In some situations, you may want to avoid alerting a burglar to the fact that you have activated your home security alarm. Perhaps a thief follows you home and confronts you outside your home; he then follows you inside, insisting you disable your home security system. Or maybe someone is threatening your family and you worry that the alarm will incite violence, rather than scaring the thief away. Luckily, many home security systems provide duress codes that can be programmed to turn off the alarm, while sending a signal to your security provider and local law enforcement.
A duress code is a four-digit code that sends out a silent alarm. This is similar to what banks and convenient stores use in case of a robbery. Contact your security company to inquire about duress code setup. This system is meant to make intruders think that the system has been deactivated. The alarm may appear to turn off or perhaps actually say, "System disarmed."
Make sure your duress code is different from your main master code. The duress code will let your security provider know that the signal is serious. Police take duress signals very seriously; even if you call and tell them that you accidentally keyed it in, they will most likely still show up. They may send more than one squad car. Be ready to come out with your hands up. Only give your duress code to your family or people that you really trust.
Catching the Crook
One successful tale of the duress code being used is that of Gert Boyle. When a robber entered her home, she told him she had to disable her alarm system. She entered her duress code instead. When the police arrived, she was tied up and the robber escaped temporarily, but was quickly apprehended.
Sending a silent distress call can save your family from harm or cause the robbers to be apprehended, rather than scared away. An alarm lets the robber know police are on the way and sometimes gives them the opportunity to escape. Setting up a duress code can only make you safer, if used appropriately. Contact your security provider to set one up.