June 04, 2010
| by Julie Jacobson
It seems the fine folks on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family” just can’t get their technology right.
First, Phil can’t get his universal remote to work. If that’s not life-threatening enough (we’ve all read about remote-related violence), Phil’s father-in-law Jay makes a potentially dangerous mistake with his security system: the keypad is installed outside, next to the front door!
Generally, we recommend that security keypads be installed inside, and out of sight of would-be intruders. It’s bad enough that criminals can see the green ready-to-arm light from a distance. Imagine the secrets they can unlock when they get their grimy hands on the controls.
10 Reasons NOT to Install a Security Keypad Outside
1. Rain and extreme temperatures can damage the product.
2. Bad guys can quickly ascertain if the alarm system is armed or disarmed.
3. Visitors can determine which zones are shunted via the LCD read-out: “Bedroom Window Open.” So much easier than casing the joint!
4. The neighbor kids might mistake the keypad for a an intercom, doorbell or plaything.
5. The security installer can enter your password and head straight to the cookie jar.
6. Other visitors can try security defaults like 1-1-1-1 or 1-2-3-4.
7. Homeowners have to go outside to arm the system for the night. In the case of Jay on “Modern Family”, the neighbors really don’t want to see him in boxers. His wife, Gloria, is another story.
8. A decent security keypad – this one looks like a GE Security – sells for about $150 and a bad guy could hawk it for maybe $50. It’s much easier than stealing and reselling a bulky kid’s bike that was left on the front lawn.
9. Mosquitoes, ants, spiders and other pests might take refuge in the warm, buzzing underbelly of the keypad case, disabling the product and scaring the women and children.
10. As for product placements, keypads installed inside the house (as in Phil’s home below) are likely to get more air time.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.