Provident Security (and Five Minute Proofing) featured in the New York Times…

Provident was featured in the New York Times last week in Paul Sullivan’s follow-up article about home security.

Sullivan’sĀ original column sparked a fair amount of drama within the security industry… some reasonable, most of it… not so much. In that first article, he pointed out that the majority of alarms fail to deliver much ‘security’.

Slow, or non-existent, alarm response coupled with what could most politely be referred to as ‘poor service’ has served to paint the alarm industry with a fairly negative brush.

I wrote my thoughts on the article in my last blog post… pointing out that the faults that Sullivan listed are actually worse than he described (fortunately, they are also all solvable… most effectively through five minute proofing).

I ended up speaking with him later in the week for a follow-up story that was prompted by the flood of feedback that he received.

Sullivan divided the people from whom he received feedback from as following into one of three groups: Technologists, Pessimists and Pragmatists. Fortunately, I was considered one of the Pragmatists.

Here’s an excerpt of where Provident is mentioned… (click here to read the full article)

“Michael Jagger, the president of Provident Security in Vancouver, British Columbia, said his company had a different model to respond to alarms: it has 6,000 customers but they all live in particular neighborhoods that the company monitors closely. As soon as an alarm goes off, one of the company’s cars responds in under five minutes, charging $35 unless the homeowner reports a false alarm.

Even though his company can respond quickly, he said, he still instructed clients on how to secure their valuables until someone arrived. His “five-minute fixes” were often ingenious and would work to confound any crook.

He suggested putting a deadbolt lock on your master bedroom. However unsightly this may be, he said master bedrooms are the first place burglars go to look for jewelry and money. While they could still break down the door, the lock will slow them.

Similarly, he suggested people with alarms put poles in their sliding glass doors that are two inches too short. That way, when the burglar tries to force the door open, he will trip the alarm but still be stuck outside. (People without alarms might try putting a thick washer at the top of the slider to keep the crook from lifting it off the track.)

To keep your high-end plasma-screen televisions on the wall, Mr. Jagger said people should use a bicycle lock to attach the TV to the mounting bracket. Yes, the burglars may still rip the TV off the wall, lock and all, but it will take them a bit of time. The same goes for bolting down computers and safes. If they’re not fastened to the floor they are easy to take out.

“An alarm is not a deterrent in and of itself – despite what most other security companies will try to suggest,” Mr. Jagger said. “Because we know that we can get to your place within five minutes, you need to ensure that from the point at which your alarm trips and sends us a signal, it will take a burglar at least five minutes to get to what you are trying to protect.”

Provident’s response time may be unique to its neighborhood model. But the notion of delaying burglars with these simple solutions could reduce what they steal from anyone’s home.”

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