Darxus

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2009-09-29
Why do most people still live in houses that could burn down, or be broken into with no more effort than breaking a thin sheet of glass?
  • Because most people truly believe that "If it's never happened before, it will never happen".

    ...by which reasoning we can conclude that since none of us have ever died, we will never die and we all will be the first people to live forever!
    • OTOH, the statistical likelihood of my house in particular being broken into is really low. Same for burning down, come to think of it. Maybe we've actually found a case where humans are capable of overcoming the tendency to blow random acts of bad shit entirely out of proportion to their likelihood of happening to them!
      • I don't think so. People still pay for insurance against these things, and insurance must, on average, be a losing gamble. I think the money spent on insurance against these kinds of problems would be better spent physically preventing them.
        • Insurance is a requirement of my mortgage, since I can't afford to outright buy the home I want the person lending me the money gets to set certain terms, therefore I've never considered not having it.

          Although often the home insurance packages bundle several services including falling limbs, theft, fire, burst pipes, and protection against someone else being injured on your property, or having their property damaged, i.e. your tree falls on their car.

          The reason I am generally unconcerned with break-in is that I believe it to be a fairly marginal issue. I think if you looked at all the statistics available from police or insurance companies, while it can vary wildly I'd guess home intrusion is typically very very infrequent. And while people have free will, statistics being simply a measurement of ignorance, lacking evidence of violent enemies I'm not worried.
  • because they haven't yet seen zombies.

    #
  • I'm inclined to think it's because caution and consideration make for a much more pleasant living environment than reinforced concrete bunkers would.
    • I would guess insurance is more relevant than caution and consideration.

      And I don't see why a concrete bunker must be a less pleasant living environment.
      • Initial cost would also be a consideration - concrete construction is pricier than stick-building, and more so in places like New England where codes don't militate in favor of concrete (Since there are no large building operations driving costs down the way there are in, say, Florida, where codes that require hurricane resistance pretty much force you into building masonry or concrete anyway.)
        • In follow-up, I'm not necessarily arguing against your position - I live in a place that I chose in part because block-and-plank construction is fireproof, and being on a high floor on a busy street reduces the risk of break-ins. Of course, the place is ugly from the outside, so I don't win 'em all.
  • Don't you live in a house like that?

    Also, anywhere there is an entrance is a risk no matter what it's made out of.
    • Yes. Being kicked out of an apartment because you called the police on your landlord is not the most convenient time to get a house built.

      I looked into buying some land and moving into a mobile home / trailer on it with the plans to build something more to my liking, but I didn't come up with any options that were anywhere near reasonable.

      There are always risks. But you could easily make a poured concrete structure with iron bars over windows mimicking the look of divided windows, and avoid other flammable building materials.
  • A book suggestion

    Go read "The three little wolves and the big bad pig"

    http://www.amazon.com/Three-Little-Wolves-Big-Bad/dp/068981528X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253233499&sr=8-1
    • Re: A book suggestion

      I'll assume the content is very similar to http://www.timelessteacherstuff.com/readerstheater/ThreeLittleWolves.pdf

      That's bullshit.
    • Re: A book suggestion

      Why, exactly, did you want me to read that?
      • Re: A book suggestion

        Yes this is it.

        The point is that living in security that could potentially negate the things that you list may not actually negate them, sometimes it may invite them. Maybe the opposite is a better option, to build places of peace to promote peace.
        • Re: A book suggestion

          I don't think so.

          I'd prefer to just live in a house that appears identical to the one I currently live in, until you try to punch a hole in it.
  • I choose not to live in fear

    If you figure the cost of building a secure fire proof bunker and compare it to the loss in the case of fire/break in times the likelihood of break in you may notice it makes economic sense. You may also want to consider the inconvenience and reduced aesthetics of all the extra security.
    • Re: I choose not to live in fear

      I agree that inconvenience and reduced aesthetics would be good reasons not to live more safely. But I don't see how they are required.
      • Re: I choose not to live in fear

        There are always trade offs. The trade-offs could be higher cost (buying bullet proof glass for your windows) or they could be aesthetics (bars on the windows). People choose the options that they think balance the costs and benefits. Sometimes people over estimate the costs and under estimate the benefits, but for those of us living in the Boston suburbs in the early 21st century the risk of fire and break in are low.


        • Re: I choose not to live in fear

          I don't see trade-offs. I'm not interested in bullet proof glass, and I want my iron bars to be implemented as muntins (the things that divide windows).
          • Re: I choose not to live in fear

            I'm pretty sure those cost more money than plain windows or plain windows with plain bars.
  • You're making a "you're all aliens" argument, to which I can only say:

    "Your personal choice is hereby validated. Thanks for asking."
  • Really? Are you *really* asking that?

    'cuz that's what houses are made of around here, and most people don't want to live in a cage.
  • On a slightly related note, why do most people, even in New England fercryinoutloud, live in houses that are extremely expensive and wasteful to heat in the winter and cool in the summer?

    (In part, because the initial expense of building efficient homes is much greater, but probably largely because of inertia.)
  • I'm sort of in the mangosteen/milktree camp

    All buildings are a set of tradeoffs. To build structures that are proof against certain things requires sacrificing other things (aesthetics and cost being two obvious ones). So we have a set of compromises that meet the majority demand to a satisfactory degree and we have additional mechanisms (insurance and panic rooms being two obvious ones) to deal with situations where we don't like changing the whole structure.
  • pass the buck

    How many people have seriously thought about the effort required to break into a house? Double glazed hardened glass doesn't resist a teenager with a golf club. Bar all the windows, then the doors. Then some smart kid bumps the locks or uses the bars on the ground floor windows to reach the upstairs windows. Before you know it you've spent thousands and there's still a security hole you don't know about (yet).

    Then in your nice cage of steel bars and hardened glass if you get a fire, how the hell do you get out in a hurry? If the house can catch fire, and most live-in houses will burn will enough to kill the occupants, I'd like to be able to get out.

    The answer that maximises comfort and reassurance: Pay someone to tell you what security and fire safety equipment provisions you need, and make it their problem if there's a subsequent fire or theft.

    I see so many people think about the perceived dangers, over-react and become a prisoner in their own home whilst never seeing what's going to take away their worldly goods or their lives.

    Who wants to be the miserable loner in the concrete bunker?

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