Protecting a home against break-ins and robberies takes a multi-pronged approach.
Each home is different but there are some steps each homeowner can take to make their home safer and more secure.
Security systems are not just about cameras and alarms.
There are many small and easy things that you can do to ensure your home isn’t targeted by a burglar.
Here are the top ten things you should consider for optimal security for your home.
It sounds like a no-brainer but it’s very easy to forget to lock the door when there are so many other things going through your mind. It is the first line of defence between would-be thieves and your valuables. Most of us have had that horrible sinking feeling once we’ve done the school run, on our way to work or half-way through a class at the gym. ‘Did I lock the door?’
Let’s face it, you probably did. But, even then, not all locks are equal. There are more lock names and types than can be listed here. The big one to know is the deadlock. That big bolt is not letting anyone walk out with your valuables. Deadlocks stop people getting out without a key. Be sure you don’t leave a spare key inside the house in an easy-to-find place. If no one is home, lock the deadlocks on all doors and windows as you leave. Remember it’s important to unlock them as soon as you arrive home because they can be a trapping hazard in a fire. If you make it a habit to lock the house behind you with the key as you leave, you are less likely to forget to lock the door, and less likely to lock yourself out.
While you are home, always lock the security door. That way, if you find yourself answering the door to a stranger, your door is your personal armour. Know that you can trust that layer of strong steel or aluminium mesh to keep you safe.
Shut the gate
If you have a back yard, consider locks on all entries. Could your back yard be secured with a tall fence and a lockable gate? Any rear or side property entries should be locked, as should all sheds, workshops or garages.
If you have a driveway, aluminium and steel gates are like a security door, not only for keeping your car safe, but your entire property. Jim’s Security Doors offer lockable gates that are strong and secure. Choose from manual or automated gates; swing or sliding gates; side entry, driveway or entryway gates. All are custom-made and expertly installed.
Installing security doors is one of the simplest and strongest steps you can take to safeguard your home. It is the most popular anti-theft device in Australia. To be effective, screen doors should be made of steel or aluminium mesh that meets Australian Standards. This means they have been tested for strength against knife attack and pressure and are formulated to withstand corrosion. ScreenGuard and PerfGuard security mesh are top sellers through Jim’s Security Doors because they offer superior strength and unobstructed visual access.
Security grilles added to screen doors offer extra protection and peace of mind. They can also be tailored to suit your home’s aesthetic with a choice of the classic Diamond Grille or a Heritage Cast Aluminium Grille that are available in a wide range of styles and colours. You can also get security screens for sliding and bi-fold doors.
With the doors inaccessible behind security doors, the next most vulnerable points are your home’s windows. Every unfixed, or openable window should be lockable. Consider the size and position of each window. Large ground-floor windows especially will be better protected by strong security screens or lighter screens with a grille.
Put away valuables and heavy tools
Garden tools left lying around can become weapons or break-in aids for thieves. Ladders can be difficult to store but they can also be a handy tool for thieves wanting to find an unlocked window on your second floor. If you live in an apartment building, you might not always know what other residents have left lying around so don’t rely on the fact that your home is off the ground.
Make sure any sheds are locked. Not only are tools valuable, but they can also be used to gain access to the house.
People are often amazed at how easily they get into the habit of turning on their house alarm after having it installed. An alarm with a flashing light and a high-volume, ear-piercing tone is often enough to send intruders running. It has the added bonus of very quickly alerting your neighbours who might be helpful later if they witness an intruder running from the scene. Alarms can be calibrated so they are not activated by your pets moving around the house. Jim’s Security have experts on hand to discuss the best choice of security alarm system for your home.
Thieves are camera shy. So shy that a visible security camera is often enough to deter a criminal. A quality camera system can be expensive and, if your property has several vulnerable spots, you might need several cameras in different places. Front doorstop cameras offer significant deterrence against break-in and stolen packages. Some security cameras come as part of an alarm system. Avoid using a fake camera as a kind of scarecrow, because many criminals are tech-savvy enough to tell the difference.
Alarms and cameras can be used separately or together as part of a broader security system. It’s important to remember though that alarms and cameras are not substitutes for physical barriers.
Know your neighbours
When one home might suffer a break-in, the anxiety often seeps through the whole neighbourhood. Your neighbours should be part of your home security ‘system’ and you should be part of theirs. If you are away, neighbours will often be the first people to call police if they see something. Sometimes the sight of a concerned neighbour investigating an activated alarm or a broken window is enough to scare off an intruder. Neighbours are also great to keep in the loop if you are going on holidays. Ask them to put out your bins, collect any junk mail and keep an eye out for strangers. Always return the favour when you can.
Thieves stick to the shadows where they are less visible. A well-lit tamper-proof motion sensor light are easy to install and have the double benefit of helping you feel secure when you are coming home after dark as well as giving unwelcome visitors a sudden spotlight.
Nothing ruins a brilliant holiday like coming home to find your house burgled. Before you go, make a checklist of things that need to be done:
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries;
- Let neighbours know you will be away;
- Check that valuables are not visible, and tools are locked away;
- Set alarm, deadlock doors; and
- Double check that everything is properly locked.
The good news is, COVID restrictions have had a positive effect on crime. In Australia, the number of unlawful entries with intent dropped by 23 per cent from 2019 to 2020. But there were still 133,870 victims home robbery. Thieves generally look for homes they can easily break into. If you are one of the unlucky ones, it is natural to feel guilty and wonder what you have done or could have done to stop it happening. However, if your house is burgled, it is important to remember it is not your fault and there are experts who understand what you have been through and how you can avoid it happening again.