This is a sub­ject that I feel strong­ly about.  It might stem from being in the home secu­ri­ty busi­ness for a few years, see­ing homes and per­son­al lives invad­ed, or worse because the occu­pants of that par­tic­u­lar domi­cile did not have a secu­ri­ty sys­tem to help pro­tect them at their perime­ter.  Now, this is not to say that a home secu­ri­ty sys­tem would have stopped the bur­glar, rob­ber, mur­der­er, fire, flood, etc. from hap­pen­ing.   My home secu­ri­ty phi­los­o­phy is such that the secu­ri­ty sys­tem is a deter­rent  and noti­fi­ca­tion plat­form to help you or the prop­er author­i­ties be proac­tive about pro­tect­ing your prop­er­ty and your life.  

I feel you should have a home secu­ri­ty sys­tem whether you rent or own your apart­ment, and whether you rent or own your home.  I know some of you are going to say, “but I keep my rifle, hand­gun, shot­gun, next to, under my bed, with­in arms reach, etc.”  And, all that is fine.  But what hap­pens if you are work­ing and the babysit­ter is there, and some­thing hap­pens?  Any­thing?  Think  she is going to make it to the bed­room, cham­ber a round, and save the day?  I think not.  I paint a weird pic­ture here, but I have a point.  A home secu­ri­ty sys­tem works for you 24 x 7 x 365 whether you are home or not.  It can noti­fy you if the tem­per­a­ture goes below 50 degrees while you are on vaca­tion in Feb­ru­ary so you can make an emer­gency call to your heat­ing guy and con­tin­ue to enjoy your vaca­tion.  It can give you piece of mind that while you are sleep­ing your doors and win­dows are cov­ered, and the alarm will sound if there is an issue, also alert­ing the police.  The upside for you is that you are alert­ed as the perime­ter is being breached, also alert­ing the would be intrud­er, scar­ing them off 99% of the time.

Now that said, peo­ple who live in an apart­ment, con­do, brown­stone, or town home think that they are safe because they are in a com­mu­ni­ty of peo­ple around them that are aware of what is going on.  Let me point out that peo­ple are scur­ry­ing about their lives with no con­cern for you, your stuff, or your life.  Don’t fool your­self into think­ing they are.  Don’t be fooled into think­ing that you are pro­tect­ed from the threat of rob­bery or a break in.  You are not.  Even if your build­ing or neigh­bor­hood is patrolled by secu­ri­ty, there are large holes in the secu­ri­ty plans of most apart­ment com­plex­es.  The truth is, if some­one wants to get into your com­plex, apart­ment build­ing, home, etc. they will.  They will find a way.  If they want to get in, they will scheme, lie, sneak, etc. to make their way to their des­ti­na­tion.

This is not to scare you.  This is the truth.  We are taught at an ear­ly age that a man or woman with a badge and in uni­form are enough to keep you safe.  Not so.  In fact, where I live in the sub­urbs, I am, what I call, secu­ri­ty blind.  There are so many guard ser­vices, and so many police offi­cers around here, I don’t even pay atten­tion to them any­more.   I am going to go out on a limb and say that if I am secu­ri­ty blind, then so is your would be aggres­sor to the lev­el that he is only aware of them when they want to be.  Which brings me to my point…

You should inves­ti­gate installing a home alarm sys­tem even if you live in a small apart­ment.  I hope I was able to explain why with the above dis­ser­ta­tion.  A secu­ri­ty sys­tem can have mul­ti­ple func­tions.  It does not have to only have to be for anti — bur­glary mea­sures.  There are a mul­ti­tude of func­tions they can serve that can save you time and mon­ey in the long run.  For instance, along with bur­glary pre­ven­tion you can add devices that can alert you of the fol­low­ing issues:

  • Falling tem­per­a­ture in your home
  • Bro­ken pipes and water on the floor
  • Fire (both smoke and heat detec­tors)
  • Ther­mo­stat con­trol to turn your heat up or down auto­mat­i­cal­ly or remote­ly
  • Egress report­ing (you can give peo­ple in your fam­i­ly or your land­lord a code, and know when they come and go)

The new­er sys­tems can do even more than that.  I can put a pres­sure plate under the car­pet out­side may apart­ment door, and have the key­pad alert me with a chirp before the would be guest or intrud­er even knocks on the door.  Some pret­ty cool stuff.  Now, the more devices you add, the more the sys­tem will cost.  But I sug­gest at the min­i­mum, the doors on your apart­ment, and the window(s) where there may be a way to the ground via fire escape.  In my case I would have two doors, and a motion detec­tor and/or a glass break detec­tor.

One of the ben­e­fits of the secu­ri­ty sys­tem are the door and win­dow stick­ers.  The door and win­dow stick­ers alone are a deter­rent to a would be intrud­er.  The sta­tis­tic is that an intrud­er is three (3) times less like­ly to approach your home with win­dow and door stick­ers than with­out.  Note how­ev­er, that they should not be relied on as the only deter­rent because your would be intrud­er may actu­al­ly be some­one you know, that has been in your home before.  If they have been there, they know that you do not have an alarm sys­tem, and you are now a vic­tim of your own mak­ing…

Now, let’s broach the idea that a would be intrud­er actu­al­ly makes their way into your home after they have set off the alarm sys­tem, and are still brazen enough to come in.  I am assum­ing you will still want some sort of response from the author­i­ties, and that is what your cen­tral sta­tion mon­i­tor­ing is for.  Your cen­tral sta­tion will receive a code from your alarm sys­tem that there is an intrud­er, and call you for your code.  They will ask if every­thing is okay and if you do not answer cor­rect­ly or give a duress code, the author­i­ties are imme­di­ate­ly dis­patched.  If you do not answer, the author­i­ties are also dis­patched.  Note: In many cities if your alarm goes off three times, are sent to your loca­tion, and they are false alarms you may be fined by your local law enforce­ment agency.  Cen­tral sta­tion mon­i­tor­ing runs any­where from 20.00 — 30.00 a month, but the ben­e­fits FAR out­weigh the costs…

You may also have to obtain per­mis­sion from your land­lord to install the alarm sys­tem, and if you do, you should make sure you give them a code to enter your apart­ment in the event of an emer­gency when you are not there.

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