What’s your delay?


In the majority of residential burglaries on the Westside, access is gained through the front door. As described in my post about the typical burglary, crooks tend to use a screwdriver or small crowbar to pry the door enough so that a good kick will break the door frame and allow easy access.

One of the reasons burglars choose the front door over other access points is they assume that you have an entry delay time on this door. In the vast majority of homes I see, this entry delay time is far too long… most often 30 seconds, but in some cases up to a minute or more.

The alarm system cannot tell the difference between you opening your door with a key and a crook breaking the door down… the net result is that when a crook uses the front door (or any door with an entry delay) he has a long head start on the response process. Once the alarm finally does trip at the conclusion of the entry delay, the system then needs to start dialing our central monitoring station and communicate with our receivers. This process takes between 30 and 45 seconds for most alarm control panels. It is at this point that our response teams are first notified of a problem at your home. Why give a crook such an easy head start?

Increasing the risk, many homes have several doors with entry and exit delays.  While this might offer greater convenience to you, it is often at the expense of reducing the effectiveness of your alarm system during an actual burglary.

What should you do?

1. Re-evaluate whether or not you need multiple “entry/exit” doors… ideally, you should restrict yourself to one door only so that all of the others can send an immediate alarm as soon as they open. The door that you do use should have the keypad located as close as possible.

2. Do you really need 30 seconds or more to get to your keypad? In many cases, we are changing the delay times on client systems to 10 seconds or less. From your “entry/exit” door, time yourself on how many seconds it actually takes you to get to your keypad… and then add no more than 2 seconds on top of that. Give us a call and let us know what your delay time should be set at. For most clients, we can dial into your system remotely and make the change for you right away.*

3. To maximize security, consider purchasing a remote keyfob for your keychain that will allow you to disarm your alarm system from outside your house. This way, you can disarm the system before you open the door which will allow you to completely eliminate the entry delay time.

* keep in mind that the entry delay and exit delay times are programmed separately…  we can still allow you 45 seconds to get out while changing your entry delay time to just 5 or 10 seconds.

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