I’ve been super busy around here, working on Matthew’s new room. I’ve been posting updates to the page as we progress through the process, and working on his room is making me feel much more prepared for the arrival of BB2. I’ve really been enjoying it – I mean – in a crazy way! Designing kids’ rooms is one of my favorite things to do! It’s been so much fun! Now, if I could just get Matthew’s birthday party planned and invitations out – that would make me feel even better! AND – if we could get decent enough weather to get our maternity photo session done, I’d feel even better still! And THEN – if I could get BB2’s fun ultrasound scheduled for this week, I’d feel extra better!
But something has interfered with our productivity and fun with all of the above.
We woke up at 1:42 last night to the sound of our alarm system going off. We had just gone to bed at 12:30 (insane, I know) because we were up watching Django last night, and in hindsight, this was a good thing. We weren’t totally asleep yet which allowed us to be alert and as “on” as possible when your security system is blaring at 1:42 AM.
I immediately checked the bedroom security panel which said, “zone 13 – back bedroom.” Holy shit – that’s Matthew’s bedroom! I ran as fast as a pregnant woman can run to her baby’s room. All was fine in there, and as the sirens were still going off, I kept thinking that this made no sense since the windows aren’t wired and we have glass break sensors in the house (not to mention that Matthew’s room is elevated a story from the ground, so it’s not like someone would climb a ladder to get in any way). It had to be a different “back bedroom” which meant the basement.
I heard B on the phone with the security people as I was going in and out of Matthew’s room, trying to make sense of what was going on. I told him to tell them that we don’t know if everything is OK yet. He kept them on the phone as he checked the house. They told him that it was for sure the downstairs back bedroom. I went in to Matthew’s room to double-check his windows, and that’s when he woke up. I heard a quiet, “mom mom” behind me and he was standing in his crib, confused. I picked him up as quickly as I could and took him to the chair to rock him, with his door open a bit.
As I sat there rocking him, I thought how stupid of me to leave that door open (and unlocked). How stupid of me to NOT grab my mobile phone on my way to his room. How stupid of me to let B tell them not to send the police yet. How stupid of me to let my husband search the house alone, with only someone on the phone with him. How stupid of me to be assuming this was just a false alarm.
When Matthew fell back asleep, I quickly put him in his crib and left his room, shutting the door behind me. I should have locked it.
B was out in the living room, very shaken, but off the phone. Things looked good, things seemed fine, it was a false alarm.
We went back to bed, but neither of us slept.
Tonight, 18 hours after the event, B just told me that he checked the house twice today and saw signs of vandalism or attempted intrusion in that back bedroom window. Our security system worked as designed. Amazingly, this makes me feel more secure than assuming it was a false alarm.
Assuming it was a false alarm would have made us more relaxed if this would happen again. Knowing this was a real threat of some kind (not sure how big or small, and I’m not one to dramatize), it has forced us to do a few things that need to be done:
- Security cameras are going up on all sides of the house ASAP
- Motion lights are going up on all sides of the house ASAP
- Bedroom windows that have first level access to them (we live in a ranch with walkout basement) will possibly be wired to our security system as a secondary measure of protection
- Certain things in our nightly routine must change including ensuring all blinds are closed in all rooms (we forget about the rooms we don’t use during the day), turning on our security system earlier in the night, and leaving front exterior lights on overnight for now
We also walked through our actions from last night from the moment the alarm went off, to when we were settled back into bed. We developed a plan for future incidents, no matter how minor they may seem (I am posting this so that we have this documented for our future reference – and I highly encourage everyone to make a plan like this in case they’re ever faced with an intrusion):
- Both of us will grab our mobile phones
- We will check the security panel for location of incident
- I will secure both children in one bedroom (most likely the nursery since there is no ground level access to it) and lock the door
- I will call the police (even though the security service does that as well)
- We will let the alarm run for at least a minute (it did run for about a minute last night, and we think a bit longer would be good to ensure that any intruders/vandals hear that the alarm is going off and that we’re not quick to blow it off as a false alarm)
- We will tell the security service to send police immediately – no matter how minor things appear to be. This was our biggest mistake. If the intruder/vandal watched to see how we handled the situation, they know that we did not have the police sent last night. Biggest mistake of the night
- We will notify neighbors the next day via letter in their mailboxes
B did call the non-emergency police line last night to report the incident and request a patrol car to scope the neighborhood. He also called them tonight, letting them know that it was not a false alarm, and they want to come out tomorrow to look and get a statement from us.
We are not concerned about ourselves. Our security system did what it was supposed to do, and it proved to be a wonderful investment. Without it, last night and today (and who knows what all else) could have been very different from how they were. Instead of going to the zoo and out for dinner, we could have been dealing with a very serious situation. What concerns us is our neighbors, our friends without security systems. SOMETHING happened last night – vandalism, an attempted break-in, or a scoping of houses for security systems and easy targets. Honestly, I think that someone was testing out the house (and others in the neighborhood) to see if we had a security system in place. If they had wanted to break the window to break in last night, they would have. I would like to believe it was a bunch of stupid kids out horsing around on a Saturday night, but the weather here is just plain awful and it isn’t the type of weather that would encourage such behavior (cold, raining, near-freezing temps).
Our house is secure. Whoever was on our property last night now knows that. They won’t be back. In a matter of days and weeks, our house will be even more secure because we learned last night that peace of mind is worth much more than the effort and investment it takes to accomplish it.
We are secure… even if B is sleeping out on the sofa tonight just to be closer to the basement and Matthew… just in case!
Do you have a discussed (and documented) plan with your family members detailing how you would handle a possible intrusion in your home? I highly recommend you discuss this with your family ASAP. You never know what could happen.