The novelty still hasn’t worn off

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Security, in case you hadn’t noticed, is everywhere. Now I know this isn’t news to any of you, but for me, talking with people in the industry was a real eye-opener.

I knew about increased port and airport security, of course. We hear about that type of security nearly every day. The security I’ve only recently become cognizant of is the camera strategically positioned in the corner above the cash register at the local convenience store or discreet (and yet not so discreet) signs planted on the lawns of some of my neighbors.

The fact that security is ubiquitous is telling. Sept. 11 notwithstanding, it’s safe to say the world has changed considerably in the last 25 or so years.

When I was growing up in a small town in Maine, we rarely locked the doors to our house or cars. Maybe at night. Nearly everyone in my neighborhood knew each other. So much so that if I stepped out of line, the odds were pretty good that my parents would know about it before I got home. Burglaries were virtually unheard of.

Because of this, I always thought security systems were only for businesses and rich people, but now I know better.

Nearly everyone I know who still lives in my hometown - including my parents - has had either their home or car broken into at some time. This is why I now lock my door even when I’m just going for a walk in my neighborhood because, well, you just never know.

Even knowing a few people who have been burglarized wasn’t enough to make me realize the role security plays in everyday life. That realization came only after I started covering the industry.

It’s like when you get a new car. Suddenly, you start seeing similar models everywhere. Everyone is driving your car, it seems. But eventually, once the newness wears off, you don’t notice all the other cars like yours on the road anymore.

Well, almost a year after joining Security Systems News, I’m still waiting for that novelty to wear off the security industry for me. But judging from the breadth and depth of news and products I encounter on a monthly basis, I’m guessing it’s going to be a while.