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Security in an old home

A meeting place for regulars to discuss the lighter side of old-houses.

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Security in an old home

Postby johnb. on Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:06 am

I haven't seen too much on this subject, so I'll bring it up. Are there any special security precautions that old houses need? Perhaps I didn't word that quite right. But, what can we do to make our ol' gals more secure?

Personally, I think a couple of german shepards and a double barrel shotgun are the makings of a good start. I've also read that you should plant thorny bushes under your windows and make sure you put away your ladders at night. Ah, yes. And, let's not forget the old country alarm system known as geese!

Seriously though, does anyone have any thoughts or insights into the question? I'm always interested in practical solutions, although I'm not too keen on the 24hr. alarm systems. I don't trust the folks working at the alarm company! How do you know who's watching your place at the head office, and who tells who that you've called in and your place will be vacant for 2 weeks.

Guess I'll stick with the dogs and the shotgun; maybe the mother-in-law during biker week. Just kidding. (about biker week, not the mother-in-law..........ruff!)
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Postby Abuela on Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:21 am

My current security system (if I stretch the definition of "old house" to include my current "retro" concrete block cottage from the early 1960's) consists of three dogs and a partner who has still not lost that automatic intensely suspicious nature unique to so m any native New Yorkers.

Then again, for the two years that I lived here pre-partner, I never locked the doors and never carried a key, even if I was going to be out of town and the dogs weren't going to be here. It's just that kind of area.

The system at my new house (well, my genuine old house that's new to me) will consist of the dogs, the partner, and the police station across the street.
"Finished" is all a state of mind. ~Angolito

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

My house journal: http://retrovation.blogspot.com/
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Postby HouseMouse on Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:28 am

The Mr says I'm the security system here cos I read too much Stephen King and then stand on the back porch late at night smoking a cigarette and looking around like :shock:
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Postby johnb. on Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:36 am

What the heck are you guys doing up at this hour? I was going to bed at 1020pm, and just checked in here for a MINUTE.......now, look what time it is!
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Postby johnb. on Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:38 am

Abuela:
You said, "Native New Yorkers"......did you mean folks from NYC or from NY state? It seems that everyone automatically assumes that anyone from NY is from NYC.
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Postby Abuela on Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:43 am

johnb. wrote:Abuela:
You said, "Native New Yorkers"......did you mean folks from NYC or from NY state? It seems that everyone automatically assumes that anyone from NY is from NYC.

Actually, in this case both: Born and raised in Rockland county with regular visits to grandparents in Manhatten, then lived with grandparents from age 16-19, then a year or two in the Bronx followed by something like 15 years in Brooklyn. Moving from Brooklyn to Bayonne NJ and then to DE hasn't taken away the NYC attitude!
"Finished" is all a state of mind. ~Angolito

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

My house journal: http://retrovation.blogspot.com/
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Postby lrkrgrrl on Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:05 pm

Who is it that has that incredibly sexy, original alarm/call/bell system????
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Postby Schag on Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:09 pm

Security?? :shock: :shock:
What's that?
If someone wants in your house, they'll get in.
My extra security precautions include a coupls of deadbolts and several pieces of wooden sticks that keep my windows from just being opened. Non of them have working locks, dry rot :cry: .
I just stick my head in the sand and keep my insurance paid up. :roll:
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Postby Starr-Point on Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:23 pm

I used to feel the way you do Schag. Our house was broken into several years ago when self, my wife, and both kids were asleep upstairs. They knew exactly how to pop the screens out, get around the crappy window locks, and slip in. All they took was cash lying around in the kitchen (the dogs were at a friend's kennel).

The next day we had $2000 worth of burglar alarm installed. I don't care about losing my stuff when no one's home, but if someone breaks in while I'm there, I want to know about it (truthfully, I could sleep through a nuclear attack).

$2000 also included central station fire alarms on all three floors as well as a CO2 detector. Money well spent. Still need to get them out to the new "old" house.

And Don will bear me out when I tell you I'm in a very rural part of Maryland. Unfortunately drugs know no boundaries anymore.
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Postby johnb. on Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:31 pm

I agree that anyone that wants in, will get in. It doesn't matter how many locks you have on your door, a rock will still go through a window. Again, I have nothing of value except my family. Our stuff is old and used (except my wife).

That being said, I think a barky dog, of any size, is an asset for giving one a head's up. In the country, geese make an awful racket and can be pretty intimidating to strangers. I also think there's security in marbles, matchbox cars and tinker toys on the floor. They hurt like the dickens when you step on one, and they're likely to make you lose your balance. See, I know where they are when I go to bed.

Anything that makes noise is good. I know folks who put bells on their windows. A little unexpected noise will startle a would-be theif. There is nothing that will keep out someone who is determined to get in, short of a loaded shotgun. And, if someone is high on CPC or something, even a shotgun won't be a deterrent.

I just sort of threw that subject out there to see if anyone had any ingenius responses.
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