Crash and SmashEven the words crash and smash sound terrible when used in conjunction with your home and it is something you are likely to hear when speaking to a security company looking to install a monitored security system in your home.

It is one of the favored methods by burglars to gain entry and stop an alarm system sounding the alarm and sending a notification to a monitoring company or if it is self monitored to the phones of the people programmed into the system.

First the intruder crashes through a point of entry normally the front door. They then locate the alarm panel and destroy it with a hammer or anything else to stop it. Most systems have an entry delay between an entry sensor being triggered and the system sounding the alarm of between 30 – 60 seconds giving the criminal the time needed to destroy the control panel.

There are a number of ways that have been devised to detect and/or prevent this tactic from being successful.

1. Separate Control Panel And Key Pad

The Simplisafe home security system has separated the internal workings of the control panel from the key pad. Therefore with the keypad installed near the entry point and the “brains” located in a different place, when the criminal destroys the keypad the system continues the countdown to sound the alarm get the signal out to the monitoring center.

The keypad and base unit (brains) communicate wirelessly so there are no wires to cut. The signal is sent to the monitoring center by cellular network so even if the phone line has been cut the signal gets out regardless.

2. Crash and Smash Technology

The Frontpoint system has the detection of this event built in. When the door is opened either by home owner or forced opened by a criminal a signal is sent to the monitoring center to let them know and to expect the security code to be entered within the entry delay time. During this time the criminal may smash the control panel to stop it counting down.

However, if the code is not entered within the delay time this is notified to the monitoring center and they take action to determine the cause and dispatch the police as required.

3. No Entry Delay

Many systems today don’t require you to enter a code on a keypad. You can use your mobile phone or a remote control to arm/disarm the system from your driveway with some even using geolocation capability of the phone to arm/disarm the system automatically.

These systems do away with a keypad and have a hub that controls the system which can be put anywhere as long as there is a socket and the signal can reach the security devices and a wireless router. To prevent them being smashed they could be locked away although most people put on a shelf as they often don’t look like they have anything to do with a security system.

With this type of capability there is no longer any need for a delay, so the alarm can be sounded as soon as the door is opened and signal sent out.

DIY Home security Systems that offer this functionality as well as a keypad are the Fortress GSM-b wireless security system, PiSector GS08-M wireless security system. The Scout Alarm System (an internet based system with cellular back up) has no keypad at all and is all controlled with your smartphone. These systems are all self-monitored (although Scout can be professionally monitored if you want).

4. Harden The Door

Although this will only slow someone down that is committed to gain entry for many criminals it will be enough to stop them. Most of them are looking for an easy option and the harder you make it for them to gain entry the more likely they are to give up and move on.

The basics requirements of this is that the door is solid and doesn’t have a window in it or next to it A window makes it easy to smash a window and put an arm inside to unlock the door.

The lock is often the weakest point in the door especially when it doesn’t extend far enough into a solid frame. As minimum you should have deadbolt that extends at least an inch into the frame.

And then there is frame and door jamb which can be hardened to prevent it splitting by using 3 inch screws that properly secure the jamb to the frame and be made of galvanized steel, along with a strip of metal on the frame making it much harder to break as it is less likely to split..

Although the crash and smash can’t be fully prevented it can be reduced with the hardening of the door, or it can be detected using technology with crash and smash technology, or the criminal only destroys the keypad and the alarm is sounded anyway or there is no timer delay to give the criminal time to act.

Filed under: Buying Advice

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