Before You Buy

Overall Philosophy

The purpose of an alarm system is not to protect against threats, it is to detect an active threat or potentially harmful conditions. Don’t think security—think asset protection! This is a term used by risk management professionals. Doing so will broaden your concept of how to apply an alarm system to your benefit.

  • Think protection of assets from intrusion
  • Think protection of assets from fire
  • Think protection of assets from power loss—food in the freezer
  • Think protection of assets from gas leaks
  • Think protection of assets from freezing weather—water pipes
  • Think protection of assets from water damage in low areas of structure

The wise individual will analyze what are the potential threats to which they are vulnerable and address the minimizing of the impact of those threats. This should be done before applying an alarm.

I am reminded of the three little oinkers that each had a house—one of straw, one of sticks, and one of bricks. Each had a roof over their head to protect them from the normal elements. But only one planned a structure that was a deterrent to the real threat to life and limb. An alarm would be of little use in the first two structures. In the brick home an alarm system would alert to the huffing and puffing in time to reinforce the door.

Points of Entry

A study done on ways intruders gain access to a structure found that the doors are by far the predominant point of entry and the point of first attempt. Windows are the next considered point of entry.

Doors

Exterior doors are normally solid wood or metal with two or three hinges securing the door on one side. On the door knob side a single or double bolt. Force on the hinge side of the door is disbursed to the entire frame from top to bottom. Force applied to the knob side of the door is focused on the single center portion of the frame where the bolts contact the frame. Minimal metal plates and short screws give little resistance to impact on this side. Force applied here easily splinters the door frame. Solution: acquire from a hardware store or locksmith, a strike plate 18+ inches in length and 6 inch screws to secure it deeply into the frame.

Windows

Windows are used as points of entry by opening them and entering. Intruders rarely break glass and go through the broken glass. Intruders break glass and reach in to open the window. Solution: there are a multitude of window securing devices available that prohibit windows from being opened without a key device. There are also simple modifications to the window slider that require no special purchased items. These securing devices often allow the window to be partially open for ventilation and yet secured.

Visibility

Intruders delight in having their action obscured from observation. Don’t let landscaping shrubs conceal the actions of would be intruders. Keep shrubs trimmed or eliminate them from low window areas.

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