From the Forum – Security Tips/Recommendations and a Man’s Wallet Found

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New Resident – Security Tips/Recommendations:

“Just moved to DC last week and living in the Truxton Circle area. Noticing lots of folks using security companies to monitor their homes and wondering if we should do the same. What security measures does anyone recommend or use personally? What security company would you recommend working with? (and yes, we’ve already had a theft from our back porch – welcome to the District!) 🙂 Thanks for your help in advance!”

Found Man’s Wallet – Columbia Heights:

“I found a man’s wallet in my yard last night when I got home from work. I called DC’s 311 number and was told to take it to a police station or throw it away. If you are a young guy from Ohio who is looking for your wallet – it is at the police station at 16th & V NW. Hope all is well.”

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24 Comment

  • To the person who found the wallet–see if you can find the person on facebook and send them a message. I once had a pursed dumped in my front yard and while I did call the police and turn it over to them, I also messaged the woman to let her know and I apparently got to her hours before the police did. She still had to go to the police station to pick it up, but she seemed really grateful to know that a lot of her key ID cards were found.

    • thats a good call
      last year i had a yard sale (everything flew out of my pockets) on the slopes
      one by on e things made its way back to me
      the last was my licence. a guy found it, reached out to me on FB and mailed it later that day
      i was highly appreciative

  • gotryit

    Security cameras – I’m watching you! I’d get an alarm system too, but there is usually someone in the house.

  • tonyr

    When I found a wallet I just put in an envelope and mailed it to the address on the license. Presumably it arrived within a day or two.

  • Well a security system isn’t really going to help with theft off your porch unless you have a surveillance camera. Even then, it’s better to not leave anything you wouldn’t want stolen unsecured.
    We have Ackerman and have been happy with them. We get wireless monitoring with a cellphone app for $32 a month. The security system itself was pretty costly because we got almost every door/window protected. We did buy directly from Ackerman, but if you get an off-the-shelf system and install it yourself, they will monitor it for you. In hindsight, that would have been a LOT cheaper. Thankfully we haven’t had a real emergency, but I’ve been happy with their response time when we’ve had false alarms.

  • I use LiveWatch for alarm system monitoring. I haven’t removed any of the window bars/security doors that came with my house, and I added lighting in the back that turns on automatically at dusk and off at dawn. (The front is already well-lit, thanks to a streetlight.) I got the house’s back fence repaired — if someone really wanted to get over it, they could, but I think it makes my house a less attractive target than one that’s already open to the alley.

  • My friends who moved to a “transitional” area use Urban Alarm and they seem to be happy with it, but they’re not the most tech-savvy so they don’t have cameras or remote access to the system, just the basic door/window/motion detection monitoring.

  • We have used Guardian Protection for the last 3 years and have been happy with them. We have a motion detector in the basement and sensors on most windows and doors. Living in a rowhouse, if we were on the top floor (where the bedrooms are), it would be impossible to hear someone breaking in through the basement door. It’s good peace of mind. Guardian is extremely responsive too. I’ve hit the “panic” button on the key fob a few times by accident, and they call almost immediately (like, seconds) to find out if we are ok. I know that people can get camera systems set up, and there are fancier systems than the basic package with have with Guardian, but we like them.

  • I have the bigassdog security system. Costs about $60 a month in fuel, $250 a year in routine maintenance. But the initial investment was cheap, as he’s a rescue.

    • Is he bullet proof? Seriously, I’m sure you love your dog, but I would want something a little more robust to protect my place.

      • Not the OP, but a police officer who routinely patrolled my old neighborhood (Trinidad) once told me that big dogs are better security than even alarm systems. Most would-be criminals would rather not tangle with a dog and will move on to an easier target.
        That said, I have two big dogs and an alarm system to protect said big babies 🙂

      • Not bullet proof, but that’s really not the point of a dog. As said by the other poster, they’re really more of a deterrence because given the choice of breaking into a house with a 90 pound German Shepherd and a house with no dog, most criminals will go the dogless route.
        That said, I didn’t get the dog for security reasons and don’t really worry about break ins.

      • Is a security system bullet proof?

  • We’re in the same neighborhood and use ADT. But nothing beats good lighting and bars on the doors and windows, in my opinion. Haven’t had any problems other than accidentally leaving the car doors unlocked to find someone had fruitlessly looked through our glove compartment. But there is crime in the neighborhood (e.g., the dry cleaner across the street from us has been robbed several times in a matter of months), so do your due diligence. And welcome!

    • Second the importance of lighting. We live in Truxton as well, and have put up good lighting and fenced in our driveway In the back alley. We also took the bars off our door and windows, but only on the front which is on a busy street with good lighting, lots of traffic, and we used security grade glass.

      We have also used Front Point security for a couple years now, and they have stellar service at a great price. Welcome to the neighborhood!

      • What is security-grade glass — unbreakable? Harder to break?
        I agree that lighting is really important, and that it’s best to employ a combination approach (lighting, some bars, security system), rather than just one method.
        I feel like we read on PoP fairly frequently about houses that are broken into despite having security systems, and that the thieves know they have about 10 minutes to swipe laptops and flat-screen TVs before the police arrive.

  • Self-installed security system on windows/doors + large pit bull.

  • We have ADT, but hardly ever use it, we used to years ago, but there doesn’t seem to be the need anymore. We also have a dog with a great bark. Mostly though, we’ve gotten to know our neighbors and they keep an eye out. My friend a few blocks away had his door kicked in and house burgled while he was at work. One of his neighbors said “I heard the whole thing!” Well then, wtf didn’t you call the cops?

  • I bought a system online and installed it myself. The system cost about $350 upfront, and was fairly easy to install because it’s all wireless, except for the telephone wire. I pay Alarm Relay $10 a month to monitor the system.
    I took the bars off my windows when I moved in. I installed a dusk-to-dawn light next to the front and back doors, and a motion-activated spot at the basement door.

  • Had a system installed in the house when I bought it; got Urban Alarms for monitoring after a break in. Been happy. Everything has gone as it should when there was a false alarm.

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