Showing posts with label alarm system. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alarm system. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Alarm Systems and Crime Prevention Go Hand in Hand

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Preventing crime is what security is all about. It does little good to install an alarm system if your intent is merely to catch criminals already in the act of aggression.

The primary purpose of a video surveillance or electronic security alarm isn't any different than that of a quality deadbolt lock on all the doors--it's all about stopping a criminal before he/she commits the crime.

According to the Crime Prevention Website, "During research interviews by criminologists and post arrest interviews by me and many of my colleagues over the years most burglars (who expressed a preference) said that they were definitely put off by alarms!" (click here)

Right from the beginning, UL (Underwriters Laboratory) burglar alarm standards called for overt bell boxes, foil tape on windows, and other visible devices. This overt policy has not changed even though the tools of the trade have.

Even more importantly, the mere placement of yard signs and other visible means of protection without the actual functioning alarm system to go with it is not necessarily a wise idea either. When a crook decides to take the risk, he will enter the home or business without hesitation, in which case a working and monitored alarm system is invaluable.

If you're a home or business owner and you need advice on the type of alarm system to use, I recommend that you first talk with friends and colleagues who have an alarm system. Find out how they feel about the alarm company that did the initial installation. Did they do a good job of installing the components? Are they doing an equally good job of monitoring the system? Do they respond in a timely manner when there are problems?

Contact at least three alarm firms and have them come to your home or business for an on-sight evaluation. Don't accept a quote over the phone, and if one of them is unwilling to come to your home/business to visually evaluate the situation, say thank you and do not go any further with them--there is no one-size-fits-all alarm system.

Once you have three quotes under your belt, sit down and evaluate them.

Remember, bigger is not better. Look for longevity, quality, and long-term costs. Just because an alarm system is "free" when you get it is no indicator that you'll pay a respectable price in the long term. Weigh the entire package of each firm to assure that it's the right company, right system, and right dollars in the short as well as long term.

If you have questions, send them to me at allan@tpromo.com.


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Alarm Systems Deter Crime

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In my early years in electronic security, as a technician and alarm company owner, I thought in terms of catching thieves rather than preventing crimes. My focus was clearly on technology for detection and not prevention, but over time I came to understand that I had it backwards. That lesson didn’t come soon enough though as I was in the business more than 16 years before I figured it out.

It was sometime in the early 1990s that this revelation took place, while I was an associate editor with Security Distributing & Marketing Magazine (SDM) in Chicago. I was doing research for a story on burglar alarm systems when I discovered that UL actually requires overt placement of security devices, such as bell boxes, the use of foil tape on windows, and more. The idea is simple. We want would-be criminals to see that there’s an alarm in place so they go elsewhere. Of course there are other things we need to do as well as additional items that the end user must have in place to assure prevention. Some of them I have covered in previous blog posts and articles throughout the years.

Yard Signs and Window Decals
Perhaps one of the most-simple actions that we take as alarm professionals is to install yard signs and decals on key windows outside the business or home. End users, if your installing alarm company fails to do this, you need to give them a call because chances are, the technicians who were there installing your system likely ran low on them or they forgot. In either case, you need to make the front office aware of the issue so they can send someone out to make it right. The fact is, yard signs and decals, although not the only solution to crime, do act to slow, minimize, even stop criminal action.

Keypad Visibility in Commercial
Having a keypad in the front foyer of a story may seem risky, given the fact that there are usually a host of buttons/keys on

them that a child might use to send a silent panic alarm, set the fire alarm into motion, or issue a distress or call for medical help. This is absolutely so in cases where the installing alarm company failed to deprogram those critical keys out of the system, but for alarm professionals who give all this serious thought, it’s not a problem. In most cases there’s a second keypad at a separate employee entrance or in an office in a non-public location of the store.

Multiple Siren Speaker Boxes
First, it’s always wise to install trumpet speakers, especially in commercial applications. Second, it’s also wise to place them in a metal box when these speakers are placed outside the store or in visible locations within. Perhaps even more important is to include tamper switches inside these boxes such that if someone removes or pries them from the wall, or they open the cover, the alarm system sounds off, summoning the police in the process. The visibility of multiple speakers and speaker boxes inside and outside is usually enough to unnerve even the best and most experienced of burglars.

In conclusion, there are things that can be done to enhance and equip alarm systems to suppress crime in a natural manner so the crimes we normally detect won't happen in the first place. Although the few items mentioned above are important elements in the crime prevention equation, there are many others that can be used to further deterrence.

Be sure to check back for part 2, and if you have a question, feel free to use my Comments and Questions form in the left column.

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For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2015/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

Subscribe

Be sure not to miss each and every blog comment by subscribing to my email service. Every time I publish a comment or an update, you will be the first to know. To sign up, enter your email address in the email subscription box on the top right of this page. Thank you!

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To contact Al Colombo, click here.