I get to talk with many people about home defense situations because SGTi is building a safety product for guns used in home defense. Recently, two single mothers told me separately that they worry a lot about their home safety. However, they don’t need a gun because they have a home security system. Now that was not their only reason for not owning a gun but having a home security system made them feel like they were safe. As we talked about it I realized that they expected a lot more from their security system than they were really getting.
Don’t get me wrong. A home security system is a key part of protecting your family. Not only is it critical to home defense but it also provides early warning for fire, carbon monoxide, etc… However, when it comes to home defense make sure you know what it is actually doing for you. Here are three big “Don’t Forget this” about your home security system.
1) It only works if you use it. I don’t mean to sound snippy but if 50% of the home invasions in your community happen during the day and you are in the habit of only setting the alarm at night then it does not help you at all. Now only you can decide when you need it on or off. I say this knowing that when the kids get to a certain age it is next to impossible to have the alarm on constantly. First, talk with your security company about these scenarios. They might have some options for you. Second, make a conscious decision of when you will set it and work to get the entire family in the habit. Consistency is key.
2) Know what happens when the alarm goes off. It is not like the movies where the alarm goes off and Car 51 is dispatched and only 3 minutes away. I called my home security company along with a couple of national companies just to confirm. First, the monitoring company will attempt to contact you. FYI. The majority of alarms are false alarms. The police rightfully do not want to respond to each false alarms. Second, if they can’t contact you then they will dispatch the police but even then they will not necessarily come with sirens on expecting a crime scene. Response times and methods will vary with each police department.
3) It is only a fail-safe. Do not believe that sign in your yard, ‘This home is protected by XYZ company’, is going to ward off all threats. Brinks home security likes to show a commercial where the intruder kicks in the door and then runs away as soon as they hear the alarm (assuming that you set the alarm). It is possible that once they break in the alarm will scare them away but assume it won’t. As a fail-safe you know that help is on the way. That can change your strategy depending upon what is happening with that intruder. Remember this: if the home invaders are going to get violent it is most likely going to happen before help gets there.
Keep these three things in mind as you evaluate your family’s safety. I value our home security system because it is a fail-safe as well as monitoring for fires. However, it is important not to place overconfidence in it.
Finally, if you are worried about home defense then a home security system is great. But don’t let a false sense of security prevent you from considering other options like gun ownership. If you would like to learn more about home defense and gun safety then please join our newsletter.