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Author Topic: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens  (Read 8605 times)

jeffdharlan

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Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« on: March 14, 2007, 09:05:00 AM »

I read a post about the advantages and disadvantages of X10 and one disadvantage really got my attention.  It was that an intruder could easily locate a security console and unplug the phone wire to prevent the console from dialing out.  Because of signal issues I had to move my console from a sub-ground level of the house to the ground level.  I have a 4 level split home so the top two floors are ground level and obviously second story -- while the other two are slightly below ground level and a basement.

I have the console on the ground level in the middle of that floor-level (kitchen).  If an intruder came in through the front of the house the console is not visible because of a wall that divides the front living room and the kitchen.  However if the intruder came in from the rear patio, the console is in plain view less than 12 feet from the patio door.  I have thought of mounting the console on top of the kitchen cabinets (out of sight), but then I could not reach the console to arm, bypass, program, etc. easily - which is a disadvantage.

Where do you have your console in respect to entrance points in your home? 

On the side...do you put your siren devices near the entrance points to make it unbearable to an intruder or a more centrally located spot to ensure that people living in the home can hear the siren no matter where they are in the home?  I figured putting them too close to the entrance points allows the intruder to grab them out of the outlets and toss them.

Any extra thoughts on location of x10 security devices would truly be appreciated!!!
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LW

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2007, 04:12:25 PM »

Hi Jeff,

Perhaps that was my post that you read. In any case, I have been doing a great deal of thinking about this issue, and have been walking around hardware stores looking for ideas for a solution. Incidentally, I'm preparing to install it in the 4-level split home that we just bought. I think it is imperitive for users of the DS7000 to address this issue. Some do so by putting the unit in their bedroom, or in some other out-of-the-way place. I suppose that gives the unit time to call one number in the case of a home invasion and play at least part of the message, assuming that the burglar did not come in through the window of that room.

Here are my ideas so far:

1. At the very least, fasten the DS7000 down to whatever it's on (table or wall - screw into the stud in the case of a wall mount) and screw an "L" shaped small metal plate into the wall right (at the stud) over and up against the phone cable plug, so that it cannot be pulled out in two seconds. Make the burglar at least have to take the time to pry the plate away from it or go grab something to cut the phone cable, if he really wants to disable it.

2. If possible, mount the DS7000 where it cannot be reached except with a ladder. In a level split, you probably have such a spot near the middle of the house at the top of the wall above a staircase.

3. Secure the DS7000 immovably to the wall or table that it's on, and either (a) have the phone cable (and probably the power cable) immediately protected in metal wire channel, which contains it until it reaches a wall-plug in, which you also would need to secure in some way; (b) if you have it wall-mounted, have the phone cable (and probably the power cable) pulled fairly tightly back behind it, where it goes through a hole that you drilled in the wall, into another room, perhaps through the wall to another floor.

4. Keep the DS7000 in the middle of the house, as you have it (and as the instructions recommend), but mount a large clear thermostat guard over it - one that you can lock shut. The DS7000 is too big for most thermostat guards, but I have verified that the DS7000 unit fits in the Honeywell CG512 thermosat guard. According to on-line pdf manuals, it also fits in the Honeywell TG512 (http://www.thermostatshop.com/manuals/lockbox.pdf) and the Lux BB3001-004 (http://www.luxproproducts.com/pdfs/lock_guard.pdf). You may find other models that fit at http://www.sti-usa.com. I haven't had the time to make a list of which of their models would do, and I probably won't find time. An advantage of the thermostat guards is that (presumably) their ventilation holes will let out the antenna and (if you wish) the microphone of the DS7000. But you will want to drill holes in the thermostat guard where the siren speakers are, so their effect is not muffled.

5. A thermostat guard is probably the best looking and most functional see-through security cover that you can get, but if that's too expensive you could get away with something cheaper. E.g., the cover of an air purifier, fan, heater, humidifier, audio speaker, or vent cover, or a strong metal wire dish drying rack (I just found one with exactly the right dimensions and strengh for the DS7000 at Walmart for about $4 - but my wife would kill me for screwing that onto our wall), a rectangular clear tupperware (hey, nothing will stop a burglar from disabling an alarm in one way or another if he wants to, all you can do is slow him down, and this would do it - and make him hungry, and possibly maybe make him pity you!), or a rectangular casserole dish (make him want something yummier) - you get the idea. Just grab a see-through cover that will keep his fingers away from the DS7000 for half a minute, and screw it down, drilling holes for the antenna, siren speakers, and mounting screws first, of course. You might find something that looks half decent, or at least appetizing.

6. Mount it on the ceiling, or recessed in the ceiling or wall.

I personally am leaning towards solutions 3b and 4. I could implement idea 2, which would be more secure, but in my house this would just look bad. My wife said we could do it, we'd just have to camoflauge the DS7000 with flowers or a photo with little holes cut out of it for the indicator lights (now who is crazier - me or my wife?! ha ha! hard to choose, isn't it?).

One final thought (seriously): having the phone line pulled out is the major problem here. But also important is that unless you secure the DS7000, the burglar might try flipping the switch into the "Install mode," or turn the house code dial, or just steal the thing, which in any case would prevent the DS7000 from effectively re-arming itself for you.

I hope that some of these ideas help, and I would like very much to hear other ideas.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 04:20:11 PM by LW »
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HA Dave

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 10:58:54 PM »

I am always amazed at the areas of security people fixate on. Here are some of my thoughts on alarms; take them with a grain of salt...

  • Many alarm dialers are easily disabled by simply pulling the telephone line fuses; they are located outside, in that little plastic box that comes apart with a little kick. That's why high-end alarm systems have built-in cell-phone-dialers as a back-up.

  • If you're a very wealthy home owner, and you suspect your art, antiquities, or jewels have attracted the attention of a real professional thief...... you're screwed. Best be getting those items into a vault.

  • If you're a more or less average guy (or gal), your problems are more easily solved. Your break-in will most likely be conducted by a neighborhood kid skipping school, or a drug addict, OR.. the neighbor kid on drugs. Any alarm with sirens and lights will likely scare away the uninvited intruder. And X10's DIY alarm is better than many...if not most. Hide the console in a locked closet, or cabinet. The laundry room or kitchen will work, but near where the console is...add a LARGE powerhorn siren... it screws to the receptacle and is loud enough to cover the location of the console siren.

  • But BEFORE you scare away the intruder, before your door or window is broken. Deter the would be intruder, use motion sensors and lights (and more lights), a camera at a likely entry point is a good deterrent also. Good locks, alarm stickers .....everyone knows the drill.


[TTA Edit: Formatted an EXCELLENT post for additional emphasis!]
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 11:50:24 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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jeffdharlan

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2007, 08:51:08 AM »

Many alarm dialers are easily disabled by simply pulling the telephone line fuses; they are located outside, in that little plastic box that comes apart with a little kick. That's why high-end alarm systems have built-in cell-phone-dialers as a back-up.

I must be lucky...mine is located in my basement.  Nice to know that the government can't tap my line from this box without the DS7000 calling me  :P

I agree with Dave, X10 enthusiasts should not forget that if we don't allow the perimeters of our homes to have vulnerabilities, there will be less break-ins because the neighbors will see the intruder before he/she can get inside!
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Mackat

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 11:25:00 AM »

Can a second console be added in a secure location hidden from site with the chimes disarmed?  This way, the visible console with the chimes still connected can alert you of doors opening and closing, but if the system is set off the hidden console could make the call.
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HA Dave

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2007, 11:58:24 AM »


Can a second console be added in a secure location hidden from site with the chimes disarmed?  This way, the visible console with the chimes still connected can alert you of doors opening and closing, but if the system is set off the hidden console could make the call.


Yes. Or you could just use a separate autodialer. Or you could modify your console, by removing the chimes and adding mono sound jacks. Then relocate your chime speakers AWAY from the actual alarm console.
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gil shultz

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 09:49:53 PM »

You know of books for dummies how about consoles for dummies. Make it look real, even put in a phone line (dummy of course).  By the time he has figured he has been had the call will have been placed. Cheep and no modification to furniture or your home.

Good Luck
Gil Shultz
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MeThinks

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2007, 10:44:12 AM »

OR....

You could just disable the speaker in the console and use Large Powerhorns on all levels for sound....?

It never even crossed my mind until today, but I like the thermostat cover idea, it seems pretty cool to me, even if it's a little overboard. ;D Thanks for the idea LW

 8)
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tgordo49

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Re: Locating a safe spot for security console and sirens
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2007, 10:31:45 AM »

My first line of cover (after all lines of defense, like lights & cameras) is lots of sirens to confuse & disorient. No way to find my console way upstairs amidst all that din!
Second is placing it up stairs, assuming your signals reach ok. Farther from ground points of entry = more time to call out.
Third, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned; throw away those dumb "Protected by X10" stickers they always send you. Nothing more foolish than telling someone the type & specs on your alarms system before they even try to break in!!  ::)  If your lights & cameras don't make it obvious that your home is not an easy target, then you have better things to work on that putting stickers up that give away your choice of technology, just in case the would-be perp is at all familiar with these things.
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