Intrusion Detection Still the Goal But It's More Than Hardware

According to a new, 2012 Readership Study of SD&I readers, intrusion detection continues to be a core business in the industry and a topic of keen interest to our systems integrators and alarm dealer readers and that’s no surprise. It’s our roots, and even though the product category has morphed into wireless, IP, automation, energy management and other now prominent peripherals, deterring and catching bad guys is what we do.

The 2012 SD&I Readership Survey, which had an impressive 70 percent completion rate, said alarm dealers and systems integrators needed information about three top categories, and that included intrusion detection and alarm systems.

But when you dig deep, there’s so much more to effective intrusion detection and alarm systems—way beyond the physical security aspect of the product category. There’s marketing and outreach and other ways in which our reader companies educate the public and consumers on how they can be safer and add extra levels of detection and prevention—on top of burglar alarms.

Many companies in the industry know this and work this angle particularly well, on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media and marketing avenues. Some companies that come to mind are American Fire & Security; Ackerman Security; and manufacturer ASSA ABLOY and its global group of companies. And there are others, of course, preaching simple things: like to make sure doors and windows are locked, etc.

Police departments are also helping spread the word about deterrence and prevention. The Park Ridge Police Department, Park Ridge, Ill., recently contributed to a story in a local newspaper on different scams criminals may deploy to gain entrance into a person’s home, and to be aware of these, as they particularly target the elderly. Here’s what they chronicled in their list of scams:

Ruse burglary—a person talks his way into the property, often claiming to be a utility worker or new neighbor. While distracting the homeowner, accomplices steal valuables from inside.

Grandparents scam—A person calls a senior at home and claims to be a grandchild. The caller says he or she is in jail or the hospital and needs money. The scammer will try to convince the grandparent to wire a large sum of cash.


Monitoring plays critical role

These are just a couple of things that the alarm dealer and systems integrator can educate their prospect or customer on, in an effort to focus on the big picture of crime prevention and deterrence. And speaking of crime prevention and deterrence, there’s also the critical role central monitoring station plays in all this. Perhaps we’ve forgotten that alarm systems often catch criminals! Perhaps we are too focused on false alarms rather than all the good central station dispatchers and monitoring centers continue to do across the country. And in getting back to the real crux of alarm systems and intrusion detection, we will be highlighting, in print and online at, our home portal, central station ‘catches’ or instances where monitoring firms were able to catch a bad guy in the act or otherwise thwart criminal activity. You can read about this (and get ready to enter) this new ongoing program, by reading Eric Pritchard’s Legal Watch column on page 24.

Intrusion detection and alarm systems are all about protecting people and property and no one does it better than the systems integrators and dealers in this industry. Let’s extend it even further, by focusing on the community and educating them on all the little things they can do that add up big in crime prevention and deterrence.