Throughout history, humans have been trying to find a way to defend their property. Weapons were wielded, pets were trained, walls were built and moats were dug. And yet, thieves and robbers somehow continued to find new ways to intrude onto properties.
Eventually, humans figured the best approach was to fight fire with fire and started employing others — security guards — to protect their property.
The first time someone hired a “security guard” most likely occurred in Ancient Rome, around AD 6. The Vigiles Urbani (“Watchmen of the City”), more commonly known as the Vigiles, were the firefighters and police of Rome. They are largely credited as the first group to serve as security personnel.
The Vigiles’ served primarily as firefighters, but also had the responsibility of acting as Rome’s police force. They were tasked with catching thieves and robbers and being on the lookout for instances of minor crimes, such as disturbance of peace.
Rise of the Bodyguard
Many years later, during the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, property ownership boomed. As a result, there was an increase in the number of people who hired personal security guards. However, employing guards wasn’t cheap and, for the most part, those of wealth were the only ones who had access.
Today, security guards are more commonly found in businesses. Sure, you’ll see security details around the homes of celebrities, athletes, politicians and other high-profile personalities, but go to any corporate building or retail store and chances are you’ll see at least one security guard patrolling the premises.
Time for Technology
Security guards may be effective, but they’re certainly not the most practical solution for protecting your belongings; a more accessible solution was needed for homeowners.
Luckily, an inventor named Augustus Pope would patent the first electromagnetic alarm system in 1853, paving the way for the home security systems that we know today.
Next time on History of Home Security, we’ll take a look at Pope’s work and his contributions to the start of modern home security. See you then!