Security tops the priority list for any residential property – not only is it important to prevent break-ins into your property when you aren’t around, but also to keep you and your family safe when you reside.
Burglars tend to scope out weaknesses in your property as well as keeping tabs on your day-to-day activities before attempting a break-in. Therefore, it is important to evaluate potential liabilities in your home security.
Home security implementation has various stages and some security measures can be relatively inexpensive to implement. This article will help you assess your situation and provide options to bolster your home security – so feel free to choose what suits your needs as well as your wallet.
How do burglars scope out your property?
- They try to ascertain how frequently the property is inhabited based on the condition of your lawn or garden.
- They can determine if you are away based on newspapers, packages or flyers remaining at your front entrance or checking your mailbox for uncollected mail.
- They can check the content of your trash for discarded packaging from expensive gadgets or valuables. Un-shredded sensitive documents such as bank or credit card statements or discarded receipts for valuables provide an acute picture of how well-to-do you are.
- They may show up as unscheduled maintenance people or salesmen to check out your property and to determine how often you are out.
What makes a burglar avoid your home?
- Having a dog on your property puts off burglars.
- Properties with a visible security system usually make burglars avoid them (like a sign in the yard or near the door).
- Obvious presence of surveillance cameras.
Easy and inexpensive practices to make your property more secure:
- Replace old or malfunctioning locks with new ones.
- Install peepholes on the main door as well as the back entrance
- Avoid hiding spare keys to your main entrance on your porch – don’t place it under the doormat or in a potted plant – those places are obvious and likely to be searched.
- Do not leave your garage door open unless required – a burglar with a keen eye and swift hands may steal expensive tools or bicycles kept inside.
- Avoid leaving your car keys in the ignition, on the dash or in the glove box. This makes it very easy for thieves to make off with your car.
Now that we have covered the absolute basics of securing your home, let’s take a look at some dedicated security measures.
They mainly involve traditional security measures – which most of us are somewhat familiar with. These include:
- Install deadbolts in your doors – They are significantly safer than traditional locks as they cannot be easily pried open using a crowbar. The presence of a strike plate makes doors less susceptible to being kicked into.
- In case you feel that your windows are likely to be broken into because they overlook an alley or are close to the boundary wall, you may consider installing Burglar Bars:
- Burglar bars are a set of metallic bars installed over your window.
- These are very effective against burglars – trying to force access would involve a lot of effort and noise.
- The major downside is the need to remove the bars in case of an emergency such as a fire
- Therefore, it’s important that you choose a system that is relatively easy to remove from the frame. Avoid ones requiring special equipment or tools to do so.
- You can also install glazed window panes, which are less prone to shattering upon impact and offer extra insulation
- Try installing locks on sliding windows that prevent them from opening enough for a burglar to shimmy through. Prefer bolts that secure your window to the frame. Window security alarm stickers are also cheap deterrents.
- Get home insurance – Despite all security measures in place, it is a good idea to have a home insurance policy to eliminate any fear of being broken into. Home insurance can be very affordable and hence a basic security measure. A good insurance policy not only covers damages from theft but also provides you additional coverage on damages incurred from accidents.
Advanced security measures:
These include tools and gadgets solely dedicated to security.
- Security cameras – These are extremely popular due to ease of implementation and the ability to cover large areas. Cameras come in different types and sizes with durable outdoor models to relatively obscure ones for common interior spaces. Sophisticated systems can be accessed remotely using portable smart devices and may upload security footage directly to the cloud.
- Motion sensors – These can be set up on any part of your property. They can be used to trigger an alarm or light. For example, you can set up motion-sensitive lights on your driveway, inside your shed, or outside your garage to prevent unauthorized access, especially at night. Combining an alarm makes the system more effective in keeping intruders at bay. Motion sensors can be also installed inside where more security is desirable – such as your safe.
- Door and window sensors – They operate in a similar fashion as motion sensors and are mostly meant to trigger an alarm or a light source.
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors don’t offer security against intrusions but are a worthy inclusion to keep you and your property safe.
You can even opt to install concealed cameras in areas where the above sensors have been installed. They will record footage when a sensor gets triggered due to a potential intrusion.
Most of these are usually connected to a control panel which is used to arm or disarm the entire system.
The main difference lies however in whether the security system is monitored professionally or not.
So, what’s the deal here?
A non-monitored system, in the unfortunate event of an intrusion, only triggers countermeasures such as lights on your property or sounding a loud alarm (depending on whatever has been installed)
So, it draws attention to a breach that has been made on the property but the owner of the home must contact the authorities.
This can be a problem if you aren’t aware there has been an intrusion.
A professionally monitored system will alert the monitoring company in addition to activating on-site countermeasures. The company officials will attempt to contact you regarding the situation or call emergency authorities as required.
- If your security system is sophisticated enough, it may send real time footage or a recorded short clip from cameras that have been triggered by intruders to your security company. They will attempt to contact you as well as notify the police.
- In the event a smoke or gas alarm is triggered, they will again try to reach you to cross-check whether it’s a false alarm or not. In case it’s a genuine cause for concern, emergency services such as the fire department or ambulance services may be notified.
- You can even opt for systems which verify the identity of every person attempting to enter your property in real-time before allowing them access. Unauthorized access will be instantly dealt with by notifying appropriate authorities.
We hope you have a basic understanding of various security measures in existence, how they operate and to what degree you may benefit from installing them on your property. Stay safe and have a good day!
Featured Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash