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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I are building a home in Akumal :), in a resort community, that initially we will not be living in full time. We are looking for recommendations on home security systems. We see that ADT operates in Mexico. Is this a good option? Please share any ideas and comments to help us determine whether a home security system is worth the cost and whether the service provided is truly security.
 

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Best to build security into your house even if that means bars on the windows, double locked doors and high walls. Next get neighbors or friends to look after the place while you are gone. Next, next .... don't leave personal valuables around or don't even have them

I would not rely on a security company in Mexico or the US
 

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We live in a private community with a small security crew. It is secure but stuff still happens.

I've installed an Ademco Vista 20P security system. It is the same system we had in the States for years. I'm no electrician but had no trouble installing it myself - with the help of some very helpful folks on DIY forum on the internet. It is the same system Brinks/ADT had used in our homes in the past. Since the walls of our house are about a foot thick brick/cement with no hollow spaces most of the devices on the windows and doors are wireless.

For monitoring I purchased an auto-dialer component (about $100 USD) which is capable of sending out two pre-canned messages to a series of phone numbers. Honestly I have not installed this piece yet but my plan is to call the security station and the home of a good neighbor (who has the keys to the house already). I also picked up the loudest siren I could find. It is so loud it is almost unbearable. But to be honest most of the time our system is in monitor mode rather than alarm and so when a door or window is opened the system issues a nice ding-ding-ding - kind of like a doorbell. I also like that the green light on the keypad only lights if the house is secured, which tells us if something is open when we leave the house.

We probably could have picked up most of the system here in Mexico (it is interesting that it is made in Mexico for Honeywell) but it would have cost me at least twice as much as in the States.

Hope this helps.
 

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I think Sparks gives good advice, regarding the bars. About which company to use: my suggestion is that you find-out which company is popularly providing the same service in that resort community; checking with the property management office will probably get you some options to consider. Who someone uses in Mexico City, or Zihuatanejo or even Cancun is irrelevant to the situation in Akumal. Best of luck.
 

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My first line of security is to not have much that is worth stealing.

I had a break-in two years ago. I had left out a lot of stuff in preparation for a trip. I only left the house for 10 minutes, but it was enough time for someone to come over the roof into a patio and help themselves to my passport, credit cards, camera, iPod touch and iPad that were all laid out for packing. Since then I have added concertina wire to make it more difficult to get into the patios and I lock all the doors to the patios. I also never leave stuff out. My camera and passport are put away where they would be difficult to find.

When I leave town I also put my computer away where it is not so obvious. And finally I have a woman who checks the house daily when I am away, although this is mainly to make sure there is no water leaking or other problems of that type.

But to repeat, the first line of defense really is that there is nothing of value in the house. Even my computer is now old enough (4 years) that it might be a blessing if someone stole it. It is backed up in three places, one in the cloud, so it would be a pain if it were stolen but not disastrous.
 

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Everyone's situation is different - even within the same city. Personally I would never live behind bars - I would install an electric fence first - but I am not looking to do that.

I will say that the 'biggest' problems in our particular community were 'inside jobs'. You really need to know - via a trusted recommendation - who you are letting into your home. Now they no longer let taxi's in the community - they were afraid they were checking out opportunities.
 

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How could anyone not have valuable things at their house?

Security is a big issue, in Mexico and all over the world, but let's think we are talking about Mexico...

I suggest, as you are building the house, to build some secret places where you can hide valuables; a place where you can install a safe box for passports birth certificates, etc., some other places, even have furniture made with hiding doors or drawers where you can place valuables, cash, etc.
Of course a security service helps, ADT provides good surveillance, non of the services will make your house burglary proof, but, if you have an incident, or, in the worst case, if you are at the house when it happens, you will have a panic code that will let them know you need help.
I hate bars in the windows, but you are going to leave the house alone for extended periods of time, so, include them in your project.

It sounds like 007 stuff, but when we talk about safety, nothing is enough
 

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We have bars on all exposed windows, electric wires on all accessible walls, three security cameras and a safe bolted to the floor in one room. This is not being paranoid, just doing what others in this neighborhood are doing was well, and maybe just a little bit more.

It is kind of like if you and another person are attacked by an animal. You don't have to be faster than the animal, just faster than the other person. So, the idea is to make your house look like a more difficult target than the one next door or across the street.
 

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We use the electric fence, loud horn, neighbor will call our relatives when horn sounds. No bars, no surveillance system. Most of the time, after several years, we don't turn it on very often, as we have sounded the horn every 2-3 weeks in the first years that everyone knows we have one. We still sound it about every 2 months. Hide anything really valuable in good places. I touched it the first year and my heart kept bothering me for 3 days, then all back to normal. We hav a bunch of warning signs. :D
 
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I live in a small apartment in a small building in the center of Mexico City. There is no doorman to screen visitors, just an intercom system to buzz visitors in. There have been a couple of robberies in the 8 years I've been living here, but luckily I haven't been targeted by the local rateros. I guess I´ll just cross my fingers and hope they don't target me next. If they did manage to break in while I was out, all they'd find was a bunch of books and Mexican artesanías and my computer, the only thing that might be worth stealing. Guess I'd better keep up with my occasional backups of essential computer files, just in case . . .
 

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One gets used to the window bars. Takes time, but you find yourself noticing how all your neighbors have them, so no big deal. Good locks help; the kind where, if they boost in a kid to unlock the door from inside, it doesn't work, so the bad kid gets trapped inside. High walls help, especially if you live on a busy enough street that the robbers would be pretty obvious in attempts to get over them.

Most important: Who comes inside: maids, gardeners, etc. Don't give a key to anyone. Your helper may be honest, but how about her relative who isn't, and gets his hands on her keys?
That's happened to a couple of friends. Naturally, the maid cries her heart out to the police, claiming her family members just COULDN'T do such a thing. Her kids are angels, right?
We use a contract service. Nobody has keys but us.
 

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Good points, lagoloo. The only people I've given keys to are my across-the-hall neighbor and the owner of my apartment, who is also a long-time friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Security system

Thank you for sharing that very useful information. May I ask where you purchased this system in the U.S.?
 

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Lindaruh, when you want to respond directly to a post, to give thanks or whatever, it's a good idea to click on the Reply With Quote button before writing your response.
 

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On the other hand if you are not there for months at a time who will check your house, air it and keep it up?
I have lived in 2 places for several yeas and the cleaning ladies have the keys and the gardner in one property has keys as well.
I have never lost anything in 15 years in one place and 8 in the other. Each person situation is difference. I have alarms in both places, one is decent and the other is terrible and I have discontinued it.
I have been at the MP to help people report crimes and I haved helped a couple of times people report theft with a service so there is no perfect situation. If someone enters your house people from a service can help thieves just like freelance people can.
 

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On the other hand if you are not there for months at a time who will check your house, air it and keep it up?
I have lived in 2 places for several yeas and the cleaning ladies have the keys and the gardner in one property has keys as well.
I have never lost anything in 15 years in one place and 8 in the other. Each person situation is difference. I have alarms in both places, one is decent and the other is terrible and I have discontinued it.
I have been at the MP to help people report crimes and I haved helped a couple of times people report theft with a service so there is no perfect situation. If someone enters your house people from a service can help thieves just like freelance people can.
Some folks, like us, never leave our house for months or even weeks at a time, so no problem. Our vacations are short, and I have a trusted person who would do a bit of watering to keep the plants in our very small patio alive.
The security needed depends much on the individual circumstances. Yours are somewhat unusual.
 

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How could anyone not have valuable things at their house?

No TV, no stereo, no artwork, no jewelry. Just a 4 year old computer and some small stuff (camera, passport, credit cards) that is easily stored where it would be hard to find.

If someone wants the refrigerator or couch badly enough to steal it, they are welcome to them.
 
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