We’ve become complacent about home security because we rely on a range of high-tech equipment to protect us, our home, our families, and our possessions. Many of us are also guilty of thinking ‘it can’t happen to me.’

However, the risk of burglary is ever-present, and paying attention to some home security fundamentals will help keep you and your home from becoming a victim of crime. With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, we at Panoptic Solutions thought it a good time for some revision on home security matters.

A burglar’s Three Worst Home Security Enemies are Light, Time, and Noise

Remembering this can help you protect your home from crime. A burglar won’t find your home an easy target if he’s forced to work in the light, if he has to take a lot of time breaking in, and if he can’t work quietly.

Take the time to ‘case’ your own house or apartment, just as a burglar would. Here are a few questions to get you started:

Where is the easiest entry? How can I make it more burglar-resistant?

Trim trees and shrubs near your doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. High fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, but privacy is a burglar’s asset.

Consider trading a little extra privacy for a bit of added home security. Force any would-be burglar to confront a real enemy – light. Exterior lights, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting.

How can I slow burglars down?

Time is a burglar’s enemy, too. A burglar delayed for four or five minutes is likely to give up and try for another, less difficult, location. Simple security devices – including such basic equipment as nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars, and bolts – can discourage intruders and keep them from entering.

How about noise?

While attempting to deter potential intruders, it’s crucial to make the general prospect of robbing your home a noisy job. Noise, in fact, is that important third enemy of the burglar. It is precisely why many homeowners opt for home alarm systems that are as loud as possible. In addition, these systems often feature detectors that can be easily mounted on doors and windows. Furthermore, deciding just how much home protection you need – and can afford – is a highly personal judgment that requires careful consideration. Nevertheless, many reputable physical home security firms will send an agent to survey your home and advise you about suitable protection options that cater to your specific needs and budget.

Home Security Fundamentals

  • Lock the doors and windows to your home, all of them, including the door to the garage.

  • Don’t leave the door to your home that connects to the garage unlocked, thinking the automatic garage door will protect your home. A change of frequency on a garage door opener could make your home an easy target. What about the windows in your garage?

  • Don’t leave your garage door opener in your car. Breaking out a car window or accessing your convertible with the top down can give a burglar easy access to your residence.

  • Keep your doors locked even when you are at home.

  • How many people do you know who experienced a burglary while they were at home in another part of the house?

  • To enhance your home’s security, consider installing outdoor lighting that illuminates potential entry points. Lights with motion detectors are particularly effective in deterring burglars, as they can detect movement and sound an alarm.

  • Make sure to install all doors properly, with hinges on the inside and locks that have at least a 20–25 mm throw. Consider installing a peephole in the door.

  • If you have lost your keys, have the locks changed.

  • Sliding glass doors should have special locks mounted. A well-placed piece of dowel in the track will make it almost impossible to open any sliding door or window.

  • Properly install your sliding doors with anti-lift capping. Improperly installed sliding glass doors would amaze many homeowners – a burglar can easily lift the door out of the tracks to gain entry to your home.

  • Consider investing in ‘CrimMesh’ – or similar security screening – on all windows and in place of fly-screen doors. If you go down this path, ensure you have an escape device installed on one window in each bedroom to use in event of a fire or other emergency requiring quick evacuation.

  • Window air conditioning units give a very easy point of entry if they are not installed properly. If the A/C is not mounted to the frame and secured to prevent easy removal, a professional should install it.

  • Don’t hide a spare key. If you must have an extra key, give it to a trusted neighbour or family member. Never place it under a front door mat or in the letterbox for a friend, vendor, or family member. It’s the first place a burglar will look.

  • Remember to require vendors to show proof of identification; uniforms are not enough. Make sure you know who the caller is before you admit him into your residence. If you are unsure, do not open the door and call the person’s company to confirm his / her identity.

  • Don’t open the door to a stranger. Remember, no matter how strong a door is, once it is open by even a crack, you become vulnerable.

  • Never admit that you are home alone.

  • If someone wishes to use your phone for an emergency, leave your door locked, get the details and make the call for them.

  • Keep your shades and blinds down at night.

  • Don’t rely on others to protect you. Get to know your neighbours, your community, and your surroundings. Be aware of who is in your community and report any strange behaviour.

  • Keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone in the event they are needed. In the event of a genuine emergency or if you feel your personal safety is at risk, it’s essential to remain calm and not hesitate to use the emergency telephone number. Moreover, don’t delay calling for help if you’re in trouble or are genuinely concerned about your well-being. In fact, prompt action is crucial in such situations, and every minute counts. Furthermore, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek assistance if you’re unsure about your safety. Therefore, never hesitate to use the emergency telephone number and let the professionals handle the situation.

  • Don’t carry your house key on the same key ring as your car keys. While it may seem unlikely, burglars have been known to use creative tactics to get their hands on homeowners’ keys. For instance, they may pose as valet attendants or car detailers and use clay moulds to replicate your keys. Not surprisingly, discovering your home address is a relatively straightforward process for them, as they can simply search your vehicle registration and find your address. In light of this risk, it’s essential to take proactive measures to safeguard your home’s security.

Conclusion

Get back to basics by inspecting your home today to see what changes you can make to your home security. You may discover that there are certain areas of your home where you can identify vulnerabilities. While there is no cause for undue alarm, the simple things we do to protect ourselves will go a long way to ensuring home security.

For more information on this subject, or to discuss your needs in relation to home security, contact Panoptic Solutions on 1300 651 407 or info@panopticsolutions.com

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