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How Much is TOO Much Security?

When evaluating alarm systems for your home or business, there are several factors to consider in choosing how much equipment is necessary to adequately protect yourself and your property.  The decision really comes down to a few factors.  Money, of course is one factor.  Where the property you’re protecting is located is another, and how the building or home is constructed is a third.

Money.  Many people initially think that every door and window must be connected to the alarm system, with motion sensors as a backup to door/window contacts.  Keeping in mind that burglars are, in general, lazy (or they would probably have real jobs), contacting 2nd story windows that can only be accessed by extension ladder is, in most cases not an economically sound decision.  Burglars typically don’t carry extension ladders around with them and if confronted with the prospect of only being able to enter a home or business by deploying extreme measures, most will move on to another property that is easier to enter without much effort.  According to Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics, most burglars enter through the front door.   After checking to see if anyone is home by knocking or ringing the doorbell, burglars will simply try to kick in the front door.  If that isn’t possible, they will generally try a side door or back window.

Motion sensors, glass break sensors and infared beams work well for areas where large glass windows or doors could be broken and the property entered through the broken glass, without opening the window or door (which would normally trigger the door/window contact).  Even if you want to cover that second story, a motion sensor near the upper landing of the stairs will usually do the trick.  Even if a burglar enters through a second story window or door, they will typically be carrying stolen items to the stairs rather than trying to climb back down a ladder with the goods.  One motion sensor is much more economical than 10 window contacts.

Garage doors (roll up car doors), if they don’t have glass panes, are almost impossible to break into without destroying the door.  We typically suggest NOT contacting these types of doors unless the garage contains very valuable items.  Again, the burglar is not typically going to limit the scope of the burglary to the garage only and will venture into the main building where a door contact or motion sensor will set the system into alarm.

Location.  With everything in life, there are exceptions to the rules.  Most of what is outlined above is true in areas where burglars know they only have a limited amount of time to do damage to obtain entry before they are discovered.  Standard neighborhoods where neighbors are plenty are much different than homes on 10 acres in the middle of the forest.  We have seen situations where burglars knew they had plenty of time to do whatever it takes to break into a home and spent literally hours pillaging a home because they were so far from any neighbor.  In one specific burglary, all of the custom furniture in the home was methodically dismantled and loaded into the homeowner’s pickup truck and driven off, without any detection.  (This same home was burglarized again after an alarm system was installed and when the burglars heard the alarm siren, they left quickly…they knew they had been detected.  The only loss was a door frame on the door they kicked in to gain entry).

Construction.  Commercial buildings tend to be much more difficult to penetrate than homes.  Homes typically have wood doors and frames which can easily be kicked open.  Business properties generally use steel doors and frames, which with a good dead bolt require a great amount of muscle and a crowbar to successfully open.  Commercial warehouse roll up doors are also usually made of steel and virtually impossible to break into.  Most commercial buildings with these features can be protected with a few strategically placed motion sensors to catch an intruder if a window is broken for entry.

Sierra Security can design a system that balances necessary protection with a realistic budget.  Call us now, or use the form here on our site, for a free consultation with a true security specialist, NOT a high pressure, “sign the contract now” salesperson.