Across the web and in real life, people often discuss various home security strategies. While many offer good advice, such as installing a security alarm, security lighting and CCTV cameras, many offer advice that just does not work. In fact, some of the advice offered can be downright risky to use. The following are just a couple of examples of security advice which can actually lead to disaster if used.
Wasp Spray Is More Effective Than Pepper Spray
For some time, an email has circulated around the web advising people to use wasp spray to fend off an attacker instead of pepper spray. According to the email, wasp spray allows you to spray a criminal from a further distance than pepper spray would while momentarily blinding and choking an aggressor thus leaving time to escape. While wasp spray can have this effect, using it for security purposes is risky for a few reasons.
First, spraying someone with wasp spray can carry serious legal ramifications since federal law prohibits insect sprays from being used for anything other than their intended purpose. Some variation of this warning is usually printed on each can sold. Imagine intending to thwart an attacker, but being charged with a crime instead. Sound far-fetched? Well, not so much when you consider that numerous suits have been waged by criminals against homeowners. The most recent that comes to mind is the case of a 90 year old former sheriff’s deputy in California being sued for shooting back at an intruder who’d already shot the homeowner in the face. While cases like these are usually thrown out of court, lawsuits and criminal charges are often attempted against homeowners by brazen criminals.
Second, while pepper spray has been tested and proven to be effective when properly used to fend off an attacker, wasp spray has not. There is a reason why police officers and others who work in high risk occupations carry pepper spray on them while in the line of duty. To rely on a product that has not been tested and proven effective could very well place a user in grave danger.
Similar claims have been made about bear spray and we warn against those sprays for the same reasons. We’d rather you be safe than sorry, which is why we provide a number of different pepper spray options in the Personal Protection section of our main store. For those who were attracted to the idea of using wasp spray because of the distance it is reported to spray, first we must warn that not all wasp sprays are created equal in this regard. Also, we recommend a product like the Mace Pepper Spray Personal Model, which can be sprayed a distance of 8 to 12 feet. There’s simply no need to risk personal safety when products like this are so easy and legal (in most jurisdictions) to carry.
Turning a Webcam Into a Security Camera
Like everything else in the tech world, webcams have made incredible strides and improvements in the ways in which they operate. While great for video calls, these devices are not so great for home security. Still, advice on using a webcam for security purposes continues to circulate around the web and I’ve even noticed a number of video tutorials advising people on the particulars of configuring a webcam for this purpose.
We have to advise against using a webcam in this way, however. Just like our wasp spray warning, webcams weren’t intended for home security purposes. Besides, what’s the first thing a burglar is likely to steal out of your home? That’s right, your computer…webcam and all…is likely to walk right out the door with a thief in the event that you are ever actually burglarized. And we won’t even mention the fact that these are easy enough to disable by closing a laptop’s lid, smashing your machine or simply turning the computer off.
A single camera surveillance system like the SVAT Digital Wireless Camera with Receiver and SD Recording costs less than a couple hundred bucks, can be controlled remotely and can even record at night. Such a system can also be expanded to accommodate up to 4 cameras, which means that it can monitor a lot more than a single webcam can. When it comes to Skyping with friends, trust a webcam, but when it comes to protecting your family, a DIY video surveillance system is a far better alternative.
Tell Us All About It
Do you have questions about home security? In particular, do you have questions about non-traditional home security tips that you’ve been offered? Please feel free to use the space below to ask your questions or to warn our readers about risky home security advice not mentioned in our post.