ADT Security System Questions

Updated on November 10, 2011
S.H. asks from Appleton, WI
8 answers


We are considering having a security system installed in our home. Security systems are not common in our area, I actually don't know anyone with one. We live in a small town and this type of crime is low. I am interested in getting a system because my husband travels a lot and it has been bothering me more and more when he is not here when I go to bed at night. We have a large home and the lower level is completely exposed with tons of windows and a door and I feel if someone did break in I wouldn't hear them two stories up. Our home is also at the very end of the neighborhood and has acres of woods behind it so if something were to happen no one else would hear anything. We live in a very nice neighborhood and our home is the biggest and the most secluded in the neighborhood so I feel we could be an easy target.
So I have a couple of questions about ADT systems.............
Do you like yours and the service they provide?
Do you have a lot of false alarms?
Are the wireless sensors really noticeable?
Also, when I was speaking to the representative she didn't originally quote me with glass breakage sensors for my lower level which is an exposed basement with many windows. When I asked her about it she stated that most break-ins would occur at the door near the windows. She of course quoted me an additional cost(50% more) for the window breakage sensors and said it was up to me and my comfort level with the system. Do any of you have window breakage sensors and do you feel they are really necessary?
Anything else I should be aware of?
Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the responses!
I am going to call ADT back and check into a portable control panel and a panic button for the bedroom.
Emily E. I agree that I think the price will change when the installer actually arrives but I was thinking my price would increase :(
I am a little confused on the motion sensors..............when I spoke to the lady yesterday she said they would install motion sensors but that those wouldn't be activated when we have the system set at night and we are home. The motion sensors would be set when we are gone. My kids are 12 and 9 and we do not have any pets so I was thinking the motion sensors could be set when we are sleeping IF we had a way to turn them off from our bedroom in the morning. Any thoughts on that?

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answers from New York on

If, by any chance, you bank with USAA, you can get good deals with ADT (the reason I'm with them)

The thing I didn't like was that they trusted me on the phone to tell them what I thought I'd need. When the guy came to my house to install, it changed quite a bit (but it changed and made it cheaper).

I've yet to have a false alarm (knock on wood), but when I first moved into my house it came with a different service (can't remember what) and there were false alarms EVERY time it rained.

I felt that the people who actually came to install had better ideas of what was really helpful. For instance, they knew the statistics about which windows were most likely to be broken into.

The service is fine now, but it was a pain actually having it installed Like I said because the people on the phone thought one thing was better, but when the guy came, he suggested something different - something that he wasn't prepared to install, so he had to come back.

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answers from San Francisco on

I have ADT and I really like it. I haven't had any false alarms (other than mom coming over to wait for the cable guy for us; we forgot to give her the alarm code so she just sat outside and waited for the police to arrive!) I don't ahve window breakage sensors though so can't say anything about that. We do not set our motion sensors at night, but my mom does. Her control panel is close enough to her bedroom that she can turn the alarm off before it goes off when she gets up in the morning. You could use your key fob to turn the alarm on and off from your bedroom. It is a good piece of mind and I don't regret one penny we've spent to install or have it monitored!

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answers from Lakeland on

I have ADT. The alarm system was already installed when we bought the house. We have the wireless window sensors and door sensors. I wouldn't recommend the motion sensors, every little thing will set them off. I have never had a false alarm, but I only use it when my hubby is away. I have never had any problems with the service and the employees have always been pleasant. I think just having the sign in the yard and stickers on the windows will help.

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answers from Dallas on

I have it, and I've had one false alarm in 5 years, and I think it was caused by the strong winds. We didn't get motion sensors because of our dog and we knew we were going to have kids at the time we got the system. We don't have the breakable window sensors because, they would only be breaking our windows to unlock them and then lift them up so the alarm would go off anyway. I don't notice the wireless sensors anywhere.

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answers from Chicago on

We use Pinnacle. We had ADT quoted, and they were SO HIGH compared to Pinnacle.

We haven't had any false alarms, and to sensors are out of eyeline on the windows, so you can't see them easily.

We don't have the window break sensors. We do have the chimes set up on our doors for when the open, though. My 3 yo has a habit of wandering, so that's more a mechanism to keep him in! LOL!

We have a panic keyfob that we keep in our bedroom, just in case someone should get past the doors somehow. It's wired directly to Pinnacle as an emergency call to send the police.

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answers from Houston on

We use ADT and we're okay with them. Their techs tend to be idiots. Sorry to be blunt but that is our experience. Overall we're mostly satisfied with their service.

The motion detectors stay off if any moving thing is in the house which is why they are only set when we leave. We accidently put the motion detectors on with our Pug in the house once. At less than a foot tall even she made the alarm go off and we weren't even down the street. When you are home, you are protected because all exterior entries into the home are wired - doors and windows. If anyone enters the house, the alarm goes off. We have had no false alarms but we have accidently set it off a few times. I love the exterior door chimes. When I am home alone, it's nice to know any door opened will create a sound even without the alarm being turned on. Plus it's wonderful since we have a pool in our backyard.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We love our system. We have 9 exterior doors and tons of LARGE windows so it was pricey. We put in glass break detectors for a lot of the house since many or our windows do not open and it was more price effective for rooms with many windows. The wireless detectors are not very noticeable (I feel). The smoke detectors are hard wired with battery backup and I feel really good about that. We have false alarms in the summer when there are thunder storms. So do most of the other people in the area (would be a great time to commit a burglary - since everyone assumes they are false alarms). I also really like the door chime feature - I have it set to chime when a door is opened - so I would know if my son somehow decided to leave the house. If you have pets and depending on the age of children you need to consider whether to put in motion sensors and where to put them. We DID NOT have the alarm codes programmed into our cars. Seemed to me like someone could grab me in my car anywhere, force me to drive to the house and now - nice private place - bad idea. We have three control panels - a portable one, one by the front door and one by the garage. You need to think through how you come in and go out and how long it takes you to disarm the alarm when you get home.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We have a system - used to have ADT, now have Guardian, but they are basically the same. They even use the same brand of equipment.

We like it. Very early on, we had a sensor that was bad and we had a few false alarms, but ADT came out and readjusted it. We set it off ourselves every now and then, but you have about 10 seconds to turn it off after an accidental alarm before it automatically calls the police. We always get it off that quickly.

Yes, the sensors are somewhat noticable. They aren't huge, and they are white so if you have white trim, they blend in. If you don't have white trim, they would be noticable.

I do not have window sensors, and most of the back of my house is a wall of windows. But my floorplan is pretty open, and I have a motion sensor that faces those windows so if anyone tried to come in by breaking them, the motion sensor would trigger the alarm. It was a better and less expensive option for us. Our motion sensor also 'sees' the bottom of our stairs so no one could get upstairs to the bedroom without triggering it, even if they avoided the windows. This would not work if you have pets that are free in your house though, because your pets would be triggering the alarm at night and when you aren't home.

UPDATE: For the motion sensor - we have two settings. A 'home' setting and an 'away' setting. The home setting activates everything except for the motion sensor. We use that when we are in the house and awake (for example, in the evening before bed). The 'away' setting activates everything, including the motion sensor. We use the 'away' setting when we are gone of course but also when we are sleeping. So yes, our motion sensor is on at night. There are 2 ways to do this. We used to have a key fob and we would just take that to our bedroom at night. We could then turn the system on and off from our bedroom. The key fob is an extra monthly charge though, so after a while, we decided to get another control panel installed upstairs in our house so we can turn it on and off from there now.

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