Truly personalized residential security is the only kind that really works

Residential security is important to all of us, so it’s no wonder that sales of burglar alarms and other home security systems – both monitored and unmonitored – have boomed in recent years.

Unfortunately, many of these systems don’t live up to their marketing hype. The reality is that alarms go off for no reason, or don’t go off when they should. Call centers don’t respond as agreed. Just look at customer service ratings for the largest home security company in the US.

The upshot is that homeowners stop using their security systems. Even in Silicon Valley, where median home prices in some zip codes are north of four million dollars, an estimated 90% of homes with security systems simply don’t use them. The most common complaints are that they’re inconvenient, don’t work as expected and are ugly. Sound familiar?

The challenge

Design a home security system that matches the family’s lifestyle and that they would be happy to use.

Our client was building a new multi-million-dollar home with a guest annex, and his company required that the new home be equipped with a security system. He couldn’t stand using the one installed in his current home, and made it clear to the architects that the new system would have to be all but invisible and work far better than the one he had.

After the architectural team had tried and failed to achieve an acceptable solution with a security system integrator, they called us. Could AS Solution help design a security system for the new home that would meet the client’s requirements for a customized system that was also aesthetically pleasing?

The solution

A solid understanding of the family’s personal preferences – and close cooperation with architects, contractors and suppliers.

We began by conducting an RTVA, which indicated that home invasion was the most significant risk, even in the upscale neighborhood where the new home was being built.

We then worked with the family to better understand their vision of the ideal security setup and their personal preferences. Where were the pain points of their current system? What were the rhythms of their day and week? How did they like to receive guests? Did they prefer to see who was at the door through a window or via a security camera? What would they do first in case they heard an alarm go off in the middle of the night?

The answers to these and many other questions enabled us to create a security concept that we first tested and refined with the family, then used as our “bible” to work closely with architects, contractors and suppliers. To strike the right balance between aesthetics, lifestyle and security, some doors and windows were manufactured according to our specifications, and all security hardware was installed effectively yet unobtrusively.

The result

A customized security system that the family enjoys using.

Staying true to the family’s lifestyle while respecting architectural ideals and security best practices is only possible through close cooperation, clear communication and good planning. But when all stakeholders commit to this goal from the start of the building project, rather than taking security on at the end, successful outcomes are much more likely. As was the case here.

The family now has a highly effective security system that is designed around their lifestyle. They and their architects like that it is basically invisible. We like that it is so simple to live with and so aligned with their personal preferences that it actually gets used and serves its purpose: keeping the family safe, happy and productive while at home.