SiKing

September 12, 2006

Security in a modern world – is there such a thing?

Filed under: eire,meatspace — SiKing @ 9:36 am
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Warning: another soapbox entry.

I love the security here in Ireland. Significant majority of houses and cars here have non-silent alarms. They go off all the time (day or night) everywhere, and nobody cares. Not one single Irish person, after hearing an alarm, has jumped up and said: “I had better call the garda, there might be someone breaking in there.” Not one, not ever! They have, however, uttered on occasion: “I hope that thief hurries up and steals that car already, so that the noise will stop.” So the only purpose that alarms serve is as an annoyance to your neighbours, but certainly not as a deterrent to thieves.

Yesterday, my amazement / annoyance reached a new high. My mother locked her keys in the house. When she returned home, she discovered that she left one of the second storey windows in the back open. She then set about trying to borrow a ladder from one of the neighbours, so that she could break into our own house. Thank ghod none of them had a ladder and she did not discover the one in our own back yard, as my mother is not one of the nimblest people that I know. However, one of the nice ladies next door, in a very neighbourly way of course, tells my mom: “Well, our neighbour’s keys open our house. So here, try ours and see if they will work.” Guess what? Of course they worked! Image

When I lived in New Hampshire, they took this same simple problem and solved it in a very simple way. First off, do not annoy your neighbours with stupid alarms. Nobody, including the thieves, cares! If you are worried, buy a gun. Second, to prevent yourself from locking your keys in the house, don’t lock the house. It’s that simple! In fact, when I owned a house out there, the back door lock did not ever work the one time I tried it. When I moved in, on the first day, my next door neighbour told me: “Anything you need feel free to borrow, whether I’m here or not. We don’t lock the doors. Just please put it back in the same place when you return it, so that I can find it again.” Another neighbour there, I have an open invitation to this day, to sleep over at their house anytime I am in the area, whether they are home or not! I will confess, that this was way out in the country and not in the city. I do not actually believe the city folk adopted this, admittedly extreme, solution.

Just in case you’re wondering: both my car and our house have dummies: pretty blinking lights, but that is about all. Image

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