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Hello,

There's a commercial for ATD home security, or something along those lines.

A couple has moved into a new house and are laying in bed. The woman thinks she heard something, and the guy offers to go and check.

Man gets up and, unarmed, proceeds to the landing, looks as if he's going to start down the stairs, when *BOOM* a criminal bursts in through the front door, setting off the alarm and making dear hubby turn tail and run. Official looking dude from the security company calls, asks if everything's OK, and offers to call the police.

While I don't disagree with having a security system in general, I do have problems with the commercial.

First, the criminal had likely been watching the house for some time. He would have known it was either a) empty (remember, first night in new house for the couple) or b) would have known it was occupied. If "a," there would have been no reason to break in, and therefore, I would assume that the guy knew it was occupied.

So we have a felon who doesn't mind breaking into a house where people are sleeping. Nice. Such a criminal is probably armed as well.

Second, dear hubby went investigating a strange noise without so much as a baseball bat, let alone a gun. They should have written into the scenario dear hubby getting shot in the nuts so he couldn't reproduce. Knowing that there a security system in place which was likely more sensitive than his wife's ears, the logical thing would be to a) lock the bedroom door, stay put, and wait for wifey to fall asleep, or b) grab a shotgun or handgun (if not too wussified to own one) and take up a defensive position on the landing, preferably having rolled out cover - like a desk filled with lead - against a rail beforehand.

Then - get this - dear hubby runs back into the bedroom and slams the door, cutting the lights but standing at the window where he'd be seen as a black shadow, light or no. Another invitation for dear hubby to catch a chunk of lead. In the same scene, ADT operator calls and asks if everything's OK. This is kinda' pointless, isn't it? First, the time lag between the alarm and the call was too long. Not realistic, and if so, they have damned poor service. What if the phone lines had been cut?

Here's how it would work in my world, arguably the real world:

A noise wakes me up. I come awake immediately. Usually I wake immediately and feign sleep, trying to identify the source of the noise. Hand moves to bedside handgun, which is either a 1911 or a Taurus 92.

If it's anything to worry about, the dogs would be going psycho. If the poor bastard entered the house, the dogs would have a snack.

This gives me time to dial 911 on the home phone. The cell is there too in case the lines have been cut. I'd rather use a more traceable home phone though.

If the bad guy managed to off both a Yellow Lab/Husky mix and a purebred Black Lab, then I'd have reason to fear for my life. I'd probably have heard gunshots. The pistol would then become a backup weapon to my 12 gauge, which would be aimed at the door. If I had to leave the room, very bright flashlight and pistol would accompany me, and with a full expectation of a firefight, I'd leave the light off unless it was absolutely necessary. I know this house; bg doesn't.

But, I doubt I'd need to leave the room.

Does anyone know the commercial I'm talking about? What have you observed? Given the scenario in ADT's commercial, how would you handle it?

Josh <><
 

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I'm sure they sell lots of systems to people who don't own guns. Personally, I think a security system like that is a good idea when there's nobody home, but I prefer the 1911. I live 25 miles from the sheriff's office, and getting a car here, even on a 911 call, is going to take a minimum of ten minutes, and likely a lot longer.

Advertising is about convincing people they need something you have to sell and further convincing them that your solution to their perceived problem is the best possible solution for any eventuality. In an urban area, a bad guy might just run off once that siren starts sounding, but if the bad guy is a serious player and/or whacked out on some sort of chemical courage, he's going to turn that woman into a widow, especially when her knight in shining armor meets the threat at the door armed with nothing more than righteous indignation and the power of reason.

The whole idea of the ad is to make people feel that they're doing something to take control of their own destiny, to "empower" the buyers by making them feel safe in their own homes. Owning a handgun and knowing how to use it has the same effect, but the person so empowered has taken responsibility for his own safety. The guy with the alarm system is merely trusting that everything works out like a 30-second TV commercial.
 

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I have an alarm system at home.

It calls to my cell phone, my wife and relatives that live near our home. (In my country I would suggest that your system does not call 911 because robery might be worse) I do not have an agreement with a security company because of expenses and real need. (seems to be that living in my country is a litte bit safer than in the US because of the -until now- low criminality)

Anyway, we had an intruder once when we were not at home. He triggered the alarm system ant this was enough to make him runaway. Only problem were damages at the door. Second time, we were sleeping, and alarm was enough to make the intruders go away.

BUT.... I has fool enough to go downstairs and see what was going on. I saw one intruder climbing out the wall to the street, and I feel lucky that he was not armed or agresive. As I told you somewhere in this forum, in my country you are not allowed to shoot to an intruder, so I guess if this would happen again, I will lock my room with wife and children and call for help.
 

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I've seen this commercial, and it bothers me every time. Josh, I did laugh out loud when reading your comments though - amazing the tremendous stupidity of some people, though I myself am sometimes included.

I think, as Leland so perfectly pointed out, that the entire purpose of the ad is to sell the system, and the strategy is to make you feel like you will be perfectly secure if you have the system. According to them, you won't need anything else! Now, I have no problem with alarm systems, but I must say that if someone has the clear intention to do you harm, no alarm system is going to stop them. If you are unprepared to defend yourself, the loud siren and ringing phone won't be that much of a deterent. They work well to scare people off, to alert the neighbors if you live where people can see your house, and to alert you to a problem though. I've often wished I had one for the early warning benefits.

Now, my approach is to always be within arms reach of one of my firearms when I'm home. How many stories have we heard of home invasions, where the bad guy(s) knew someone was home, and busted in anyway...or actually wanted it that way? Too many.

When I hear a bump in the night, I don't move toward those steps without backup. I know better than to believe a TV add that tells me that their alarm system will make me safe. It will make noise, might give me a few extra seconds, and might scare off those that only intend a robbery. It will offer the impression of security, but doesn't actually provide it.

I also realized long ago that I was making a huge mistake leaving my cell phone on a charger in the kitchen. I moved it upstairs near my bed, so I have phone access no matter what. Sadly, my experience with alarms and alarm companies have shown me that the phone response time is usually between 30 seconds to one minute, with the one minute time much more the norm. They usually assume that if the alarm is going off, you've accidentally set it off, and give you between 20 and 30 seconds to disarm it. If it continues, it's another 15 seconds or so before they process it and call you. So, if the bad guy isn't concerned with your alarm, or is armed and decides to start firing, you've just spent between 30 and 60 seconds in a bad place, and THEN the phone starts ringing! Anybody who's been in a tight spot knows just how long 60 seconds really is! Way, way, too long for me.

So, my approach would be to arm myself, wait for a moment to see if the alarm is triggered, then carefully and secretively move to discover what was going on. I'd suspect that my dog would be freaking out if there was a problem - he growls if a bird lands on the roof - but I still dont rely on him exclusively. Better to be ready and never need it, than need it and not be ready.

...and my ex-wife starting ranting the other day about how nobody needs a shotgun or AR-15, because it's ridiculous to think that the day will ever come that SHTF. I prefer Joshua's and Leland's approach!

TM
 

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Go to a safe room, call sherriff, and wait for the cavalry.

broadcasting on the internet your intent to shoot people can come back to bite you.
 

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I don't watch TV, so I save myself the aggravation of stupid commercials and even stupider shows. The Bachelor comes to mind.

BUT! I did have ADT alarm service when I lived near San Antonio, in the unincorporated Bexar County (hence, my cops were the Bexar County Sheriff's Office).

We kept the alarm service mostly because it had fire/smoke sensors and would call the fire department if we were not home. Didn't think too much of the burglar part of the system.

We had one door that was difficult to get closed and latched properly, and if it wasn't secure, a good wind would blow it open and set off the alarm of course. This was the source of almost all the false alarms. Luckily we did not have to use it very often, so once I got it shut tightly, we were good to go. As per other's experience above, when the alarm went off, we had a few seconds to enter a code and shut it off before it called the monitors (I also had a duress code to enter if I was being forced to enter it -- it shut off the alarm on my end, but alerted the monitors). If we missed that window, the monitors would call and ask for my name and the password. I also had a duress password, IIRC (or maybe if I just gave the wrong one, they would fake accepting it and call the cops -- can't remember).

One time we had just gotten home for about 10 or 20 minutes when a Bexar County Deputy arrived. He said the S.O. got a call from ADT about an alarm, altho we had not noticed anything amiss when we got home. The Deputy and I checked out the house, examined the exterior, and found nothing amiss -- not even the troublesome door I mentioned earlier. Very curious.

I thanked the Deputy for coming out, and then thought to ask him at what time he got the call. Turns out it was 46 minutes prior to his arrival -- because he stopped to work a traffic accident on the way to my house.

Even before this I depended on our safe room set-up and my Glock (in those days), my Rem 870, my wife's Taurus, and my cell phone. This experience certainly confirmed that.

elb

p.s. Bexar County and San Antonio started charging fees to have an alarm, with fines for so many false alarms. However, I wonder how many "false" alarms are actually intruders that are scared away?

elb
 

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Madison Avenue and reality have nothing in common. Can't get kissed? You need a sparklier mouthwash. Can't get further? Need a sportier car.

My two alarms at my old place were for real; likely the same individual. The second time he cut a bunch of antenna cables before trying to enter thinking that would disable it. Not on NASA's short list for astronaut training. Sheriff deppity seemed bored with the whole proceedure; if nothing was missing why'd I want a report? (DUH...so its on record)

Keegan, ex-wives rant..........its in their contract I think.



Regards,

Pat
 

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Interesting.

I manage a business fairly close to downtown Santa Fe that's alarmed by ADT---motion and heat sensors, the whole nine yards, but surprisingly inexpensive for monthly service. The alarm is only armed when the building is empty, although there's a panic button wired into the system for an intrusion during business hours. The primary reason for the alarm is insurance liability: we're an art framing business, and occasionally some of the art is valuable. Other than that, not much cash on premises, etc., and few would-be burglars have any interest in stealing art, which is next to impossible to hock for ready money.

I'm the second responder, so-called. If ADT gets no answer at the primary (the owner), they call me. I live no more than five minutes from the shop. In every case where ADT has notified me the alarm's gone off, and I've beat my feet to get there, Santa Fe PD has gotten there ahead of me. (The downside of this, of course, is that cops waste a lot of time responding to false alarms, same as firemen.)

My point is that this is a cost of doing business. An alarm system at home strikes me as superfluous (I prefer a dog and a gun), but it might prove useful as a deterrent. I agree with Josh, however, that it could provide a false sense of security. And there's the false alarm syndrome. Too many of them, and it's like the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
 

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I have an alarm set up by an electronics whiz I am lucky enough to call "friend." Motion detectors are set up where noting bigger than a mouse can get two feet in through any door or window in my home. Attached to this is a 125 decibel siren thats mounted 15 feet up a pole in my yard. Wire that is exposed is inside conduit to prevent cutting, my arming switch uses a key, I have 30 seconds to turn it off before it goes. Our next project is to do the same for my yard, only this will use a warning light instead of an siren and to add a battery backup to both systems. As I live in the "boonies" the only thing that will be around to set this off will be an intruder or possibly a deer. (Venison anyone?)
 
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