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Watch Better by Design with Richard Seymour and Dick Powell online: Episode 2 A better burglar alarm

Burglar alarms are big business in the UK. But despite all the emerging technologies and new products in home security, more than 1.5 million people a year suffer a break-in to their homes, according to Home Office figures. It appears that many home security systems are so difficult for the user to operate that they are not switched on. "The only security system that is ever going to work is one that you use," observes designer Richard Seymour. Seymour and his partner Dick Powell visit government test centre, the Building Research Establishment, to assess current home security solutions. The CCTV, sensor and smoke technologies they test are ingenious, but the duo quickly identify the shortcomings in terms of everyday use. Alarms go off suddenly by accident when you dont want them to, there are pin numbers to remember, and the act of setting the alarm is a constant psychological reminder that danger lurks. All of these factors discourage homeowners from using their alarms. Also, most systems only detect burglars when they are already inside the property. Seymour Powell are convinced there must be a better way to stop the burglar.

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