Do Cameras, Alarms, Sensors Really Protect you from an Intruder?

As crime rises daily throughout our nation and worldwide, homeowners, businesses, schools, churches, hospitals and more have been proactive by installing video surveillance equipment, alarm systems, and glass and door sensors to protect against a burglar, active shooter or invasion.  

But are they really protected?

Unfortunately, the answer is NO!  Neither video surveillance equipment, alarm systems, nor sensors will stop an intruder from entering your home or business. What it will do is record the attack.

Many people in the world today have this false sense of security.

That’s not to say that alarms systems, cameras, and sensors aren’t deterrents to an intruder or that we should not purchase them; however, the truth of the matter is that when an intruder breaks your window or patio / business glass door, he is in your home or business in less than two seconds. 

It doesn’t matter if the window glass is annealed or safety tempered glass, both will simply shatter to the ground upon blunt force.  Heaven forbid if you are home or in your office when a robbery or invasion occurs, as you will have little to zero response time.  Intruders know that it takes law enforcement 8-12 minutes on a national average to arrive at the scene.  A lot of damage can take place during that time.

On the average, an intruder is usually in and out of your home or business in less than 60 seconds.  They are not worried about the alarm sound and are usually covered up so video cameras can’t pick up facial recognition. 

 

Listed below are some national facts regarding robberies and invasions

FACT: Estimated 3.7 million household burglaries each year (U.S. Department of Justice)

FACT: Over 8,000+ Break –ins / invasions occur every single day

FACT: One out of every five homes / businesses will experience a break-in or invasion.

FACT: 65% of break-ins and invasions are through glass windows and doors. For homes this would be the     

           patio sliding glass doors, and for businesses it would be a glass door or side window. Intruders

           know that it doesn’t take much for glass to shatter to the ground upon the slightest amount of

           blunt force.

FACT: An intruder / burglar only spends an average of 60-90 seconds at your home or business!

FACT: It takes an average of 5-7 minutes for a 1st responder (police) to arrive at the scene. Note:  in remote areas it’s even longer I.E: 30-40 minutes!

FACT: With CA Title-24 double pane safety glass (tempered) mandate, glass sensors have a hard time picking up glass break-in sound and many times they don’t go OFF!

 

So what security measures can we take that offer better protection and buy more time?

Understanding that 65% of break-ins are through window / door glass doors, listed below are some suggestions:

  • Security Film
  • Security Screens
  • Window Bars
  • Metal Window Blinds

Let’s look at each option:

SECURITY FILM:

Security Film comes in a variety of thicknesses. The thicker the better.  For example 14 mil security films are much stronger and offer more protection (time) than 2 mil security film.

Installed property, security film will hold the glass in place upon blunt force. The glass will not shatter to the ground. This becomes a major deterrent for an intruder. You have just spoiled his timing. Since the security film is clear, the intruder has no idea that there is glass protection.

Listed below is a picture of ½” glass protected by 14 mil security film that was shot over 7 times; and although some of the rounds went through, the glass did not shatter into pieces.

Summary: Overall the least expensive protection for window and door glass for your homes or business leaves a clear untouched look to glass. It buys you TIME!

 

SECURITY SCREENS:

Security Screens are certainly a good deterrent against intruders based on the vendor using 304 steel mesh and triple locking mechanism. It’s all in the vendor or retailer you purchase the screens from and their installation team. Big box hardware retailers are usually lower in cost but do not necessarily offer the best product and use general installers – mostly used by homeowners.  (That could be a real problem).  An intruder will usually pass on a house with security screens as it will takes more time to enter. 

Summary: Great deterrent but costly to install for the entire home. The beauty of the home window picture glass is immediately lost. That can be an issue for some people. Very seldom used in business as it is not cost effective.

SECURITY BARS:

Security Bars have been used for years by home owners and businesses. It sends a very clear unsightly message to people.  Not something that you would want to see in residential or business locations.

Summary: Affordable but unsightly.

METAL WINDOW / DOOR BLINDS:

These manual or motorized metal security blinds are very effective against an intruder and certainly less unsightly than security bars. The cost is also much higher. Blinds will need to be on a yearly maintenance program.

Summary: Effective but costly. Also, over time the roll up and down mechanism system can have its problems.

Overview:

Any of the four choices will prevent an intruder from entering quickly through glass windows and doors thus buying you TIME:

  • Time to think
  • Time to react
  • Time to take cover
  • Time to call for HELP!

These physical glass barriers are called -by Law Enforcement - a form of Hardening the Target and are used on a daily basis.  These protective measures are now recommended by law agencies for churches, hospitals, and more worldwide.