The History of Home Security Systems

Everything has an origin story; it’s incredible to see how intricate and developed certain things are, but it’s even more interesting to see how it came to be in the first place. When it comes to the home security system as we know it to be today, things were much different at its inception.

“When World War I ended, an increase in crime followed. As a result, Americans became sensitive to security needs and were eager to find ways to protect themselves and their property. Additionally, many insurance companies began offering premium discounts to alarm subscribers. These events produced a consumer demand for alarm systems.

During this time, homeowners may have subscribed to a service called door shakers— a group of night watchmen who would shake subscribers’ doors each night to ensure they were locked. More advanced users may have installed an alarm system that used electromagnetic contacts fastened to doors and windows, which were connected to a battery and bell. These systems were monitored by a central station that sent a guard to the residence when the alarm was triggered.

While video surveillance technology was developed in the 1940s, it wasn’t until the 1970s that it was used in homes as a security measure. An early model of an advanced video home security system included a large motorized camera that moved down a track to view the exterior of the home through four peepholes mounted in the front door. The video camera transmitted grainy images of visitors to a stationary television monitor that also served as the control panel where the homeowner could remotely control the camera’s movements. The panel, which was located in a separate room away from the camera, was equipped with security features such as an intercom to communicate with visitors, a door lock switch and an alarm button that could activate the alarm at the central station that monitors the residence.” (

We’ve come a long way from the early days of security efforts and the sky’s the limit to how far things can go. At Security Connection your Ottawa home security professional, we can help you develop a security strategy that meets your specific needs. Contact us to learn more.