For as long as people have been building houses, people have been devising ways to keep those homes secure. And, more than likely, innovative attempts at home security predates houses.
Dogs are often what comes to mind when we thiink of primitive home security. But even more popular than doges were geese. And in some parts of the world, geese are still the first line of defense for home security systems. Did you know that in some Chinese provinces geese are even used for security at police stations?
Geese are fiercely territorial. They also have a well developed memory that allows them to differentiate between residents and visitors. And scientists have recently learned that geese see a much broader spectrum of color wavelengths than humans.
Medieval castles and estates make for interesting studies of historic security systems. Moats were often incorporated as a first line of defense. And they were also often used as channels for waste disposal, a rather unpleasant thought.
Exterior walls, known as curtain walls, were usually built of stone and masonary. They were often six feet thick or more, and had embedded points to deter the use of battering rams.
This made the gates or the gate house the vulnerable point. Castle architects addressed this with a double gate system that trapped the intruder. Trapdoors over the entrance were known as murder holes for good reason as rocks, animal dung, and boiling water or boiling oil was poured on to the intruder.
Efforts to thwart intruders has spawned innovation. In ancient Japan homes were built with “cricket floors.” This was an ingenuous and simplistic system that used a dropped subfloor with small nail like spikes inserted. When the subfloor was brought against the floor, a chirping noise happened when someone walked over the boards.
Reverend Augustus Russell Pope is credited with creation of the modern electric alarm system. He patented a battery-powered burglar alarm In 1853. The device was armed with a switch and tehn when a door or window was opened it would complete the circuit that caused a magnet to vibrate and ring a bell. Closing the window or door would not silence the alarm.
One of the more intriguing steps in alarm system evolution was the British gramophone burglar alarm. Like a gramophone, there was a small turntable record that played as soon as the needle was lowered.
Billed as a silent alarm, the mechanism was simple. The machine would be installed in the back room or vault at a bank. An electric cord with button was linked to tellers cages. When tripped the gramaphone play a pre-recorded message while simultaneously dialing 999, the direct line to the police department. When a police offer picked up the phone, they would hear a message that the bank was being robbed, and the address would be provided.
Baron Services is the premier home security in Bullhead City, Arizona and Colorado River Valley. So, for all your home or office security needs, all that is needed is just one phone call.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America