We opt to install security system solutions for many reasons. For some, it is a matter of protecting valuables, and for others, it is about peace of mind. In some cases, it can even be a requirement for certain types of insurance.
For the inventor of the home security alarm, it was all about feeling safe.
The home security alarm was invented by Marie Van Brittan Brown, a nurse living in Jamaica, Queens in the 1960s, an area that had seen serious crimes increase by nearly a third in just five years.
As she was a nurse who worked night shifts, Marie wanted to feel safe when she was at home after work and came up with a concept that could help fix the problem. Her husband, Albert, was an electrician and so could realise her vision.
The concept she had created had four peepholes in the middle of the door, and a motorised video camera that could view visitors of different heights. There was a microphone on the outside of the door as well as inside the house, allowing the occupant to ask about the nature of a visit.
In case of a problem, an alarm could ring out and alert the police via radio.
The system was well ahead of its time, as the closed-circuit television (CCTV) it would have used was still primarily only used in the military and on industrial sites. The Browns’ invention would have made it the first home CCTV system in the world.
Sadly it was too ahead of its time, and Marie would sadly not see her vision come to life before her death in 1999.
Her invention has been highly influential, however, being cited in over 30 patents and forming the basis for much cheaper home security systems available today.