How Do Burglars Disable Alarms? Learn the Tricks from a Real Thief!
This blog was update on January 31, 2020 with new product information.
Frontpoint’s security professionals are experts in their field, but sometimes it's useful to engage a less conventional resource. And who better than a burglar to teach you about protecting your home from theft? KSAT, a San Antonio news station, interviewed a former thief who dished professional burglar secrets, including how he would disable a home alarm from the outside.
KSAT reported, “He was a thief for over a decade, robbing houses for a quick payday. His first name is Mark, and he doesn’t want his last name known. Mark said he’s probably broken into more than 100 houses.”
The news station chose a random house and tasked Mark with figuring out “exactly how he would rob the home and show what the homeowner is doing right—and doing wrong.”
How a thief
chooses which home to target
Keeping up with the Joneses may seem like a harmless neighborhood competition, but burglars take note of home appearances. When Mark was assessing the home, he noted, “Homes that show valuables, whether it be nice toys in the yard or expensive furniture on the porch, suggest nicer stuff inside.”
A person’s online presence can also tip off a thief. “Social media helps, too. Someone who writes that they’re ‘on vacation’ makes their house an easy target,” Mark said. In fact, avoiding social media is our number-one tip for keeping your home safe while on vacation.
How do burglars
Next, Mark set out to disable the home’s security system. Since the family was using a traditional alarm system that relies on a phone line, Mark explained that he would disable it by simply cutting the wire, rendering the system useless.
“I try to cut the main wires to the power supply, and after that, the telephone wires. Most alarm systems send a signal through phone lines when someone breaks in.”
While a home invader can’t cut alarm wires to disable a wireless alarm system, there is a tactic called “crash and smash” whereby a thief could “crash” into your house via a window or door and “smash” your security system before the alarm company can be notified.
But with a smash-proof system like the Frontpoint Hub and Keypad, the alarm company will still be notified—even if the system has been completely destroyed. The Hub and Keypad also feature an encrypted connection, further bolstering your home’s privacy and protection.
Frontpoint tracks when your system is armed, and when your sensor-equipped doors open or close. If a door opens and the armed alarm is not activated, Frontpoint can tell that something has interfered with the system.
Another way criminals may try to defeat burglar alarms is through wireless alarm jammers. These very expensive devices are sometimes able to block cellular signals, such as the ones used in wireless home security systems. But due to the high cost of cell jammers, wire cutters are still the tool of choice for thieves.
Finally, a thief may be able to bypass your security system if the backup battery is dead. Control panels are typically plugged in and have a backup battery in case of an electric outage. You don't have to worry about your security system immediately dying each time a summer storm knocks the power out, though, since backup batteries can last for extended periods.
Don’t flaunt your valuables around your yard or inside your house. Use window treatments or curtains to hide the inside of your home from potential burglars. Put high-value items (such as electronics and jewelry) in a secure, discreet location when you aren’t using them. Personal documents and bank records should be placed in a hidden safe for extra security.
Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.