Home Security and an Alternative to Home Phone Service

Since my husband took his current job 3 years ago, I have wanted a security system.

He is gone at least once a month on business, which I know isn’t a lot for most people but in the 5 years of our marriage prior to this job change, we had spent only one night apart. And seeing that I moved directly from my parent’s house into our home right after our wedding, I am not used to being home alone. Yes, I fully realize I am a big baby…please don’t feel that you need to leave a comment to tell me that.

Now that we have kids, I’ll often lay in my bed (trying to go to sleep) and develop strategies just in case an invader comes in and tries to hurt us (please tell me I’m not the only insane person who does this). We have the baby gate across the door…that should give me an extra 15 seconds. I’ll grab Little Brother from his room, run to Big Brother’s room and barricade ourselves in his room by pushing his bed against the door. And, for goodness sakes, whatever you do…don’t forget the phone!!!

 

 

My husband thinks I am completely insane for this reason (and perhaps many others). And maybe I am. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I am overprotective and a wee bit paranoid.

Oh, and did I happen to tell you that we have a pond in our backyard and no fence? Yep, that one keeps me up at night too.

Anyway…up until now we have never had a home security system because we are too cheap. I refused to get rid of our home phone because I wanted to have 911 capabilities. We were spending almost $30 per month to have 911 capabilities…and no caller I.D.! I was not going to spend another $30+ per month for a security system!

Until now. We figured out how to get home phone and a security system for only about $10 more per month than we were already paying for our home phone alone (plus an additional savings on our Homeowner’s Insurance).

Here’s how:

Based upon our sweet neighbors recommendation, we recently bought the Ooma Telo to replace our home phone service. It costs a chunk up front, but then you only pay tax each month thereafter. It will pay itself off after 8 months because our home phone bill went from $30 to less than $3 each month. We were able to keep our old number (with an additional $30 charge), it works with all our existing handheld phones in our home, AND WE GET CALLER ID!!! In my married life, I have never had Caller ID because, again, we have always been too cheap to spend the extra $10 per month.

If you’re wondering how this works…I’m afraid I can’t tell you too much besides the fact that it works through your internet connection. The only downside is that if your power goes out or you lose your internet connection…you lose your phone service. That isn’t really a huge issue for us since we have our cell phones. We have been using this for the last 2 months and we have been SO happy with the service!

*Update:  In the 9 months that we have had this system, we have NEVER had any problems with service not working!*

Here’s what we love about the Ooma

  • Reduced our home phone bill by 10 times
  • Caller ID
  • Works with the phones we already had
  • Calls 911 and will give the address
  • Can check voicemail online

 

 

Now that we reduced the cost of that service, I was okay with adding a home security system.

The only problem was that we couldn’t use a traditional security system because we now did not have a technical ‘landline’ (a must for most security systems). We needed a security system that relied on cell towers instead of landlines.

I did some research online and came across FrontPoint Security. It fit the bill for us and relies on safe cellular instrusion monitoring.

Apparently, there are several distinct advantages to cell tower monitoring. A close friend of ours recently had to get this type of alarm service because of the immense number of break-ins in her neighborhood. Most homes already had security systems but these armed and experienced burglars would just cut the phone line prior to breaking into the home, therefore disabling the monitoring service entirely.

One of my favorite features (besides the cellular monitoring) is the fact that we can arm and disarm our security system from our smart phones!

The alarm system also has a ‘chime’ feature, so if anyone opens one of the doors (even if the alarm is NOT set), it will make a chime noise. This is especially important to me now that the boys can open doors and the fact that we have a body of water in our backyard.

Lastly, if you have a monitored alarm system you are often eligible to receive savings off your Homeowner’s insurance! This could be a savings of up to $25 per month, depending on your insurance agency.

Here’s what we love about FrontPoint Security:

  • Uses cellular instrusion monitoring, meaning you don’t have to have a landline and the line cannot be ‘cut’ by burglars.
  • It’s wireless and SUPER easy to install (less than 30 minutes set-up time for the whole house).
  • Can arm/disarm from our iPhones.
  • Has additional fire, smoke, freeze, flood & health features (which we are not currently using, but which we might eventually).
  • Will save up to $25/month on Homeowner’s insurance

 

In short, we ditched our landline, got the Ooma, and have a monitored alarm system through FrontPoint Security. All for about $10-$15 more than we were paying for JUST home phone service.

Why did I go to great lengths to tell you this? Because I know that security is something that every parent worries about. The first night my husband was out of town and we had the security system, I slept MUCH better! And it’s kinda dorky, but I also get super excited about saving money. :)

 

 

*Please note:  The links above are my referral links. You can read my full disclosure here.

 

21 Comments

  1. Love the picture! I’d say a burglar would think twice meeting your Mama Fists of Fury;) I too went from living at home to getting married and living with my husband. When I was an Air Force Wife for 7 years, I never slept well when he was deployed whether it was a week or 100 days. Since leaving the Air Force, I am lucky his travel has significantly reduced. But, I still have trouble sleeping. You’re not crazy. I have devised plans too, and will look into your suggestions. Getting a dog helped;) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Shelisa…I can’t believe I actually put that picture on there. It is so embarrassing! :) We have a dog and she barks…but she is getting older and I don’t think she can hear as well. Plus, she’s a golden retriever, so I think after initially barking, she might just lick the intruder to death. :)

      1. Embarrassing pictures are the best. I think it’s cute…I mean intimidating and vicious:) Our Airedale pup is 1 today, which means his bark is decent, but he’s a clown. I’ve been talking to the kids about if anyone ever tries to take them they have my permission to act like a loud,wild panther, attacking eyes and privates. Just yesterday we role played. I acted like a stranger trying to coax them into the car. We never let them out of our sight yet, but they are starting to have more playdates. I’d hate to think I didn’t prepare them.

  2. I totally relate to you in this post. My husband is hardly ever out of town, but when he is I am the same was as you are! Even in the evenings, if he isn’t home I get nervous. Every noise I hear is a serial killer. I will “hear” someone breathing in the room when I turn the lights off, or foot steps in the hallway, ect, ect. And I too have an escape plan all formulated in my head. I sleep with the cell phone under my pillow too just in case I need to grab it and go. haha! We got an alarm system similar to yours a year ago and it makes me feel so much more at ease. I like setting it when I leave the house, so I know the house is secure when I get back. And we have our fire alarms set to the system to, so if they go off and we are not here, it will set the alarm off and notify the company. That is really nice. And I love it because my 2 boys (ages 4 & 2) like to escape out of the doors and can undo the locks, so I hear a chime every time a door opens or even a basement window opens. Helps my peace of mind as a mama! Just wanted you to know that you’re not crazy, I’m right there with you!

  3. I haven’t read all of your post yet, but I wanted to say that even if you do not have a connected landline, you can still get 911 for emergencies. My mom keeps a phone plugged in for that purpose. We would except I think all of our phone plugins have been removed during renovations. I’m not sure where you would double check this information, but as far as I know, it’s a law or regulation to have access to 911. Fortunately, my mom has never had to test it out!

  4. We love our security system (ADT) and do not have landline service. It posed no problem for installation. It definitly helps with peace of mind when my hubby is gone, especially since we have four kids 6 years and younger – on two levels of the house. We also live out in the country and have a long driveway. We got a $15 (at Harbor Freight) driveway alarm. It has a range of $300 feet and does well, although it took some trial and error to get the right placement. Too close to the road, and semi trucks would set it off, too close to the gate and wind would set it off when the gate moved. We still have false alarms from the neighbor’s cows, birds, and most recently a turkey who landed in front of the sensor and then walked down the length of our long driveway (and then the dogs barked…). But the false alarms are worth the additional sense of security. It is nice to have for unexpected visitors, such as UPS. We had it go off once at night and it spooked us quite a bit. But my hubby was able to take the shotgun outside and the dogs started barking upon seeing him. Shortly after that my hubby saw someone walking down the road (after the driveway alarm dinged atain) – away from our house!!!

  5. I totally do that too. I lie in bed and come up with my plan…how I’m going to get my boys, where we should hide, and how I should whisper when I make my 911 call. :)

  6. Thank you for this information!! You are not insane, I do the same thing when my husband is not home. It’s great to know they are coming out with more and more options for security, and you brought up a good point about burglars being able to just cut the landline. Thanks!!

  7. Thank you , thank you thank you. I don’t think your insane at all. I lived on my own for 3 years before I got married and I’ve never liked being alone at night. My husband works night shift 2-3 nights a week. I don’t always sleep well those nights. Plus my son’s bedroom is downstairs while our bedroom is upstairs. The downstairs room is too small for my husband and the other upstairs bedroom is the nursery and is so small that it barely fits a crib and changing table for my younger son. I’ve seen small walk-in closets bigger than the nursery. Anyway, I’ve woken up with a racing heart on several occasions because of some noise I hear. And while I don’t live in a bad area, I don’t live in a great area either. Now to just convince my husband that a security system is worth the money. It took almost 5 years (and having a baby) for him to put dead bolt locks on our doors, but I would love the additional security especially when he goes to bed after me and leaves the doors unlocked or the windows open (grrrr….don’t get me started on that).

    1. Oops, I meant to say the downstairs bedroom is too small for my husband AND I. Missed that when I proof-read the first time.

  8. This was great to read! I seriously thought I was the only person who did this! When it was just me, I would lock myself in our room at night with the dog when my husband traveled but four beautiful boys later, I have more than just me to protect now. I also devise plans on how we would deal with an intruder, how I would get everyone out in a fire, and every other possible thing that could happen! Ok, I carry belt cutters and a window breaker in my car b/c I don’t ever want to be in that situation where I cant get everyone out of their car seats in time! Yep… I am crazy paranoid!!! Before having kids, I couldn’t have imagined a love so strong that I would die trying to protect them! Good to know I’m not alone!

  9. You are not alone girl. I have done the same thing many times when home alone. I use to think about how I could get my daughter (and hopefully dogs) out of the house and I planned on running to the neighbors who was military and let him take care of the bad guys! HA! We have ooma too and it is amazingly cheap and effectively. The only thing some ppl face in switching is ppl are usually bundled with those cable companies and thus making their landline “free” b/c if they drop it the price of the bundle goes WAY up. Lucky for us we don’t have cable…but something ppl don’t think about. I will have to show my hubs that security system b/c he wants one bad. Thanks for the info!

  10. Just wanted to say you’re not alone and I’m glad to hear someone else has the same type of worries, sometimes, too. When my husband is away, I do think about what my plan would be if someone does try to break into the house. Yesterday, I was alone at the house and a pushy solicitor kept trying to come into the house. He remained polite but tried several times to come inside even though the door was half closed, which made me wonder if a security system with a panic button would be a good investment. I was so unnerved by the encounter that I called the police to check on whether the solicitor was legit and after looking up the business card he gave me, I’m inclined to think he probably wasn’t.

    One question though, I thought disconnected landlines still had to be rigged to call 911 in case of emergency. Or maybe that’s a state by state case?

  11. Oh, you are sooo not alone!!!! Being scared of water is part of the reason I have not put my pool up in my backyard since giving birth to my boys!!! I loved my above ground pool sooooo much but not more then I love my boys!!!!! :) I know there are things(alarms) out there that supposedly make noise in the house when someone gets in the pool, but I don’t trust them with my childrens’ lives. We have been too cheap to purchase a home alarm as well, but I will be checking into this one. My 2 yr. old was trying to open our front door the other day, and my 4 yr. old already knows how to unlock it and open it. Also, I went from my parents’ house(sleeping with my SISTER) to my house w/my hubby. The thing I find the most funny is if my hubby is gone, I feel much less scared if just my kids sleep with me!!! ….like my kids are gonna protect me! (I guess it is just the whole feeling of not being totally alone?!?) not that I am never scared when they are with me but just much less scared then before I had kids… I, also, have come up with escape plans…. out the bedroom window and straight to the neighbor’s house! ;) LOL

  12. Just last night I went through the whole situation too and it ended with us using the bed to block the door and then climb out the window. I even spent a couple of extra minutes deciding which neighbor’s house we would run too for help. I am sorry to say that this all ran thought my mind with our security system fully armed. It has eased my fears greatly, but it has not gotten rid of them completely. And hey it is always good to have an emergency plan right?

  13. I sell phone service for a living, and I’ve been pushing people to VoIP (voice over internet protocol) for years. Companies like Ooma and Magicjack give unlimited local and long distance calling for less than companies like Qwest, CenturyLink and AT&T charge in a month. And, you get way more features with a VoIP product than you do with a conventional landline phone system.

    Good job on taking your money back from the big phone companies, and showing others how to save with Ooma!

    Greg

  14. We are thinking of getting rid of our cable bundle which has internet, cable, and phone. Who do you use for internet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *