How to Prevent a Crash and Smash Attack

It’s an endless game of cat and mouse. New home security measures are developed, and burglars have to figure out a way around them. They discover how to attack a security system, and we either catch them or uncover new ways to stop them. There are a number of methods burglars tend to use when breaking and entering or committing other crimes. However, the “Crash and Smash” attack is one of the most commonly used to defeat security alarms. Here’s how it works:

The Break-In

The burglar breaks through an entry door. Entry doors are ones that the security system permits use when entering a home. Rather than an immediate alarm, the system starts beeping and counting down for 30, 45, or even 60 seconds. This gives the homeowner time to walk to their keypad and disarm the system. Unfortunately, a typical alarm can’t tell the difference between a kicked-in door and an average entry into the home. This gives the burglar 30 to 60 seconds before the alarm goes off. Unless you have a reinforced door frame, most residential doors are surprisingly easy to kick in. To provide extra security, take a look at installing new doors.

Find the Alarm

The burglar uses that 30-to-60-second entry delay to quickly search the home for an alarm panel. While not always easy, it’s typically very doable. Main alarm panels are normally installed in a handful of locations (think the basement or a nearby closet).  Chances are, a seasoned burglar will know exactly where to look. If you think 30 to 60 seconds is too short to find your alarm panel, think again. Time yourself coming in the front door and running to your alarm panel. Chances are it’ll take 10 seconds or less, leaving the burglar at least 20 seconds to destroy the alarm panel.

Smashing Time

In our hypothetical scenario, the burglar manages to destroy the alarm panel before the 30-to-60-second entry delay countdown runs out. Most security alarms don’t alert the police until after the entry delay countdown finishes and the alarm is going off. If the burglar successfully destroys or disables the alarm system in that window, chances are your alarm system isn’t notifying anyone. Even if your alarm panel is located in a locked metal box, all the burglar would have to do is tear it off the wall or cut the wires leading to the phone line. Even a wireless cellular GSM-based security alarm still has wires connecting the alarm to the cell phone communicator.

In essence, that’s essentially how a crash and smash attack works. The burglar kicks in or breaks down the entry door (crash) and disables the alarm panel before it calls out for help (smash). The burglar has rendered your alarm system useless and can roam your home freely.

Well, remember the game of cat and mouse? has developed a clever method to detect this form of attack called Crash and Smash Protection. Crash and Smash Protection skips the entry delay and immediately sends out a signal. When an entry door is opened, your system sends out a notification and a standby message for the disarm confirmation. If the system doesn’t follow up with the confirmation signal within a few minutes, will assume the panel has been compromised and will follow the normal burglary alarm protocol and dispatch the police if necessary. The video below illustrates how this works.

What Are The Next Steps?

Crash and Smash Protection doesn’t come standard to most alarm systems don’t have it. Therefore, many burglars faced with an system will assume they have successfully disabled your alarm when in reality the police have been notified of the crash and smash alarm and are on their way. A good thing to do is to place this in a security safe so burglars won’t be able to access it quickly. And don’t forget when purchasing a safe to make sure it’s both fire and burglar resistant – providing you with extra security.

Using with Crash and Smash Protection instead of outdated systems gives you the upper hand. Systems vulnerable to a simple crash and smash attack need nothing more than a swift kick to an entry door and a baseball bat to the alarm panel to be rendered useless (check the home security systems reviews yourself).

Livewire is your provider of security alarms with Crash and Smash Protection in Central Virginia. Call us toll-free at 804.886.3025 to learn more.

This article was originally posted by Ryan Boder for