Thursday, May 5, 2011

Home Security, for a price...

After the recent burglary that our little neighborhood experienced a few months ago (see here) and a rush among many of our neighbors to start using the services of one of the many home security companies here in Japan, we started to feel the pressure to do the same ourselves.

Not that I personally felt overly worried, but Mrs. Sunshine thought the whole thing was a bit scary and being one of the few houses without any form of security services would increase the risk our house ending up as a burglary target.

The two main players here in Japan are the market leader SECOM followed by Alsok (hey, I think at least, this is not backed by any statistics!) with some minor players like CSP. As the shrewd businessman that I am, I am very careful in picking which company to use and the main tool I use to determine this is through watching the commercials that they show on TV.

First, let's take a look at the runner-up, Alsok and their commercial featuring the olympic medal winner female wrestler whose name escapes me at the moment. This is probably the first time that she actually has worn make-up!






Then, we can see the commercial from SECOM. This one is a bit older though, the more recent ones feature the boy band SMAP:er Kimura Takuya (whom neighborhood blogger Corrinne's sister in law has very strong feelings about), but the newer ones are a bit harder to understand if you don't know Japanese so I think this one is representable enough.






As you can probably understand, the decision was easy and we went with SECOM. After a visit from their lady "Advisor" (read: sales rep, whom shockingly enough was one of the first people ever that Baby Sunshine didn't scream out in terror when first meeting her, not sure if that's good or bad though...). We basically went with their full plan, which without having electrified floor or hidden laser turrets, still felt pretty hi-tech and was asked as to whether we wanted to purchase the system or rent it. Purchasing the system would have amounted to a hefty 350,000 JPY (~$3,500 something) and I briefly managed to through the lady rep off guard when I told her that if we would purchase it, it would be among the most expensive things that we have in our house and that I would be afraid that the thieves would steal it.

We sealed the deal and one week later they would come over and install all the hi-tech equipment and we were told that they were extremely busy, so there would likely only be one person doing the job. Come the next weekend and four people from SECOM show up at our base of operations, later on joined by a security guard who came in without knocking (ok, the front door was open and a lot of stuff was moved in and out) casually hung out in our living room for a little while, telling one of his colleagues that was there that he came over because "I had nothing better to do and thought I could hang out here". I think someone had words with him because five minutes later he was gone as silently as he had joined the party.

But all in all, we're happy with the security now and even installed a lock on the inside of our bedroom door that probably would withstand a medium size dwarf going at it for a few minutes before breaking down (Mrs. Sunshine wanted it for security while I thought more of the convenience of stopping Baby Sunshine from wandering in at ... ... ... inconvenient times when she's a bit older). Perhaps a break-in to our house could be featured in the next Mission: Impossible movie?

11 comments:

Chris said...

Your in Japan..right?
You do realize that Japan is crime free....right?

Your comedy is funny sometimes but this is just bizzare shit bro.

Crime in Japan...oh...I get it...

Oh..oh.. ha ha ha.

You just lost your "Japan is Awesome" card for life buddy!!

I am reporting this violation of the "Japanese code of stereotype ethics"

You are OUT OF LINE!!!! ;)

Martin said...

Lock on bedroom door?... Did you get their special Fritzl package or is the bedroom just an ordinary panic room?

Eva said...

Wat about copying the protected by secom sticker and stick it at ur porch? Then buy some cctv cameras and fake it all over the place? I wonder if people had done that before or not...

Fernando said...

I am guessing you have seen No country for old man. If you did...beware of babysunshine getting a good old air powered Captive bolt pistol hahaha...According to the movie there is NO lock that can resist such gun!

Coop said...

Soooo....humm ya. I understand the whole caving in because it for the wife. But could not of you put a sign in the yard saying you have a system? Now 5 people have been able to scope out your Salaryman pad.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - Yeah, but hey, we should be careful so "they" don't shut us up for breaking the myths of Japan! I didn't write it in the post because it would be just too much to take in, but we don't really have many non-Japanese people in the area I live in too so the culprits very likely are *shudders*... ... ... Japanese?!

Martin - Mrs. Sunshine actually referred to it non-jokingly as a "panic room" but when I told her that we would need some steel plating and improved ventilation, she settled for "small lock". The whole Fritz thing will come later on!

Eva - Actually, I do think that the most useful thing is the stickers and the stuff visible from the outside but I would think that SECOM would come down hard on that kinda stuff since it would ruin their whole business...

Fernando - Saw that movie a few years ago and remembered that I brought Mrs. Sunshine with me and that it was way too scary for her... Our bedroom lock can probably take down a pencil, but if someone brought a small hammer or pocket knife, we're done for...

Coop - I was thinking to do a "trespassers will be shot on sight" sign, but the Japanese authorities might come visit us...

Corinne said...

My sister in law would be so moved. I'd tell her but she's busy fiddling the dog...

A wife's peace of mind is priceless (and saves a lot of nagging and "I told you so"'s if something were to happen).

But aren't you going to co-sleep with baby Sunshine??? Ashton is wedged between us, there is no way we can lock him out, I'm hoping they invent some force field in the future as he gets older...

Jeffrey said...

I guess my question is why the ALSOK folks thought they needed to use a female impersonator in their commercial.

RMilner said...

I can't remember if we have Alsok or Secom but it's one or the other.

Several times I have set the thing off by opening a window or forgetting the very complex procedure for switching it on or off.

A man from the security company rings up to ask if you are a burglar. Presumably no real Japanese burglar would ever tell such a lie as, "No, I'm just a visitor".

jlpt2kyu said...

How much did you end up paying per month for the security stuff?

blimp said...

Her name is Saori Yoshida
吉田 沙保里

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