It’s an age old adage that holds true whether you’re planning for retirement or securing your property. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversification and redundancy are key to properly security your home or business. Seems like an appropriate theme as I sit here and write the day before Easter.
A recent robbery of the Powder Room, a gun shop and shooting range in Powell Ohio just north of Columbus, provides an excellent example of why you need diversity in your security system. The Powder Room was broken into by breaking a hole in the wall to the women’s bathroom. They successfully stole 97 guns and a lot of ammunition. They didn’t break in through a window or a door. Why not? To avoid setting off the security alarm.
The Powder Room had a monitored security alarm. They had all the doors and windows covered. If the thieves would have smashed or pried a window open, kicked in or picked a door, they would have tripped the security alarm and the police would have been on their way. Instead, since they didn’t trip the alarm, the burglars had all the time in the world to collect guns and ammo and get out undetected.
What was the problem? The security alarm system at the Powder Room had the perimeter covered but did not have interior motion detection. They put all their eggs in one basket. They bet the farm on the door and window sensors detecting the intrusion. They didn’t diversify. They didn’t have a back up in case the perimeter sensors didn’t work. What happened? Someone got into their basket!
You might say that it’s abnormal for a burglar to break in through the wall and you would be right, but this is just one example, there are many other that drive home the same point. Even if the burglar breaks in through the window and you have the window protected with magnetic contacts it’s still important to diversify with interior motion detectors. Why? Because they might not even have to open the window to get in. They might just break the glass out and crawl through the hole. If they do break the glass out and they know what they’re doing they might just reach in through the shattered window and disable or bypass the magnetic contacts. Yes, there are ways to do that.
You might say, OK, so we’ll add a glass break detector along with the magnetic contacts. Good, now you’re starting to diversify. Now you can detect the window being opened and the glass being broken. Are you done? No. You haven’t diversified enough. What if the burglar figures out a way to defeat the magnetic contacts without breaking the glass? Yes, that’s possible too. Easy? No. Possible? Yes.
The amount you should diversify depends on how much you care about security on that property. Should the Power Room care a lot about the security of their property? They’re protecting a sizable arsenal of weapons that in the wrong hands can be very dangerous, so yes, I certainly think they should. I hope this was a learning experience for them. I hope they know better now.
My intention is not to criticize the Powder Room. I’ve been there many times to shoot and will do so again as long as they keep their doors open. I only mean to illustrate a point and they happen to be the perfect example. I guarantee there are thousands of other businesses here in Columbus Ohio storing high value or high risk items that are making the same mistake the Powder Room made.
If you think the idea that someone would break in through the wall instead of through a door or window if far fetched, think again. It’s not that uncommon for a thieves to take advantage of weak walls. When it comes to security hard is good, soft is bad. Brick or stone… good. Stucco or vinyl siding… bad. A burglar can literally cut through your stucco wall with a Sawzall and walk right in. If you only have door and window sensors your security alarm will do absolutely nothing in that situation. If you’ve diversified with interior motion detectors then as soon as they step inside the siren is blaring and the police are on their way.
So this Easter take a moment to think about your security alarm. Are you diversified? Are you using interior motion detectors in addition to your perimeter door and window sensors? Or do you have all your eggs in one basket? If you do, you might find one day they’ve all disappeared.