There are many things which can be done to make sure that your new or existing dwelling is as secure as possible. We will talk about security from the outside in, and what other measures can be taken to further enhance your family home’s security and safety.
One thing that needs to be realized is that if a burglar is really determined to get in, then the odds of them succeeding are high. However, the more prepared and aware you and your family are, the much harder it will be to penetrate your castle.
Let’s start with your general yard and landscaping
Any criminal will look for an easy target. This means that they will select a property where they can gain access without being easily seen and get out quickly. The approximate time for a typical break-in is no more than four minutes. Criminals don’t want to be caught, so time is of the essence.
1. Trim or remove bushes, trees, and any other plant or obstruction that may be hiding your plain view of the street. Also, trim back any tree branches that may give access to windows and roof.
This procedure also needs to be carried out in the side and rear yards. What we are achieving is as much visibility of the entire yard as possible.
Consider planting a low bougainvillea, roses, or a shrub with sharp thorns along fence lines, and under windows. This will make any access difficult, as criminals do not like being scratched as they work. Wounds can provide forensic evidence for police investigation.
1a. Are your gates locked? Secure gates should always be locked and maintained.
2. Keep your lawn maintained. Un-mown lawns tell the criminal that you could be away.
3. Keep all sheds locked and secure, with tools out of sight and no ladders left around that could be used to assist with window or roof entry.
4. Is your street number easy to see? It should be illuminated and at least six inches high, and placed on your curbing or wall/fence for easy recognition.
5. Is your electrical box secured with a padlock? If not, your power switches are within easy reach of a potential burglar.
6. Are your bins out of sight or locked away? Do you leave new product boxes outside? For example, if you have recently bought an expensive item such as a computer or TV break the box down and dispose of in the recycling bin.
7. Are your vehicles always locked and as close to the house as possible? Vehicles are a prime target as they are usually accessible from the street, and often have items such as DVD players, GPS Sat Navs, iPods and so on. Items like these should always be removed and secured.
There are some digital scrambling devices available to criminals and this means that they can access some makes and models of vehicles even when it is locked. If you do not already have car alarm, consider installing one. Talk to your insurance company first as policy discounts may apply if you install approved car alarm systems.
Acknowledgements: Foresight Security