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 the basics will help keep you and your home from becoming a victim of crime. With 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?
Try to make the general prospect of robbing your home a noisy job. Noise is that important third enemy of the burglar. Many types of alarm systems are available, with detectors to be mounted on doors and windows. Deciding just how much home protection you need – and can afford – is a personal judgment. Many reputable physical security firms will send an agent to survey your home and advise you about suitable protection.
Some Home Security Specifics
- 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 is connected 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 were burgled while they were at home in another part of the house?
- Install outdoor lighting to illuminate doors and windows. Lights with motion detectors are very effective.
- Check to make sure all doors are installed properly; hinges to the inside with 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.
- Ensure your sliding doors are properly installed with anti-lift capping. Many homeowners would be amazed to learn that sliding glass doors are often installed improperly – all a burglar has to do is 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 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 so that it cannot be easily removed, have it installed by a professional.
- 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. Never hesitate to use the emergency telephone number if you are in trouble or are genuinely concerned about your personal safety.
- Don’t carry your house key on the same key ring as your car keys. Burglars have been known to be valet attendants or car detailers that use clay moulds to replicate your keys – it is a simple matter for them to discover your home address via your vehicle registration.
Get back to basics by inspecting your home today to see what changes you can make to your home security. You will be surprised that there is an area or two of vulnerability to your home. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org