While it’s true that Pawnee, Indiana is not a real place, the hit show Parks and Recreation helped remind American television viewers that yes, Indiana (outside of Indianapolis) still exists. Indiana is not known as the “Crossroads of America” for nothing. Geographically, it helps unite the east and the west. Historically, it has been a middle ground between America’s two main regions. In modern times, it’s home to some of the greatest landmarks, including the Indianapolis Speedway and the Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Indianapolis Colts). But you don’t have to be a Colts fan in order to appreciate this gorgeous state. Although the Colts may be recurring Super Bowl champions (save the hate for later, Patriots fans), their popularity and prowess on the field will do little to stop the wave of crime that is sweeping through their home town. Indiana, as a whole, may have property crime rates that are right in line with the national average, but the big cities, such as Indianapolis, can be a hotbed of criminal activity. It’s for this very reason that home security in Indiana is more than just a desire; it’s a need. After all, you have to protect that signed Peyton Manning jersey, right?
Home Security Provider Requirements for Indiana
Oh Indiana. You are a weird one. While you certainly are the “Crossroads of America”, you have not crossed paths with regulations very often. At least, not when it comes to home security providers. Indiana is an interesting example of “nope.” By that, we mean you can ask us a few questions, and you’ll get that as an answer. For example, “Does Indiana have rules for or against home security providers?” NOPE. “Does Indiana regulate low-voltage installers?” NOPE. “Does Indiana’s state body of laws even have the words “alarm company” in them?” That would be a big, fat NOPE. Indiana is one of the few states we have seen that not only has no regulation regarding home security providers, they also even avoid the bare minimums.
What does this mean for your average citizen in Indiana? Ostensibly, it means that home security providers can do, well, pretty much what they want. If they want to secretly overcharge you, they can do that (as long as they can find a way). If they want to give you confusing contracts, they can probably do that too. If they want to hire someone who just recently got out of prison after a burglary conviction, oh yeah, they can do that as well. There are simply no rules.
This is not to say there are no rules anywhere in the state, however. If you’re looking for some semblance of security, your best bet is to go local. The state’s biggest city, Indianapolis, has some rather minor rules for companies hoping to set up shop. But we mean it when we say “minor”. Alarm companies must register with the local police, apply for a 1-year license, and make sure that they notify the police after they have checked with the resident to verify that a tripped alarm is a legitimate concern. Interestingly, however, the city’s law specifies what does not count as a security alarm, including devices that are not designed to notify the police directly. Considering most local police forces hate alarm systems that notify them directly, this is actually a good thing.
Still, Indianapolis has no background check requirements for alarm companies, or regulations on who and how they hire. Other cities follow this same structure. Alarm companies in Fort Wayne have an almost laughably small license application. Evansville, however, is a shining light of hope. The city has rather elaborate licensing applications for both residents and companies. Indeed, the city has a rather large ordinance on alarm systems which puts the rest of the state to shame. In fact, there are only 3 permits citizens in Evansville need to acquire: gun permits, liquor permits and alarm permits. Clearly, this city has its priorities straight.
Long story short, those living in Indiana who are hoping to get an alarm system installed should not count on their state government for regulation. Instead, move to Evansville. We hear it’s wonderful in the summertime.
Home Security Cameras in Indiana
As expected, Indiana is just as mum on home security cameras as they are on alarm systems. This, however, is a boon for you security loving individuals. After all, what’s better than a load of security cameras in and around your home? There’s nothing more fun than catching a would-be burglar who is foiled by your security alarm. YouTube thrives on these kinds of videos, after all! However, Indiana, like almost every other state in the U.S., has laws against using your security cameras for, well, more nefarious deeds.
You know what we mean. Invasion of privacy is a big deal in the state, and lawsuits and prosecutions are no joke. Thankfully, you can put up hidden security cameras in your home. This includes the dreaded “nanny cams”, which have been the source of much controversy over the years. As with everything, however, what we’re looking at is an issue of common sense and common decency. So, should you put security cameras in the bathroom? I think you know the answer to that. Anywhere in your home where your childcare provider won’t expect any form of privacy is fine.
So put those home security cameras up, Indiana! Even if the state won’t protect you from shady alarm companies, you can at least protect yourself! Just be considerate of the right to privacy we have all enjoyed for years.
Safety During Natural Disasters
Because it sits just west of the Appalachians, Indiana is technically considered a Midwestern state. And as a Midwestern state, there are perhaps two things that could make you reconsider your love of the Colts: Cold, bitter winter storms and tornadoes. We’re not in Kansas anymore Indiana (not that you ever were, but stay with us here). Indiana is not just the “Crossroads of America”. It’s a crossroad for some rather nasty and dangerous weather patterns.
You might be blown away to learn that Indiana is #10 in the country for tornado frequency. Although the state’s tornadoes are usually only category 0s and 1s, this doesn’t mean they’re always weak. Much like the Colts, they can come out of nowhere and surprise everyone with a few disastrously powerful touchdowns. This includes one deadly cat. 4 in 2012 that took 11 lives with it. Tornados are nothing to be underestimated. If you live in the state, it’s best to prepared.
To prepare, ensure that you either have a storm cellar or that you have a built-in safe room. If, for some reason, neither of these are possible for you, it’s time to panic! Ok, maybe not. Instead, make an emergency plan for where you can go and what you can do. This includes retreating to a basement (if you have one), and staying away from windows in all situations. If a tornado does touch down, get under and behind heavy, padded objects that will protect you from flying glass or other objects, and protects your head from falling debris.
And then there’s winter. It’s a good thing tornadoes and snowstorms tend not to collide. Who knows what kind of SyFy B-movie mashup that catastrophe would spawn. Indiana has seen its fair share of cold winter weather. Its location helps prevent the worst ones, but winters can get bitterly cold at times. Protect yourself during the winter by making sure you have emergency food, electric generators, and emergency clothes and blankets. If the power should go out due to a storm, don’t get caught with your pants down (as that would be cold).
Believe it or not, Indiana is more than just the Colts. The state is also filled with the sights, sounds and history befitting its motto as the “Crossroads of America”. And while the state seems to flounder when it comes to regulating the home security alarm industry, you can thankfully count on the state’s many cities to provide a bit of common sense into the mix. Protect yourself from burglars, and above all else, never, ever say anything good about the Patriots.