Saving on security, is it really worth it?

Items such as chains to protect a bicycle, safes to keep family jewels secure or locks to protect entrances to a house are objects which are found on the market in many types and with very different prices. Often, depending on the availability, a compromise is sought between costs and benefits: whilst it is true that such purchases are often generated by a desire for greater security, it is equally true that it is not always easy to identify the correct price for the degree of protection that is expected and therefore, sometimes, the items purchased to protect our assets do not actually satisfy the requirements.This is how, even unintentionally, you run the risk of incurring in situations not really desired:

Defining “the right one” is not always a trivial matter and if, for example, you are in a hardware store in front of three apparently similar locks, but with different prices and quality, it is difficult to know which one to choose: it is likely that the choice falls on the one in the middle. However, the real variable to be taken into consideration before buying a security item should be: “What do I want to protect?”. In fact, the value of the object that you want to protect is related to the value of the security lock which you should purchase.

The right proportion for purchasing effective security products

In fact, there exists a sort of relationship between the value of the asset to be protected and the value of the security item used to do so. Based on practical experience, it is possible to estimate that the value of the investment in security should be around 5-8% of the value of the asset to be secured. In reality, this is a relatively modest figure considering the total value to be protected, however, it is essential to take it into account for an effective purchase. If you stop for a moment to reflect, in order to properly protect a house, you need railings, alarms and locks, in the way that for a car you need anti-theft devices and insurance. Adding up all the items, these protection tools should at least reach the investment in terms of security (5-8%) indicated above. Think for example of a car worth € 20,000: it is unlikely that a good burglar alarm together with a suitable insurance would cost less than € 1,000-1,500. Similarly, in order to properly protect an apartment worth € 100,000, it must be equipped with railings and/or gates and/or armoured doors with relative security locks and/or alarm system with an overall value of between € 5,000 and € 8,000.

One point to keep in mind is that “low cost” security does not exist, or at least, there are no solutions which, finally, lead to savings. On the contrary, we would actually say that the opposite is true. Let’s say that, in this case, one wants to protect, for example, a bicycle worth 1,000 euros and that, to do so, a low quality chain is purchased which only costs 15 € (thereby investing in security 1.5% of the value of the object to be protected, which is well below the approximately 50 € which would represent the correct threshold recommended above).

The un-calculated consequences of savings in safety

To what extent is it possible to convince oneself that such a chain can really prevent a thief from stealing your bike? It would be better to ask: are you really saving € 35 or are you putting at risk € 1,000?

Let’s say that it is the second case, that the bike ends up being stolen and that the chain remains on the ground broken in two: you will have to reinvest in a new bicycle and even in a new chain. So where are the so-called “savings”?

 Stolen mountain bike + Mountain bike to buy back

Stolen mountain bike + Mountain bike to buy back

First closing purchased + new security chain to be purchased

First closing purchased + new security chain to be purchased

At this point, if you buy a new bike, there would be two alternatives: use again a chain similar to the one that failed in its attempt to protect or, learning from the initial mistake, buy a better quality chain that will certainly offer a higher degree of protection. We believe that, rightly, very few people would choose to repeat the mistake again.

Unfortunately, once the theoretical “low cost” security path has been followed, with the consequent theft, any subsequent choice in terms of investment in security will have to take into account the damage already incurred, resulting in an overall expense which will greatly exceed the initial cost. An attempt to save costs in terms of security is therefore a double-edged sword and opting for a cheaper compromise is likely to achieve the opposite result to the one desired, that is to say, a drastic reduction in the protection capabilities of the security product and a consequent expense which increases exponentially. Exactly what you wanted to avoid.
Here are some useful links to better recognize quality security articles:

5 important reasons to buy a good quality safe
Locks & padlocks: between history, beliefs and traditions: the “love padlocks”

Characteristics of good quality European cylinder: Bite-sized security

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