Crime Prevention Tips – Home Security
EVALUATE YOUR HOME SECURITY NOW
Bushes, trees and shrubs obscuring windows or doors trimmed or removed so that a burglar can’t hide while breaking in.
Outside doors should be of a solid core so that a hole can’t be punched through it.
Electricity fuse box should be locked. Locksmiths will sell or fit a lock that can be accessed by your Electricity meter reader. This prevents burglars from turning off the power in the hope of also turning off lights or alarms.
Have you fitted outside automatic sensor lights? These lights will come on automatically when someone approaches. This allows you or your neighbours to see who is approaching, and will deter most burglars. A fitted sensor light also provides safety for you when you come home during the hours of darkness. Fit them front and back and under the carport to illuminate your car.
Have you a street number on your house or fence? Is the number big enough and reflective so that it can be seen from a vehicle in the street at night? Even if you have kerbside numbering, this number could be obscured by a parked car, leaves or water when raining. Emergency vehicles need the number to get to your home quickly to provide assistance when needed. A ‘V’ shaped rectangle of metal or plastic with 2 sets of reflective numbers fitted to a letter box or fence post provides a number for vehicles travelling in either direction in your street. Neighbourhood Watch recommends fitting reflective house numbers.
Vehicle security should be to a level in line with the value of your vehicle. In most cases a steering wheel lock and automatic sensor light over the vehicle is sufficient. But if you have a very expensive and popular vehicle (Holden Special Vehicle) you should keep the vehicle inside an alarmed locked garage. You might even consider fitting a ‘bollard’ or steel post behind your vehicle that can be locked into place and then unlocked and folded down so you can drive over it and out the driveway.
Fences and gates.
Fences and gates should not be so high that no one can see over or burglars will be able to practice their trade away from the view of neighbours or passers by who would call police or deter them.
Garages and sheds……
Garages and tool/garden sheds must be locked at all times (including doors and windows) so that burglars can’t get in and use your tools to break in to your house, or just steal your tools or garden implements.
Have a careful look at the outside of your home, at the doors and windows. Your outside doors should be fitted with dead-locks. There are dead-locks for a wide range of doors, from solid front doors to glass-sliding patio doors. Make sure that the locks conform with an Australian ‘AS’ standard. Your lock-smith can advise you on the types of locks and key them alike so that you don’t have to have too many different keys. These locks should only be ‘dead-locked’ (unable to open from inside as well as outside) when you are NOT home, for safety in case your need to exit quickly.
Windows are a favourite entry point for burglars, but they don’t like to take too long or make much noise. To make it as difficult as possible for them, fit keyed locks to ALL windows, even if you have a lock fitted. The type of lock depends on the type of window and again your lock-smith case advise you and key them alike. If you have sliding aluminium windows or doors check for free play and if there is some, fit some screws so that the window or door cannot be lifted out of its tracks. A self-tapping screw fitted above the door or window will prevent that door or window from being lifted up and then out.
Have you fitted a door viewer so that you can see who is there? They range from a simple peep-hole viewer to a closed circuit TV camera depending on what you can afford. If you don’t know who is at your door, you should connect the door chain so that the door can’t be forced open. A strong security chain screwed or bolted to the door and door-jam is recommended.
A security door is also recommended. Again the door should meet Australian Standards and be of steel construction with three locking bolts for top, centre and bottom, and fitted with a dead-lock. Ideally the door mesh would be of a type that allows you to see out but visitors unable to see in. A light over the outside of the front door will allow you to see visitors in the dark.
Most homes are fitted with a manhole cover allowing access into the ceiling and some homes have had skylights fitted. Make sure that your manhole cover or skylight is fitted with a lock to prevent entry from the roof. In most cases a simple sturdy barrel lock fitted either side would prevent entry.
If you keep licensed firearms, you MUST by law store them securely. Firearms must be kept in a locked steel box or cabinet which is secured the floor. You must NOT store ammunition with the firearms and don’t advertise the fact that you keep firearms. Check with your local Police Station for more information.
Intruder alarms are a good idea but not essential. Make sure that your alarm salesman, technician and monitoring company are licensed and competent. Get several quotes before fitting an alarm and remember the cheapest is not always the best. Your alarm will need checking and servicing regularly. Also, police do NOT attend all alarms. Police do not attend single sector alarms unless there is some other information about offenders. Your alarm should have a battery-backup, flashing light and siren and MUST reset itself after a few minutes. It is a good idea to have smoke alarms fitted at the same time.
If your Home conforms with the above check list, then you have passed the security evaluation.
HOWEVER…. THIS EVALUATION WILL MEAN NOTHING IF YOU DON’T…………………… LOCK UP! YOUR HOME
WHEN YOU GO OUT!
- Most break-ins result from poor security; or windows or doors left UNLOCKED!
- Write out a ‘lock-up’ check list of things to do when going out, have all members of the family use the check list ALL of the time!
- Dead Lock all outside doors.
- Leave inside doors open to allow alarm sensors to do their job.
- Key lock all windows.
- Place all pets outside.
- Turn off stove and heater.
- Turn the telephone answering machine on . (they won’t know if you’re home or not)
- Leave a radio on inside the house, on a talk station if possible.
- Leave a light on inside….. or …. fit a timer switch and have the lights and radio come on and go off now and again. ( to make it appear as if someone is home)
- Turn ON the alarm but don’t allow strangers see you do it, they might remember the numbers.
- Dead-lock the front security door.
- Don’t leave notes on the door telling everyone when you will be home.