Some Myths About Alarm Systems

Myths can be fun in some cases. In others, they can influence
decisions in a very negative way. Some of the most commonly held myths
about home security systems are quite easily debunked and should serve
as good cause to reconsider installing one if you haven’t already.

It’s
commonly believed that most “good” thieves, if there is such a thing,
can easily defeat most burglar alarms. This myth, and the means by which
people generally believe that thieves accomplish such feats of stealth,
are largely the creation of very creative but terribly misinformed
screenwriters.

A very common myth is that an alarm can be disarmed
by cutting some mythical wire in which, at least according to
filmmakers, alarm professionals place all their faith. This is simply
untrue. Modern alarm systems use a combination of wired and wireless
technologies, for starters. More importantly, most alarms will regard
any loss of connectivity as a reason to, well, be alarmed. Snipping
wires on modern alarms won’t get you into the house, but it may well
land you in the back of a police car.

Motion detectors can easily
be defeated with some graceful and slow movement, right? Wrong. Motion
detectors are incredibly sensitive. In fact, allowances often have to be
made for the most mundane and harmless movement in a room, such as pets
wandering about. Try as you might, you’re not going to fool an alarm
system’s motion detector into thinking you’re not moving. Try it even on
a cheap motion detecting light to illustrate the point. The only time
they don’t detect motion is when you remain perfectly still.

There’s a grand old myth that a creative thief can
record the tones emitted by some alarm pads, interface their recording
device into the system and play back the tones and that, somehow, this
will trick the alarm. To begin with, this would require them opening the
door, the alarm panel and hard wring in an electronic device before the
alarm goes off. In any real-life situation, this is just not going to
happen. Additionally, it would require tampering with the alarm in a way
that would likely trigger it. Finally, this just doesn’t work. Alarm
panels are far more sophisticated devices than this and this is really
something that will only work in the movies.

Older window alarms
were vulnerable to defeat by skillful tampering with the electrical
circuit that indicated the window being opened. Even in the most dated
models, however, this would require incredible speed and skill. Modern
alarms detect window breakage, the frame being opened and motion inside
the home. Even if it were possible to disable a modern device in the
same way as was possible in the past, it would only defeat one security
measure and modern alarms represent a collection of several different
measures. Defeating one of the devices used would likely be too large a
task for any thief, must less defeating each and every one of their
number.