DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WPDE) — The National Council for Home Safety and Security reports only 17% of homes have a security system. One local husband and father said he is glad he joined that club when he did.
Courage in the face of fire--all in a day's work for Travis Amerson and his brothers in Darlington County Fire.
"They're stressful situations, but you learn how to deal with them," Amerson said.
No matter how many lives a firefighter like Amerson saves, he said it's a different kind of thing when it's your family who needs saving.
"I'm protecting my wife and kids no matter what," said Amerson.
State Farm Insurance and a surveillance company named Amerson and other first responders in January for their work during Hurricane Florence. For his work, Amerson got a Canary system of his own, quickly installing the camera system and downloading the app to his phone, unaware how that decision would play into the next days of his life.
"They gave it to us and it seemed like a good thing to have so I went ahead and installed it," Amerson explained.
At 10:00 p.m. on Feburary 1st, Amerson and his wife were resting after his shift and his two young children were asleep in the next room.
His cell phone goes off, alerting him that Canary's motion detection picked up something, in this case, someone right outside his door.
"It alerted me that someone was outside the back door," Amerson recalled.
The man, wearing a hooded jacket, cigarette in hand, cases the joint, checking the doors and inspecting things outside.
"He was looking in my cooler right there at the back door," he said.
From there, Amerson's protective instincts kicked in.
"I grabbed my gun and I went and held him at gunpoint," Amerson recalled.
He can be heard in the video ordering the man to say down.
"I think I startled him, because he didn't know I came out the back door," he said.
He holds the suspect at gunpoint for 12 minutes, until finally, the sheriff's deputies show up to take the bad guy to jail.
He said the suspect didn't talk or fight back.
"He saw the gun and laid down under the car port," said.
Amerson says the Canary App gave him a clear warning and the extra time he needed to surprise the suspect and keep things from getting out of hand.
"I'd probably just thought the dogs were barking at nothing and not even paid it attention."
All in a day's work for Travis Amerson, who says he has Canary's camera's to thank and a little courage in the face of fire.
Studies show burglars are 300 percent more likely to hit a house without a security system.