Once upon a time, I bought a pair of Jordan Brand shoes. I thought I was so cool. Unfortunately, I had unknowingly bought a pair that were fake. It took me the better part of a year before a friend notified me that the sweet shoes I’d been rocking were actually some knockoffs. I was deflated.
Why did it take me so long to realize? I was young and in my defense, the knockoff Jordan’s were incredibly well made, copying their authentic counterparts so well that you had to actually scrutinize the shoes to notice they were fake. But most importantly, I didn’t know better.
It’s the same deal in home security; there are a number of fake, or “dummy”, products that homeowners use in the hopes that the burglars don’t know any better. Want to make it look like you own a security system, when you actually don’t? How about having it appear someone is home when no one is present?
There’s a growing market of dummy security products, but there’s always going to be a question of effectiveness. Let’s look at some of the most common fakes that you might come across.
Ever look around a department or convenience store and get the eerie (or paranoid) feeling that the cameras are following you? Whether they’re real cameras or not, that’s the same reason for dummy cameras. You want burglars to feel like someone has their eyes on them. In most cases, if they see a camera, they’re going to turn around.
Dummy cameras are cheap, especially in comparison to a real functioning camera. But a note of caution: a clever, savvy burglar may inspect the camera more closely. If they notice it’s a fake, it may give them the green light to break into a home.
TV Light Simulator
TV Light Simulators aim to make it look like someone is home by recreating the lighting that projects from a TV. Burglars count on homes being empty during their break-in to make it easier to just get in and get out. If it looks like someone is home, they’ll avoid it more often than not.
A TV Light Simulator is inexpensive, both upfront and in the long-run. Leaving your regular TV on will consume a lot of energy and jacking up your electricity bill. In comparison, simulators draw very little power, some claiming to only consume power equal to that of a nightlight!
Yard signs aren’t necessarily fakes, but many users purchase and display them without actually owning a security system. In that sense, the goal of yard signs is same as other fake home security products: to deter burglars.
The Final Verdict
When it’s all said and done, the effectiveness and whether or not you should invest in fake security products comes down to your personal situation. The safety of your area, your belongings and your personal level of concern all play huge factors.
However, keep in mind that dummy security products are no substitutes for an actual home security system. Many burglars will be deterred by the presence of a yard sign, camera and/or lights, but not all of them are oblivious. All it takes is one observant, careful burglar to ruin things.
Instead, dummy security products serve well as supplements to your system. If a security camera isn’t in your budget, get a dummy camera to act as a deterrent. And if that doesn’t effectively turn the burglar away, you’ll be comforted to know that your real security system is in place, ready to protect your home.