Imagine this. After a typical night at home with your family, you tuck the kids in, check the door locks, set the alarm, turn off the lights, and settle into bed. Just as you’re dozing off, the crashing sound of splintering wood and shattering glass jolts you from your sleep. This isn’t a dream. Your home has been invaded. What do you do?
The solution as seen on TV.
The commercials depicted on television would have you believe that all you need to do is run to the ringing telephone since the shrill of the alarm has sent the intruder running in another direction. The calm,Senior emergency kit reassuring voice of the employee from the monitoring station is on the other end of the line telling you the police will be there soon and everything will be okay. But should you really feel safe and secure? Maybe not!
Normally, when the alarm sounds the intruder has already gained entry into your home. And sadly, criminals can do the “unthinkable” in the timeframe between your sounding alarm and the police arriving. Criminals are also very aware that in just a few minutes of time – sometimes less than five – they can break into your home, rob you of cash or valuables, and then make a quick retreat.
Think about this. The commercials on television are created for the sole purpose of ‘selling’ the idea that a home alarm system will protect you from a burglary or violent home invasion. However, we all know the news reports paint an entirely different picture. In reality, it only takes a few seconds for an intruder to kick open your door and walk right in while your family is sitting down for dinner or in the den watching television. How is the possible when a high tech security system is in place?
Here is the simple answer. Home security systems are not designed with the intent of physically preventing burglars or intruders from gaining entry to your home. Their sole purpose is to emit a shrilling alarm that will get attention and in rare occasions frighten off a would-be intruder. Unfortunately, that’s not the typical scenario.
Consider these alarming statistics:
1. A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States.
2. Approximately 1 out of every 5 homes will be burglarized or possibly experience a violent home intrusion.
3. A majority of home invasions take place forcibly through a “locked’ door.
So why even bother with an alarm system?
While it’s true that an alarm system can’t physically keep an intruder outside your home, the good news is it is absolutely an essential part of any good security strategy. But you must completely understand what an alarm system is intended to do and what it is simply not capable of achieving. When you realize that no alarm system can fully safeguard you and your family, then you can take the steps necessary to make sure a system is in place that will. Security is all about layers – the more layers the better. Consider how an onion has several layers that peel back. The most effective security plan has multiple layers of protection, hence the name “The Home Security Onion.”
Now imagine the very first layer of the onion is your alarm system. This first layer is what I refer to as psychological in nature.
The psychological layer of security.
As I already stated, an alarm system can’t physically stop a criminal. But it can provide a psychological deterrent to a would-be thief. Additionally, alarm system warning signage sends a clear message that on some level you are cognizant of basic home security requirements. This fact alone could be the catalyst needed to persuade the intruder to move on to the next house.
Other examples of psychological security are the “Beware of Dog” signs or even outdoor lighting. Neither will stop a determined criminal, but may make them think twice and move on to an easier target.