There are a number of factors to consider when you want to make sure your new or existing home is as secure as possible. Below are a list of things to consider when you are trying to make your home as safe as possible.
Let’s look at the house
1. Are there security screens on the windows and doors? Aluminum or steel doors are preferred. Are the security doors always locked?
2. Can all doors be opened with the same key? This can be handy for the owner, but keys should always be counted and accounted for.
3. Double sided locking handles are recommended for patio and sliding doors. These ensure criminal access is made even harder.
4. What quality are the window locks? Always install the best that you can afford, and never pick the cheapest, you may come to regret it in the future.
5. Do you have window security screens that can be left open during summer?
6. Do you have a secure bolt system on your internal manhole/s?
7. Do you keep cash in your home? If so, think long and hard about why you do this. Is it really necessary to keep cash in the house? If yes, then purchase a safe. The best choices are safes that are extremely heavy and cannot be moved or carried easily. Install a safe that is either, or molded into your brickwork, or sunken into the wall or floor.
8. Where are all your possessions kept? Are they secure marked? Do you have an inventory? As well as an inventory, it is a really good idea to photograph all your insurable items. If you are burgled you can prove to the insurance company what you once owned and it also provides the police with an accurate record of your stolen items.
9. Do you have a security alarm system? If so, it is a good idea to have it monitored. We will cover systems in the next chapter. Make sure that the system has been maintained checked and reset/adjusted at least every one to two years. You should have sticker’s clearly visible showing that you do have a system in place.
10. Do you have security/movement lights? These are essential to home security. Ensure that full coverage is given to all risk areas including front doors, back doors, sheds, carports, garages, patios, gardens, pathways, pools, fences, and even the house roof.
Also, ensure that the lights are well out of reach (usually they are not). If they are within easy reach then ensure that the lights have a cage or secure fixing so that they cannot be tampered with or broken.
11. Do you have security cameras? Consider these as a wise investment – we will talk more about these in the next chapter.
12. Do you have a telephone extension in your bedroom or a mobile phone? Can you lock your bedroom door in the event of a home invasion?
13. Do you keep your keys/car keys in a safe place? Are they secure? Don’t keep them on a key hanger near your door.
14. It is essential to change all locks when you move into a new home. Also, do not give keys to tradesmen. This is an unnecessary security risk as keys can be easily duplicated.
15. Try not to give tradesmen, or anyone who does not really need to be in your home, any internal access.
16. Having lights on inside at night can illuminate you and your family and make observation from the outside easier. Criminals often do their reconnaissance at night, and when your lights are on and the curtains are open, they can see almost every detail that is needed to make an offence on your property possible.
On the other hand, if you have your ‘inside lights off’ (for example whilst watching TV), and your ‘outdoor lights on’, this would then give you a clear sight of your outside perimeter, thus deterring a criminal with intention to burgle.
17. If you are away for the day or any period of time close your curtains or blinds. If burglars see valuable equipment in open view you are more likely to become a target.
Acknowledgements: Foresight Security Planning