Putting an alarm system in your home has some downsides.
a) It costs X dollars a month in obvious costs
b) It makes every entrance and exit a stressful activity.
“Do I have everything together so I can make it out the door in 15 seconds?” (followed by “Oh crap, I left X behind and now I have to go back inside.”)
“Can I put down this bag of groceries and punch in the correct code?” (followed by “Oh crap, I hit the wrong button. How do I cancel and put in the right code before the alarm speaker right over my head goes off and makes the police come?”)
c) It makes it much harder to give somebody access to your house when you want to.
d) (This may just be a personality quirk of mine) It actually makes me feel less safe. It is a daily reminder that you just can’t trust anybody these days. It makes me want to crawl down in the basement with my tinfoil hat and wait for the end of the world.
All of which would be worth it, provided that having an alarm system actually reduced my chances of being burgled by a significant amount.
Has anybody done any studies on this? How about comparing homes with alarms to homes without alarms but with alarm stickers in the windows?
Surfing the web, I found this article. It claims on page 4 that alarms reduce burglaries by 60%. But the study was funded by the “Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation”, so I question their objectivity. In addition, it says that the most effective part of the alarm system is the yard sign.
[sub]My apologies if this has been hammered on before. I searched, but only came up with a discussion of car alarms.[/sub]