Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fog or Shotgun: What Is an Effective Deterrent?

Lately there has been an increase in crime in my old neighborhood. Murder, house burglaries, assaults, etc. It's been bothering me to the point that last night I thought someone had broken into our house. (Note: when your hearing is as bad as mine, you'll think any creak is something much louder that you're missing.) This morning I read a post at The Hardware Aisle (one of the This Old House blogs) that may prove to be a good way to deter thieves. Or, it could be a good way to surprise your wife when she returns from the grocery store or for the kids on Halloween.

The Hardware Aisle: Let's smoke 'em out: "hit 'em with the FogSHIELD—an add-on to your home security system that releases a blinding blanket of fog to stop thieves in their tracks. When an intruder triggers the alarm, water mixes in the FogSHIELD's glycol canister to generate enough dry, non-toxic fog to cover 2,000 square feet in less than 15 seconds. It dissipates 45 minutes later, leaving your furniture unsullied and your electronics intact.
But since the $4,200 system includes a cartridge that can fire off 15 times, you may want to break into your own house once in a while—to distinguish it against real smoke, this fog has what its makers call a 'pleasant, minty aroma.'"
Then again, maybe a picture on the front door of you holding your sawed-off shotgun might be a more effective deterrent. Writer Mark Steyn believes that the low rate of burglaries in his home state of New Hampshire is inversely proportional to the high rate of gun ownership. Don't think that works in LA, though. Might just mean more guns being stolen from houses. I think I'll opt for the fog.

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