Lightly Inconveniencing

Local security guru Bruce Schneier writes about a New Yorker article that challenges a lot of assumptions about “security” lighting at homes and businesses.

One thing that the article doesn’t address is the widespread practice of leaving lights on inside buildings, either those that are closed (be it for the night or the weekend) or disused (as with many vacated buildings whose tenants are no more.) All it does is waste electricity, and – like so many ill-planned security lights – make things easier for burglars (and urban explorers, of course, as I can attest) to do their thing undetected. People notice flashlights in darkened buildings, but people moving around in lit buildings are easily overlooked, regardless of the time of day. In my experience, trying to create or maintain the illusion that a building is in active use only backfires, because passers-by spotting activity make less note of it than if the building is obviously not supposed to be in use.

Security systems that work are far, far better deterrents than leaving lights on, and probably cheaper in the long run, as well.

Published in: General, Security, Urban Exploration | on September 12th, 2007| Comments Off on Lightly Inconveniencing

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