Security Pros Should Look in the Mirror When DIYs Criticize Industry

While SimpliSafe has little ground to stand on in its critiques, the electronic security industry does, in fact, need to step up its game.

(This blog post was written in response to a column by Security Sales & Integration Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine, who says DIY provider SimpliSafe went too far in its criticisms of the electronic security industry.)

We’ve brought this on ourselves.

We, the electronic security industry, created the commercials like the one at the top of the page that shows an “invisible blanket of protection” emanating from keypads and detectors. We use terms like “protection” instead of what we actually provide — detection.

We wait for consumer demand to force us to embrace new technology and techniques rather than demanding it from our manufacturers and central stations. When false alarms cause law enforcement to stop responding, we fight to force them to continue instead of embracing the same creativity it took to build this industry to solve the false alarm problem.

When we rate ourselves (SDM 100), we track statistics of recurring monthly revenue (RMR) and installation revenue instead of what matters to our clients — numbers of arrests and property protected.

Unfavorable press? Years ago in San Jose, Calif., the news report below gave us some terrible press, with the gem at the very end being that for an entire year, burglar alarm responses had resulted in a paltry two arrests. TWO! This was in San Jose, not Mayberry. Two arrests for an entire year is a far cry from an “invisible blanket of protection!”

We can take this criticism from this DIY competitor (who regularly shows that they don’t understand the difference between being “robbed” and being “burglarized”) as impetus to step up our game, to find technology and techniques to provide the results our clients expect. Unfortunately, we’re more likely to bash them for daring to smear us as “sneaky” while being sneaky and feckless themselves, albeit at reduced prices.

I write this with all humility and respect for the giants who went before us and created this industry from nothing. As we stand on their shoulders today, don’t we owe to it to their legacy to bring the same “can do” attitude to improving our industry to the point where there are vast differences between us and DIY?


Bio: Art Dunn is the director of Art Dunn Alarm Company.

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Tagged with: DIY General Industry

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