My husband travels a great deal for work and is away for extended periods of time.
It is an unfortunate but necessary evil that neither of us is comfortable with. Having two young children means that I am left with the daunting responsibility of keeping them safe. In the beginning, I spent many nights with a knife in my hand, listening to phantom sounds coming from downstairs and having my phone at the ready to call 000. (or 911 depending on where you are located)
Fortunately, a friend in the security business gave me some tips on how to limit criminals interest in targeting my home, by implementing some simple security precautions.
Alarmingly, about 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.
An astonishing 34% enter through the front door!
Investing in security doors and window grilles can be the number one method for deterring thieves and protecting your family and valuables.
Security doors can also allow you to open your front door to callers without allowing them to gain access to your home.
Monitor children, especially coming in and out of the home, as they can inadvertently leave doors unlocked. When leaving the house to ensure all doors and windows are locked, even those on the upper floors.
Opposite to what many people think, the statistics surrounding break-ins are most surprising.
- Most break-ins occur between 10 am and 3 pm, not in the middle of the night as Hollywood would have you believe.
- Most burglars will stay within their local area, typically within two miles of your home which enables them to target vulnerable properties.
- Most thieves are in and out of your home in under 10 minutes.
Highlighting and low lighting
Sensor lights installed around doors and windows especially at the rear of properties can immediately startle and deter thieves. Floodlights which light up large areas are ideal and can alert neighbors to the fact that someone is on your property.
Keep valuables out of view, away from windows. This is especially relevant for car keys left on kitchen benches. An increasingly common crime, is gangs breaking into houses to get car keys to steal cars. Keep wallets, purses, and handbags out of sight.
Approximately 60% of thieves are discouraged from breaking into a home with a security camera installed. The range and options on the market today are enormous and include options to monitor your home through the use of your Smartphone.
Look for models which have:
- Motion detection
- Wifi capability
- Packages of multiple cameras
- Video recording capability
- Capability to monitor, access and operate through a Smartphone or tablet
- Capability to view footage through a television monitor
Man’s best friend and a thief’s worst enemy
In a survey, when asked what most affected their decision to target a house, over 60% of thieves responded that a noisy dog was enough to discourage them. Even a small dog makes a lot of noise and they have the benefit of needing only a small pet door.
Large pet doors have been identified as access risks, with burglars using them to enter a property either by climbing through or using a tool to manipulate locks to gain entry.
Trim and terrific
Keep gardens and bushes maintained and cut well back.
Trees and bushes can create a screen which shields thieves from view. Keeping them low means that criminals would feel exposed and limit the time that they have to gain entry, hampering their efforts.
Keeping up appearances – Vacation safety
When leaving home for any extended period of time, such as for family vacations, consider implementing some basic security precautions such as:
- Have mail, newspapers , and catalogs collected by a trusted neighbor so they don’t accumulate and draw attention to the fact you’re away.
- Have a car parked in the driveway at all times.
- Don’t leave bins out on the nature strip. Ask a neighbor to bring them in.
- Have interior electrical items such as lamps and radios on timers so that it appears from the street as if someone is home.
Nobody wants to turn their home into a prison, but there are some basic ways to make your home less appealing to thieves. Generally they are looking for a soft target and will quickly move on to a less challenging option if thwarted.
Implementing some simple deterrents can make a huge difference to your risk of being targeted, allowing you to sleep easier at night and give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are safe and protected.