What Lindsay Lohan can teach you about home security…

Lindsay Lohan

Reuters reported on Monday that Lindsay Lohan was the victim of a second burglary in less than 3 months in her Hollywood Hills home.

Apparently, the most recent burglary was discovered around 3am when Lohan came home to find her safe ripped out of a wall. Lohan’s father suggested the burglary was an inside job due to the fact that the alarm had not been armed by a member of her house staff.

Whether it was an inside job or not, leaving/forgetting to arm your alarm can create a major risk. However, if you are relying on other people to arm your alarm system in your home or business, there are a few things that you can do to minimize the risk of someone forgetting… or forgetting on purpose.

1. Partition your alarm system

Most alarm systems are capable of having at least a couple different ‘partitions’. A partition is a group of zones that can be armed/disarmed independently of other groups of zones (ie. other partitions). Most often, we use this feature to separate a basement suite or garage from the main house…. or a Manager’s office from the rest of a retail store.

In cases where clients have staff working in their homes, particularly when they are not home themselves, sensitive areas such as a home office, master bedroom closet, wine cellar or other similar areas can be armed independently. If a safe has been installed, we can either arm the safe itself, or the closet/room that it is installed in, to it’s own partition. This way, even if the main house alarm is not set, the safe is always armed and will trigger a response anytime that access is attempted. (For more details about security for your safe, click here.)

If it’s artwork that you need to protect, we can install sensors that will trip the alarm (with or without a siren) anytime that a painting, sculpture or anything else you’d like to protect gets moved… whether or not the rest of the alarm system is armed.

I discussed how we use this technology to look after paintings in a Global TV News story that was filmed after the UBC Museum of Anthropology was broken into last year. Click on the link below to watch a 50 second excerpt from that clip. (You can watch the entire clip here.)

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2. Set up ‘Supervised’ Openings & Closings

In commercial applications, Provident provides ‘supervision’ of the arming and disarming of client’s alarm systems.

The way this service works is that different staff members are assigned different permissions in our monitoring software. For example, while a business owner will be allowed to arm or disarm their business at anytime of the day or night that they please, a junior staff person may only be allowed to use their code between 8:30am and 7:00pm on weekdays. In the event that they attempt to use their code outside of those hours, we can either (1) program the alarm to simply deny access; or (2) allow access and send a silent alarm to the business owner to follow-up.

This service is also used to ensure that an alarm has been armed by a certain time. For example, if the last person out of your business typically leaves by 8:30pm, we can create an alarm that will automatically trip in the event that the alarm has not been armed by 9:00pm. If someone has forgotten to arm the system, we can either respond in person or remotely arm the alarm for you. Either way, the alarm is not left disarmed all night long.

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