16 November 2019

Fake Security Signs: Do They Make A Difference?

Take a walk through your neighbourhood, and chances are you’ll see a host of alarm company signs that are put on lawns, or brand logo decals stuck on windows. This is something that’s increasingly popular, as many homeowners tend to put warning signs that a home is being monitored, thinking that it’ll scare any potential intruders away.

The thing is, many of those homes don’t have any kind of monitoring. The owners just ordered the decals and warning signs online and put them there. Why is this, you may ask? Well, there are a couple of reasons for that, which we’ll discuss below.

Do such signs make any difference? Okay, yes, they do, but is it enough? Let’s find out.

Are there any benefits?

Even though fake security signs are very far from the best, most effective way of protecting your property, it’s still better than no security at all. It will make somewhat of a difference, and there are a few advantages.

First of all, there’s a lot less hassle involved than going with a genuine security system. All you have to do is order the signs and then put them outside your home. Compare this to the research of finding a security provider, choosing one of their home security systems, and then installing and maintaining everything, and you’ll see what we mean. This is one of the least labor-intensive security measures, but if we’re being honest, you get what you put into it, so it might not be the smartest idea.

Copyright: Unsplash | CC0 Public Domain

Then, you have the price. How much does a fake security sign cost? Anywhere between $5 and $25. How much does a real security system cost? Probably hundreds of dollars, even more, if you go for a premium provider with higher quality gear that has more features. Many people just don’t think that a high-end security system is worth it. Hint: it is very much worth it.

Last but not least, there are some situations where fake signs might be enough. This is a very limited number of situations though, but yes, sometimes they’re effective. As we mentioned, it’s better than doing nothing.

What about the risks?

It’s far from just benefits with fake signs. They also pose some serious risks, which is why it’s usually much better to stay away from them. If you’re going to put up security signs for a system you don’t really have, make sure you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into.

To begin with, they’re actually pretty easy to figure out that they’re fake. If someone is casing your place, all they need to do is do an online search and check whether the company you’re advertising even exists. If it does (which is another issue, but more on that below), a quick peek through the window or around a door is enough to show that there is no alarm keypad, no surveillance cameras, nothing. This will tell thieves that you don’t have a security system in place, which makes your home a target.

Copyright: Unsplash | CC0 Public Domain

Now, even if the company you’re advertising is legit, you could be using copyrighted material, i.e. their logo, without permission. And yes, this is a crime, and it may very well land you in legal trouble. If you’re doing this, check the laws in your state before you have those signs installed, they may be more trouble than they’re worth.

The largest issue with fake security signs is that they can be a costly mistake. According to the FBI’s crime statistics, a burglary happens in the USA every 23 seconds, which means you have around 3,757 of them per day. Add to that the fact that homeowners lose about $2500 per burglary, on average, which is twice, or three times the price of an average home security system. This is a lot of risks, and you can end up losing a lot more than you’d invest in a security system.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, if you’re lazy or you don’t want to spend the money, you could think that fake security signs are enough. However, that’s not the case, and you stand to lose quite a lot if someone notices they’re fake and goes in anyways.

There are plenty of alternatives if you don’t want to get a security provider, though. You can make your own system and add cameras, for example. This is a lot cheaper than it used to be and is a very good option for just about anyone. There’s a host of options, and you can even add motion sensors, smart locks, and video doorbells to add even more security. Or just get a dog. Your call. 
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