For those who believe there’s no place like home, there’s Kansas. The state’s motto, “Ad Astra Per Aspera”, Latin for “To the Stars Through Difficulty” interestingly highlights the state’s plucky nature. Kansans are a tough bunch, specifically given the state sits right in the heart of tornado country. In a whirlwind of love for their state, many residents choose to stay, despite the yearly risk of a twister. Though the risk of natural disasters may be high, the state enjoys property crime rates that are just about even with the national average. This can vary by city, of course, with the largest cities seeing much higher crime rates than the rural areas. As such, home security in Kansas is an important consideration for many residents.
Home Security Provider Requirements for Kansas
Have you ever heard the term “no man’s land”? It’s a place that “is unoccupied or is under dispute between parties who leave it unoccupied due to fear or uncertainty” (thanks Wikipedia). When it comes to laws relating to home security providers, Kansas is a literal “no law’s land”. Whether it’s because the many Kansas legislatures over the years have simply seen no need for it, or because they do not believe in regulation of the industry, there are no laws on the books at the state level that pertain to home security providers.
As much as you might want to knock your heels together and magically drum up a few rules for the industry, there are simply none to be had. Even the tertiary laws that exist in some other states, such as low-voltage installation certification requirements, do not exist. While the state of Kansas is not the only state lacking any language related to alarm companies, it is the only state we’ve seen that does not have any rules for anything even related to the industry. No laws for needing certification before installing systems, no laws regarding who can and cannot be hired. Nothing.
This is not to say that the entire state is a home alarm company’s wonderland. Different cities within the state, catching on to the fact that they’ve been left to their own devices, have cast a few spells of their own. Wichita, for example, has its own “Alarm Administration”. The administration has a lot of language relating to penalties for false alarms, which unfortunately mostly punishes alarm users and not companies. However, the city does require businesses to acquire a license before they can operate as an alarm company within the city. License approval includes possessing a General Liability insurance policy, paying the licensing fee, and practicing city-dictated hiring practices. Those hiring practices bar the hiring of anyone who is a registered sex offender. So, you know, there’s that.
Topeka also has requirements that alarm companies obtain a license. The particular licensing requirements are not clear. However, companies that do want to become licensed in Topeka must obtain that license through the city’s police department. This indicates that there are background check requirements in the hiring process in this city as well, something that could easily make any munchkin jump for joy.
Your best bet for learning more about home security provider requirements for Kansas is to check with your local government or police department. Most large cities in the state have their own requirements, while the state is as silent on the issue as a cowardly lion.
Erecting Home Security Cameras
Here you are, thinking (nay, hoping) that Kansas’ lackadaisical attitude toward home security providers might possibly spill over into the home security cameras. Your hopes are not too far off, but you might want to hold off just yet on putting up your security cameras. The laws in Kansas regarding security cameras on your home are a bit in the grey area. While certain laws exist which could cover security cameras, the language and the application is indeed vague.
As with most every state, Kansas does not allow individuals to place hidden cameras in locations that might be considered private. The language is particularly clear when it comes to placing cameras in locations where you may, either knowingly or unknowingly, capture people in a state of undress. We know that you’re not looking to do such a thing. But for your own benefit, and ours, if you’re planning on putting up security cameras, just don’t do so secretly.
Your best move will be to ensure your security cameras are outdoors, visible, and marked. This way, you will let everyone know that the home is being monitored. If you’re concerned about individuals simply destroying the cameras, you may choose to place them in a location that is difficult to reach, or surround them with a special cover designed to protect the device from tampering. While this won’t protect them from someone with a gun, or even a can of spray paint, it will help with other forms of tampering.
It is also important to note that audio recording on home security cameras is typically too risky to be worth the effort. Laws in most states require you to be a part of any conversation that is recorded in order to receive permission to obtain that recording. Similarly, you may want to avoid having your cameras pointing in the direction of a neighbor’s house when it can be avoided. At all times, avoid any suspicion that you’re attempting to misuse your security cameras for nefarious deeds.
Safety During Natural Disasters
There’s almost no reason for us to tell you what natural disaster Kansans need to be worried about. After all, “some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?” Nevertheless, we’ll do it anyway: Welcome to Tornado Alley.
Kansas sits right at center of a confluence of warm and cold air masses. These bodies of air mix together to cause a twisting, twirling, toe-curling mass known by many names. Twister. Tornado. Whirlwind. Tempest. Whatever you want to call them, these twirling bodies of air are both dangerous and frightening.
Kansas residents should invest, first and foremost, in a tornado shelter of some kind. That includes storm shelters or safe rooms built into the home. Tornados have a nasty habit of destroying anything they touch, and even destroying things that are near them. This is due to the massive amount of debris they will send flying through the air, small girls and their Cairn Terriers notwithstanding.
Should you find a tornado headed your way, ensure you take safety immediately. If you do not have the proper shelter, utilize what’s around you to keep yourself safe. This includes hiding under a steady table or under and behind a heavy desk. The most important thing is to stay away from windows and to protect your head and body from flying debris.
There truly is no place like home. For Kansas residents, that’s a home that sits right in the American Midwest. While it’s easy to ignore the troubles with the rest of the country, Kansans need to remember that they, too, have their own demons (or witches) to fight. Home security in Kansas is not something to be ignored, although the state does certainly make it a bit riskier to invest in. Before hopping into the home security market, make sure you do your research. And be cautious of giant, floating heads.