Recently I found myself reading the Financial Times, which had a section on homes. No, I have not won the lottery, I just find houses of any size fascinating, especially the use of space and colours. Anyways, the article was about the new developments in home security and how the amount of money being spent on security is on the rise in London. First, some trends that remind us that “keeping up withe Jones’ is still alive and well:
“The trend for more muscular security has created a snowballing effect on the local market, be it London, New York or Hong Kong. If the new neighbours build a 10ft-high fence and yours is only nine, the thieves will target you, so you go and buy an 11ft one.”
Second, some of the new developments according to the FT:
“Coded water, which sprays the intruder, leaving them stained and traceable, mobile phone jammers and fibre optic motion sensors are all on the market.
“Some gadgets, such as the Smoke Cloak, were originally designed to protect high-value commercial premises, such as bullion storage facilities, and have been modified for the residential market. Described by its manufacturer as a leader in “fog solutions”, each unit costs a little over £2,000 to install and emits clouds of white smoke when triggered. A strobe light is then set off, battering the criminal’s sensory perceptions and leaving them choked, confused and disinclined to forge on.
“Other homeowners lean towards systems that keep them safe, rather than attack the intruder. Quintessentially, the upmarket concierge service, recently helped a customer construct a Batman-style cave in his basement, complete with a secret passage leading to his library. The door was bullet-proofed and he has supplies to last a month as well as a satellite phone.”
I have to say, there is a some innovation and creativity at work here, but some of it, I find a bit bizarre. The trend that I notice is a society growing in fear of each other, where spending £1 million on security for your home is not unheard of. Yes, ok, that is 5% of that particular home’s value (£18 million), but still it seems a bit absurd. Yes, safety and security of one’s assets and one’s family is important and should be a high priority, but building bigger walls to keep everyone out creates a world where we don’t talk to each other and leaves no space to engage and discover that our fears and self-generated for the most part and communities are more important than walls.