That’s the first mistake.
Relying purely on any type of hardware or software requires an individual to have a lapse of judgment. There is no such thing as 100% perfection. However, having a security system is better than not having one; statistics say you are 300% less likely to be a victim of a break-in if you have a security system installed.
How does a man get out of a room with four walls, a floor, a ceiling, and no door? He just walks through the doorway!
All jokes aside, this is a very serious matter. Many families are assuming their safety is ensured simply because they have an alarm system installed. Their confidence in this system increases with the price and name brand popularity. However, the guarantee of protection does not.
Why Are Home Alarm Systems Flawed?
Again, this is one of those things where guarantees cannot be made because nothing is 100% flawless. An alarm system is installed with a set of parameters it follows in order to signify the need for an alarm of any sort. These parameters are defined, but the outside variables are not.
For example, a home security system may sense when something or someone enters through a window but it likely doesn’t detect entry through the chimney.
So when Santa makes his rounds and no alarm gets sounded off, you might start getting worried. Consider that your wake up call.
Three Major Flaws in Home Security Systems
So you want to protect your home, then you need to know what common flaws exist. These are flaws which are found in many different home security systems. Hopefully yours is not one of them.
This is the most common flaw. As illustrated in the chimney scenario, most home security systems do not provide coverage for 100% of the home’s barriers and openings. Most affordable home security systems just cover the doors and main windows. While it’s unlikely an intruder will come in through your chimney, what about your basement windows? These are often neglected and an intruder could even smash then without a detectable sound if you’re sleeping all the way upstairs.
The most obvious solution is to get a full coverage package when shopping for a security system. This will cover all windows and doors, as well as any other entry points for your home. Make sure to think about every possible entry point, even the less likely ones such as a balcony near a tree or a crawlspace.
It’s common, especially on self-installed systems, for things to be improperly calibrated. This often leads to false alarms, which tends to lead to the system not being turned on as it’s viewed as being an annoyance.
For example, an alarm system may be installed with an allowance for a couple feet on non-motion censored wiggle room. This is to allow for pets to enter into the home without tripping the alarm. As this is common knowledge, an intruder can use this to their advantage. Sound censors can also be out of whack and to prevent false alarms, they may be set so high that an intruder can carefully break glass without setting off the alarm.
This is why it’s so important to get a professional to calibrate the system. It’s also important to specify the level of protection you want – as in, whether something of a pet-like stature can trigger the alarm. And whether something of a similar volume of hail hitting the window would trip the alarm as well. If you have a pet, you may want to find a pet-friendly security system.
Many make the mistake of setting a poor password or not choosing one at all. Some passwords are common by default across all models of a particular brand of alarm system. An intruder could do a little research after scouting out the house and see if there’s a common pass code. They could also try some common possibilities, such as 1-2-3-4 and 0-0-0-0.
Alternatively, an intruder could do a little test to see which numbers are pressed the most. They can then determine what the most likely possibilities are with those four numbers. As many do not press any numbers besides the ones in the actual code, this is very easy to do. There are even break-in kits sold which assist with this process.
The obvious solution is to choose a complex password. While a password can only get so complex, it’s more so a matter of choosing the less obvious possibilities. So think about what the intruder would guess after each failed guess. Chances are after 1-2-3-4 and 0-0-0-0, the next guess isn’t going to be 1-7-9-3. It’s also a good idea to wear out all the number buttons a bit so it’s not obvious as to which buttons you typically press.
Additional Measures to Improve Home Security
A standard home security system is often not enough. So you can go the extra mile by furthering your protection. A very effective way of doing this involves getting an electronic door viewer installed. Many locksmith companies offer this service, just check on their website.
For example, metrolocks.co.uk notes in their Care Situations page that they both supply and install electronic door viewers. Of course, this particular company is only suitable for you if they operate in your area.
However, the ability to view who is at your front door at all times is very beneficial. This is especially true if there is a motion detector built into the system. This is different than the motion detector on your home security system. The door viewer will actually pick up a video feed whenever anyone approaches your front door. So instead of finding out about the intruder when they’re breaking in, you can catch them in the act of casing out your home.