August 2019 – Facts about Alarm Panels
Over the last almost 20 years I have seen and worked on many burglar alarm issues. I have responded to many alarm calls as a police officer and worked on many issues as a security installer and service tech. I wanted to pass along a few thoughts on alarm panels as many of you have them today.
First, here are some statistics from the latest FBI statistics there is a burglary in the US once every 22.6 seconds. Makes you feel safe right? Okay, so alarm systems are the easiest and most cost-effective safeguards that are out there. Most of us have them, but are we using them to their fullest potential? Probably not.
How many readers have a sign in the front yard that states something like “This property protected by “X” alarm”. Great, you have just stopped approximately 70% of all burglaries. Having a monitored alarm system (an alarm that calls out), you are up to about 82%. You know the person who has that annoying siren that keeps going off? They have that because a thief doesn’t like to be seen or heard. Add lighting, Live Voice response, camera integration, etc. and you are at about 97% chance someone won’t try to enter the home. Sadly, the reality is that about 3% of houses will be broken into even though the homeowner has implemented every suggestion. Even the most secure houses have a chance of someone breaking in at some point. The goal is to make that window of opportunity so small that no one will want to take the chance.
When do homes get burglarized? 65% of the burglaries happen during the daytime when no one is home. How many of you work from home? Does the burglar know this? This number fluctuates, but during the summer months and after school during the year, the numbers go up. I once arrested a kid who had broken into a house to make a ham sandwich after school. He thought he would just help himself to the house.
But there are tips that can help. This is by far not an exhaustive list.
- Arm the panel. A surprising number of homeowners that have the system never arm it. Some homeowners do this when they leave. It can help to arm the panel in Stay Mode when at home. This turns on door contacts but no motion detectors so you can walk around inside, but a burglar cannot open the door.
- Register with the Police Department. Many Police Departments have an alarm system permit. This makes sure the Police Department responds. Most Departments are not responding with blue lights or quickly to your alarm. Expect 30-45 minutes before they arrive.
- Change the alarm panel battery every year or so. Your installer will sell you one for about $75 or more. You can buy one at a discount battery store for about $40.
- Clean the motion detectors. Open the detector and wipe out the insects that will undoubtedly are in there. True Story, I responded to an alarm call where a spider walked in front of the sensor, set off the alarm. Your alarm tech will be glad to clean that for you, and it will cost you probably about $100 or more. Inquire with your alarm provider about a Preventive Maintenance contract to do this and other periodic tests.
- Move the balloons. Balloons soak up heat and then dance in the air conditioning. These birthday treasures are one of the largest causes of false alarms. Move the balloons to a closet prior to setting the alarm.
ProTecht Solutions Partners specializes in Security Consulting and Project Management. Holders of North and South Carolina Security Licenses we conduct Risk Assessments with HOA boards and work with The HOA Board and the Property Management Company to design Solutions for the Need of the HOA.
The Keep is a medieval term for the fortified residence(s) inside the Castle.
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This guest post was written by ProTecht Solutions Partners, LLC.