After the Dust Settles

My girlfriend and I recently bought our first house, a new-build on the southeast fringes of the DFW metroplex. We moved in at the end of August and, just a few days before I left for GSX, finished transforming the piles of boxes and furniture and odds and ends into our new home. Not only is this general area of the city still under development, but so is our community—we’re one of probably a half-dozen families moved in so far. The rest of our street, as well as the two or three streets north and south of us, is still very much an active construction zone.

We’ve been asked about our street, our neighborhood, our part of town in terms of what it’s like—the general sense of the community. And the truth is that there isn’t really a “community” to speak of yet. The feel of the area is still a blank slate. We’re about 10-15 minutes away, in several different directions, from well-developed urban areas with all the amenities of a big city. So to say that we’re “out in the middle of nowhere” is a bit of a stretch. But the empty streets, the dead-quiet nights, and the sudden novelty of signs of life (lawnmowers going a few houses down, dog-walkers crossing in front of our house) are equal parts calming and disconcerting.

This is all to say that as of very recently, the concept of security and security products has taken on a much more personal level of importance. We bought padlocks for the back gates. We have a home security system with audible notifications every time the front, back, or garage door opens. (Our dog has already developed a Pavlovian response to the “front door open” message.) Our Ring doorbell sends notifications to our phones every time it detects motion and automatically records 45-second videos of each event that we can review at our convenience.

We’re not in a good neighborhood or a bad neighborhood; we’re in a community that has yet to figure out what kind of neighborhood it is. We could just as easily sleep with the windows open and the doors unlocked (who else is even around?) as we could with the hatches battened down and our new home security system armed and ready. Needless to say, we’ve been choosing the latter so far.

Security isn’t just about protecting against known threats. It’s about protecting against the unknown. It’s about doing what it takes to feel safe when there’s no lay of the land to even get a read on yet. It’s about feeling safe going to bed at night in a new home, in a new housing development, in a newly developing part of town. And the vast array of security products on display at GSX definitely planted a few ideas in my mind of future investments we could make to keep our castle secure.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at

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