Professional Journal Summary #3 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread


By Curtis Rist

December 1998

P. 90-93

Professional Journal Summary #3

Submitted by: Ladd Kocinski

Home security systems have never been more popular, but according to experts they dont do the job their proponents claim. The average system cost about $1,200.00 followed by monthly monitoring fees of about $25.00. Security companies say that they are the most fool-proof way to protect the home and the systems not only decrease chances of burglary, but burglars stay for a shorter time and do less damage.

Undercutting their claims is the high per cent of false alarms. (90-99%). On average each home security system is accidentally tripped twice a year. Because of this, police and neighbors ignore them and burglars now trip the alarm, wait till police drive by and then proceed with the robbery. Police dont consider a house alarm a real emergency. Police response time to real emergencies is on average from 3 to 5 minutes. Average response to an alarm is 15 to 55 minutes. Las Vegas, along with some other cities, stopped answering nonverified alarm calls. (Point of entry must be confirmed by someone on the scene.) Alarm systems used to prompt a burglar to try an easier target, but now with every house on the block equipped they dont just move on. They have evolved with the alarm systems. They learned to do their work much faster. Two teenagers can kick in the door, clean out the master bedroom of all jewelry, empty the fire safe and haul all the electronic equipment out of the living room in 90 seconds! This is called Smash and Grab. Burglars now assume all houses have alarms and they just work faster knowing how much response time there is, if any. Since most robbers are this type the author suggests making entry a little tougher. This will do more to deter the robber than alarms. Beef up door locks, keep all windows locked, while gone and use a lighting system that doesnt turn on and off at exactly the same time every night. These steps will do more for less money. Smash and Grab is the most popular robbery and anything taking time to get by will help defer them. If a more tenacious, professional burglar has his eye on your house, alarms or not, he probably will succeed!!!

-- Anonymous, May 12, 1999

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