Crime Prevention Corner Security system may be a good idea for a senior’s home

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        As the colder weather approaches, now may be a good idea to consider installing a security system, which can be beneficial for anyone, but particularly for an older person’s home.
        Installing such devices may require a technician to make a trip or two in and out of a residence. When the weather outside is cold, this may result in a loss of heat from inside the home. It’s no secret that the older we get, the more intolerant we become of cold air, so a rush of cold air from outside can make seniors more uncomfortable.
        There are many things to consider when you investigate what system you may wish to acquire. It is important to check various systems, all the time resisting any urge to buy the first one into which you inquire. This can be difficult if a salesperson uses high pressure tactics.
        If this is a scenario you encounter, just tell the salesperson this is an important decision; one that may take some study and serious consideration before you make a decision. If the salesperson continues with the high-pressure tactics, you may wish to consider taking his or her company off your list of prospective vendors.
        To avoid these issues, you can check with the local Better Business Bureau office for companies about which they have received complaints.
        Another important aspect to investigate is the total costs of systems, not just the initial cost of the equipment and its installation but also the monthly monitoring fees.
        Some systems are hard-wired, but the most advanced systems use a wireless network. Wireless networks allow consumers to control devices using smartphones, and these systems can be the most desirable.
        Many people are including with their security systems ways to change thermostats, lock and unlock their doors, open and close their garage doors, and turn lights on and off. There can also be issues with these wireless systems being hacked.
        Some of the most flagrant cases of hacked security systems involve those with home security cameras. People are reporting incidents in which the hackers initiate conversations with the occupants of a home through the camera systems.
        It’s an eerie thought that something like a home security system that is supposed to make your home a safer place can do just the opposite.
        Most of the cases involving hacked security systems have been traced back to systems that do not have secure passwords.
        There are ways to make a system more secure, such as using a VPN (virtual private network) and using encryption if the camera’s administrative tools allow it. Updating a system’s firmware when possible is another way to further protect your system.
        There’s an old saying that proves especially true when deciding what type of security system to purchase—investigate before you invest.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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