I received the following well intentioned email:
Put your car keys beside your bed at night
Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr’s office, the check- out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.
This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain.
It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around.
After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that.
And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.
Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can’t reach a phone. You can activate the car alarm and then folks will know there’s a problem.
Please pass this on even IF you’ve read it before. It’s a reminder.
My first thought was, “That’s pretty thin, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.” Then I thought, “My cordless phone doesn’t want to work in the next room, how is my car remote supposed to work from the bedroom to the car through a brick house?” The more I thought about it, the more I wondered how many people would read that email and think, “Oh. OK, problem solved. I have a security system now.”
While, I would not call it a ‘solution’ by any means, hopefully the car alarm suggestion is a starting place for some folks to think about things they may have previously decided to ignore.
It would be great if home invaders were always scared off by noise, but if they are so brazen as to break into a house knowing that the residents are home, I wouldn’t count on the fear of a car alarm sounding off to deter them. Besides, how many times have you heard a car alarm in a parking lot and thought somebody bumped a car with a shopping cart, opened a car door into another car, etc. and, “Would someone please turn that *(&^%$@! thing off!”? The worst case scenario for users of car alarm suggestion would be that the car alarm covers up your screams for help.
Even with a monitored house alarm, I wouldn’t expect it to chase away the bad guys. Granted, that would be the ideal outcome (and it has happened) but I wouldn’t count on it. I would expect the house alarm to wake me the second a window is broken or a door is kicked, allowing me to respond. Not to disparage the cops at all; I want them to come when the alarm goes off, and quickly. But I also know that they have no legal duty to protect me. The responsibility of protection for an individual lies with the individual. And as has been said before: “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.” A lot can happen in ‘minutes’.
A more reasoned and prepared approach for home security would be to have a monitored alarm for your residence, a good dog, outside lighting, limited (or defensive) ‘landscaping’, deadbolts on solid core doors (even bedroom doors), and quick access to a strong flashlight and a ready firearm (or two so your spouse can assist) that you are competent with.
I’d also suggest keeping your cell phone and charger next to your bed (rather than next to the front door, etc.) in case the bad guys decide to cut your phone lines and power before they break in.
Lastly, get good training and most important of all – Have a plan. Also have a backup plan for when the first one doesn’t work.
I realize this is ‘preaching to the choir’ for many, but for those who find this article looking for the CAR KEYS! email, please think about all possible measures to ensure your safety.
BTW: CPR lessons, first aid kits, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and a good stock of canned food are also handy to have as ‘security measures’.