8 October 2008
Are burglar alarms actually effective in catching burglars any more?
There was one down our street which started up at 4am this morning, waking up the whole neighbourhood. Bloody loud it was, too. We hadn't had a power cut, which is when most alarms tend to go off on one. Yet nobody, myself included, wondered for a moment if someone was actually breaking into the house. Nobody got out of bed, slipped on a dressing gown and walked over to the house to see if all was okay. Everyone made the rather dangerous but obvious assumption that the alarm had been set off by mistake.
I'm assuming the house was empty, as the alarm was sounding for a good half hour before it finally stopped and everyone nodded off again. Most of these alarms have a timer on them which automatically stop them, assuming the sensors aren't reactivated by movement within the building. Any burglar with a modicum of research skills will not only know an empty house, but how quickly he can do the place over before someone living nearby finally has the gumption or bravery to pop round and check there hasn't been a break-in.
There are no Neighbourhood Watch signs on our lamp-posts, you'll be probably not surprised to learn.
Bloody security systems - knackered up my sleep pattern, they did. Can't stop yawning now...