The Changing World of Burglar Alarms

As you settle down for the night and programme your hi tech, wireless burglar alarm it is worth spending a couple of minutes considering how lucky we are to live in an age in which keeping our home secure is easier than ever before.

If you think that this is an exaggeration then let’s take a look at the history of the burglar alarm and how far it has advanced in recent years.

The 19th Century Invention

Ok, so we won’t go quite as far back as the cavemen building camp fires and encouraging the presence of savage dogs to keep unwelcome guests at bay. It does conjure up a great image but instead we will skip ahead to the mid 19th century. This is when the first mechanical burglar alarm was invented.

Edwin Holmes is the name of our hero, and he invented a device which caused the jerking of a tripwire to set off a gong. It was simple and possibly not as effective as he might have hoped. The subsequent systems enhanced his original model but it remained a low tech, easily beaten type of alarm which was on offer.

At the start of the 20th century the company set up by Holmes was sold to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. With a new electrical grid in place in New York they could link the alarm systems to the police and fire departments and herald a new age in the history of burglar alarms.

False Alarms and Other Flaws

The system we just looked at has a lot of flaws, not least of which was the generation of a huge number of false alarms. This and the high cost associated with the systems kept down the number of owners compared to what we are used to seeing today. Towards the end of the 20th century big advances were made with the likes of motion sensors and infra red technology making burglar alarms more effective than ever before.

As the systems and the support networks become more comprehensive a strange thing happened; the prices fell. Thos caused the sales to rise and they became everyday items which any property owner could access. It isn’t clear at which point in time burglar alarms reached the critical point in which they became as popular as we see today.

In more recent times we have seen wireless systems which are highly customisable and can even be monitored and controlled from a long way away. It seems clear that we haven’t seen the end of the technological innovations in this area but we have reached a point at which most home owners feel comfortable with their alarm systems and know that they offer a high degree of security and peace of mind.

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