Increasing numbers of Americans are installing monitored home security systems in their homes. According to the website of the Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (MBFAA) of New York, the number of homes with security systems has increased by nearly 40% over the last five years. Today, around 17% of homes have electronic security protection.
Protect Your Home
recently spoke with the MBFAA's Alan Glasser about alarm associations, how they benefit consumers, and how to find out if your local area has an alarm association.
Q. The MBFAA website quotes the interesting statistic that most people don't install a security system in their homes right away, but wait two to four years after moving in. Also, burglars are aware of this and the highest risk for a break-in is right after you move in. What are some other things the typical burglar knows that we wouldn't suspect they know?
A. While it is hard to get into the mind of a “typical” burglar, I can point out, being in the security business since 1966, the obvious: A burglary, in many cases, is a crime of opportunity. Unless your home or business has been picked as a specific target because of some high-value objects like art, jewelry, or cash, you are a random target.
So here are some deterrent tips to lower your chances of a burglary:
• New to the neighborhood? Meet and greet your neighbors. You won’t be a “stranger” to your neighbors around your own home or property. Neighbors seeing strangers in and around your property and calling the police is a great first line of defense. That’s why there are neighborhood watch groups.
• Just moved in and purchased all new electronics? Or is it holiday time and you purchased new HD TV, computers, home theater, etc. Don’t show off by putting the carton of your 62” HDTV out front and waiting two or three days for recycle to pick up! Crush the cartons and turn them inside-out.
• Make you home look like it is occupied. Three days of newspapers on the front steps is a burglar’s “welcome” sign. Garbage cans left at the curb mean you already left for work and nobody’s home. Garbage cans left at the curb for three days means you are on vacation! Mail stuffed in your mail box also means you are on vacation. Footprints in the snow leading from the front door to your car(s) and tire tracks leading away from your home means nobody home.
• Make your home look like it is lived in. Put lights on random timers, leave TV sets and radios on, and ask neighbors to help out with the newspapers, mail, and garbage cans.
Q. When a person moves to a new area, how can he or she find out if that area has a local alarm association, and how can that local alarm association benefit the typical homeowner interested in home security?
A. The best way to find a local alarm association is to do an internet search. Look for “Alarm Association” and your city and state. Most alarm associations will have a listing of their members. Alarm association members usually indicate a greater commitment to serving the alarm industry.
This is also very important, many municipalities have some sort of license requirement to be in the burglar/fire/security business. Make sure the security company complies with the license requirements!
Q. Local police departments are starting to increase fines for false alarms. How do local alarm associations help cut down on the number of false alarms in their area?
A. The Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of New York, Inc. (MBFAA of NY), holds meetings, writes articles in their newsletter and has an industry e-mail blog site.
The Long Island Alarm Permit and False Alarm Fines Information Mailing List is for discussion and information about alarm permits in Suffolk and Nassau counties, as well as any individual towns and cities located within. This mailing list will also address false alarm fines. The list is open to all professional NYS licensed alarm dealers, whether or not they’re members of the Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, of New York, Inc. (MBFAA of NY).
Q. Some regions require alarm system installers to be licensed and other regions do not. Some places have voluntary registration of alarm professionals rather than required licensing. If a person lives where licensing is not required, how can he or she determine who the best person is to install a home security system?
A. Are they a member of their local Alarm Association? Are they a member of their local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce? Do a an internet search to see if anybody left positive or negative comments about the alarm company you want to do business with. Ask your neighbor, friend, or relative (who has an alarm system) to recommend someone they have done business with.
Q. Technology is advancing rapidly, and today there are inexpensive wireless home security systems. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an "early adopter" of new home security technology? Is it better to wait until any initial unforeseen problems are ironed out, or is technology reliable by the time it's available to homeowners?
A. Wireless home security systems have been around since the 1980s! It’s not a new technology, but it is constantly evolving. That doesn’t stop me from buying a “new” technology cell phone, home computer, HDTV, or other electronic device.
The burglar is not going to wait for the consumer to decide if the technology is the latest and greatest. Get it now before the burglar gets a chance. What’s on the market now is the latest and greatest! Manufacturers and installation companies do their best to engineer, market, sell, and install the very best they can offer.
Price is not necessary a proportion of performance. New technology is expensive! You are paying for research and development, but as technology matures, and manufacturing becomes a routine process, security systems become better and less expensive. The industry has already gone through the research and development stages. The time to buy is NOW!|
Plus, that alarm company lawn sign may be the biggest deterrent ever! Knowing that a premises is protected by a central station alarm company may convince the burglar to look for an easier target, even before he gets out of his vehicle. A premises that is not protected with a professionally-installed central station alarm system is easier pickings, and the burglar knows he has less chance of alerting authorities and having police respond.
Bio: Alan Glasser
Alan Glasser has well over 45 years in the security industry, with diverse experience in security industry manufacturing, distribution, locksmithing, and retail security system sales. He is a sought-after symposium and seminar speaker for the industry, trade, and private organizations, a syndicated columnist, and a prolific writer with hundreds of bylines in the security industry. He has a unique combination of real hands-on systems expertise and proven marketing skills.
• New York State Licensed Security Systems
• New York State Licensed Watch Guard & Patrol Agency
• New York State licensed instructor for alarm licensing law
• Private Investigator / Operative in NYS
• Goal-oriented salesman with a history of exceeding company goals
• Unique combination of real hands-on systems expertise and proven marketing and sales skills
• Industry writer with more than 850 published articles on security, sales and marketing
• Lecturer and speaker for industry at the InternationalSecurity Conference and other conventions
• Certified National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association instructor
• Certified National Alarm Association of America instructor
• NICET Test-Prep Instructor
• Faculty, NYCCT of The City University of New York (CUNY). Electronic Security Systems Installer Program
• Past President of the Metropolitan Burglar & Fire Alarm Association
• Recipient of the first National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association “Supreme Alarm Signal Writing” award
• Founder and first Secretary of the New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association
• Executive Director of the Metropolitan Burglar & Fire Alarm Association of NY, Inc.
• Past Executive Director of the New York Fire Alarm Association, Inc.
• President of Alan Glasser, Inc., Business Consulting Services
Alan Glasser, Executive Director
METROPOLITAN BURGLAR & FIRE ALARM ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK, INC.
PO Box 54, Brooklyn, New York 11204-0054
(718) 894-6712 eFax (718) 228-7940
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org | web site www.mbfaa.com