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Alarming a detached garage?


edokid

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Hi everyone, not really an Insteon question but sort of related to automation and security and can't seem to find any home alarm forums so I'll ask here.  I put in a DSC alarm at my house and it works awesome, really happy with it.  My garage is detached from the house and is about 20 feet from the back kitchen door.  There's a man door to walk in, and then the car door to go out.  I don't have it alarmed at all because I'm not really sure how people would do this.

 

I figure I'd need a keypad inside the garage to arm it while in there possibly, but seems overkill when the kitchen keypad is only 20 feet away.  Main issue though is the man door and car door would need to be closed to arm it, then you'd have to BOOK it to open the door and get out, which wouldn't be possible.  Same with coming home you'd have to drive in and race out to disarm the system, plus I have it set to go off 15 seconds after a door is opened.

 

I know there's keyfobs etc but I feel like it's too easy to forget and then have the alarm go off so I've mostly skipped it for now.  Or is this where people use different partitions, and make the garage partition 2 for example, setting it to not be included in the arming from the keypads, so that way I'd just arm it manually if on vacation or something?  Seems still a bit half-assed though as ideally it should be on all the time.  Just not sure what I could do.  I'm also not huge on having the ISY control the alarm in any way.  I do use DSCLink for the reverse though.  Thanks!

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This comes down to being clear on your intent and overall goal. Then, applying a solution that fits your needs and lifestyle. The first thing I always recommend is doing an inventory and taking photo's of everything and storing it off site.

 

Such as Sky Drive, Drop Box, what ever . . . Keep a hard copy on a memory stick / DVD.

 

Take that same information and pass it along to the insurance co. Have your insurance co review the building and its contents and issue the amount of coverage that will protect you against any risk / loss.

 

This is the only thing that will make you whole against most *Risks* such as fire, water, hail, break in, vandalism, etc.

 

Once that area is taken care of you need to be honest as to how this will operate in your lifestyle. I can tell you from more than 25 years in the industry that anything that is hard, difficult, or a pain in the *** to do won't be used very long.

 

As noted in previous threads where I have replied to the same questions. Your next step is *Force Protection* it doesn't matter if you have lights and sirens going off if it only takes a person 5 seconds to breach the building and then under five minutes scout out what they want to take and run away.

 

Smash and grabs are near impossible to capture given the short amount of time involved. The only thing that will help reduce the incidence of smash and grabs is force protection elements. Or where pro active elements are present and make the thief aware and you that someone is lurking in the shadow etc.

 

This is why *perimeter* motion activated lighting is important as it provides pre-sensing before a person has crossed a specific target area.

 

Back to force protection: Is the man door of sufficient build and strength? Have you reinforced the door frame assembly in any way such as using 3-4 screws to secure the strike plate, door jambs?

 

Is the strike plate on the door and door handle properly reinforced to protect it from being pried or kicked in? What have you done to protect the GDO from being circumvented by a $1.00 coat hanger which uses the emergency release as a method to open the door?

 

Is the current alarm system even monitored? 

 

What kind of dead bolts and locks are in place now to protect the man door? Have you considered installing a security out swinging gate which is also locked?

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The garage has zero value in it, it's just stuff like tents and what not that if someone wanted bad enough they can have, as it's literally empty.  It's more I just wanted to see if I should put it on the alarm so that the siren would go off if someone went in there is all and was wondering how people arm and disarm an alarm when the garage isn't connected to the house since I don't see any easy way to make hta twork.  It's not monitored, we don't want it to be.  We have the door armor type things on all the entry doors now, but we removed the door guardian things on the doors as the family hated them, and the closing of the door would frequently cause it to fall down locking us out, or we'd go out the back door and then come home through the front and the guardian would have locked us out so we'd have to go all around the back yard to get back in.  I have security cameras and motion lights, that's good enough for us.  You need to still be able to enjoy your home and not feel like you're so paranoid with every door steel reinforced and so on, it's just too much otherwise.

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The garage has zero value in it, it's just stuff like tents and what not that if someone wanted bad enough they can have, as it's literally empty.  It's more I just wanted to see if I should put it on the alarm so that the siren would go off if someone went in there is all and was wondering how people arm and disarm an alarm when the garage isn't connected to the house since I don't see any easy way to make hta twork.  It's not monitored, we don't want it to be.  We have the door armor type things on all the entry doors now, but we removed the door guardian things on the doors as the family hated them, and the closing of the door would frequently cause it to fall down locking us out, or we'd go out the back door and then come home through the front and the guardian would have locked us out so we'd have to go all around the back yard to get back in.  I have security cameras and motion lights, that's good enough for us.  You need to still be able to enjoy your home and not feel like you're so paranoid with every door steel reinforced and so on, it's just too much otherwise.

 

As I indicated in previous threads monitoring a properly installed hard wired security alarm system is not only the best method to protect life and property. Its realistically the only method to supervise a structure 24-7-365. Given the above reply it makes absolutely no sense in even spending any money or resources to monitor the garage.

 

More to the point you absolutely can use a second partition and arm this area when away on holidays etc. But given its not going to anyone what is the actual point of monitoring the garage when not a soul will know and be able to react to it???

 

With respect to the door guardian I am unsure how this device could fall down?? It must be physically moved 180' and then lifted up and then put into place. There is absolutely no way for the device to self latch and it must be done with in the building.

 

As you also noted if you wish to monitor the garage space and have it on the main partition. Another method which depends on the alarm panel having said feature. Is to leave this area in a permanent bypass and only enable it when desired.

 

Given it has nothing worth of value even spending $30.00 for a wireless door sensor is a complete waste of resources since nothing is there to take. Besides the fact the reason people monitor and secure such structures is to guard against not just break ins about for fire, water, low temp, etc.

 

Its obvious to me security is not really important and doesn't fit your current lifestyle. I would humbly suggest you just leave it be since its been this way for 99999999999999999999999 years and nothing has ever happen.

 

Why bother?? 

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I run into similar problem (but we have elk system), we have two car garage with main door and two roll up gates, we wanted to monitor the access but did not wanted to set alarm, as Taken mentioned we secured main doors and invested in better locks etc.

 

Since running a wires between main house and garage would involve ripping concrete sidewalk we decided to go with wireless option; I found Resolution Products (http://resolutionproducts.com/products/translators-repeaters/hardwired/) I hard wired contacts to door and two roll up gates to RE208  then enrolled them in ELK as zone type as Non-Alarm (I’m pretty sure DCS should have that option, but once we are gone for extended period of time I can switch it to burglar alarm very easily) to the contacts and transmitter has a tamper, when cover opened, low battery, when either low AA batteries, or loss of 12V DC external and supervisory every hour.

 

Then we did programming in ISY to e mail me and my wife when either gate or door are open, sent a picture from IP camera and set the lights on. So far we have this set up for a week or so and it works great.

 

Yesterday I was checking RE website and I noticed that they have  PINPAD that works like a key fob but we added PIN option which may work:

 

http://resolutionproducts.com/products/keypads-and-peripherals/pinpad/

 

Ultimately when I will get a pin pad we will set up garage as AREA 2, and have separate code for garage that will disarm Area 2 only and be independent from Area 1 (main house)

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My old DSC panel had a "garage zone" style of setting just for that. It was the same alarm setup as the entrance door zone setting except the delay on it was four times as long or four minutes long.

 

It's been years so I cannot remember exactly anymore.

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Thanks everyone!  Larry I'll check into that, as it would be nice to have it on there just to scare people away.  Having the alarm monitored I don't think is worth it.  They just said on the news last week about how it takes over an hour on average for alarm companies to even get someone to your home here in Toronto in which point the criminals would be long gone, that alarms are the absolute lowest priority call they can get.  Even when we were broken into, I called the police when I got home at 9pm said my front door was wide open.  They said do not go in the house and wait for the police.  Finally gave up and went in, and glad I did as it was over 4 hours before they finally showed up just after 1am.  We also have security IP cameras everywhere with signs showing it.  Decided to go all out so got the 1080p HD ones (TRENDNet ones, really fantastic) as the quality is night and day compared to the LaView analog alarm system I bought, as well as the 1.3MP cameras. 

 

The alarm for me is really more just to scare people away, if anyone is monitoring the house as the door chimes clearly say we have an alarm, the stickers on the doors show we have one, etc, but I also got it more for presence if anything.  Having a KPL or something where we press "Away" or "Home" when coming or going, or relying on motion sensors is just too cumbersome and everyone forgets.  With the alarm at least, people are reminded to turn it off due to the long beep when you trip it, and it becomes more habit.  So I use it with DSCLink on a Raspberry Pi to do things like if house is armed in away mode, meaning no one is home, and the heat is set to >70, wait 3 hours, if it's still in away mode, set it to 68.  Or if it's in away mode, turn the backyard lights on all night type thing.  Been awesome for that, plus can use the DSC door sensors with the ISY as well so things like if the house is armed and it's after sunset and the front door opens, turn on the front foyer light.  Kitchen door opens, turn on the kitchen light.  Things like that.  I might get the alarm monitored eventually as it is cheap, it's more I'm still tweaking it and setting things up so didn't want to be tripping it as it's happened a few times.  Last night someone opened the door on the 2nd floor at midnight when I had it in Stay mode, so it started going off right away.

 

As a quick side note since not sure if there's a DSC forum.  When setting up a door sensor to piggyback off my front door keypad, I somehow put it into some weird mode where if you press ANY key on it, a screen appears showing I guess partitions and their status, so shows along the top 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and below it (just under the 1) a R or N.  To use that keypad I have to every time hold down * so that screen appears, then hold down 1 for a few seconds then it says "Selecting System" and then everything works as expected for a few minutes until it almost locks itself again.  Anyone know what mode that is or what the command is to fix it, as I just have 1 partition.  Thanks!

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That would be the 8 partitions options as for the R/N. I would assume its how the installer labeled the primary vs secondary. Unless you phat fingered the keypad while pressing the keys those values have been programmed and inserted.

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I installed it myself, it's probably even easier than installing Insteon lol.  I've had it for a few months now, but I just removed the front door wireless sensor when I realized I can piggy back off the keypad at that door so put a wired sensor there.  Just when trying to get that to work I hit some setting that enabled this mode where every time I want to use that keypad I have to hold down 1 to select system 1 and then use the keypad, just not sure how to disable it.

 

Forgot to reply about the door guardians.  The back door I had it on the side of the door but the front door was on top of it like the install book showed.  There's nothing that keeps it propped up, so if someone closes the door hard, the latch on the guardian falls down.  It doesn't engage and push up in and lock, but it doesn't need to, as if you try to open the door again, just having it knocked down prevents you from opening the door, so I had to put velcro on the back of it.  I removed them though as we kept getting locked out, would have them on over night, go to work out the front door then come home through the back door from the garage and door wouldn't open becase it was still on, so ended up removing them.

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I never had my previous two houses monitored. As professionals, that aren't trying to sell you something, will tell you. The stickers on the windows are 75% of the protection. Biggest factor is the deterrent.

 

ISY can do that! Make your home look occupied and confusing. The adolescent thieves will pick some place else. The professionals will not come for your Crown Jewel diamond collection because you don't have any, maybe your Crowne battery bank, though. :)

 

Also

 You cannot stop thieves from breaking in but you can attempt to get them out as fast as possible to avoid further damage. I know of a couple that came home to find a waterfalls coming down their staircase from plugged upstairs sinks.

 

I had a 30 Watt siren horn installed in my ductwork and it was really hard to stay in the house when it went off. Can you spell "E-A-R  D-A-M-A-G-E"? and I had an X10 flasher that flashed most of the lights repeatedly in the house! Any kid, with that crap going on that even got past the first room, deserved what he/she got from my insurance company.

 

Oh yeah, Let the siren off (by mistake on purpose) with your windows open when all the kids are playing on the street. Rumour gets around fast. It is usually a friend of your kid's that breaks in when you are on vacation.

 

If you do get a monitoring service, or not, let your insurance company know. They usually discount 30% or 5% after activation but it may need to pro installed. :(

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The garage has zero value in it, it's just stuff like tents and what not that if someone wanted bad enough they can have, as it's literally empty.  It's more I just wanted to see if I should put it on the alarm so that the siren would go off if someone went in there is all and was wondering how people arm and disarm an alarm when the garage isn't connected to the house since I don't see any easy way to make hta twork.  It's not monitored, we don't want it to be.  We have the door armor type things on all the entry doors now, but we removed the door guardian things on the doors as the family hated them, and the closing of the door would frequently cause it to fall down locking us out, or we'd go out the back door and then come home through the front and the guardian would have locked us out so we'd have to go all around the back yard to get back in.  I have security cameras and motion lights, that's good enough for us.  You need to still be able to enjoy your home and not feel like you're so paranoid with every door steel reinforced and so on, it's just too much otherwise.

My shop is alarmed automatically after 11 PM until 8 AM every night. I have forgot and set it off a few times when I get home late at night and just have to check something, right from the car first. Since it is only local and neighbors are hundred of metres away it's not a big deal. It takes a while for neighbours to see the flashing lights, or hear the doorbell ringing, and the siren isn't added yet until well proven and I get more ambition.

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Yeah that makes sense.  As mentioned my main thing with using the ISY as an alarm was that no one ever turned it on and I couldn't figure out an easy way to do it.  I had KPLs at the doors with Home and Away buttons but no one used it and it's too easy for someone that breaks in to just press the Home button or whatever, so find the alarm works best for this.  They integrate so well that it makes it easy, and then as mentioned I can use the alarm sensors for dual purpose, since they literally update the ISY's variables instantly.

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Yeah that makes sense.  As mentioned my main thing with using the ISY as an alarm was that no one ever turned it on and I couldn't figure out an easy way to do it.  I had KPLs at the doors with Home and Away buttons but no one used it and it's too easy for someone that breaks in to just press the Home button or whatever, so find the alarm works best for this.  They integrate so well that it makes it easy, and then as mentioned I can use the alarm sensors for dual purpose, since they literally update the ISY's variables instantly.

I used the Fast Off button double tap for a while but then installed a KL and did this.

 

http://forum.universal-devices.com/topic/16135-using-keypad-triggers-for-a-multiple-combination-locks/?hl=combination

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