Burglary myths

No matter what product or service goes onto the market, sooner or later someone begins creating myths and misconceptions about it.

Here are the top 10 myths about home security systems.

1) You need a landline

Alarms have been connected to monitoring centres via landlines for decades. But increasingly, alarm companies now offer IP monitoring – this lets them monitor the alarm through your broadband internet connection, using a small device connected to your alarm and also to your router or modem.

You can also arrange to have your alarm monitored over the mobile cellular data network service on the 2G or 3G cellular communication systems!

So, don’t be put off if, like many kiwis, you no longer have a landline. This one is well and truly busted.

2) Most burglaries happen at night

Movies always seem to portray thieves as operating under the cover of darkness. In NZ, that certainly is not the case. Why? Burglars know that many people are at work or school during the day.

The NZ Herald reports that the most common hours of the day burglars strike are around 2pm – but they appear to hit the most from 11am-4pm.

This myth is also busted by the NZ Police, who say that most burglaries, when time is established, happen in the early afternoon.

3) Burglars don’t care if you have a security system

In a survey of convicted burglars, 60% would look for another house if they saw signs of a security system. In addition, 50% would stop an attempt to break in if they found evidence of an alarm system after they started breaking in. 

In a study by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, burglars were three times more likely to break into a house without a system. 

The bottom line is that burglars are opportunistic and are looking for soft targets – houses they can get in and out of fast.


4) A security system is a waste of time for rentals

The theory behind this myth is that alarm monitoring means a long-term contract.

The fact is that now you can sign up month-by-month for very low cost. The equipment is not difficult or expensive to install, and can be removed or relocated quickly and easily.

Some companies have been slow to adjust to this market change though, so shop around to get a good deal, and you’ll see that innovative companies are busting this myth as well.

5) Living in the country is safer from burglaries

Ok, this one is true. I threw it in to see if you’re paying attention. In New Zealand, 7 out of 10 burglaries are residential burglaries by a wide margin.

However, many rural communities have reported opportunistic crimes happening in waves over the years. People seem to know that many farmers (for example) either don’t lock their doors or leave the key n an obvious place.

If that’s you, it may only be a matter of time before you regret it.

Be smart, get a system installed and start locking your doors.

6) Thieves never strike the same place twice

How we wish this was true. But in reality, once a burglar finds a soft target, they keep coming back.

After all, they know what you have now, and want to come back and get it later. Also, they know there’s a good chance you will replace the TV they stole with a new one in a few week’s time.

7) A safe neighbourhood means a safe home

This myth is a dangerous one as it can cause homeowners to make themselves open targets. Just because something terrible hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the worst. Homes that fail to use security systems are 300% more likely to be burglarized.

Why is that? For one, less foot traffic in the suburbs means that burglars have a better shot of entering and exiting a home unnoticed. 

8) My dog will guard the house

A ferocious dog can be a significant deterrent. But often they are chained up so that they cannot get at children attempting to get to the front or back door. This means that burglars are also able to get to those doors.

Unfortunately, dogs are not always reliable. If they are lonely they may want a new friend! Also, not only do many dogs ignore intruders (or worse, try to hit them up for treats!), but burglars often carry deterrent measures that may harm your pet.

What is worse is the idea that the burglar may resort to violence if they need to subdue your dog. You don’t want your dog to get busted, so please believe me when i say this myth is busted.

9) It’s all replaceable anyway

Yes, there is some truth to this.

But for many people, its not their lost possessions that get to them. It’s the anger and revulsion people feel when they know that someone has been through their home or belongings. People report feeling violated and physically sick.

Burglaries aren’t just about stealing physical objects. The hardest part is that someone violated your most private and personal space, your home. It can make you feel like you’re unsafe in your own home, and it can be a scary time filled with stress and anxiety.

But potentially, someone could get hurt too. That’s when you wish you had a security system.

10) Lights and deadlocks do the job

Leaving lights on is a good idea, as long as the same lights do not come on at the same time every night. Thieves will soon work out that no one is home.

And if no one is home, those lights are simply giving the thief a better look at your home, and how to get in and out quickly.

Instead, opt for motion-detecting lights. This way, if a burglar approaches your home the lights will spring to life and scare them off.