Home Security System – A Step Beyond The Traditional Alarm System
Most people when considering their home or business security automatically think “Alarm System”.
In reality though the alarm system, as sophisticated as it may be, is what the burglars are trained to deal with. It is part of their bag of skills to be able to neutralize most of the alarm systems commonly installed on residential and commercial properties.
Furthermore a high level of education doesn’t guarantee that the individual will not use that knowledge illegally. Unfortunately there are burglars who have engineering degrees in electronic. Some of them are the very ones who design the alarm systems we use.
OK, they are a small percentage of the big bulk of the thief category, but they are out there and the more value is on your property, the higher the probability that a very skillful thief will notice you.
A better security approach is what I call the “war camp security”.
Hopefully you never had to experience in first person how to secure an overnight camp in a war zone, but you have certainly watched a few war movies where this type of situation is more or less accurately described.
The crucial points are the following:
1. Create a perimeter which would alert you of the incoming intruders.
Possibly without alerting the intruders of the fact that you are aware of their “visit”. On your property this can be accomplished with motion detectors and “hidden” peripheral security cameras with online remote monitoring, which by the way, nowadays have become quite affordable.
When activated the motion detector will trigger a telephone call to your cell-phone. You don’t want the system to alert the authorities, not yet.
The trespasser may not be a burglar, it could be the mailman, your gardner, or it could simply be someone you know who is not aware of your absence and is coming for a surprise visit.As you receive the warning call you can grab your laptop or get online with any computer, go to the security company website, usually the same company which installed your remote monitoring security system, enter your username and password and “see” what is happening on your property.
If it looks like a burglar you can call the police. You will have the video recording to prove the suspect was behaving as a burglar. Additionally the images recorded may help identify the person.
By the way, none of your flood lights should be facing your hidden cameras. They should “look” , more or less, in the same direction. If the lights shine into the cameras the subject in the image will result having the dark side exposed to the camera, possibly compromising any attempt of identification.
2. Establish a first line of defense.
In war times this would be a various number of lethal traps but of course it is not legal during peace times. In our case the first line of defense is a passive one and it is comprised of very robust doors and windows. Don’t forget to place the alarm company stickers on your doors and windows. You should also have a security camera in plain site right outside your front door. Many unsophisticated thieves would simply turn around and go look for an easier loot.
All your doors and windows, even the upstairs ones, need to be locked and connected to the alarm system. At this point, when the burglar has broken into your house, or business, it is time to alert the authorities, but not the intruder. Having the alarm activate a siren at this time is a very common mistake.
When the siren goes off the burglar knows that he has a few minutes before the police arrive. He may know where your precious things are. He might have been on your property before. If it is your house he could have been someone doing some work at the house. If it is your business it’s even easier to snoop around just pretending to be a customer and survey the ground before hand.
The experienced burglar will know if he has enough time to get the loot and get away before the police arrives.
3. Establish your second line of defense.
Your remote monitoring security cameras are in every room but here is a trick. Use sets of two cameras at every observation point, one as it would be normally installed and the second one as a hidden camera. Nowadays wireless cameras can be very small and easy to conceal exactly because of the absence of wires.
4. ATTACK !!!
If your finances allow you to install some Home Automation you can actually engage the intruder with some psychological warfare.
Through your web interface you can turn on and off various appliances, lights, a tape recorder with a prerecorded message. You can let your imagination run wild and have fun inventing ways to surprise the intruder.
Here is something to remember though; you can not try to trap the intruder in your house and you can not cause any injury, not even put him to sleep releasing sleeping gas. There have been similar cases where the burglar has sued the property owner for putting his life in danger, and won the case.
A simple, and definitely cheaper way to distract the thief is by calling your home phone and when the answering machine picks up try to initiate a conversation, let the burglar know that you are watching and intend to propose a deal. The point of course is not to get to know him, and not even to scare him away, but simply to distract him and make him slow down so to give more time to the police, or the alarm company security guards, to reach the site.
You can also play with his intention to steal something of value and leave a misleading message.
Here is pretty good diversion; call pretending to be a friend of yours who has borrowed your Jaguar and leave a message saying that you are ten minutes away from the house, on your way to returning the car. Then ad that if you don’t find anybody home you will leave the car keys under the door mat. What thief wouldn’t be tempted to wait a few minutes and add a luxury car to his loot?
On the market there are several different type of devices with wireless transmitter which may be strategically placed so that when a certain item is moved the alarm will emit a very loud sound, so loud to impair the cognitive functioning of the offender brain. His first reaction will probably be to try to destroy the device, but if you have been careful to place it somehow out of reach, the intruder may be forced to abandon the room.
This type of devices can be connected to closet or cabinets doors, drawers or even directly to items like precious art pieces, jewellery boxes, big screen TV, safes. By the way, having a safe not secured to the wall or the floor is quite pointless. Unless the safe weights a ton the thief will simply carry it away and open it in the comfort of his own “workshop”.
In conclusion, the traditional alarm system that sounds a siren when the burglar brakes in does not save you from being burglarized.
Think about it, how many times after hearing a home alarm going off in the neighborhood you have actually gone to check if the house was being burglarized? You might have looked out the window, or you might have stepped outside and looked down the street, but let’s be honest, very few of us would actually go to the house and knock at the door.
The professional burglar knows that, and counts on it.
From the technological point of view that type of security system is a thing of the past. Nowadays with very little additional investment you can have motion detectors triggering several telephone calls and security cameras with online remote monitoring to check your property any time you want and record any unusual event.
This is the least security you need to have if you are serious about protecting your home or business.
On a less pressing note security cameras with online remote monitoring gives you the opportunity to make sure everything is all right any time you whish to do so, giving you peace of mind if you have kids, pets, cleaning service, baby sitter, gardner… you name it. It really is an investment which increase exponentially the eventuality of a much safer future for you and your family, and that is much more precious than any material possession.
Mark Van Neem