Thursday, October 1, 2009
Harmlessly Alarmed, Exposing the Weaknesses of Major Security System Installations
The primary reason people install a security in their homes is to protect themselves and their possessions. Often the selection of a company is based on familiarity of name due to slick advertising and low price. Sadly, customers expecting to get good value for the dollar are shocked and angered to discover that most hard-wired systems installed by alarm companies big and small can be defeated in less than 20 seconds by criminals, which exploit a glaring weakness in the alarm system design installation.
The majority of security system packages promoted by mass marketing volume driven companies, offer either two or three contacts and a motion sensor. Hard-wired alarm systems contain a master-control unit that runs the unit. All the devices are connected to the master-control unit through wires. The major protection for this unit is a simple metal can, secured either with a screw or a simple lock. The location of the master-control is usually located I a very obvious place. This device, which is the brain of the security panel, is completely vulnerable, because it is only protected by a lock and at least one door in the home has a delay, to allow the homeowner to enter the home and deactivate the system. The delay is commonly set at 30 seconds or more, which gives even the most novice criminal ample time to kick in the time-delayed door and proceed to the master-control unit. Once the criminal is inside the home they are able to open the box with a flat head screw driver and cut the power, disable the battery back-up and communication of the unit. This can be done in under 20 seconds, and what makes this situation worst, is that many companies program a dialer delay into their units that prevent the alarm system from calling the monitoring station, which dispatches the police, when activated for an additional 30 to 90 seconds. They claim it prevents false alarms.
A simple solution to this problem is to add a contact to the closet door where the master-control is located or install a pressure switch to the back of the master-control unit canister housing that will trigger an instant alarm in the event that it is pried from the wall. For far too long, many in the security industry have profited from doing the least required. This has put the lives of those they serve at risk of becoming victims of what they claim to deter. These companies then insulate themselves in legal agreements which absolve them from litigation from clients that have been victimized due to their negligence.
If you are a North Carolina homeowner concerned about the vulnerability of your security system and would like a free evaluation go to http;//whensafetymatters.com or call (919) 949-9690. Homeowners outside of North Carolina should direct their questions at the contact us form at www.whensafetymatters.com.