Whether you call them home security or alarm systems, the collection of equipment that protects a home against unauthorized intrusion is designed with prevention in mind. In other words, home security is supposed to be a deterrent. It is supposed to scare away anyone who would think about entering your home, breaking into your car, or stealing packages from your porch.
The thing about alarm systems is that they cannot actually prevent anything. A determined criminal will do what they want to do regardless of the presence of security equipment. So what’s the point? To scare criminals enough to deter them.
Vivint, a nationwide home security and automation provider, speaks of this very thing on their website. They talk about “security cameras that detect lurkers and scare them away.” They discuss things like video doorbells, motion sensors, and smart door locks. All are designed to deter.
Video Surveillance Cameras
Home security systems have to be more than alarm systems if they are to effectively deter criminals. That’s why most entry-level packages now offer at least one video surveillance camera. Ideally, a good system comes with two or three cameras.
Video surveillance is one of the things criminals fear most. Therefore, the presence of multiple video cameras on a residential property is enough to give most criminals pause. Every camera represents an opportunity to identify the criminal. It represents evidence that can be used to track them down, prosecute them, and obtain a conviction.
It doesn’t make sense to install a home security system and not include at least a couple of cameras. One camera at each ground level door is the bare minimum.
In addition to standard video surveillance cameras, a video doorbell is an indispensable deterrent against both burglary and porch piracy. The big draw is the ability to communicate with visitors through the doorbell device. Built-in audio makes that possible.
Porch pirates are smart enough to know that video doorbells record surveillance video. They can get around that by covering their faces. But if one hears the homeowner speaking to them as they approach the porch, it is an entirely different ballgame. The porch pirate has no way of knowing whether the homeowner is there or not. Most porch pirates will not take the risk.
Of course, the effectiveness of a video doorbell in deterring property crimes lies in the features it offers. A doorbell with built-in audio is more effective than one without it.
Placards and Window Decals
Not every means of scaring away criminals has to do with electronic devices. Believe it or not, yard placards and window decals can be just as effective. A burglar approaching a home with the decal of a well-known security company in the window immediately has to wonder if that home is currently being monitored.
Alarm system monitoring is a big threat. An experienced criminal knows that remote monitoring virtually guarantees someone will be alerted of their unauthorized entry within seconds of its occurrence. That doesn’t give them much opportunity to do what they want to do without being caught. And of course, a home with a monitored security system is more likely to be protected by interior video cameras.
The point of all of this is to say that it only takes a little seed of doubt to send criminals packing. Most of them do what they do based on available opportunities. If the risk of being caught is too high, even the most lucrative opportunities are less inviting. In the end, your best bet at scaring criminals is a well-designed security system.