I find this alarming. The device we love to hate!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Professionals.

I love statistics and I often poll my clients to see how they feel about home related items...

I conducted this poll of my last 21 listings that have alarm systems; 

Paul Henderson. ©2012, All Rights Reserved

  • Out of the 21 houses;only 20% use the system daily.
  • Out of the 21 houses; 17 paid for monitoring, average cost $24 per month...
  • Out of the 21 houses; 4 knew what doors and windows were covered...
  • Out of the 21 houses; 3 knew how to make temporary pass codes. 18 gave out the master code...

Out of the 21 houses; The main reasons for getting the alarm system;

  • 6 homes couldn't remember
  • 6 homes said it was already installed
  • 7 homes said for Peace of Mind
  • 2 homes said they had been burglarized then bought their system

Out of the 17 monitored houses; only 8 could remember the emergency phrase to give if the alarm went off and the company called to verify. In those 8 homes; only 3 spouses also knew the code... 

  • 4 had been charged for false alarms by their city or county

The top five reasons for not using the alarm;

5. Can't afford the false alarm fee

4. Afraid it might go off

3. Forgot code

2. Just forget

And the number 1 reason

It's just too inconvenient!

After all of this only 4 homeowners could remember changing the locks on the doors after they purchased the house; how many changed the codes? 

How many keys are still out there?


This post was authored and picture was taken by Paul Henderson. ©2012, All Rights Reserved , This content may not be reproduced or reprinted (Except for ActiveRain Re-blogging) without express written permission of Paul HendersonRE/MAX Professionals, Tacoma, WA.

Posted by

 and courtesy of 

Paul S. Henderson, Residential Real Estate Broker 

Tacoma Washington 

Realtor ® BPOR, CRS, GRI, CDPE

RE/MAX Professionals

4801 S 19th Street, Suite 200

Tacoma WA. 98405



Paul's Service Area


As a Residential Broker and Relocation Specialist, I sell homes in or around ,Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Steilacoom,  University Place, DuPont and Hartstene Pointe in Washington State.
Please visit my website at Paul Henderson to search for homes and information 

(all information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed or warranted in any way)

Referrals are always welcomed and appreciated, Thank-you!

(As a member of the NWMLS, this blog post is intended to comply with NWMLS rules as pertaining to blogging.)





Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patsy Barten 07/18/2012 03:53 AM
  2. Jeremy Back 07/18/2012 06:15 AM
  3. Valerie Zinger 07/22/2012 12:30 AM
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Show All Comments
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.
False alarms happen all too often. I had one in my home back in 2005 and one night my daughter accidentally hit the fire button instead of the deactivate button. Needless to say the fire truck that showed up at our house wasn't too pleased.
Jul 18, 2012 02:51 AM #29
Carol Faaland-Kronmaier
Weichert, Realtors; Hillsborough - Hillsborough, NJ
PhD, e-PRO, Manville, Hillsborough, Somerset NJ

Paul, I saw this through Patsy's re-blog. I agree with many of these problems/difficulties when I used to have an alarm system. At installation it sound easy, but then issues usually arise.

Jul 18, 2012 04:02 AM #30
Phaedra Hubbard
My Florida Home Store - Clearwater, FL
Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor Real Estate Exper

Gives people peace of mind having an alarm system even though they dont use it half the time.

Jul 18, 2012 04:14 AM #31
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Interesting.  I find my clients either LOVE or aren't fans of alarm systems.  There is no real in between.  

Some folks are constantly armed, others have never used their systems, even if it came with the house.  Everyone has to have their own comfort zone with alarms.  

In terms of showing houses, I just HATE them, as they get set off even when I have the right code!  Meeting the police while showing homes is just not fun, nor does it help the home buying process, it just doesn't enhance the viewing when your ears are banging inside your head. 

So, we advise our sellers to have them turned off for showings for better market results and less false alarms.

All the best, Michelle

Jul 18, 2012 04:55 AM #32
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com

I have to say, that I am amoung the group that hates them.  Every since i came around the corner to find a police pointing a gun and me and my baby because of setting off the alarm - I hate them.

Jul 18, 2012 05:50 AM #33
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Interesting statistics.  I find it sort of funny how so many people don't really use the system for the full benefits.

Jul 18, 2012 05:52 AM #34
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192
BuyersAgentPortland.com | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

90% of the 21 home owners polled probably don't even know their own street address LOL.  I set my alarm every morning and evening -- with dry food in the a.m. and a little wet dog food in the p.m. ;-)

Jul 18, 2012 07:22 AM #35
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Those are some very interesting statistics. Here in manhattan I don't know of almost any apartment that has an alarm system in it. 

Jul 18, 2012 07:37 AM #36
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist
Yikes! Those are some really "alarming" statistics! Lol.
Jul 18, 2012 10:40 AM #37
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA
I've never had a security system and quite honestly in CENTRL PA most people don't.
Jul 18, 2012 11:43 AM #38
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Paul, I have one.  But my real alarm system is Willie the Labradoodle.  You'd never guess this creature is half poodle if you heard him from the other side of the door.

Jul 18, 2012 11:58 AM #39
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Fascinating statistics. It makes you wonder about the effectiveness of the alarm, doesn't it?
Jul 18, 2012 12:34 PM #40
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Paul, that is fascinating.  Now you've got me wondering about my clients.  I should ask them these questions.  I bet I'll find similar answers.  Good job.

Jul 18, 2012 01:08 PM #41
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

I've only tripped one alarm showing a house. They told me the wrong room the keypad was in. Took forever to find it.

Jul 18, 2012 01:09 PM #42
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Paul - People don't take security very seriously is what I take from your poll.

Jul 18, 2012 03:57 PM #43
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Paul,

I still remember vividly the night our alarm called the police!

We were terrified! It became apparent that someone had come in down stairs and was pushing codes on the computer screen. We could see it in our bedroom.

The police came, checked every room, asked about out teen aged children and finally left.

What was the cause? An electrical surge that made our screen light up!!!


Jul 18, 2012 06:13 PM #44
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Paul:  This is a good post and so timely.  We just read that the number of burglaries was up and that our area of the city has been hit.  We are being much more vigilant with the alarm.  We are paying for the service so not setting the alarm seems like a waste.  

Jul 18, 2012 09:56 PM #45
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Paul, I found this article very interesting. I was so surprised to see so few people actually use their alarm systems.  It makes you really wonder why they got them in the first place.  I know you said that 6 homes couldn't remember why they got theirs. In our area, we don't see too many homes with security systems. Great topic!

Jul 19, 2012 11:42 PM #46
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

We have an alarm system that we purchased shortly after buying the home. We remember the code and often set it... but not every day. Its a good habit to get it set up daily.

Jul 31, 2012 02:18 AM #47
Joshua Frederick
Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC - Defiance, OH
Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio

Test...... AR not working right.  Anyone experiencing problems with AR?  Mine has been stuck on same screen(s) for weeks.

Aug 13, 2012 08:07 PM #48
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