Will Jokes Deter A Criminal?
If your neighbors on both sides have home security signs on their property and you don't, whose house do you think a thief will target? Sure, he knows that the signs may not indicate the presence of an alarm. Sure, he's aware that many people post those signs just to discourage people like him from breaking in. He's not feeling lucky though. He's going to your house because at least there he knows that there's no alarm standing by on a hair-trigger.
Should you post security signs? It's up to you. If you have an active security system, the installers probably put up the signs for you. And, if you don't have one, you may feel a bit safer if you put up a few signs to scare off potential thieves. But have you thought about the thief who lives nearby? This is the neighborhood thief, the one you'd never suspect. He sees your neighbor come and go, always stopping to arm and disarm his security system. He sees you going in and out of your house without pausing, pulling the front door behind you as you juggle your briefcase and coffee cup. It's easy to see that there's no alarm system in place, just by his daily, casual glance.
Some people take a humorous approach to security. They put up signs like these.
"The dog's okay, but watch out for the wife!"
"Attack cat on duty!"
"Guarded by Smith and Wesson!"
Amusing as these signs are, they wouldn't stop a thief from picking that house rather than homes with authentic security stickers. The thief isn’t just out for a stroll. He's looking for an unprotected home. He's in a great hurry. These signs are more likely to assure him that you're unprotected than to make him laugh out loud. If you're counting on his uncontrollable laughter to alert your watchdog, dream on! How amusing would it be to have someone enter your home and shake up your world? Victims of robberies generally report that the worst part of being robbed is the sense of invasion it engenders. Some people have trouble trying to relax and trust others after the trauma of being robbed. You can put up all the horns, speakers, lights, and fake cameras you like and hope for the best. But what possible reason could people have for not erecting signs if they do have an alarm system?
Unlikely as it seems, some home alarm customers prefer not to display their signs. There are three main reasons for this. First, the socially conscious alarm owner may prefer not to advertise his prosperity. He may feel guilty, on some level, about the fact that he has things worth stealing. Many people who grow up in poverty have a fixed idea that money is dirty and the rich are evil. They feel that people will either envy or despise them for what they have achieved in life. This is a deep, emotional response, and it doesn't yield easily to contrary arguments. But at least this unassuming homeowner knows he is protected, even if no one else does.
The second homeowner who doesn't want security signs on his property is the one who feels that his home is his castle. He thinks this entitles him to bear arms in self-defense and the defense of his property. He may not know that he's in danger of being labeled a vigilante if he shoots a thief who presents no physical threat to him. There are cases on record in the USA of homeowners being imprisoned for shooting thieves during robberies.
The third homeowner who doesn't erect signs is the handyman who installs the system himself. He may have bought the system second hand. In this case, the original stickers are protecting the home of whoever bought it new. It's unlikely that a new system would come without stickers, but it is possible.
There are so many advantages to displaying home security signs that they far outweigh any disadvantages. It creates an illusion that can be life-saving.