independent

Thursday 30 October 2014

It's 'after you' when the house alarm goes off

with Yvonne Joye

Published 19/01/2012 | 14:13

MY new year's resolution is to stop procrastinating. 2012 is going to be all about accomplishment. There will be no moaning or groaning, instead I am going to confront and address the object of my discontent. So too am I done with planning, this year is all about action!

It was timely therefore that, not long after the curtains opened on the New Year, this resolve was tested and it came in the shape of our house alarm.

We recently signed up to one of those security firms who virtually sleep in the bed with you to keep you safe. Well not quite, but such is the level of monitoring I expected that it was much the same thing. Of course, the whole business of having a centre of operations with flashing buttons whose only function was to watch over us, had, I must admit, an exclusive cachet to it. The thoroughness with which they registered our list of keyholders and the seriousness they allocated to the proper use of a panic button, all fed into my initial image of our home being an oasis of security in a world gone mad.

No burglar worth their salt would dare cross the threshold of our house, unless of course, he had a sociable disposition and was up to meeting all our friends and neighbours who would descend on the house on his first foray indoors.

So we paid out the big lump sum to get the thing in and all we had to do was pay a monthly maintenance fee and a monthly monitoring fee. A bit pricey it should be said, but hey who can put a price on security?

The first week of the New Year saw our first phone call from the crowd in operation central. (I was in my natural habitat, second only to my house – the shops). The alarm was going off and they wondered would it be possible for me to return home to check it. To check it? For what? A burglar? Sensing my confusion, they offered to call one of my keyholders so that instead of me putting my life in danger, I could opt for the life of my neighbour. We really didn't think this monitoring business through. I clarify things. Am I expected to depart from my safe haven to enter an empty house in which there is every possibility of a lurking, axe wielding murderer (OK, so my imagination may have got the better of me) What about the police, I ask but nobody wants to bother them unless it's for real. For real? It could just be the wind, they say. And this is what we are paying a monthly fee for?

Something's going to have to be done about this but I need to dwell on it a little while, make a plan, get the other half to do something — he's good at these things — because one thing's for sure, I am so not going to procrastinate on this one.

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