Want history? Then you most certainly want Connecticut! The numbers 3, 4, 5 and 29 are also immensely important to the state. Why? They represent some of the state’s more interesting stats: 3rd smallest in the country; 4th most densely populated; 5th state admitted into the Union; 29th for population size. The state may be physically small, but it’s big on personality. It’s no wonder so many people want to call it home. But among those who have decided that tiny Connecticut might be a great place to drop anchor are some rather unsavory individuals. The Charter Oak State may have some of the lowest overall property crime rates in the country, but this certainly doesn’t hold true for all parts of Connecticut. The denser the population, the more crime you’ll see. And given it’s ranking for density, it’s no wonder that home security in Connecticut is a pretty big deal.
Home Security Provider Requirements for Connecticut
Connecticut is as freewheeling with its regulations on home security providers as it is green and beautiful. Considering the general trend toward regulatory practices, it’s a bit surprising that Connecticut has no statewide law governing home security providers. This is not to say that there’s nothing. You can find some language about alarm systems in the state’s laws governing electricians. In this case, those who want to install home security systems need to have one of a few types of licenses. There’s some comfort in that. However, based on standards across the country, this is just about the bare minimum when it comes to regulation. It seems that comparatively low crime rate states (Idaho is a perfect example of this) tend to be laxer on home security regulations.
If you can afford the expense, you might have more comfort actually hiring private security in the state. At least then you’ll know that the person you’re hiring has had to pass some form of background checks and quality checks. There has been some discussion within the state on whether regulating home security providers is a good idea. The research arm of the Connecticut General Assembly did a study in 2004 to determine whether the idea of regulating the industry was viable. Their finding was that yes, other states are regulating the industry to varying degrees. It seems that 12 years later, they still have not made a decision.
Home security providers will of course still have to obtain a business license. You can at least expect that they’ve been approved for one of these. But that won’t necessarily help you sleep better at night. What if the person installing the system never had a background check? What if the company has had all kinds of poor reports and complaints for quality? What if, what if, what if? The unknowns could drive a person batty. And Connecticut offers few answers to those many unknowns.
The only real regulation you might find in Connecticut related to home security is on customers. Some cities and towns, such as Newton, require those getting a home security system to have a license. Specifically, they want to make sure that those providers are, well, doing their job in monitoring the system.
Nevertheless, if you’re getting home security installed in Connecticut, keep a wary eye on the company and its employees. Beyond the basic knowledge of how to actually install the system without electrocuting themselves and burning your house down, there are no rules. They can set their own hiring practices and can (within reason, of course), make up their own rules for how they charge you, when they charge you, and how they monitor your system. Be vigilant. We now know who let the dogs out. It was Connecticut.
Home Security Cameras
A 2009 report from Connecticut’s governmental research arm (we love them, by the way), helps give some insight into security camera usage in the state. In the report, the research analyst details a particular case in which two neighbors were in a dispute over one neighbor’s home security cameras. In this instance, one individual had security cameras that were pointing toward his neighbor’s front door, deck and backyard. The key legal question here was simple: Is it legal?
The short answer? A big, fat shrug.
The report essentially comes down to one fact that we have found true with several different states. Laws pertaining to voyeurism are fairly clear and fairly strict, but laws that deal specifically with security cameras are, for all intents and purposes, almost non-existent. In Connecticut, this is indeed the case as well. Security cameras seem to hit the legal grey zone fairly often, leaving many homeowners feeling a bit wary when it comes to putting them up.
Your best for home security cameras in Connecticut is to use them wisely. If you desire to have that extra security, you’re not legally prohibited from doing so. Just be cautious of where they’re actually pointed. And avoid using audio recording. Stick with plain ‘ol video. Audio recording can put you into a bit of a hot mess if you pick up conversations you weren’t privy to, leading to wiretapping laws you might not want to break, accidentally or otherwise.
Safety During Natural Disasters
Time for a natural disaster roll-call for Connecticut. Earthquakes? Absent. Wildfires? Not here. Heat waves? Learn your geography. Mudslides? Are you kidding? Unsurprisingly, Connecticut is one of the safest states in the country. This includes its safety from the vast majority of natural disasters that seem to plague so many other states. Connecticut’s distance so far up the East Coast makes the occasional hurricane rare and it does get around 1-2 tornados a year, the vast majority of these are F0 or F1 twisters that do little more than tear siding off walls. The last major tornado to hit the state was in 1989, when an F4 ripped through Hamden. Even then, no one died (although one girl died sometime later when wind knocked a tree onto her tent).
So what natural disasters should Connecticut residents be concerned about? The occasional flood, and the occasionally bad winter storm. Winter storms can get cold and snow is a common sight. It’s best to remember to treat winter with the proper respect. Avoid driving during winter storms, and wait for roads to be cleared before going out. Make sure you have emergency blankets, spare clothes, food and water in your house and in your care. Keep firewood and gas handy for fireplaces.
Floods can be a different monster, but be sure to handle them correctly. Be aware of whether you are in a floodplain or low-lying area near water. Never drive through high standing water on the road. If you receive a flood warning, make sure you keep to the higher levels of your home. Should your home begin to flood, stay away from the water as it may carry bacteria, large debris and it could be charged with electricity. If you can get out before a flood happens, do so immediately, heading directly to higher ground.
Connecticut may be small, but it more than makes up for its size by having an incredibly large population. That population is mostly comprised of staunchly independent individuals. The proud, historic heritage in the state is matched only by its unique and beautiful scenery. Yet among all of this, there are some bad eggs. There is also a surprising lack of regulation on one of the primary industries responsible for helping homeowners protect themselves. Be cautious out there, Connecticut. Home security is important, but so is wisdom.