Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Secrets of Home Security Exposed? Criminals Do Their Research So Should You!

No one ever plans to attract the eye of a wandering burglar who, like a lion, paces to and fro searching for someone to devour. All too often it’s what you never planned for which makes you look so attractive. Burglars are hunters in the sense that they look for the common habits of their prey. They observe the habitat, and patterns of activity. They observe seemingly small things that give them insight as to what is in the home. They simply exploit weaknesses and use the element of surprise to their advantage. The number one thing most people do wrong is that they assume that crime can not happen to them. They don’t see themselves as the hunted so they are not alert. They move around carefree and unlike the deer in the wild, their ears are not tweaked to hear the subtle sounds of possible threats.
In order to protect yourself and family a change of attitude is necessary. Realize that you must be proactive. Make sure that you don’t make yourself a victim. Never leave items of value in plain site in your car or in your home. As a life safety specialist for Vector Security’s top dealer, I have driven through far too many neighborhoods where the garage door was wide open and tools and other items of value were on full display. Far too many homes don’t have motion lights in the front of the home. When the time changes in fall, it gets dark much quicker and large trees and bushes provide a great cover for a burglar or home invader lurking like a lion. With motion lighting these hiding places would be exposed. It is always important to be observant as you exit your car. Look for anything that may be wrong. Don’t be distracted by your cell phone. If you are on the phone, take a moment to look around and then resume your conversation. If you have children, never let them run ahead inside the home before you enter. You may be putting them at risk.
If you do not have an alarm or security system installed in your home a burglar may be inside the home and you would not know it because they entered through the back. Lions always attack from the weak or blind side. If you let the child run ahead of you he or she may encounter the intruder and his or her life is now at risk. Enter first and be observant. Have a good led keychain light so you can look around as you go in to flip on the lights. If you can afford to leave a light on, do it. You can set lights up on timers so that they will come on at a specified time. The next item may be controversial, but it’s true. IF you have a basic security system that is over 3 years old do not trust it. Like all things new technology makes older systems obsolete. Criminals adapt! Many alarm companies that direct market their services door to door only offer a basic alarm package that includes a few door contacts and a motion detector. Burglars may be aware of this fact and are likely to target these homes because they have a blue print as to how to defeat them. There is a class action lawsuit against ADT the largest security company in the country, which alleges that criminals specifically target their company because of the aforementioned fact. Let’s face facts, criminals are not stupid. They play the risk verses reward game. If they believe that the risk of being caught is minimal then they are inclined to strike. There is one main area these criminals are looking to gain access to, the master bedroom.
Criminals know that the master bedroom is the location where they are most likely to find guns, money and jewelry. How many homes have security devices, such as window contacts, motion detectors or glass break detectors in the master bedroom? The answer is very few. Is your home a two–story home? If it is then the bedrooms are likely to be on the second level. Many security companies will not discuss or provide security measures for the second story. Yet if that is the place the burglars are looking to gain access to: they can easily do it without setting of the security systems because they enter through a window using an unsecure ladder they found possibly at your home or at a neighbor’s. If they leave the same they came without venturing further into the home it leaves you at a very high risk. What would happen if you entered while the criminal was still inside? The first place you would go is to the alarm panel to deactivate it. Once the system is off the criminal now has the ability to move freely. You don’t know he or she is there and you are at a huge disadvantage. Don’t take this risk! Have a reputable alarm company install security devices on the second floor. As I advise my home security clients in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Goldsboro, North Carolina taking this risk is far too great. You can replace items but not human life. The final item we will discuss is the area burglars like to target most on a security system. The number one area criminals want to target on a security system is the communication system or the phone line. If a criminal can disrupt communication to the central station they are over 75% certain of going undetected because even a child can defeat some of the entry level sirens installed with many free alarm systems.
One thing you can do to protect your phone line is to have a tamper switch installed and have the exterior phone box covered with a secure metal housing and the wire leading to I armor plated. The best way to protect the phone line is to have a cellular (GSM) module back-up system installed. One company, Power Home Technologies, offers the equipment at no cost for this feature with approved alarm agreements. Protection is a matter of awareness. It is critical to be armed with the best information to assure that you are not at risk. For addtional safety tips watch the video below.

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