Contrary to what my co-workers believe, while my family and I do not currently have one, I like dogs. From the time I was a kid, and through the early years of my marriage, I had dogs as pets. As I sit and write this, I can think of eight dogs that have been a part of my life: poodles Nikki and Jacque (a French poodle, of course), a Dachshund named Schnitzel, a pure-bred Spaniel nicknamed Dane, and various mixed-breed “beauties”: Rudy, Sidney, Beau, and Chelsea. I feel I can relate to dogs—they understand me; I understand them.
My wife likes cats. Our three young kids also seem to like cats. We have two of them. I am not a fan of cats, to put it mildly. But on the home front, I try to choose my battles.
Here’s a bit more about me: I like to tinker with things and am captivated by most things mechanical—including the mechanical efficiency of machines such as guns. While I don’t have much of a collection, I do own a few and enjoy getting out to the firing range from time to time.
So, I own a gun and like dogs. And like many of our clients (new, existing, and prospective) I’ve connected with over the years, I once thought, “If I have a gun and a dog, why would I need an alarm system?”
To address this question, both from the perspective of an employee in the electronic security industry and from a consumer's perspective, here are some things to consider:
- Pets need protection too. If you are a pet lover, I don't need to tell you that a pet is a member of the family. To many, pets are like children—“fur babies”—and pets need protection too!
- A pet cannot call 911 in the event of a fire. A monitored security system with smoke protection will.
- There are instances where pets have been and can be victims in a violent break-in. Recently, here in Tennessee where I live, a dog was repeatedly kicked, and badly injured, by burglars during a robbery. When I went to the internet in order to reference the specific crime, I was shocked to discover how often this happens—all over the country! A monitored burglary system is a proven deterrent against home break-ins.
- Pets can be victims of carbon monoxide poisoning too. Years ago, a previous co-worker of mine was awakened in the middle of the night by what he thought was his cat coughing up a hairball. When my co-worker got out of bed to check on the cat, he fell to the floor as a result of the suffocating effects of carbon monoxide. His wife was close to unconsciousness. It was a miracle that he was awakened and able to summon help from the authorities. The cat was a hero. If, however, my co-worker had not been home, the family cat would have been a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning too. A local CO detector would have done nothing for a homebound pet. Monitored carbon monoxide detectors can save lives—including the lives of four legged family members.
- Guns are amongst the most common stolen items. Guns are a “hot commodity today”: very popular and very valuable. Gun owners are not home all the time. In addition to electronics and prescription medications, guns are among the most common items stolen during a break-in. (Don’t think that hiding a gun in the master bedroom closet, under the bed, or in the nightstand drawer will be enough to keep it hidden and safe from a professional burglar who may know most common hiding spots.
- Modern security systems can indicate an intruders location. In addition to automatically calling for help, modern security and automation systems are capable to turn on lights and even verbally indicate where an intruder may be (i.e. “Basement Door, Alarm”). This may be a critical benefit to an individual who plans to defend his or her home with a gun. Literally, this type of alert can inform someone where to aim.
- A security system is a proven deterrent against break-ins. It’s always been my worst fear to be in a situation where the use of a gun is necessary. As a boy, I learned gun safety, and I remember my father telling me a gun is made for shooting to kill, not to wound or to intimidate. I shudder to think about being in a situation where I’m forced to make that choice or take that action. To this end, a security system, as a proven deterrent against break-ins, may help stop a gun-related confrontation before it starts.
- A security system can help prevent accidental shootings by simply offering an audible confirmation (i.e. “System disarmed”) that the noise downstairs came from a loved one coming in late, as opposed to a criminal breaking in.
Modern security systems are not what they used to be. Today’s systems are incredibly capable, and have become much more of a lifestyle solution that blends security, convenience, and real-time information that can help us manage the busy lives we lead.