Bunglers Alarmed (Part 2)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 0:35 | Filed in Local Interest, Public Sector, The Pickards

After allowing the Environmental Health chappie time to read my emails, I gave him a ring to find out what the situation was. Now, I’ve got no complaint with him: he’s got to do his job, and if you get a complaint, you investigate it. Perfectly logical, and I have no problems with the way the complaint was handled, although I would dispute that there was anything to complain about in the first place.

But it got even more interesting.

Firstly, he said that someone had alleged that our burglar alarm had gone off 27 times in the last year. We’ve been living in the property for more than four years now, and I would find it difficult to believe that the alarm has gone off 27 times in that entire time period. Sure, it’s gone off a couple of times — I think it went off twice over the summer; a couple of years ago we had wasps in an outbuilding, and that set it off a couple of times, and before we adjusted the way the alarm worked and restricted the access of the cats, they set it off a few times. But that’s over the entire time period we’ve been living here, and I’d still think it’s a lot less than 27 times. I’d be bloody surprised if it has gone off 6 times over the past year, never mind 27 times…

Interestingly, the EH chappie said that he thought it was surprising too: he said that he would have imagined that someone else would also have complained if this was the case.

He obviously couldn’t say where the complaint had originated from, but he did say that it was made on monday morning, which leads me to believe that the burglar alarms going off in the middle of the night was the thing which drove them to complain. Unfortunately, if that was what upset them, then it — and this is rather germane to the whole bloody affair — wasn’t us. Although I do find it difficult to believe that someone could have had 26 further cases of mistaken identity, unless they assume that every time a burglar alarm goes off it is ours, irrespective of where the noise is coming from…

The EH chappie also said that as far as they were concerned — and they weren’t saying who was right at this point (again, that’s fair enough: one person has made a complaint, one has said it’s rubbish, without evidence it’s a bit difficult to know who is right) — they do not consider it an enforceable issue if your burglar alarm operates an automatic 20 minute cut-out, so even if our alarm had gone off that many times, providing it was cutting out, they wouldn’t do anything about it.

Personally, I think this is a bit of a shame: if a burglar alarm is going off 27 times in a year, even if for less than 20 minutes at a time, I think you ought to be able to do something about it. It would annoy me for starters…

However, when I asked if there were any dates or times the alarm was alleged to have been going off, he said that they were unable to supply dates or times, which seems a little odd to me: if you’ve been keeping a tally chart of how many times you think someone’s burglar alarm is going off, you might as well write down the dates and times next to it. I’d hesitate to say it’s someone making a malicious complaint as I can’t think why anyone would do that… but equally I can’t see how someone could have been genuinely mistaken more than 20 times about our burglar alarm going off.

I explained to the EH chappie that the thing which had annoyed my GLW the most was that someone who has thought we have had a problem with our alarm hasn’t felt that they could mention it to us. He said that he had asked them if they had spoken to us, but apparently they did not feel they could approach us.

Which is all the more infuriating, because I tend to take what I term the ‘good neighbour’ approach. You know, if I hear a burglar or car alarm, and there’s no obvious cause (so I’ll allow power cuts), I’ll have a quick glance to see whether it appears any doors or windows have been forced and/or there is someone running out with a DVD player under their arm. Similarly, I’ve wandered along the street late at night before because I’ve seen smoke and wanted to be sure no-one’s house was actually on fire. This is what I term ‘being a good neighbour’.

So it’s really odd that whoever it is felt unable to approach us (unless of course they know that we would know that they were talking bollocks). I mean, I don’t see myself as an inhuman monster liable to rend someone limb from limb if they turn up on my doorstep saying that my burglar alarm has gone off. However, it may be impossible to be sure as no-one ever has turned up on my doorstep saying this!

So the EH guy has got my number, so he can phone me if anyone says the alarm is going off; beyond that I don’t really know what I can do. I won’t be following Mark’s suggestion from yesterday, at any rate…

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Comments to Bunglers Alarmed (Part 2)

  1. mark fairlamb says:

    January 28th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    the thing is with burglar alarms, they don’t actually seem to alert people to the possible presence of a burglar. people don’t have a look to see if their neighbourhood is being victimised by theives, they just have a grumble about the noise and then in cases like yours write to the council to complain.
    you may as well disconnect it – you’ll still lose all your posessions either way but at least you don’t end up annoying your neighbours!

  2. The GLW says:

    January 28th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I don’t read Jack’s blog often – being old fashioned I believe if he has anything he wants me to hear he should tell me about it in person. However, I have to comment on this one. All I can say is, if for some reason un-known to us we have annoyed one of our neighbours, all they have to do is knock on the door for a friendly chat. We would always be more than happy to accomadate them. I have no intention of getting locked into a tit for tat situation with neighbours. We bought this house as a family home with the intention of bringing our children up here. As far as I’m concerned life is too short for making either ourselves or others miserable. We’re here for a long time, so you might as well try your best to be pleasant about it.

  3. JackP says:

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    you may as well disconnect it — you’ll still lose all your posessions either way but at least you don’t end up annoying your neighbours!Mark Fairlamb

    Ah, but this is missing what I believe is rather the central point. Our alarm hasn’t been bloody going off. Therefore if it is disconnected, this presumably won’t make any difference to the neighbours, who have — whether through design or accident — have convinced themselves that our burglar alarm is going off when it isn’t.

  4. mark fairlamb says:

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    i was pontificating about burglar alarms in general – sorry, i skewed away from the main thread of the story there

  5. 1234test.com says:

    August 31st, 2011 at 1:07 am

    How To Change Your Business…

    It’s a known truth that right skill is very useful when doing work for the first time and even more it if is important to us.[...]…

  6. garment business daily says:

    September 9th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

Leave a comment