The Alarm System – A History of Home Security

alarm system

People have always been concerned with their personal and home safety – starting with the cavemen who set their shelters in caves predators could not access.

Throughout time, this preoccupation has manifested in different forms, according to the available means, and it’s fascinating to find out how people found new ways of protecting their households and how they perfected them.

In what follows, we’ll try to draw a timeline consisting of main events in recent history which influenced the development of household security systems.

Home Security Started with Sound

When you hear a different sound than the ones you’re used to, your instinct tells you to pay attention immediately.

So, it’s the most natural move to design an alarm system based on some sound-triggered mechanism.

The first such system was built mid-18th century by Tildesley, an English inventor. He was said to have put together an assembly of bells/chimes which were connected to a door lock. Once someone used the door, the mechanical setting would produce an alerting sound.

home security

Home Alarms Get Powered up

1853 is the year home security got more intricate and reliable, with the invention of the patented, electricity-powered alarm by Augustus Russell Pope in Boston, MA.

Four years later, Edwin Holmes took Pope’s concept and founded what it is considered to be the first home security company. The new concept integrated electromagnetic and mechanical applications.

In the Business

The year 1871 saw the foundation of the American District Telegraph, which enabled a central monitoring system that would also use alarms. This way, police and fire services could be alerted of burglaries or emergencies using the telephone wires.

Edwin Holmes’s pioneering home security company was bought by The American Telephone and Telegraph company, thus paving the way for the mass distribution of security technologies.

Information, Awareness and the Last Decades

Once information was more and more accessible to the large public, home safety devices commerce was accompanied by campaigns of awareness raising.

Video surveillance started to be a matter of interest, especially with the issues the post-war era was carrying. 1966 marked the breakthrough of Marie van Brittan Brown‘s first home security video system. This system also made it possible for doors to be opened using a remote only.

home security

After a Canadian study revealed the life-saving potential of fire and smoke detectors in 1963, alarm systems providers added fire alert devices to their services.

In 1970, cameras which moved down a track were employed to ensure the view of a home exterior. They were connected to a panel incorporating intercoms, door lock switches or alarm buttons.

As the millennial milestone was approaching, home security encompassed more and more technologies (like fibre optics, for instance). Even more so, the 90’s came with a significant drop in prices, which led to more homeowners having access to surveillance systems.

The Best Is Yet to Come

We’re currently at that point where a few taps on our smartphones’ displays activate, deactivate and customize our home surveillance experiences.

At Lockrite, we value all the work which has been put into the development of this industry and seek to offer smart home security services by partnering with the Yale Smart Security locks. 

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