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Old 04-24-2011, 01:31 AM   #1
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My wife and I intend to travel south during the winter months and are concerned about making sure everything is OK at our home in Michigan. What have others done to protect their homes when they are away for extended periods? What about an internet based home monitoring system? What about a "live in" home sitter?

Opinions Please!!!!

Gary and Pat Harkins

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Old 04-24-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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Depending on how the police protection is in your area will decide if a monitoring system is worth it or not. In my area response time will be at least 14 mins from the time the alarm company is notified to the sheriff showing up. Pleanty of time for some pos to get in and get out with high value carryables. One reason why we don't have high value carryables.

You could go with a camera system that records the outside and inside established cameras, stores to a on-line server and sends you updates / viewing capabilities to / from your smartphone / laptop anywhere you get a internet access. Cost $1000 for the system + monthly video storage fee. Edited by: salda01

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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Some yrs back, I put in an alarm system that when tripped would call whatever phone numbers I selected, like a neighbor first and then my cell phone second. When the phone connects, the system becomes a microphone to hear sounds in the house. We are too far away for police to respond to do any good anyway and I didn't want the hassle of false alarms. So, it only lets me know that a problem has occurred so I can take action to stop or minimize additional losses.

I don't see the value of an internet monitor system, you are not going to be online 100% of the time and what is the probability you will be online at the right time? But, today I bet someone makes an alarm system that will call your cell phone and activate a camera with video sent to the phone. It would also be good to have a system that will alert you when the house looses power or inside temp exceeds set high/low temps. I assume you will shut water off in the case of freezing weather.

I don't worry anymore, since we have relatives living next door now.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:51 AM   #4
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We are getting ready for a two month trip across and my DW's sister is going to house sit for us. We have a cat that doesn't travel, plants that need watering, koi that need feeding, pond filters that need cleaning and the list goes on. Not only will there be someone here to do the chores it will also give our home that "lived in" look.

I don't think it gets any better than that!
Ken and Marilyn, 2010 CF30SK, 2003 F250 V10

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Old 01-12-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
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Hello, probably very scary to leave the house unattended, especially for the first time. You are lucky that you do not have a pet, you would have died of fear altogether, lol. I would advise you to ask your neighbors, if you are on good terms with them, look after the apartment, water the flowers, and so on. If there are no such neighbors, you can set the alarm. In extreme cases, you can buy a microphone and make an online broadcast of everything that happens in the house. You can control the situation and at any strange noise call the police at your address. Only you need to buy a very good microphone that can work at any frequency and perceive the quietest rustles. Look at this article, it tells about the best microphones Maybe something will suit you. If you are super rich, you can hire a security patrol who will monitor your home until you are gone, but I think the audio (video) broadcast or alarm is better.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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This thread is pretty old. It was started about 8 years ago.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #7
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Just my opinion but I would not post anything on social media to start with. Just advertising that there is no one home. But that's my opinion.
Other than that a GOOD alarm system or a house sitter.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:58 PM   #8
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I worked Law Enforcement for 30 years. Alarm systems if monitoring by a alarm company. First when alarm goes off it takes the alarm Co 1 min to receive the call then they call the home to check to see if it was a false alarm. That takes about 2 min. If no one answers they call the dispatch in your area. That takes about 2 min. Then dispatch calls the officer which takes about a min. So depending on the response time the officer is already 6 minutes late on the call. In our country area it takes 15-20 minutes for response time after they get the call. The best thing is to have interior and exterior speakers for the alarm. No one will hang around for loud alarms. Also if doing an alarm system that’s monitored. Have the phone line that goes to the alarm system buried to the house. If you have a silent alarm all you need to do is go around the house and cut the phone line. Alarm is worthless at that point. If it’s buried and comes up into the house into a locked box it can’t be cut. Mine has really loud speakers.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:16 PM   #9
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I have been spending my winters in Southern Arizona for 10 years.

My first home monitoring system was a Sensaphone. It monitors temperatures, doors and has motion detection. The system I rely on even today.

When alarmed will call any phone programmed with back up phones if primary does not answer.

I can also call the Sensaphone and it gives me statis of everything it is monitoring.

The Sensaphone has worked flawless for ten years.

I have also tried the Ring Door bell system the last 4 years. The Ring is very unreliable. Requires a wifi system and keeps going off line and can not be reset remotely.

Also tried the AcuRite access system that connects to the internet. It is very unreliable and as the Ring goes off line and can not be reset remotely.

I have zero confidence in any system that uses the internet.

My Sensaphone only requires a telephone. I has used the Verizon home connect for the last 10 years with zero problems.
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