Is Your Burglar Alarm System Connected?
Domestic burglary is a very unpleasant experience; something you hope will never happen. A stranger entering your home to steal your property while you, your partner and your kids are possibly inside leaves you with a permanent feeling of injustice and fear.
According to Eurostat, most crimes within the European Union decreased between 2007 and 2010. The only exception is domestic burglary. This type of crime has risen in that same period by more than 7%.
In such a context, investing in a burglar alarm system seems desirable. If your home is equipped with an Integrated Home System (IHS), you will get additional benefits by connecting it to your alarm system.
Organisational Measures, Construction and Electronic Security
You will find three types of systems in home security literature. The first one consists of organisational measures. Common sense is of central importance here:
- Give the impression the building is occupied.
- Mark and register your possessions.
- Lock up safely when you leave.
- Do not turn your home into a showroom of desirable, expensive goods.
- Close all windows (even cantilever windows) when you go out.
Next, there is construction security. Studies have shown that burglars give up trying to break into a home after a maximum of three minutes. You can give them a hard time trying by adding some mechanical protective measures, including:
- Doors with multiple-point locking.
- More robust hinges.
- Better locks.
- Anchored cellar grates.
You can also resort to electronic safety measures. A burglar alarm system only works when someone is actually trying to break in. The alarm consists of aural (siren) and visual (flashes of light) signals outside the house. In general, it is also connected to a silent alarm that is linked with a secured alarm post that will call the inhabitant or send someone over to check the situation.
Benefits of IHS Connection
Connecting the alarm system to your IHS opens up an array of actions to limit the amount of time the burglar can spend inside the house. During a domestic burglary, burglars are very concentrated, both aurally and visually. Given they do not want to be spotted, they usually work in the dark. In addition, they are constantly alert for noises of someone coming from the stairs, the sound of an opening door or police sirens. The IHS can attempt to break their focus and cause them to abandon their game plan and flee. Some actions the IHS can help trigger include:
- Disconnecting all non-essential electricity consumers.
- Switching on all the lights inside the home (breaking the burglar’s visual concentration).
- Taking away all functionality from push buttons until someone pushes the reset button for at least two seconds.
- Letting the outdoor lighting flash. Assistance workers immediately identify where the problem is.
- Opening all the shutters, making the burglar visible from the outside. Do not try to lock them in! This will surely lead to more damage and possibly even a hostage situation.
- If the IHS is connected to an audio system, it can trigger loud music (disrupting the aural focus). The IHS can also trigger buzzers, bells, or even electronic barking.
- Automatically activating some IP cameras that can wire photographs or video footage to a PC or directly to a cloud storage system outside the home. This will facilitate solving the domestic burglary and catching the perpetrators.
While other criminal activities have decreased between 2007 and 2010, the cases of domesti burglary have increased by 7%. (Source: Eurostat)