How secure are you?

December 24, 2012 by Arnoldo Offermann

This year alone, many DJs have had their equipment stolen, and some were even robbed. Two of our DJs were almost robbed, one at gunpoint, but luckily they got scared off by outsiders getting curious. Not to scare any of you, but the reality is that since this is our livelihood, we need to protect our equipment like we’d protect our children. How secure is your equipment, and more importantly how safe are you?

Let’s go over the basics, disagree or not, these are things you need to think about:
Do you have an alarm system? If so, how responsive is the company? One of the things many don’t think about is police response time as well. Here in Florida, it averages about 6 minutes, but I know of cities where there’s no police nearby and it can take up to 20-30 minutes for an emergency response, yikes! Because of this, we stored the equipment in a secure storage facility. Huge gates, single-entry point, and more cameras than the Grammy Awards make this an ultra-secure facility. Every code that’s punched in to have access to the building is also logged in, just in case another tenant decides on a free-for-all.
No alarm? Why not? You’re not home to babysit every night and criminals do scout. If they see you unloading expensive equipment every weekend, rest assured they’ll be happy to unload it right out the door!
Well crap, I’m guilty of this. I have no car alarm, and I’ll be putting one on soon! However, most people don’t even pay attention to car alarms anymore– think about it, how often do you ignore one when you hear it? I’ve actually heard of car alarms that sound like a woman yelling “RAPE!” Now those will get attention, haha! There are alarm systems that also page your smart phone or even turn on a video camera. Those are the handier ones, in my opinion. At the very least, one is needed if you store equipment IN the car overnight, so the alarm will wake you up, and so it will disable your ignition.
“But Arnoldo, I’m a heavy sleeper and a car alarm won’t wake me up!” Whaddyaknow– me, too! I’ve thought about taking an old wireless alarm system and putting the contacts inside each door of my car with the receiver in my room. This may sound ghetto, (it is) but it’ll wake me up for sure. Surely there has to be a car alarm out there somewhere that also triggers something in-home!
If you have a dedicated work van, consider sealing as many windows as possible if you have rear and side windows. My van only came with the windshield and door windows. The rest of the van is solid metal; but if your van has a rear window or one of those long side ones, block it. This is a warm welcome for someone to go window shopping for your stuff.
At the event itself
Get better clients. Haha. If you’re worried about people stealing your stuff, it’s a valid concern and there’s not much you can do about it. Some of you may have it in your contract that the client is responsible, but I’d love to see that held up in court; never heard of a judge uphold an agreement holding a client accountable for someone else’s actions. Knock on wood, but we’ve been lucky so far; even with wireless uplights. Many of you are NOT so lucky, and until Lo-Jack becomes an affordable solution in massive amounts, your best bet is to always do a visual check on everything, including uplights.
However, there is an idea. I’ve thought about making little black boxes with a blinking red LED inside powered by a AA over the word “armed.” This would be next to a non-working LED that says “ready to arm.” These would go on the side or the back and would simulate some sort of alarm or tracking device. Sure, someone could rip it off, which is why you get a thin-gauge ACC to lock it to the handles.
Otherwise, yeah… this situation does suck!
One of my DJs called me; he sounded a bit shaken up. As he was pumping gas, this guy came up to him with a gun under his shirt asking what’s in the car. Luckily someone else was walking up and he ran off.
My DJ had zero personal protection. He would’ve gotten robbed or shot.
I’m not going to preach on my personal beliefs regarding weapons, but let’s just say my P226 never leaves my side and my wife’s P238 will never leave hers. Ironically enough, the one place I almost did get held up by some random guy was at a school– where I cannot carry a gun, not even leave it in the car in the parking lot. However, we need to face the facts, if someone were to rob us, most likely we’d get hurt.
If you’re anti-gun, that’s your choice and you have your personal freedom to choose so, but you still need self protection. Consider a taser or pepper spray, though I’ve seen people go unaffected by both those items. Still, this is better than nothing. The only issue with a taser or spray is that it requires the person to be awfully close to you. I’d rather not be that close to the person who wishes to start his own DJ service on my dime, hence my Weapon of Choice; (thank you Fatboy Slim). A good non-gun alternative is a flamethrower or rocket launcher, but if these are not available, wasp spray works, too. The wasp spray needs to be the type that shoots a stream. It burns worse than pepper spray, tastes even nastier, and some sprays can shoot up to 20′. Gun-totin’ or not, I think I’d love to attack a robber with wasp spray. That would be hilarious.
No matter what you do, remember to choose a method that makes you comfortable and keeps you and your equipment safe. Car alarms are no good if they don’t disable the ignition or if they go unignored. House/office alarms are no good if the local police arrive in 20 minutes. A gun is no good if you’re afraid to use it when the times comes. Be comfortable and confident in your choices of protection and security! If you choose a storage facility to host your equipment in, ask for a report on break-ins and recoveries and ask for a tour of all security measures.
Any additional questions should go to your local police, or better yet, your insurance company. They have zero desire to have to actually pay for stolen items, so I’m betting they will take the time out to help you think outside of the box when it comes to making sure theft doesn’t happen!
Arnoldo Offermann Arnoldo Offermann (40 Posts)

Arnoldo Offermann is the president of 4SchoolsOnly, a national phenomenon in school dances. In a market where DJs cry about $500 school DJs, 4SO sees 10-20x that price tag per event. Arnoldo is also the creator of Master School Dances, the leading educational tools for DJs wanting to get into this great market. He is a sought-after speaker, reviewer, and DJ tech-writer. You can learn more at

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