November 2000 Edition

How To Buy A Security System

We have just purchased a new home and know absolutely nothing about security systems. What should we look for when purchasing a system? 
According to Dave Wood with Security Masters, there are several ways you can get the most for your money. Many companies offer low monthly payments which look attractive. Make sure that at some point in your payment schedule, you will own the system. Otherwise you will end up paying many times over for a system that belongs to the company. By the same token, buying equipment that can only be replaced or serviced by the company from which you purchase your system will lock you into a relationship with that company over the long haul.
Make Sure It's Your System, Not The Company's System

When you purchase a system that can be serviced by any professional alarm company, then you are in a win-win situation. If you are not completely satisfied with the quality of your current service, you can look for another professional alarm company to take care of your system. A reputable security consultant will listen to you and understand your particular needs, not just try to sell you a pre-packaged plan.


 Make Sure It Can Be Serviced By Any Reputable Alarm Company 
To gain an accurate picture of your security needs, he or she will need to see the property and talk with you about what you are comfortable with ~ both in securing your property and in the financial investment you plan to make in your system. He or she should be willing to give you a complete analysis and then leave it with you so that you can make your best decision. Be cautious if your consultant says he or she must have your answer on the spot. You will do better with a company that is not afraid for you to compare prices and services. If you buy quality equipment and have it installed correctly, you can expect to have it serviced once every year and a half to two years.
Monthly Monitoring Fees Should Not Include Leasing Or Maintenance Fees
While you will need daily monitoring of your security system (this is the process by which police are alerted to a break-in), you should avoid monitoring costs which include service or leasing fees.


You'll almost always come out better by calling for service when you need it. Just make sure your equipment is checked by a professional every 1 1/2 to 2 years. Basic monitoring will cost you between $16 and $35 per month depending on who you choose to install your system. Beware of costs added to the basic monitoring fees. In most cases, additional costs are not necessary. Armed with these facts, you should be able to find the best system and professional alarm company for your needs.
For A Free Security Consultation Please Contact:
Dave Wood , Security Masters Inc. , (770) 564-1988 Serving the Southeast Since 1983

Safes And Hiding Places

Where would be a good place in a home to hide valuables and, is a safe recommended? 
 After you have taken all possible precautions to keep burglars from breaking into your home, you may want to consider taking some other precautions to keep them from locating valuables, if they do break in. This can be done by hiding valuables or placing them in safes so that, even if they are located, they cannot be removed. Nowadays there are some very simple hiding devices available that are inexpensive and clever. There are some mail order catalogues, for example, from which you can order a small container that looks like a head of lettuce, put your valuables in it, and place it in the refrigerator. Unless the burglar decides to make a salad or is aware of such new gimmicks, you're safe. Similar containers are available as soft drink cans and hollow books.


You can buy hollow electrical outlet boxes as well An imaginative tour of your home may reveal many other effective hiding places. Remember, burglars often don't have much time to search, so they usually grab what they see or can quickly find. If you feel it's worth the effort, you can strengthen a closet to serve as a small vault. This can be done simply by installing a metal or solid wood door and a couple of deadbolts. It is a good idea to line the interior with plywood, since drywall can be easily busted through. If you have an older home with wide (6" - 12") baseboards, you can remove a section, hollow out the areas between the studs, put small valuables in, and tack the baseboard in place. 
Many models and sizes of residential safes are available. Though somewhat more expensive than these other devices, they can be effective if properly installed. Smaller ones concreted into place are an excellent deterrent But remember, a safe will only serve to alert a burglar to what's inside, so be sure it is well secured.

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 1003 Star Court, Norcross, Georgia 30093. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

"A Friend is someone who can see through you

and still enjoy the show."

- Farmers Almanac

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Noah & Lynn Byrd

Byrd Realty, Inc.

4337 Village Oaks Lane

Dunwoody, Georgia 30338

**** Thank You****