Ads for SimpliSafe have been all over the radio in past months at the time of this writing. No doubt you’ve heard them. Before you write off this post as a sales pitch for them, consider this.
With crime on the rise, home security is ever more important. But is SimpliSafe only for urbanites, or is it right for your homestead?
When the company contacted me with an offer to provide content for a blog post, we exchanged several e-mails. I don’t take unsolicited content unless it meets certain conditions. But we decided on a question and answer format, aimed particularly at preppers and homesteaders.
My thanks to SimpliSafe for providing the information below. I pass it along as a public service. It’s my hope you’ll find it useful as you make decisions about keeping your home safe and secure.
DestinySurvival – Briefly describe your security system.
SimpliSafe – SimpliSafe is an award-winning, cellular home security system—built by a Harvard-educated engineer. It protects your home with wireless technology, so there is no landline that could get cut. We got rid of everything that makes most home security such a pain, too. We don’t have any annual contracts and no middlemen, which is how we keep our prices so low.
Finally, SimpliSafe will also protect you from crash and smash tactics. Burglars love to break in and destroy the keypad. With our system, though, smashing the keypad will still allow the signal to reach the police, because we moved the brains of our system to the Base Station!
DestinySurvival – Since many of my readers live in rural areas, would your security system work for homesteaders and those who live in the country? Or is it mainly for people in urban areas?
SimpliSafe – Absolutely! Our system will work anywhere there is a cellular connection. By default, each system comes with a T-Mobile SIM card, but we also offer Verizon if T-Mobile doesn’t have good coverage in your area.
If you live in an area with poor cellular connection, you can always backup your system with a landline or a broadband adaptor.
DestinySurvival – Would your system work in a shed, barn, or other outbuilding, as long as it’s wired for electricity?
SimpliSafe – We have many customers who use their systems in outhouses, sheds, or barns. There are a few things that need to be kept in mind for this.
First of all, if you have a system in your main house, your sensors in your shed need to be within 400 feet of the base station. (This range can vary depending on interference). Our sensors are all battery operated, so unless the system was exclusively for that building, you shouldn’t need any electricity.
Second of all, our sensors are not weatherized, and extreme temperatures can cause interference or damage to the sensors. If the buildings you are putting your sensors in will drop below 45 degrees or above 115 degrees, we wouldn’t recommend using your system in that location.
Finally, we always recommend that you test your system, especially when using it in a non-traditional location. Our system comes with a 60 day, money back guarantee return policy, so you can always test out the system and send it back if it doesn’t meet your needs.
DestinySurvival – Would your system work with solar power if electricity from the grid were unavailable?
SimpliSafe – We have had customers in the past use solar power for their base stations. The power supply is rated for peak use of 1.6 amps at 7.5 volts, and its peak draw requirements are 12 watts. The average usage is much lower (probably 5%-10% of peak). The base station draws around 50mA average (aka 0.05 amps) and the input requires 110 volts, so you will need to have AC power for it.
Before setting up your system to run on solar power, we highly recommend testing your setup to make sure all of the specifications are met. We do not recommend using an aftermarket 12/24/48v power supply for the system due to the sensitivity of the electronics, so you will need to have access to 110v power to use our basestation.
DestinySurvival – Your site says batteries in your units last five years. Are these batteries hard to find and hard to replace?
SimpliSafe – Not at all! All of our batteries can be purchased either online through us, or at your local hardware store.
DestinySurvival – You have a monitoring service. Do they call local authorities if an alarm is set off? Do they know which authorities to call?
SimpliSafe – Yes, we offer two monitoring plans. Both of these plans offer full, 24/7 professional monitoring. If your alarm is set off, our monitoring company, COPS Monitoring, will call up to two primary contact numbers. If nobody picks up, or if you do not give the correct Safe Word, they will dispatch local police.
In the case of a fire alarm, COPS Monitoring will only call one primary number before dispatching the fire department. After dispatch, COPS Monitoring will make courtesy calls to any secondary contacts that you list, just to give them a heads up about the alarm.
DestinySurvival – Generally speaking, what are some tips to make a home appear less vulnerable to burglars?
SimpliSafe – There are actually many things you should take into account. Here are a few:
- If you garden, make sure to keep your garden tidy, and only grow short plants. Tall plants can provide cover for burglars. Trim your plants back from any basement windows you may have.
- It is also good to opt for no fence or short fence around your yard. Again, tall fences can provide cover for a burglar.
- Add motion sensor lights outside of your home. These will trigger whenever somebody walks by, and draw attention to your home if there is somebody unwanted.
- Especially if you have empty properties, or if you’re gone on vacation, set timer lights inside your home. This will make it look like somebody’s home, and not draw attention to an empty house.
- Use blinds and curtains so as not to give anybody any ideas. If they don’t know what is in your home, they are less likely to break into it.
- If you’re not going to be home for a while, have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail, or call the post office to hold your mail. Burglars look for full mailboxes as a sign of a family on vacation.
- Always layer your home security.
We are always writing about new ways to keep yourself and your family protected. Please feel free to poke around our blog for great tips and facts!