August 21, 2015
A History of Home Security: The Early Years
Home alarm systems have been around a long time – a long, long, time. The very first “official” design, an electromagnetic alarm system, was patented in 1853!
However, the very concept of protecting your home can be traced even further back in time. Humans have always placed value on their property, dating back to the Stone Age, before the idea of “ownership” had even existed! Just take a look at how hard it is to get kids to share their toys; there’s an innate desire to protect what is yours.
So when did home security actually begin? Well, we’ll have to go all the way back in time to the aforementioned Stone Age.
Back to the Stone Age
Having to protect one’s property came out of pure necessity. Several eons ago, during the Stone Age, cavemen had it rough. They didn’t enjoy many of the comforts we have today, such as something simple as a door to keep dangerous creatures out. Every day was perilous, a constant battle for survival.
But when man has a will, man will find a way. Although nature was trying to kill the cavemen, nature was also providing them with the tools to defend themselves: rocks, branches, and anything else the cavemen could get their hands on. And eventually, they found a way to enhance and refine these tools to create more sophisticated weapons. Voila, the birth of home security.
From Weapons to Animals
Sometime around 30000 BCE (still in the Stone Age), after humans had mastered using basic weaponry, they began domesticating wolves. These newly domesticated wolves would eventually evolve to become the dogs we know and love today.
In the early stages of the domestication process, humans used wolves primarily for hunting and herding. But their loyal nature, along with their animal instincts also made them a natural fit for guard duty.
Using wolves for protection was also the first signs of home security that “alerted” inhabitants. Instead of having to be on the watch themselves, humans could let their guards down, relying more on the growls or barks of their pets to alert them of any potential dangers.
War, What Is It Good For?
So what came next for home security? One word: war.
Fast forward thousands of years and we’ll see the end of the Stone Age, and the rise of civilized society. And as civilizations rose, so did conflict. During this era of war, invasions and sieges, a number of defenses were created to keep invaders out. Many of these defenses were created solely for militaristic purposes, but were soon used (on a smaller scale) to protect personal property – many of which we’re still using today!
Check back next time we take a look at the history of home security, and we’ll see how walls, moats and gates helped to ward off unwanted guests.