Burglar alarm dummy boxes-are they worth bothering with?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in In My Home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
17 replies 100.1K views
Ruth_honeyRuth_honey Forumite
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Hoping someone can help me. I came home from a couple of nights away to find someone had tried to break in. Luckily they didn't manage to get the door open, but had tried forcing it open (PVCu door) with a screwdriver, then when they failed with that, tried kicking through it! :eek:
We've contacted the police and now are looking to get extra security. I was wondering if a dummy alarm box outside would do the job as a deterrent, or is a really obvious to theives that it's fake? Will probably get some kind of alarm/motion sensor for inside too, but still trying to work out what would be best.

Thanks in advance.
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  • travis-powerstravis-powers Forumite
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    I have dummy boxes on my house, no different to the real thing your average burglar won't want to take the risk.
    Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'
  • RakshaRaksha Forumite
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    We have a dummy box on the side of the house because the real box is on the back wall for maximum solar gain (it's solar powered). They are identical.
    Please forgive me if my comments seem abrupt or my questions have obvious answers, I have a mental health condition which affects my ability to see things as others might.
  • To be honest, I don't think they are any use at all....real or not.

    How many times have you heard a house alarm go off...and instead of running to the scene or dialling the police - you actually just curse the home owner for their faulty alarm?
    Happy and thankful with never enough time to do everything
    :rotfl:

  • shandypants5shandypants5 Forumite
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    To be honest, I don't think they are any use at all....real or not.

    How many times have you heard a house alarm go off...and instead of running to the scene or dialling the police - you actually just curse the home owner for their faulty alarm?

    Thats why a dummy box can actually be BETTER than a real alarm sometimes.

    The chance theif hears your alarm ringing for 20 min, watches the house and no one comes.
    They now know 1) no one is home. 2) no one will come.

    If they see an alarm box but CANNOT set it off by flicking things thru the letterbox or thumping the windows, then they now know nothing, so will not risk breaking in just incase it is a silent police call type alarm, or it will ring and someone will come running.
    “Careful. We don't want to learn from this.”
  • Ruth_honeyRuth_honey Forumite
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    Thanks for your help, everyone. All comments noted & appreciated.
    Cross Stitch Cafe Monthly Challenge Member #27
    12/12/12 challenge-[STRIKE]Season's Greeting Newton's Law[/STRIKE] Christmas polar bear-finished on time! :)
    Thanks to all the girls in the Cross Stitch Cafe! You're all fantastic! :A
  • danderdander Forumite
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    To be honest, I don't think they are any use at all....real or not.

    How many times have you heard a house alarm go off...and instead of running to the scene or dialling the police - you actually just curse the home owner for their faulty alarm?

    I disagree with this. My parents had a break in within a week or so of moving into their current, previously vacant, house. Luckily they'd installed an alarm as soon as they moved in - when the alarm went off the thieves legged it, and all my parents had was a broken window and some disturbed ornaments on the windowsill.

    As people have said, in most situations it's just not worth the risk for a burglar to break into a house that has or might have an alarm, when there'll always be another house a few doors down that they know is unprotected.

    Personally, I've got a dummy box because my alarm only rings internally, and dials phone alerts. I've also got window stickers that say there's an alarm - it may or may not make a difference, but it only cost £14 so why not?!
  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
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    I think the alarms that are ignored by neighbours are those which go off regularly and sound off for long periods, they are obviously faulty and people know this so ignore them.
    If an alarm rings that is not known to be faulty i think a good neighbour would check the house.
    The dummy box i have on my garage has a small battery in it, just enough to power a flashing light, to make it look more genuine. The working alarm that is fitted on the house i occaisionally set it off when i am leaving or returning home, as if by accident, just enough to let anyone passing know it works.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

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  • If you are going to bother...go on eBay or similar and get an "ADT" dummy. ADT provide monitored alarm services so most burglars will be put off by that.
  • edgexedgex Forumite
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    If you havnt already got one, get a security light fitted, the type with the motion sensor.
  • edgex wrote: »
    If you havnt already got one, get a security light fitted, the type with the motion sensor.
    Also looking at doing this too. Are they easy to fit?
    Cross Stitch Cafe Monthly Challenge Member #27
    12/12/12 challenge-[STRIKE]Season's Greeting Newton's Law[/STRIKE] Christmas polar bear-finished on time! :)
    Thanks to all the girls in the Cross Stitch Cafe! You're all fantastic! :A
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