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Moats are out of style; What now for home protection?


Moats are out of style; What now for home protection?


The latest approach to home security is so logical you will wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. It seems to suggest that some of the obvious solutions are right under our noses, waiting to be recognized.

The latest approach is called a layered strategy – doesn’t that make sense? After all, you wear layers of clothing, especially in the winter. And you have layers of financial protection, including insurance and placing your money in a bank. So, why not have a layered approach to protecting your home?

The fun part is that this is now done electronically. I mean, moats, drawbridges and archers manning the turrets sounds fun, but they are expensive and way out of fashion. We haven’t seen those in my neighborhood for years!

Now many of the new systems utilize wireless home burglar alarm equipment. These alarms can be turned on and off with special buttons set into key chains, just like those that lock and unlock car doors. A push of a button can also summon the police.

What about locking the doors when you are out on a date? That is also possible now with some remote systems that operate at far greater distance than old-fashioned garage door openers.

Those garage door openers were limited in range, because you could mistakenly open the neighbor’s garage if your remote used the same signal bandwidth as the neighbor’s remote. Advances in digital technology now find devices bouncing signals off of satellites. Now, if you lock your back door from some remote location, like a beach or a restaurant, you can do so with the guarantee that you are not locking every home in he neighborhood – just your own.

Here’s another layer to consider: a motion detection system. These usually operate by infrared sensors that point across a well-traveled threshold or one of the main rooms of the house – the master bedroom or the living room that houses the new, expensive, flat-screen TV that a burglar might covet.

In spy movies, it might be pointed out, the doberman pincher dogs guarding the crown jewels conveniently occupied a portion of the mansion that did not include motion detectors. After all, that meant Fang and Hungry (those are the dogs) would trip the alarms if they walked through the wrong room or wagged their stubby tails.

This dilemma has been solved. Motion detectors now include the capability of sensing how much a would-be intruder weighs, so that any pet weighing less than 60 pounds (for example) would not trigger an alarm, while those over 60 pounds would. This means, a dog up to 60 pounds in weight jumping on the bed for a nap while you are at the movies would not inadvertently summon the police.

Alarm companies still rely on stickers and lawn signs to alert intruders that a home is wired. This important layer may turn away burglars for years without anyone even knowing. A thief is not likely to challenge an alarm system on a whim, especially if there are unprotected properties nearby.

Yes, a sign on the lawn saying, “Home protected by electronic security,” might be one way of directing burglars to the neighbor’s house. It’s either that or the two of you can go live together on a moat.


  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    I like the moat idea but your security ideas are good.