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PIR Security Lighting - Helping The Burglars?
When it comes to security, we are often lead to believe that more is more. Home and business owners are bombarded with information on the countless measures they should take in order to protect their premises and deter burglars. This may seem like a good thing and in many instances it is but what if some of these measures are actually doing more harm than good. Many experts within the field are now coming out and warning against the dangers of ill thought out security lighting projects. More specifically, the idea that the position or type of lighting which is used could actually make it easier for a burglar to break into a building.
One of the major advantages to installing PIR security lighting outside your home or business is that it will deter some burglars. Obviously, the idea behind this concept is that a light which illuminates the outside of a building will also illuminate the criminal, making it much more likely that they will be seen by someone and therefore be caught in the act. This is especially true for lights which utilise motion PIR sensors and only come on when activated by movement. This is because neighbours are more likely to look and check when a light has been activated. Many people also use security lighting outside of their house as a way to secure the area for when they are arriving home. A well-lit entrance will alleviate any worries that there are potential burglars or muggers waiting in the shadows.
burglars are much more likely to say that security alarms, CCTV and adequate fortification e.g. locks, secure windows etc. are more important than lights
One of the main disadvantages to relying on security lighting as a deterrent to burglars is that it just doesn't work all of the time. Research has shown that when asked, burglars are much more likely to say that security alarms, CCTV and adequate fortification e.g. locks, secure windows etc. are more important than lights. In fact, in some cases security lighting can actually facilitate a robbery by making the entire process easier for the burglar. The idea that lighting can deter criminals because it makes it easier for them to be seen is also up for debate. When an outdoor light is on all of the time, there would be no reason for a neighbour to check the house in question. Even if a motion activated light is used, the neighbour may just assume it has been triggered by an animal or the weather, as so often happens. The truth is, security lighting has mixed results when it comes to alerting your neighbours to a potential break in.
Security lighting may not be the solution you were hoping it to be but it can still be a vital tool- when used with other deterrents. For example, a burglar may attempt to break into a home and in the process they trip the alarm, as well as a flood light. The alarm may then alert a neighbour who looks out the window and can see the scene clearly thanks to the light. Therefore the first solution is to diversify your security arsenal. This means using:
CCTV (or at least a dummy)
Strong doors and windows
and yes, Security lighting
Another way to get the most out of your lighting is to use it wisely. For example, if you are planning on going away for a week, don't leave your outdoor lights on continuously. This will only alert potential criminals to your absence. Instead, you can put them on a timer which means they come on when it's dark and switch off when the sun comes back out. Also, security lights aren't exclusive to the exterior of your property. If you get a blue light and put it in the room which faces out to the street it can mimic television lighting. Put this light on a timer to switch on and off at random intervals and you can trick anyone watching your house into thinking somebody is home. Finally, placement of your lights is crucial. Choose strategic places which are able to be seen by you and/or your neighbours. Any lights which illuminate unseen areas are only benefiting the burglar. Overall be vigilant and talk to your neighbours to make sure they are doing the same. If you are worried about burglary in your area, there are many websites online which can help.