30 Oct Keep your home and family safe from Vampires and Burglars
Homeowners take great pains to make sure their homes, and their lives, are protected. They get insurance to handle any damages from wind and rain, they install deadbolts and other locks to be sure that no one who doesn’t have the key can get in, and they make sure someone stops by to check on things if they’re going to be out of town. Also, with the lowered costs of technology, installation, and service, more and more homeowners are investing in burglar alarms to keep a constant eye on their properties. However, there is one, big question homeowners are still asking.
Do burglar alarms actually deter crime?
Yes, They Do. Much like how garlic is used to ward off Vampires, security systems can ward off potential intruders.
A home with a burglar alarm is less attractive to criminals of all stripes when it comes to picking a target. This, according to a comprehensive, 5-year study conducted by Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice in Newark, New Jersey, which confirmed that residential alarm systems decrease crime simply by existing. Not only that, but the study went on to say that burglar alarms tend to have a neighborhood-wide effect, and that one home possessing an alarm isn’t likely to just push criminals off onto its neighbors. Rather, burglar alarms in a community act like vaccines. If most homes have them, they’re still providing a herd immunity to the neighborhood homes that are still vulnerable to criminals.
Deterrence Isn’t The Same As A Guarantee
While burglar alarms make a home (and according to the study, a neighborhood) less attractive to criminals, that doesn’t mean homeowners can just kick up their heels. Homes with burglar alarms are still targets; less attractive targets, but targets nonetheless.
House Insurance Rates sums the matter up quite succinctly. A burglar’s mind is concerned with risk versus reward. If you’re walking along the street, and you see a house where the door is open, there’s cash on the hall table, and there’s no one around, that’s a minimum of risk. If the same house is locked up tight, has an active alarm system, security lights, and other precautions, then pocket change on the dresser simply isn’t worth the risk. However, the potential of richer rewards might tempt dedicated thieves, as opposed to those who are simply committing crimes of opportunity.
That’s why, even if a homeowner installs an alarm system, it still pays to be vigilant.
Additional Ways To Deter Crime
Installing a burglar alarm, and making sure you use it, is a good first step to making your home less attractive to burglars. This is especially true if you put up window decals and lawn yard signs, advertising the fact that your home has an alarm. Combining that alarm with other features, like exterior cameras, floodlights that work off of a motion sensor, and keypad locks instead of more traditional locks can dramatically increase your home’s security.
Technology will only go so far, though. The best security systems in the world won’t keep a home safe if the residents don’t use them properly, or if they ignore obvious warning signs in their neighborhoods. That’s why, in addition to putting in an alarm, homeowners should be aware of what’s normal in their neighborhoods, and communicate with those they live near. If an unusual sedan starts cruising, and then parks in the same place a few times a week, it’s probably a good idea to find out who owns it instead of ignoring it. It might just be your neighbor’s new company car, but it might also be someone casing your neighborhood and watching the residents’ habits. Being watchful, and willing to act, is one of the best ways to make sure your area isn’t victimized. Having an organized neighborhood watch or having the neighborhood communicate through Facebook or Nextdoor are good ways to help.
For more information on the latest trends in home security, and how to make sure you don’t become a victim, simply contact us today!