Americans fear there's about to be a violent side effect of the pandemic -- looters -- so they're preparing their homes for the you-know-what to hit the fan.
Here's the deal ... folks have been researching and buying new home security systems from 2 of the biggest providers. Honchos at SimpliSafe tell TMZ ... their sales are up 86% in just the last few weeks, and they've seen a 27% spike in Google searches for their products.
We're told new customers aren't only looking to protect their own homes, but also those where their aging relatives are living under quarantine.
This all adds up ... we've seen the panic-buying and, in some cases, hoarding of supplies -- and now those people are looking to defend and protect their stockpiles. Likewise, there have been long lines to purchase guns.
ADT bigwigs are aware of the concerns, and tell us they've been reminding homeowners how important their security systems are in these times. The company's also adjusted procedures for in-person repairs. We're told their techs are now hand-washing and sanitizing more often ... along with screening customers before going to their home.
As we reported ... cops in Los Angeles and New York fear an incoming crime wave during the pandemic, particularly break-ins ... so, clearly, more and more are taking the "better safe than sorry" approach at home.