Crash and Smash Break-ins: Stop Them


As crimes go, crash and smash is about as primitive as you can get.

Crash and smash is what it sounds like: Burglars “crash” into your house and “smash” your alarm system so it never sends an alarm signal. Because it’s a crude but effective way to rob your home, the home security industry has set out to combat the threat, with new and not-so-new technology.

Part of the reason that it’s the favorite method of housebreaking is because it ticks all the boxes. Crash and smash is cheap, no special tools or equipment needed here. It’s also very simple and easy. There isn’t a complex plan required or special skills needed (like safe-cracking). Only real necessity is a bit of muscle and a lot of nerve!


Raiding the Castle

The burglar arrives at your front door, knocks first (to be sure there’s no one there) and then “crashes” your door down. You know? That door! The one you go in and out of and near the security system keypad.

Now, your alarm doesn’t know who came in the house. It won’t know the difference between a robber – coming in over the door – or you – coming in through the door. Regardless of who just came in (or how) the alarm has a grace period allowing 30 – 60 seconds for the code to be keyed in and the alarm deactivated.

Within that window of time, the burglar just has to locate your security panel and “smash” it. When the panel is completely mangled and connections to the phone broken, the alarm cannot send any signals to the security company or the police; the burglars can take their time.

Given how low-tech and crude this technique actually is, it is remarkably efficient. But there are some steps you can take to ensure that you and your home have the best protection against crash and smash crime.


Deactivate Validation

The crash & smash system relies on that built in grace period, the 30 – 60 seconds you have to deactivate the alarm. If the system is wiped out before any signals can be sent, the security company will never know there’s been a break-in.  Deactivate validation or Disarm confirmation is the wily method some security companies are using to beat thieves who use crash and smash .


WiFi or Cellular

Standard security systems are wired. But going wireless is always an option. You can have wireless components all over your house or you can have a system that sends its signals via cell phone. A system that uses cell phone signals can’t be wiped out with a four-pound hammer!


Hide it away

A very simple solution (but one that can’t be guaranteed) is to lock the alarm panel away behind a door. Remember, the object is to make it more difficult to get the panel smashed within the 30 – 60 second time limit. Hiding the panel away means it extends the time taken by the housebreaker to find your alarm. And, if you lock it away, he/she will have to crash through two doors as well as work out where the panel is.


What about Some Backup

Home security isn’t about taking chances; in fact it’s just the opposite. Don’t rely on your alarm system only. Keep your home and family safe by having several key elements in place.

Stop the “crash” part of crash and smash by burglar-proofing your door. Trim your shrubbery so that your house is more visible. Get to know your neighbors. Use burglar deterrents such as camera surveillance and security company signage. Fool the burglars yourself for a change and put in a bogus alarm panel. Let them smash that, thinking they have done their job, while your real system (undetected) is doing it’s job foiling the crooks.

Look through our pages of informative articles for more ideas how home security can be improved.  But don’t forget that a monitored home security system is always your best defense; just be sure it’s monitored wirelessly.

Alarms that have crash and smash protection enabled, tell the company as soon as the door is opened and puts them on alert. They will wait for confirmation that you have deactivated the alarm but the alarm can’t be deactivated by the panel being smashed. Should a crash and smash be happening, there’ll be some very surprised criminals when the police materialize.

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