

Buddy up with your immediate neighbor - when you're out of town, have them pick up your mail and/or newspaper so your house looks lived in. Between the lights turning on and off (because of the timers you’ve now installed) and the mail and paper being picked up, is there anything else you can do that will make your house look lived in? I suppose you could find a way to keep the yard mowed...

Take your name off of your house so a would-be thief can't look up your phone number in the phone book and call to see if you're home. This is probably unlikely to happen, and may not be applicable if you don’t have a land line, but it’s something to think about.

Don't leave anything in the yard that a burglar could easily use to gain entry such as tools, ladders, large rocks/bricks, etc. Don't leave valuables exposed in your yard such as lawn equipment.

Think you got this all down? Are you sure? Here's a quick, fun and interactive tool from The Discovery Channel to test your knowledge:
- http://tinyurl.com/qnzbs


* How can I keep people from kicking in my door?

The #1 method of burglary entry is through a door or window. Locally, one of our most common methods for burglary is a door kick-in.

The reality is, the only thing standing between a burglar and the inside of your house is less than an inch of soft wood in the door jamb (normally pine wood). Anyone that has taken martial arts classes or attended one with kids probably knows how easy it is to kick through a piece of pine wood that thin, because you've probably seen the little 5- and 6-year-olds kick 1, 2 and sometimes stacks of 3 boards in half at the same time.

Reality is, the standard door and frame most folks have is 100% inadequate by itself and cannot withstand a good kicking from even a child. It is advantageous to upgrade your door, because many would-be burglars will walk away after a couple kickdown attempts due to the noise it makes, so beefing up your door security is one sure-fire way to deter a burglary.

There are a few options available, some as cheap as a few cents, some more expensive. Generally, the more money you pay, the more secure your door will be.

-- For a dirt-cheap solution that will only cost a few pennies, simply replace the screws on your strike plates and one screw (per hinge) with longer 3"-4" screws. Builders almost always install " screws on the strike plate of a door jamb, which are the first thing to go during a kick-in. Once the strike plate busts free, the entire door jamb will split, and a burglar can be inside in less than 1-2 seconds. On a jamb that was NOT previously kicked in, replacing the short screws with longer screws will secure the strike plate to the inner supports for the door frame, which should be much more solid, requiring several kicks to break a door down (if it can be).

NOTE: This option is probably going to be ineffective if you've already had your door kicked in. The damage done in the previous kick-in can render the longer screws ineffective. You should get a unit that will repair and reinforce the door frame instead, such as the Strikemaster II (described below) or Door Jamb Armor (also below), both of which are sold at local hardware stores.

-- For a less expensive solution, you can try a door brace. The Masterlock Security Bar (part number 265DCCSEN) is one option made by the same company famous for the Master brand combination locks and padlocks. It can be bought at your local Hardware store, normally for around $23. You can also order online. Here is a shortened link to it:
- http://tinyurl.com/64d2qq
The concept is simple: Adjust the bar to the correct height, wedge under the handle, then kick the foot firmly into place. It is important to keep the foot clean or it won’t stay in place well. Works best with hardwood and concrete floors, but will also work with carpet just fine. The upside to the Masterlock Security Bar is how simple it is to use, how cheap, adjustable and really effective it is. It will brace windows or doors, you choose based on how you configure it. The downside to the Masterlock Security Bar is that you need to be inside the house to install it, and you can't exit through a door you’ve put it on.

NOTE: If you have both a front and rear door to your home and want to use this product on the front door, we recommend one of two options. Either install an "outswing" door for your back door so it can't really be kicked in, or have a security door (“storm door”) installed out back. With this configuration, you can bar the front door, then exit through the back door. This will keep the front door looking normal from the outside (but kick-resistant), while using a kick-proof back door.

WARNING: If using a simple outswing door instead of a storm door, use tamper resistant hinges so someone can’t just pop the hinges out and remove your door to gain entry!

-- For a more expensive product, buy the StrikeMaster II ($109), which was showcased on the Discovery Channel's show called "To Catch a Thief". It can be bought on the internet at: http://www.asafehome.net/

If you want to see an example of this product in action, check out the following YouTube video. Notice at the end that the door is broken in several places but the door jamb is fine.


That video is not a joke, there are a lot of others online showing how powerful the product can be if it's installed properly on a proper door frame. The upside to this unit is it will repair a previously kicked-in door jamb and it will make most door jambs kick-proof. If you install this with a steel-cased door, the chances of your door getting kicked in are almost impossible; likewise, the chances of a neighbor seeing some one trying to kick in your door are much higher (due to the noise generated). You can increase the strength of the product by using longer screws that will go through several 2x4s around the door frame. The downside to this product is it is only as strong as the area surrounding your door jamb. It needs a sturdy door frame to latch into, so it may not be good for doors with shoddy, old or weak frames, or water damaged frames. If your door is weak, has glass in it or is made out of wood, the door will probably break or crack at the handle or deadbolt or at the windows before the jamb breaks if using this product. Door failure could technically allow a person to gain entry but, of course, it would take several loud kicks to get that far, and we expect a person would give up and move on by then, or a neighbor would see or hear them.

NOTE: An alternate option to the Strikemaster which is a bit more expensive is a product called Door Jamb Armor. It is also sold locally at Lowes near the windows and doors section. More info on this product can be found at http://www.djarmor.com/

-- For the most expensive option, look into having a security door installed. These are also called "Storm Doors". This is usually an outward swinging glass/metal door that is made of heavy duty glass or wrought iron. It installs similar to a screen door, over your existing door. It cannot be easily pried open and is virtually impossible to kick in. There are many attractive options available that won't make your house look "ghetto", and I think you would be surprised at how many neighbors have them and you haven’t noticed!

Granted, by reinforcing your doors, you are basically forcing a person to go through a window, eh? So ... think about reinforcing your windows also! The Masterlock bar above works well on windows and doors but, then again, so will a well placed curtain rod or 2x2 piece of wood!

We also recommend having an alarm with glass breakage sensors in case a burglar tries to smash a window or kick in your door - it should set the alarm off PRIOR to entry being gained, which will usually send a would-be burglar running.

07-28-2009, 09:17 PM

* How do I stop burglars from robbing me blind?
* How do I alert my neighbors that a burglary is happening?

These questions both have essentially the same answer.

First, share your emergency contact info with your immediate neighbors so they can actually reach you if something is wrong or looks out of the ordinary. "You watch my back, I'll watch yours", this is the core premise of a neighborhood watch. Have them call any time a strange car or person is at your house and vice-versa, or when there is clearly trouble.

Second, ALWAYS lock your house. Period. Even when you're inside. Even if you're only stepping out for 2 minutes to weed your garden or walk the dog. You never know who is watching you enter and exit. Someone could have binoculars on you from down the street, playing lookout for a partner in crime. NEVER leave your doors and windows open. Make sure your friends and family practice the same habits.

Third, park as close to the house as possible and DO NOT leave valuables in your car in plain sight. This includes the suction cup mounts for your GPS unit or radar detector, the faceplate on your stereo (if removable), the newfangled connection for your iPod (or its power source), even empty backpacks or packs of cigarettes. This isn't being anal, this should be common sense. We live in an urban area, folks. Lots of traffic means lots of opportunity for someone to steal your unsecured stuff. Make sure your friends and family practice the same habits, notify them not to leave things in the car in plain sight.

Fourth, get an alarm. Seriously. Now. Yesterday, even.

Bottom line: A burglar is probably going to clean you out if you don't have an alarm. They will do it because they can. If they don't hear or see some indication that their break-in was noticed, they have no reason to quickly flee. If a burglar kicks in your door or breaks in through a window, and sirens don't go off, chances are, they're just going to hang out and ransack your house, stealing everything of value. This has happened time and time again over the last couple of years.

To alert your neighbors and police to a break-in, the best thing you can do is install an alarm with the following features and practices in mind:

- *Always turn it on. PERIOD. Even if you’re inside your house. Even if you're just leaving for 2 minutes. If we had a dollar for every time we heard of a break-in happening after a neighbor went to the store for 2 seconds, or walked their dog...we'd be rich. Your alarm is there, USE IT!
- *Add an outside siren, wired as tamper-proof: Most alarms come wired up with a siren inside the house. This is worthless; you can't hear it once the door is closed. Get an outside siren so everyone in the neighborhood can be alerted to something bad happening and get there to inspect. Alarm installers can wire up your outside siren inside a non-descript, tamper-proof box with 4-conductor wire, and instantly trigger the alarm in the event that someone tries to cut the wire and shut the alarm up.
- *Add sensors on all ground-level windows and doors: Ground floor is ground zero for most burglaries. It is vital that ALL windows and ALL doors accessible easily from the ground level have "bugs" (sensors) on them to detect entry.
- *Add glass break sensor(s): Put one in every major room with a ground-level window or door. These will instantly set off the alarm if a glass is broken, and will even detect a door kick-in. This configuration has stopped several burglaries recently.
- *Add wireless callback: If you can afford this, you really should get it. Instead of using a standard household phone line, your alarm is equipped with a wireless (cellular) callback unit. A common trend in burglaries is to cut the phone line, leaving the alarm unable to report a break-in. A couple off of Custer (near Moreland) were totally cleaned out over the holidays (safes, appliances, furniture, clothes, food, etc.) because the thieves cut the phone line, and nobody noticed/questioned the burglars moving their stuff out. The wireless monitoring fee is usually $10-15 extra at most places
- *Battery Backup: Most modern alarms come with these. Be sure if you've got wireless that the wireless unit is on battery backup also.
- Motion sensor(s) in main areas: These should be placed in areas where traffic MUST pass by in order to walk through the house, so tripping it is unavoidable. There are decently pet-friendly ones out there. I don't list these as a necessity because they're less vital than the previous five items.
- Program to siren if phone line cut: This is a good feature; if the phone line is dead for more than x# of seconds (it's programmable), the alarm will sound. May not be a good idea if you have spotty phone service.
- "Instant On": Sounds the alarm instantly when ANY door/window is opened (good for instant-alarm during kick-in).
- Pay for monitoring!: If you can find a locally-sourced company like Ackerman, great! Some cheaper monitoring services are outsourced and based in places like Arizona! They know nothing about or local police, and there are many stories about dropped phone calls when your alarm tries to call back to alert the monitoring company. Regular wired phone monitoring is around $15 to 20/month, and wireless phone monitoring will typically add $10/ to $15/month

If you're not going to get the features with an asterik *, you should really reconsider getting an alarm. An alarm is pretty worthless without them, and you're probably just going to be throwing away your money. Spend the extra couple hundred dollars and do it right the first time, or don’t bother!

WARNING: By putting your alarm in ‘instant-on’ mode, you are basically making it so you can't re-enter through any door of your house without instantly setting off the alarm. This could be a problem for some. You have two options to work around this: A) Less secure: your alarm company can reprogram a "safe" door that "instant on" mode will ignore. B) Most secure: you can buy a key fob from your alarm company that will allow you to turn your alarm off BEFORE you walk through the door, similar to a car alarm.

TIP: A couple of reputable alarm companies will offer to pay your full insurance deductible if you are burglarized while using their system. Ackerman is one of those companies (they're also locally-based), with the caveat: if they installed your alarm system, they will pay your deductible (up to $1,500).

NOTE: Most people don't know this, but many alarms (especially you Ackerman folks) come bundled with the "instant-on" feature. To use this, simply press your normal 4 digit code, followed by 7. For example, if your alarm code is 1-2-3-4, pressing 1-2-3-4-7 will put the alarm in "instant on" mode.


* What can I do to make a burglar more likely to get caught?

You've got a couple of options, some completely free, some will cost you money.

-- One of the single most useful thing you can do is KEEP AN UPDATED RECORD OF YOUR SERIAL NUMBERS and store several copies in safe places. There is NO excuse not to do this. Here are two free forms you can print out to log your serial numbers. If you've never done this, PLEASE set a date to do this tonight, or, if not tonight, as soon as humanly possible. Those forms:
PDF format: http://tinyurl.com/odwza3
Excel format: http://tinyurl.com/r96s5p

-- Install a camera system. There are several available out there, and most of the cheap ones only require you have a very basic computer running to capture the images the camera has recorded. Many are motion activated. Good ones are available for as cheap as $100. Here are some example units which are "less" expensive:
- http://tinyurl.com/pvh54z
- http://tinyurl.com/qvnupt
- http://tinyurl.com/qglp75

-- DO NOT enter the area that was burglarized, if possible. Let the cops make first entry. You never know who may be inside, and you can compromise evidence by entering the crime scene.

-- Utilize the suggestions above – all of them – and stick with them as common practice.


* How do I protect my irreplaceable valuables?

Most of the things burglars steal from us fit in the category of "stuff". "Stuff" can be replaced. What about the kinds of things that your heart would sink if you lost them? What about personal items like a car title, passport, family heirlooms, nice jewelry, personal checks? What about crazy dangerous items like guns that can be used to kill you or your friends and neighbors? How can you keep them safe?

Install a safe. There are several shapes and sizes out there; you have three basic types of safes to choose from, with good sides and bad sides.

* Wall and floor safes - have limited space, they can be hidden anywhere, but aren't always as physically secure because they are lightweight units. All units either get cemented into the floor, cut into a floor, or mounted into a wall between studs. Many are not fire and water proof. The ones that mount in concrete are the most expensive to install, but the most secure and hardest to find for a burglar. If a burglar cannot find it, they can't steal it or the contents. Price is usually between $100-$250

* Small - to - Medium sized safes - have more space for storage, most of them are light enough to be moved by an average person. They are usually lag-bolted into concrete or bolted into wood floors. Most are fire and water proof. These are easier for a burglar to find, and might be able to be pried up from their location and carried out. Some safes have plans available online that tell you where to drill to force them open. This safe is secure, but is probably the easiest to find and that could make it the easiest to take. Price is usually between $200-$500

* Large safes or gun safes - these are normally really big and heavy enough to take 2-3 people to carry. You could fit a person inside them. They are usually lag-bolted into concrete or bolted into wood floors. All are fire wand water proof. These are also easy to find, but because of the size and weight, they are almost impossible to move. Even if a burglar finds this, they probably won't be able to get into it, and probably won't be able to get it unbolted from where it sits. If they do, it will be hard to carry it out. Price is usually between $350-$1,000.

The wall safe is great for its ability to be hidden. The larger safes are great for the impossibly large nature. Any of the three are a good choice to secure valuables and/or firearms.

An example of hidden safe we had the chance to install and test is here:
- http://tinyurl.com/pzj7eh

This wall safe is available only online, and it is made by a company with a reputable name. It is not fire-proof, but it is sturdy and can be hidden anywhere in your house - under a sink, behind a painting or bookshelf, in a floor, in an attic or even in a ceiling.

NOTE: All modern safes bolt into concrete or wood floors. There are some safes designed specifically for guns. Most good water proof and fire proof safes are less than $350. You can look at a bunch of them at your local hardware store chains like Lowes and Home Depot. Sams Wholesale and Costco are also supposed to have a great selection.


* Other tips:

Need a companion? Want added security via that companion? Consider getting a dog. These "motion activated barking devices" are probably the single best deterrent to burglaries in our community. Advertise the presence of your dog. Leave a dog bowl and an oversized bone on the porch.

You've probably heard it a thousand times before. "It is sad that anyone would need to turn their house into a fortress to protect their stuff". It is probably true. But as Jason, the Boulevard Heights public safety guy always puts it at the neighborhood meetings, "you don't want to be the low-hanging fruit". If we are diligent to heed the items on this list as a neighborhood, criminals will hopefully move on to other neighborhoods with more low-hanging fruit.

We hope this email is helpful to some of you. Keep your eyes open, and have faith that one day, we can get beyond having to send out emails like this.

07-28-2009, 10:07 PM
thanks shifty! awesome info!

07-29-2009, 08:42 AM
Keep your blinds CLOSED tight so nobody can see what is inside your home

Ugh. It is like living in a prison! :(

07-29-2009, 10:27 AM
Thanks shifty. Sounds like I'm on the right track doing a lot of these things.

At least I certainly got the dog thing under control. Great Dane and Burmese Mountain dog should make people think twice before approaching my place. Until people reaslize that the Dane is nothing but a perpetual puppy :)

07-29-2009, 12:26 PM
Still Garm, there's the Drool!!!!!!

07-29-2009, 12:53 PM
Yes the drool is evil. I currently have 14 ceilings and the drool has reached at least 12 foot high. :)

07-29-2009, 01:23 PM
Garm, you have a Bernese? I LOVE those dogs!! I used to have one, he lived til he was 12 and I had to put him down. That day sucked! But they are awesome dogs! If I was a burglar and went to a house that had one, I'd be more worried that I'd get licked and shedded on to death! lol

But what's funny is that when I first moved into my house, I ended up cutting a hole in my back door to make a doggie door for him. At his peak, he was about 110lbs. My parents came to visit one day and saw the dog door and my Mom says, "Geez, it's big enough for someone to crawl through!" To which I said, "If you saw a dog door that big, would YOU crawl through?!" lolol

07-29-2009, 02:12 PM
Not without lots of Snausages.

07-29-2009, 02:40 PM
Yup - my berner was the first puppy - so he's super protective and attached. When I bring him to work with me he follows me everywhere. Contrary to when I bring the Dane to work, he follows anyone who will give him attention. :)

My berner is 125 lbs and I would love to give him a dog door - except that he would use it in the winter only.

The camera that I am thinking of getting is this (http://www.ipcamerasupply.com/product/4xem-4x-pz6114-wireless-pan-tilt-zoom-ip-camera)

07-29-2009, 08:41 PM
The spec looks pretty good. Be sure to let us do some test drive. :D

07-30-2009, 08:48 AM
fyi - i had just ordered my father a standalone security DVR with 2 colored sony bullet cams and one $11.00 dummy camera.

Last week when I crashed over, I had my car parked in the driveway (community driveway)
Around 2 am one of the neighbors spotted another car parked right next to mine with people looking at it (most likely the wheels). She shined a flashlight and they sped off.

A week before, a nissan was being supported by bricks. Since I dont live there, I dont have a problem, however, my father has a pretty nice car to say the least. It's in a garage, but you can never be too safe.

So Im setting up a dummy camera for everyone to see and the 2 bullet (color) cams will be hidden, but will get a view of the entrance of the driveway and anyone who walks in front of the garage. There is always a light on in the yard and garage (they are on timers) so I didnt need night vision.

This will be a nice project :)

07-30-2009, 09:01 AM
So when are you hooking the spare car battery and portable butane torches to the rims?

07-30-2009, 09:13 AM
trust me, i've thought of it.

2 of my rims got nabbed 3 weeks after i got my car. Luckily I have insurance and the guy took pity on me and adjusted the price to cover my deductible.

I managed to find a garage for it since, but i do like that car battery idea!

07-30-2009, 09:20 AM
The problem is, it only works once. Then they get gloves.

You would probably need a capacitor to charge up while the car is not moving to deliver a shock when they touch it (otherwise it is just teh battery, and that might not do anything if the guy does not touch it in a way that would get a current going).

You could probably look it up...

The only other thing I can think of is use rubber gloves to wash your car and put some poison ivy oil on your rims. ;)

07-30-2009, 09:54 AM
The spec looks pretty good. Be sure to let us do some test drive. :D

Most definitely - the camera will be set to watch the dogs during the day.. and kitty cats. One upstairs and one downstairs. :)

07-30-2009, 10:20 AM
The problem is, it only works once. Then they get gloves.

You would probably need a capacitor to charge up while the car is not moving to deliver a shock when they touch it (otherwise it is just teh battery, and that might not do anything if the guy does not touch it in a way that would get a current going).

You could probably look it up...

The only other thing I can think of is use rubber gloves to wash your car and put some poison ivy oil on your rims. ;)

I was thinking more along the lines of installing KIT from knightrider :)
I will have him say "Dont hassle the hoff!" when someone gets close

07-30-2009, 02:06 PM
It would probably be cheaper just to hire David Hasselhoff.

07-30-2009, 05:05 PM
It would probably be cheaper just to hire David Hasselhoff.

All he needs is a burger and a fifth of rum.

07-30-2009, 06:59 PM
At least he isn't drinking Bud Lite... [/Obama Slam]

07-31-2009, 08:45 AM
I call the next comedy skit. They will do this group of 4 with the frogs again.

Buuuud... buuuud

07-31-2009, 09:34 AM



you're stupid.