Preventing burglaries is better than “curing” them – i.e. catching a burglar in the act and having him or her hauled off by the police. Why? Because if you’ve had to go down the second route then your home has been violated by a stranger with bad intent, and that can be a feeling you don’t recover from for years.
A home security system sales person will tell you that you need pressure pads and complicated sensors and millions of user functions to be totally safe from burglary. I doubt that’s true. What you really need is something that makes a really loud noise and lets off a load of light – and which is clearly visible as exactly that from outside your home.
See here’s the thing about burglars – they are, as Batman once said (sort of) a cowardly and superstitious lot – on other words they won’t do anything that puts them needlessly at risk of being seen, much less caught. That’s why most burglars skulk around at night – and it is also why a very visible home security system is better than a well hidden one.
I can’t think of a single situation where concealed home security systems would be any good to anyone. The whole point of an alarm system is to stop people from stealing your stuff – so if you hide the system they won’t know it’s there until they’ve already broken in. And as we have talked about already, catching burglars in the act is extremely unpleasant and frightening.
When you talk to your home security systems sales person or depot, concentrate on the visibility of your system above all else, then – and make sure that it makes its connections with outside agencies obvious too. So if you go for a system that is hooked directly into an external monitoring and control centre, which is capable of calling the authorities as soon as something goes wrong: make sure it says so, loud and clear, all over the outside of your house. An erstwhile burglar is going nowhere near a home that, in addition to having a large and very obvious light and alarm system on the outside of the building, has a sign stuck in the lawn informing him or her which company will be sending the police to arrest them.
The best systems will combine an element of invisibility with this brash, up front nature – because of course once the burglar has been informed that there is a system in place, it’s not a great idea to make too much of it visible in case he or she knows how to circumvent it. Visibly place the things that increase a burglar’s worry – like motion sensors or heat sensors – and hide things that can be cut or disabled, like wire connections and pressure pads. Chances are, if a burglar sees both the big light and the array of heat and movement sensors in every room, he or she will give the whole thing up as a bad job.
Home security systems can be an excellent way to prevent burglary from ever happening to you: just make sure you follow the advice given and you’ll be fine.