Monday, April 24, 2006
Don't be alarmed, it's just me breaking into your house! (a small book of 2 chapters)
Last night I had my first experience responding to an alarm... coming from MY house!
Several weeks ago I had the system installed. Shortly thereafter, I inadvertently set the thing off myself by unconsciously opening the shop door after having set the alarm from the front.
Force of habit I suppose - lock up, grab some stuff from the shop and leave.
Yesterday, however, was a different story. I was across town at the time. My cell phone rang, and to my surprise it was the alarm company!
"We’re receiving a general alarm from your residence. Are you at home?"
"Would you like us to dispatch?"
Um... yes please!
I wasn't as much panicked, as I was strangely curious. After all, if someone's breaking into my house, I probably don't want a confrontation with them. Best they do their thing and let the authorities do theirs.
I raced home to find the alarm no longer sounding and all doors in tact, no signs of forced entry.
I called the alarm company.
My first reaction was perhaps the cats had set off one of the motion detectors.
The alarm was set off in zone 2, which is the front door. I couldn't figure it out. Unless someone had a key, or forced the door, the sensor wouldn't go off.
The lady at the dispatch centre told me that if someone were to try the door – with it locked – sometimes there’s enough play in the door to set off the alarm.
The responding security guy showed up, checked the property, doors, windows etc. and said the authorities wouldn’t likely respond to do fingerprint tests and such UNLESS there were signs of a break-and-enter.
I went to bed – really curious as to why my alarm went off.
It seems a fellow can have vast numbers of friends – especially nearing the end of the month – when he owns a van, truck or any kind of sizeable vehicle. I say this in jest, of course, because I would willingly help anyone I know move. It’s just interesting to see the telephone traffic increase as the month comes to a close.
At 10:30 yesterday morning my friend J. phoned. He said:
“It was my wife’s idea to call you… thinking you might be able to help us out. I have a buddy who’s moving…”
Yes, J., you may borrow the van.
So, we swapped vehicles. My one-ton milk wagon for his… “FAM-I-LY CAR”… well, minivan.
He ran off to do his thing, I ran off to do mine. The plan was that he would call me when he was done… all evening, no call.
Just as I was heading for home – late night around 10:30 or so – the phone rang. It was the alarm company. (see Chapter One for details)
Once home and alarm dealt with, I received a message from J… from 6:30 that evening saying he was done. So, this morning I called, got S. on the phone.
S: “J. tried calling your cell and couldn’t get through.”
Oh Oh… D. forgot to give J. the new number!
D: “Well, I had all kinds of excitement here last night – as I was half way across town, the alarm company called to say my house alarm was going off!”
S: “I know. J. drove over to your place to see if you were home and let himself in to leave a note. He didn’t know you had an alarm!”
There were two keys on the ring I gave him – the van key and a house key.
You see, J. is a friend of mine who has worked for me over the years. With a family of two boys, a full time job and all sorts of other stuff going on, J. doesn’t have a lot of time to socialize. I see him… every couple months or so. Since our last visit I have changed cell phone numbers and added an alarm to the house. It never occurred to me to tell him about the alarm, and I’d had the new number for long enough I didn’t even think to mention it.
So… it appears I’ve found another use for a security system: It’s a great teacher of lessons.