There’s no arguing that ‘Home Alone’ is one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time and when you’re in the home security business, it holds an extra-special place in your heart. In fact, the original trailer for the film says, “They said he’s just a kid, but tonight he’s a home security system”. While we really want you to enjoy this holiday classic, we can’t help but point out a couple of home security quirks and some of the ways that Home Alone would be different in 2016.
The ‘Home Alone’ run down
In case you haven’t seen Home Alone, here’s the quick run-down. The McCallister’s are taking the entire family to Paris for Christmas, but through a series of unfortunate events, they forget their 8-year-old son, Kevin, at home. Meantime, career criminals Harry and Marv have cased the neighbourhood and the McCallister home is their ‘Silver Tuna’ – their big burglary. Unfortunately for them, Kevin is some kind of engineering genius and his clever plans and booby traps foil them at every turn.
The best you can do?
At the beginning of Home Alone, Harry the burglar shows up dressed as a cop under the pretense that he’s making sure everyone’s homes are secure before they go on vacation (Seriously?! What cop has time to make personal house calls? Anyway…). Kevin’s dad, Mr. McCallister, tells him, “Oh yeah, we got automatic timers, locks for the doors… That’s about the best that anyone can do these days.”
Whoa. Even in 1990 when the movie was filmed, there was a fair amount you could do with home security. Considering that the McCallister’s lived in a mini-mansion and took 15 people to Paris, you’d think that they would have had some better home security.
Downed phone lines are no match for today’s security
In the middle of the night, a storm breaks a tree branch which causes the power lines and phone lines to go down. While the power line is repaired right away, the phone line is going to take a few more days. This means that Kevin can’t make a call out and his parents can’t call him either. Depending on the security system, it may also have rendered it useless.
Thankfully, today’s home security systems can be monitored via a 3G radio network and cellular towers. That means that when the phone lines and WiFi go down, your security system stays up!
Answer the door, Kevin!
Kevin’s mom eventually convinces the police to go and check on her son. Unfortunately, when the policeman shows up at the door, Kevin is scared that it’s the burglars so he stays hidden under the bed. It’s too bad Kevin didn’t have a Skybell alarm system and an Ipad at his fingertips. Then he would have seen the cop standing at the door and could have saved himself a whole lot of trouble.
Foiling the ‘Wet Bandits’
Harry’s sidekick Marv is obsessed with making a name for themselves by leaving a ‘calling card’; he floods houses when they leave in an attempt to be dubbed “The Wet Bandits”. We regularly install environmental sensors in customer’s homes. If the McCallister’s neighbour had these sensors in their kitchen and basement, they would have received an alert right away that there was flooding in their house, allowing them to call someone to check the property.
A false sense of security
Perhaps the most alarming thing in Home Alone is the McCallister’s blase attitude towards home security in the first place. As we noted earlier, Kevin’s wealthy father thinks that lights on timers is plenty and that false sense of security continues throughout the family.
Megan McCallister: You’re not at all worried that something might happen to Kevin?
Buzz McCallister: No, for three reasons: A, I’m not that lucky. Two, we have smoke detectors and D, we live on the most boring street in the whole United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen. Period.
Put yourself in the burglar’s shoes. Are you likely to rob a house where everyone is expecting it or to pick the squeaky-clean street where everyone’s guard is down? Exactly.
Get to know your neighbours
Despite the fact that the McCallister’s seem to know several people on their block, they don’t know the old man who lives right beside them. ‘Old Man Marley’ is a nice guy who spends his free time shoveling and sanding the sidewalks, but the kids don’t know him and wrongly believe him to be a murderer. If Kevin had known him, he would have gone to him for help when Harry and Marv first tried to break into the house. In the end, it is Mr. Marley who comes to Kevin’s rescue, walloping Harry and Marv with his trusty shovel. Now if only Kevin had gone to him for help sooner.
If you’re going away for the holidays, be sure to lock your doors,close the blinds, set the alarm, and tell your trusted neighbours. And if you’re in the market to ramp up your home security system, give Best Security a call!