When a burglar alarm doesn't secure

Garages are notoriously the weak link in home security.  To be effective, alarms and security systems must include the garage when planning.  Check out our earlier blog posts for tips to reduce the garage risk.

Courtesy of Tony Orso, Sonitrol Pacific Puget Sound Regional Sales Manager, other possible risks homeowners may face, even if they’ve been told they are protected by a burglar alarm:

  • A “cell back up” is a must to ensure a home stay protected if a criminal cuts the phone lines.
  • “Flim-flam” sales people working for disreputable companies.
  • Systems that are easy to use with latch key kids and spouses on opposite shifts.
  • Most systems don’t protect against the early afternoon smash and grabs.
  • Systems that struggle to protect you while you are in the home.
  • You can’t (usually) use your phone to call 911 if the system is communicating with its central station ( you may need an additional line).
  • Most homes have phones and internet lines that are easy to cut.
  • Many homes don’t have all of their doors or windows covered because they bought a “special package”
  • People don’t get their systems fixed when they need to because they don’t want to pay for the repairs.
  • Many people have systems, decals etc…but they have had so many problems that they aren’t even used.  A lot of criminals know this and don’t mind attacking a home with decals.

More “Tony tips”:

  • I people keep bushes trimmed away form the house and low to the ground so people can’t hide and it is easy to see the windows/doors from the street – many houses get buried in the bushes and it is hard for the owner to see someone hiding in the bushes as well as for neighbors to see if there is a problem.
  • Keep any ladders or other items that a burglar may use to get on the roof inside or locked up against the side of the house (eyebolts and bicycle locks can work). Make sure the roof is not easy to access or have proper electronic security in place.
  • Keep the crawl space access secured – our system will usually catch this from the noise, other’s do not.
  • We had a house in our neighborhood vandalized using the garden hose that was attached to the outside of the house. I would recommend not leaving garden hoses where they are easy prey for vandals.
  • Keep any back yard gates locked.
  • Stop you mail and newspapers when you are gone. Arrange to have your yard maintained if you are gone for long periods.
  • Use a peephole or Aiphone type system to insure you know who is at the door before you open it – don’t open the door to strangers.

Kerry Goodwin, Sonitrol Pacific Director of Schools, recommends people give attention to these points of weakness to maintain home security:

  • Crawl spaces
  • Attic hatch in garage that provides access into house
  • Ladders lying around providing access to second floor
  • Landscaping that creates hide-outs
  • Unobserved access to windows.