In the close to 10 years we have been writing about home security products, we have come to change our thinking about what represents the best value in them. In this article we will discuss what the best value in security products is and explain why we have changed our mind.
First of all, that industry is close to a $60 billion a year behemoth that grows by leaps and bounds every year, not just because of new homes either; long-time homeowners realize the value of protecting their nearly $250,000 investment-the biggest they have.
And what are they protecting it from? Home burglary continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. And it’s not difficult to understand why. It is one of the most lucrative of all crimes, and the chances of getting caught are slim and none and we just saw Slim leaving town about 10 minutes ago. There is only a 5% chance that a burglar will get caught according to police statistics.
A burglar will spend about 10 minutes or less inside a home looking for things of value like cash, credit cards, jewelry and handguns-things that are easily pawned for quick cash. In that time he will take, on average, close to $2,000 worth of goods. Not bad for 10 minutes’ work.
Window alarms are an inexpensive way to protect your home. If properly used they can sound a loud alarm when somebody enters through a window so they represent a very good value also.
I used to believe that the best value in a home security product was a motion detection alarm called the electronic watchdog, a.k.a. the barking dog alarm. It sold for anywhere from $80-$100. It protected an area up to 20 feet away in a 110 degree arc. When someone entered the protected area, the sound of a barking dog started. It was one of the most effective home security alarms available and continues to be one of my favorites.
But recently I have come to my senses and realize that the most effective security product at deterring burglary and therefore the best value for a home security product are fake security cameras.
When a burglar sees a security camera outside of the home, unless he’s got a screw loose, he will move on to another house. He doesn’t want to get caught, and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken. Unless he’s three or four feet away from a fake security camera he cannot tell the difference between that and the real thing.