Rutgers study: Home alarms decrease crime

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NEWARK, N.J.--Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice released a study in February that found that residential burglar alarm systems decrease crime. Other studies have shown burglars avoid alarms systems, this study “focuses on alarm systems while scientifically ruling out other factors that could have impacted the crime rate.”

Researchers analyzed crime data from the Newark Police Department, which  “showed that a steady decrease in burglaries in Newark between 2001 and 2005 coincided with an increase in the number of registered home burglar alarms,” said study author Dr. Seungmug (a.k.a. Zech) Lee, in a prepared statement. “The study credits the alarms with the decrease in burglaries and the city’s overall crime rate.”

According to the study, an installed burglar alarm makes a dwelling less attractive to the would-be and active intruders and protects the home without displacing burglaries to nearby homes. In addition, the deterrent effect of alarms is felt in the community at large.

“Neighborhoods in which burglar alarms were densely installed have fewer incidents of residential burglaries than the neighborhoods with fewer burglar alarms,” the study noted.