Panic switches come in a variety of ways. They can be as simple as this:
Or a bit more complex:
Or even more complex:
Although all of these devices are well and good, lighting up the house immediately or automatically calling a UL listed alarm monitoring center for help, sometimes it is not enough.
Last night at "0 dark thirty" the door bell rang. Occasionally friends will drop by unannounced at these hours, but it is not the norm.
Although I have all of these devices at my command the technology protecting myself and my house is myself in this instant. An older middle aged man ringing the door bell holding a one gallon gasoline can is asking for a half gallon of gas. The motion detector outside has already noticed the presence of him and has lit the garage door floodlights, the front yard lamp pole, the front porch light, and the interior foyer lamp. Looking through the side window at the front door, I see him and I get the story. Something is wrong. There is a convenience store 1/4 mile away and visible from the road.
I tell him I will call anyone he likes. He really lays it on that he needs a half gallon of gas. I offer to call the Sheriffs Office at this point. I am really not that concerned as he must get through the storm door and then the metal front door to get to me. I am however listening to the alarm for the presence of someone at the back door.
Oh, the storm door is not your average door. It is equipped with laminate security glass and three locking points, here is one of them:
As he continues to tell me his dire condition I hit the "all lights on" button. The house is awash in lights as all exterior lights and the majority of interior lights come on. Now he is belligerent and calmly says F**K YOU! and leaves my porch.
Ok, I had the last panic switch in my right hand all the time:
The telling thing was that after he left I lit it up with the mag light on my front porch and I noticed that two people were leaving! One was on the blind side of my door viewer and the side windows I am sure! I would have been bum rushed if I opened the door.
I called the Deputies and they promptly arrived. I told them where they were headed and a general description.
I really did not expect all of this here. So now some more work here is needed:
This is one of the nerve centers for the house. I will now add an intercom to replace the doorbell that will ring the phones in the house and I can have a two way conversation with anyone at the door on the telephone while not being at the door. I will also add cameras on the front and back doors that I can see from any TV in the house by selecting a routine cable channel.
Intercom looks like this on the porch:
Paranoid? I think not. The old joke is how many paranoid people does it take to change a light bulb? "Who wants to know".
I because of location am a target of opportunity. No one had to get in dire straights last night.
Rule # 1. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!