With the continuing--and seemingly endless--high rate of crime against people and property, it's no wonder that my columns on home security elicit an above-average reader response.
This isn't surprising, with crime a major concern of people everywhere. What can the average homeowner do about such a complex subject as home security?
Plenty, according to security authorities Doug Kirkpatrick and Daniel J. Levine. Kirkpatrick has a new book out on home and auto security systems entitled the "Complete Guide to Home & Auto Burglar Alarms (Baker Publishing, P.O. Box 8322, Van Nuys, Calif. 91343, $13.95, including shipping). I'll summarize the book later in this column.
Levine, a West Hollywood-based electronics expert, will present a seminar on "Security Systems and Electronics for Home and Business" today from 1 to 9 p.m. at Los Angeles City College, 855 N. Vermont Ave. The session is one in a series of seminars for owner-builders organized by A.T. (Tom) Horsfall of Owner Builder Services, P.O. Box 3517, Alhambra 91803.
The $55 seminar covers such topics as closed-circuit TV, intercoms, sound systems, alarms and planning and integrating electronic systems with new construction and remodeling. More information can be obtained from the college's community services department at 213/666-1018.
The series of six seminars started Feb. 14 with "Owner as Contractor" and runs through "Natural Approach to Energy Efficiency" on April 4. The cost for all six sessions is $300, Horsfall said.
For 25 years, Levine has designed and supervised electronics systems in residential and commercial buildings, including Bunker Hill Towers, Barrington Plaza Apartments, the One Wilshire office building, several hotels in Las Vegas and numerous private residences.
Kirkpatrick's description of plastic security windows ran in my April 13, 1986, column. His latest book deals with other aspects of residential and automotive security, including planning a security system, the different kinds of systems available, how to install alarm systems and how to choose an alarm system company.
"Burglar alarm systems protect only 5% of the home and vehicles in this country," said Kirkpatrick, who learned about security systems after his San Fernando Valley house was burglarized twice. "It's unfortunate that many people do not think about an alarm system until after a crime has been committed and they suffer a loss."
His book is quite detailed in its descriptions of alarm system installations. If you're handy with electronics, you can probably install an alarm system yourself. If you're not, at least the book will show you what is involved so you won't be a complete innocent when the professionals come around to install the system.