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Solar Energy House C/- Simon & Kristina Cope | 19 Manapau Street, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072 | New Zealand | Contact us now to arrange your tour
20 years ago my boss had recently come back from overseas and talked about the evils of 'gated estates' and how terrible they are - keeping the poor out and the rich in... (yes he is a socialist & that is a completely different story), and I didn't have any references to make an opinion with... having not travelled overseas at that time and NZ being a place where we walked out the unlocked front door, left keys in the cars and nobody was burglared let alone home invasion! Roll forward to 2010 and times have changed!!
Fortunately my first taste of being burglared was by kids looking for money (and they left everything else) when I lived at my parents house 15+ years ago, then 14 years ago 2nd taste was my daughters bike being stolen while she is sleeping in a tent 5 metres away at the back of the property (not good!), to then my wife's bike being stolen from the locked shed (learning) a year later... Now this is minor to many people - however I have had friends lose everything and with us having 500 to 1000 people visit this solar powered house a year in Meadowbank I knew we needed to put some physical 'insurance' in place to encourage these people to go after an easier target!
I never thought I would get automated gate and CCTV at our home! But then it is 2010 - not the good old 1980's anymore....
Step 1: Monitored Burglar Alarm with patrol car cruising the streets 24x7x365!
So, we have lots of heat we can make in winter using a combination of the fireplace + wetback + boiler feeding out to the radiators... but what about the possibility of delaying when we have to light the fire / fire-up the boiler by an hour or so in the evening, or not at all? Or what about cooling on those balmy summer nights we get in January / February in Auckland? (and lots of other parts of New Zealand?). Click here to see how I got on with researching heat recovery and ventilation systems - and are they right match for our place? Learn more...
Sounds unbelieveable - paying to have a patrol car cruise past our house on a regular basis, but interestingly enough this is the standard package offered by Matrix Security that we use as part of our monitored burglar alarm system. Click here to learn more about Matrix Secuity system at our solar powered home in Auckland. (Peace of mind)
Step 2: Automated Gate plus automated Garage Doors - Luxury that is now affordable :-)
I look forward to the day when I can click a button and the gate opens and then click another button and my garage door opens... on a wet and windy day! (Deemed the ultimate in luxury in my mind)...
So I started the process
So, engage a professional to help you in this area! For a comphrensive system that covers your entire house you need to spend approximately $1000 per metre of entrance gate required (as a rule of thumb) .
Without question, South Africans' have security issues when it comes to protecting their loved ones (and self) and their property. If you have a friend who is from Sth Africa then the stories they tell you are hair-raising!
Because of these security concerns Centurion Gate Automation products are one of the best available here in New Zealand to use to protect your home and family as the products are well proven in the 'wild-west' of South Africa! But what made me pick them over the myrad of other gate automation systems available here in New Zealand? Two factors! First their NZ representative Ken at Aero.net.nz. Friendly, technically able and willing to answer all my questions prior to deciding who I was going to purchase off. Then came Auckland representative, Chris Barber from Lighthouse Automation Ltd. Once again, friendly, approachable and technically able to integrate into the system our monitored burglar alarm, front door automation, plus intercom system! And to top it all off - he didn't mind which actual gate manufacturer we went with. He provided us with a couple of names, but it took us 2 months to decide on what we wanted to make the gate out of (ended up being aluminium with silgna wood on it to match the deck), then find the right company to make our design!
Step 3: CCTV - Icing on the cake!
This is an industry that has exploded here in Auckland - for a couple of reasons - crime rate has mushroomed and NZ Police have little to followup if there is no photos/video of the criminals.... and secondly the cost of electronic goods has come down. HOWEVER there is a rash of cheap (and nasty) products being imported also... so buyer beware - unless you are an electrician/electronic technician (like me), or a person with a burning passion to learn about new things PRIOR to purchasing (like me), then you could buy a system that sounds good, costs $2,000+ or more and takes videos like my mobile phone - hopeless for crime fighting!!
So, engage a professional to help you in this area! For a comphrensive system that covers your entire house you need to spend $4,000+ and ideally tie it into your monitored burglar alarm system.