Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Car Alarms

Last night, at about 2AM, after slipping (for once) into a comfortable sleep, I was awakened by the wailing of a neighbor's car alarm. It was one of those that goes ‘whoop-whooop-whooop, eeeeeoooooeeeeeooooo, whiiiiiiip whiiiiiiip’ until turned off.

I briefly considered going on a highly selective killing spree, but decided not to. After all, my ‘spree’ pants were still at the cleaners. However, I did realize that car alarms are incredibly pointless.

Think about it. When last you heard a car alarm, what was your reaction? Did you bolt upright from a sound slumber and shout “Egad! Some miscreant seeks to abscond with my neighbor’s motor carriage! I must fetch my boots and blunderbuss and sally forth to prevent this most heinous of crimes!”

Or did you lay there, thinking “Please stop, please stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop, I have a presentation tomorrow stop please stop I need my rest stop stop stop stop stop I’m going to kill someone stop stop stop my eyebrows hurt oh please, for the love of god, STOP!”

Yep, your reaction wasn’t to help save your neighbor’s property, but to try to stop a car alarm with your mind. Why? Because we’ve all heard car alarms hundreds of times and in all probability, none of them were actually being stolen.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that most competent car thieves know how the alarms work and can disable them in a ludicrously short amount of time. They probably have competitions to see who can disable them the fastest, complete with sponsors and commercial endorsements.

Is banning the alarms the answer? I have no clue, I just don’t want to get woken up at 2AM by ‘whoop-whooop-whooop, eeeeeoooooeeeeeooooo, whiiiiiiip whiiiiiiip’ every other week because an errant leaf fell on my neighbor’s hood.



Kammorremae said...

I have a neighbor within my apartment complex who has remote start-up as a feature in their SUV. However, if it's started up and left idle too long, the alarm goes off by default. Rather than enter the vehicle, or turn it off, they just reset the timer, so it'll go off every 30 minutes or so.

And these people like to do most of their driving at 3AM.

Want to spree at my place? I have cake.

TX_Val said...

"Want to spree at my place? I have cake."

HA, nice. Actually It's usually an cat in my neighborhood, not a leaf. Luckily most of my neighbors don't have car alarms, just shotguns. (TX) I have seen the competitions. they didn't have sponsers, but there was betting. I actually saw a guy use a creeper (the board with wheels that mechanics lay on) and slowly creep up under a car that had one of those 3 foot perimeter sensors. If you're slow enough, it doesn't notice you. He was able to slip up and hook some wire from the starter to disable the alarm. I think the alarm just deters kids and start up theives. That's why i buy cars that no one else wants. :)

Michael said...

Thank goodness they graduated and left for college, but there were some teens in our neighborhood who would run down the block shoving every car to set off all the car alarms they could.

Kammorremae said...

Meh, rather than buy unattractive vehicles, I rig the drivers seat with a landmine that can only be disabled from my keychain.

Good times.

Although, it does mean I replace my car more often than most...

James said...

And lets not forget dogs. I walk by houses where there is a dog that goes insane to anything that passes them by and they never shut up no matter how far you are from them. You can hear them for miles. And worse is when there is this kind of dog in your own neighborhood, and it is like you are living in a canyon as it echoes from house to house.

And lets not forget porch lights. A house across the street from bedroom window is always activated by something and partially illuminates my room as I try to sleep. I don't need a night light I'm a full grown man. I need dark to sleep.

Jerron said...

I had a friend with a Jeep that had a motion alarm like that. One dark & stormy night, it went off after every major thunderous rumble. He used the keyfob to silence the thing, only to have it happen again and again. Finally, he went outside and disabled it, whatever the thunder was doing was just too much, it usually only went off maybe once in a big thunderstorm.
The next day dawned bright and clear, and it's a good thing too, because the guys who kept setting it off took his soft top.
You just never know- especially in Detroit. ;)
Oh, and if anyone wants to spree and doesn't have a spot yet, let me know, I can bring you to work for show-and-tell. (Well, technically, we don't have that, but then you wouldn't really be telling a whole lot anyhow, would you?) I think it's even legal in Detroit...

Jason Janicki said...

That sounds hideous. Spree at Kammorremae's place! I'll bring a machete, some drinks, and duct tape (I don't know why, it's just useful).

Yeah, dogs, cats, teenagers. The bane of many existences.

Pretty much, if someone wants your car, they'll take it. Nothing less than keeping a Black Mamba in your car at night will deter them (and the Mamba will only work once or twice).

Ouch. I just knew when I posted this that someone would have a story of a car alarm that actually did what it was supposed to. At least they didn't get the whole car . . .

Anonymous said...

When I used to live in an apartment complex, we had one neighbor who was so hard of hearing, he had to have his hearing aid in and turned on. He owned a car with a car alarm. He turned his hearing aid off at night. One night, in the middle of "tax season" (I'm a CPA and prepared tax returns back then) the alarm goes off at 10:30pm Friday night. It too was one of those alternating sirens. I *had* to be at work the next day to finish up several projects. I tried to sleep through it, muffling the sound with my pillow, the radio, and the fan. The alarm refused to turn off. After an hour, I gave up, got dressed and went into work. By 5am, I was done with my projects for the day, delivered them to the respective managers, went home and went to sleep.

The boss still got upset with me because I didn't come into work by 9am. He didn't even believe I was working all night, even though the finished projects clearly showed I did. Stupid managers.

Stupid car alarm.

Jason Janicki said...

Wow! At least you could go into work and get away from it. Did the neighborhood get together and set his car on fire or something?

Yeah, I've had my share of stupid managers. My current manager is very cool, so I'm pretty lucky there.

Brooke said...

well it depends what kind of alarms u or your neighbor are using. I think u can always buy a pager alarm, cell phone alarm so that no one else get disturbed with the irritating voice of alarm.. there is one source to get more exclusive and nice information about car alarm system and car alarm installation...would like all to take advantage of these services.

you must suggest these alarms to all those people who irritate rest with alarm voice.

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