Home Security Systems in Oklahoma
In the famous 1955 musical, Oklahoma!, Ali Hakim, after being caught alone with Ado Annie by her father Andrew Carnes, explains, “I wanted to marry her when I saw the moonlight shining on the barrel of her father’s shotgun.” Thus, the musical helped forever associate the state of Oklahoma with the concept of the “shotgun wedding.” One would think such an association might lead people to believe Oklahomans are heavily armed. That’s simply not the case.
In Oklahoma, only around 32% of residents actually own a gun. It appears Oklahomans aren’t all as interested in gun ownership as one might believe.
Perhaps part of that has to do with how safe the state actually is. Most parts of Oklahoma are just around the national median for both property crimes and violent crimes. Nevertheless, as a whole, Oklahoma is above-average on both ends. Oklahomans have a 1 in 35 chance of being a property crime victim, for example, which is fairly high.
For Oklahomans who are hoping to keep a little bit safer, home security is always an option. Home security providers in Oklahoma are common, while both state and city governments provide some good direction for what security system buyers can expect when diving in.
Home Security Provider Requirements for Oklahoma
Oklahoma is unlike most states in a lot of ways. This includes a very specific law that regulates home security providers. Through its Alarm and Locksmith Industry Act, Oklahoma’s government sends a pretty clear message to the security alarm industry: “No funny business!”
The act focuses on all aspects of the alarm industry that might concern your average buyer. This includes who can be licensed, what conditions exist for licensing, who can get hired in the industry, and importantly, under what conditions licenses can and will be revoked.
Here are some key and important and interesting takeaways from this law:
- Companies without a license cannot operate in Oklahoma
- Alcoholics and substance abusers cannot work in this industry
- Those with mental disorders cannot work in this industry
- Anyone working in this industry needs to be of “good moral character”
- Those with criminal convictions that occurred within the past 10 years are barred from getting a license
- Companies must provide customers with all relevant documents, including full pricing agreements, term agreements, renewal agreements, and cancellation costs
Some things are still a bit vague with the law. For example, how Oklahoma defines “good moral character” is not specified in the law. This means that that could be highly subjective to whoever is in charge of the committee which oversees licensing, and could be subject to change. However, the good news in all of this is that standards do exist, and Oklahoma’s home security providers must pass a background check and must maintain that business in good standing to be able to keep that license.
Home Security Camera Laws
If you’re looking to add a bit of video flavor to your home security system, Oklahoma makes that process fairly easy. If you’re looking to have a camera installed professionally, the company doing the installation must be licensed. In fact, Oklahoma’s Alarm and Locksmith Industry Act includes specific provisions which govern how CCTV providers operate. For the most part, this is not different than the alarm company dealers, many of which are also CCTV dealers.
For those who are looking to install their own cameras, or even have them installed by a third party, a common sense approach applies, as well as a few legal requirements. Oklahoma is a one-party consent state, meaning that at least one party has to agree to the recording. For general purposes, this would mean you, the video recorder.
That said, if you’re attempting to use your cameras for illegal purposes, such as trying to spy on your attractive neighbor, you’ll quickly find yourself on the wrong side of the law. While it’s easy to think you can get away with it, any suspicious neighbor can make a complaint with the police, which will require you to show your video footage.
For your benefit, when putting up security cameras, make sure that they are only pointing toward your property. Fight the urge to spy on your neighbor. Instead, keep your exterior cameras pointing as downward as possible without sacrificing usefulness. For indoor cameras, keep them inside of public rooms and not inside of bathrooms or guest rooms. In cases where they may be in unexpected places, make sure you inform others that the cameras are there, this rules applies to both exterior and interior cameras.
Safety During Natural Disasters
Parts of Oklahoma just barely skirt through the notorious region known as Tornado Alley, while other parts of Oklahoma are somewhat prone to flooding. Indeed, Oklahoma’s vast landscape covers enough area to have occasional issues with tornados, flooding, ice storms, and severe winter storms.
If this doesn’t exactly sound like a fun experience to you, you’re not alone. Most Oklahomans know what they’re getting into, however, so the vast majority are well prepared for when these issues arise. If you’re thinking about making Oklahoma your new home,here are a few tips to survive all seasons like a true native.
For winter, make sure you have emergency gear ready. This means spare food and water, extra warm clothes and blankets, and especially an extra, emergency heat source. If the power goes out due to a winter storm, the last thing you want is to get caught without a way to get heat. This could mean investing in a gas or electric generator or buying a good supply of wood for a fireplace or wood stove. Whichever option you choose to invest in, make sure you have enough of whatever powers the device to last several days.
For tornados, make sure you either invest in a good tornado safe room or follow standard tornado procedures. This means paying attention to tornado warnings, and if one does occur, getting to a lower level of your home. Stick to a room with few or no windows, and hide under heavy furniture that can protect you from flying debris or, in the worst-case scenario, a roof collapse. Never go outdoors to look for the tornado during a warning. Bunker down in place, or retreat to your safe areas or tornado shelter.
When summer and spring come, floods and ice storms can occur. When this happens, make sure you are taking proper precautions. For ice storms, make sure you stay indoors and away from windows. Hail can break through and shatter windows. For floods, make sure you are aware of emergency escape routes. Stay in the upper levels of your home, and have your emergency kit handy. Spare food and water are a necessity, as are batteries and external chargers, in case you need to power a radio or cell phones.