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“Wakefield Security & Fire”, Shoreham-by-Sea: surreal

“Wakefield Security & Fire” burglar alarm, Shoreham-by-Sea • A while ago I published an old Wakefield alarm with unfair accusations of sleepiness – so here’s a more up-to-date example, which is very wakeful indeed. It’s also one of only a four sounders I have found decorated with photographic images, the others being two birds and a chain. This looks like something out of a surrealist film, and is almost as unnerving as yesterday’s creepy eye sticker. The firm’s proprietor, in a comment below, explains that there’s also a globe reflected in the eye’s iris, though sadly it’s not visible in this photo. • Spotted: Town centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Worthing West

9 replies »

  1. Mike I think you missed the point entirely, the bell box is there to sound if there is an intruder. The deterrent value is only really applicable if the alarm box is accompanied by a logo of a professional company, as opposed to a DIY system.
    Much thought does go into the design of logos I thought long and hard about what I wanted my logo to say about the company, and if you look closely at the eye you will see the world reflected in the iris, so the eye in the logo is watching over the world.
    We occasionally get the odd customer that doesn’t like the logo on the bell box, but being fair it was no different with the old logo. Not everyone has the same likes and dislikes in this world but it would be a boring place if we all did.

    • Ah, I hadn’t noticed the world in the iris, I should have looked closer. Personally, I think burglar alarms would be very boring if people didn’t put logos on them. I just came back from Italy where they are quite plain and far less quirky than in the UK … I prefer the individual creativity displayed over here, which is why of course I photograph them. I guess customers can always ask for plain boxes if they hate the logo.

    • I agree it’s to scare off an intruder, I should have said that I was only commenting on the visual effect. I also agree that the box has to have a professional logo & name (although I wonder if this is really true, has anyone asked what an intruder thinks), but no need for a telephone number or a loud logo that your customers have to put up with on their beautiful house.

      Although the eye logo looks very impressive and is high class workmanship, I don’t think visitors to your customer’s houses want to see the eye staring at them at low level near the entrance door to the bungalow, this dilemma is sort of unique to Worthing and surrounding area.

      Moving on to the world part, is it your intention to expand that far, I raise the point because my second company’s logo had a picture of the world also.

      Vici another theme for you, boxes with countrys on them. A lot of companies have their boxes delivered with the logo etc. already printed on the box, so plain boxes would become a stock issue and everything else that goes with the non-standard item.

      A lot of things in the security industry still reflect back to the 70s, 60s, 50s and older. The alarm company’s name and telephone number were put on the boxes when we had no cut off timers or ARCs, so if the local police had no keyholders registered they would call the number on the box and ask the alarm company to disconnect the external bell that could have been ringing for days.

      • Yes, I had noticed the geographic names – thanks for adding some context. I do have a category for alarms with place names in my filing system as it happens, but it is such a widespread practice on the older sounders that I hadn’t marshalled them into a visual theme. Worlds however, as reflected in Wakefield’s eye, will definitely be featuring at some point.

      • Re. Mikes comment ‘although I wonder if this is really true, has anyone asked what an intruder thinks’, well the answer is… yes. They did exactly this. They being the BSIA, who in conjunction with a UK university carried a survey amongst recently released burglars and published the results approx. late 80s early 90s.

        You could buy the report from them, or at least you could when I did around 2000 time. It wasn’t cheap and you could choose the summary report or the full results including survey statistics etc… I paid for the cheap one and they either accidentally or intentionally sent the full 100+ page report, in a lovely retro 1980s faux-tan leather, gold embossed BSIA A4 folder.

        The basic upshot of the narrative part of the research was that burglars DID recognise many brands and had a good idea of when an alarm was DIY, tired looking, and/or unbranded, they often concluded that was unlikely to work. However, I would happily accept that the days of the ‘professional’ burglar with faculties grossly intact have pretty much sailed and many break-ins today are more likely to be related to substance abuse, including at the time of break-in.

        I have just checked the BSIA website and there seems to be a ‘scorched earth’ policy of anything published before 2014, the report would be fairly out of date now anyway.

  2. Wakefield are based in Worthing where every home is a bungalow, imagine visitors to your home in Worthing having a close up view of that eye on a alarm box at low level.
    When people make a design for an alarm box they forget that it will be displayed on someone’s home. An alarm box is there to inform burglars that the premises is fitted with an alarm, nothing else. Therefore it should be easily visible day and night, the boxes in the sixties were red to blend in with the bricks, it wasn’t the in thing to have an alarm in those days, now you have no choice.
    Companies think they are a means of advertising, untrue no one notices alarm boxes except sad cases like us.

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