The other morning, I was heading out for the office when I realized that I had forgotten something and had to go back into the house for minute. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had already reset the alarm, which I activated upon re-entry.
I quickly punched in the code, spoke to my wife and headed back out. Before I made it very far, my cell phone started ringing but I was unable to answer it before it went to voicemail. It was an 800 number, which made me think it was an automated response to the alarm. It had only been on for a second or two, so I didn’t really think that it had caused the security company to jump into response mode. That is until my parents called asking if everything was OK. They had received a call from an actual person about our alarm going off.
I realized I had better call and let my wife know that the police might show up. Unfortunately, it was too late. My wife answered the phone with a “is that you at the door?” I responded that it was probably the police. It was, and they were very polite about the misunderstanding (I think the two crying kids in the background helped). It also, however, got me to thinking about police response time if there had been a problem.
Timing the incident from the moment that the alarm screamed its warning to the police pounding on the door was only about 10 minutes. That is an excellent response time, which I’ve found is pretty standard for my local police force. The time I called about a noise complaint, the responding officer arrived in about seven minutes.
However, seven to 10 minutes can seem like a very long time when you’re huddled in the safe room waiting for help. This is the greatest reason why you should have a home-defense plan in place. While it’s a major cliché the saying “when seconds count, police are only minutes away” is very true. Develop a plan and make sure everyone in the house knows his or her responsibilities in the event of an intruder.