Ideas to Secure home from amateur thieves?

Both Arlo and Blink have very good Return and Support policies. However, I promise you from my own experience. ST will fail you before Blink. will. I get Alerts and video clips sent to me ASAP when something in my house becomes active.When ST push notifications get lost in the Twilight Zone. And the $25 referral discount on your purchase can’t heart. Just saying. I want to get one more camera and both of us can use the $25 discount coupon. :wink:

@lmosenko - I totally agree with you about the blink cameras. I have been watching them from the beginning. In my particular case my indoor photo/video needs are covered by my primary security system, but their outdoor camera selections were both expensive and limited. I needed weatherproof outdoor cameras. If your home has many windows the ST Multi open/closed sensors can be very expensive. Having 1 motion detector in each room will notify you when the interior has been breached but not before. I use one Arlo camera to monitor all the windows on each side of my house for notifications before the home is breached and they are connected to ST. For those cameras I just need notifications, not necessarily good evidence quality video as I will get that once the home is breached.
The downside to the Arlos is the expense and the poor battery life. When Blink offers weatherproof outdoor cameras I will probably switch. Also I am concerned about the way they handle night time motion detection.

Dammit! Just ordered the 5 pack from Amazon for $350. Dang. At least I got a $40 off coupon for opening a Amazon Store Prime Account.

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@peterg - Getting back to the original post, I believe you can purchase ADT (or other security system) signs on ebay. I think that would go a long way towards scaring the amateur thieves off but not a professional.

Got those on all my windows/doors. :slight_smile:

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OK, some good thoughts here.

I wasn’t aware of the Schlage kick sensor. All of my doors have glass, that sensor could be crucial to me. I just don’t like the keypads, and HATE the look.

I don’t need outdoor cameras. All sides of my house are visible to streets, I live on a main road, 1/4 mile from the police station.

My original intent was simply to scare kids out empty handed. Pros aren’t going to break into a house so visible, with a possible alarm system, a dog… and if a real pro wants to, he’ll disable ANY security system. The problem we’re having is amateurs grabbing jewelry and getting out quick.

But if (recording) cameras can be added rather cheaply, the point about having evidence to get action from the police is well made. And civic duty, all that…

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My goal is perimeter security system to alert me, scare burglars, and run off unwelcome guests (you get to decide who those are for yourself).

If I had the money, which never seems to be the case, I would start with the perimeter with a motion sensor system (see youtube link below). That could trigger outside security lights, which would be much brighter than normal lighting, it could trigger an audio file of barking dogs, camera alerts, and of course a text alert.

Then I would have motion detectors close to the front door, back door, and sides of the house that would trigger a second layer of alerts. I’ve thought of adding a sprinkler zone to this layer that way there would be foot prints by the windows… and what burglar wouldn’t be caught off-guard by a sprinkler turning on while they are peering into the windows???

The gate to the backyard would have a deadbolt lock, doesn’t have to be z-wave, and a motion/vibration sensor that would detect someone opening, kicking, or jumping over the gate.

Then finally the home security system that is complemented by smartthings devices.

Driveway sensor build -

Yes, that is my paranoia kicking in and you don’t even want to know the things that growing up watching Home Alone makes me want to do…

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I prefer the keypad. Auto unlocking is a no-go for me, I want certain events to be deliberate. I also use the keypad to trigger I am back event in case presence is slow. I like the look, but that is subjective.

I picked up a Ring doorbell with camera. Initially it was to prevent people from stealing packages off porch (which has never happened). Most thieves knock/ring first and the camera on the doorbell is a good sign that I probably have more. It has 2 way communication which I have used a couple times to talk to my kid and delivery guy.

The dog can help, depending on the dog. Remember the show “It takes a Thief”? There was episode where he broke in and gave the dog treats from the fridge. They became his best friend.

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Best type of dog is an abused one from the pound. As long as they are able to be integrated to your family, which is the tough part, they will almost always hate anyone that isn’t part of your family. I had a lab like this, my God that dog was good at scarring people away. Interestingly he only went crazy after men, assumed his previous male owner was the abuser.

My current pups are sissy’s, so I rely on technology now! :slight_smile:


Yeh there was also an episode where he actually took the dog with him.

The latest trend in my neighborhood is using a crowbar on one of the outside doors, mostly the front doors. That is nearly impossible to protect against. Plus the bedroom is the first place they go to. That is why indoor and outdoor cameras are so important plus a way to immediately notify the police. Keep your valuables in a safe deposit box at your bank, especially anything that could allow them to steal your identity. That is worse than stealing property.

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Reinforced bolts and strike plates that connect directly to the 2x4 frame (through long reinforced screws) make this attacker harder.

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@desertblade - yes, I have done that and recommend everyone does this, plus i have attached metal strips on the door edge and door frame, but as I study my door after all that, I can still see how a burglar with a chisel and a crowbar could still pry their way between them in time. I am trying to think of a way to prevent this but meanwhile my outdoor cameras will be recording them.

I can also agree with this. My pup (10 yrs old now) was picked up from a shelter at 3mo old. She goes batSH!t crazy when other men come into the house. Kids and women, not a problem. Takes her about 45 minutes to warm up to male friends and family members, but forgets them as soon as they walk out the door.

To the OP, get what you can afford. Security is only as good as the products you use. Lots of good advice here. Im in the same boat as you. I have home automation everywhere and am just now deciding on a monitored security system (separate from SmartThings). If youre doing it ONLY as a deterrent, get a siren and setup whatever current lights you have automated, to turn on when the siren goes off based on contact sensors opening or a glass break sensor trigger.

Obviously you have to take into account Smartthings failing to disarm or going crazy in the middle of the night and triggering the alarm, waking you and whoever else is within earshot, but I digress.


OK, more research, seems I can’t get a camera with a pet imunne detector, or a camera WITHOUT a motion detector. I CAN get pet immune detectors for $25.

What kind of mess do I get in if I tape over the IR on the camera, then use the standalone detectors to trigger the camera?


You can get Blink camera and just disable the motion detection…But that would kind off defeats the purpose of having the camera tell you something is going on. You can just place the camera at such an angle so to only record motion video for anyone over 4 feet tall in the room.

Is placing the camera at a certain height effective over distance? i.e., does the motion sensor range vary by some degrees horizontally, or just digitally? My dog isn’t tall, but she does stand up to see out the windows, maybe 3 feet up.

If she stands at the window cill, place it in the opposite direction of that location. The distance is not effected. Most motion detection enabled cameras can handle a standard sized room.