Alarm systems provide peace of mind in many ways: monitored protection against intrusion, fire, environmental hazards and conditions, to name just a few benefits. And with the latest interactive features, now even connectivity and control through on-line video and home automation services are just an app away. But when a public official has been targeted and nearly murdered by a gunman, as happened in Tucson, Arizona only nine months ago, home security takes on additional significance. That’s not just my opinion: it appears from this recent news report that the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) is in full agreement.
In a unanimous vote, the Federal Election Commission on Thursday allowed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to use campaign funds to install enhanced security measures at her home. Giffords’s campaign asked the agency whether she may use campaign funds to defray the installation cost of additional security measures in her Tucson home.
Improving Home Security Matters
As a reminder, Giffords was one of nineteen people shot, six of them fatally, last January during an open meeting with her constituents in a Safeway parking lot. Much of the US has watched her recovery from being shot through the head at point blank range – culminating in her dramatic appearance on the House floor for the August 1 vote on the debt ceiling. It was heart-warming to see both sides of the aisle give a minutes-long standing ovation on her return. Here is more on her status:
Giffords was recently transferred to outpatient rehabilitation, allowing her to return to her family home when not undergoing rehabilitative therapy from the gunshot wound she suffered. With Giffords’s recovery, the U.S. Capitol Police issued several recommendations to protect the congresswoman’s safety at home. The recommendations included improved exterior lighting, safety locks and a duress alarm button. “We all hope that the alarm is never triggered,” said FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub. “This was perhaps the easiest request that we have gotten in the last three years.”
No Argument Here!
The FEC found that the home-security upgrades are a permissible “personal use.” The FEC concluded that expenses incurred from an enhanced security system were directly related to Giffords’s duties as a federal officeholder. Two previous FEC opinions established the precedent of using campaign funds to offset security costs for vulnerable federal officeholders. In these opinions, the FEC concluded that two threatened public representatives could use campaign funds to install or upgrade home-security systems.
It’s refreshing to see any unanimous decision made by a bipartisan committee these days, and we certainly like the fact that this ruling was made in favor of enhanced home security. Clearly the Giffords incident was a national tragedy, and was not a burglary: in the vast majority of home burglaries, the intruder and homeowner never meet face to face. However, a burglary does occur roughly every 14 seconds across the US, and having a monitored alarm system makes your home three times less likely to be targeted than your unprotected neighbor.
At FrontPoint, we are all about increasing your safety, security, and peace of mind. We’re the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US – and we earned that spot with technology, pricing, and customer satisfaction that leaves the others far behind. These days, you even have to worry about some of the alarm salesmen coming to your door! That’s why smart shoppers choose FrontPoint: safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. Just read the reviews, and you’ll want a FrontPoint system too. And personally, we are happy to see Rep. Giffords back in action.