Did you know that according to Precision Security Australia in 2017, there were 964 break ins committed in Melbourne and that was up over 25% from the year before? That is a significant amount of break ins with the number expected to climb. With that number, how do you protect your home from becoming just another statistic?
In this guide we are going to help protect your home from break ins and other crime. Many of the tips we are going to cover here will help to protect you from any crime that may come up. They will also work to protect you from crimes both while you are home and while you are not.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a fancy term for designing your home to prevent crimes from happening. Take a look at your property and determine what could be used to better allow a criminal to break into your home. Here are a few tips.
Any bushes that are on your property should be well maintained and kept away from windows. If you are going to have bushes near windows, make sure that they are at least several inches below the level of the window so that people cannot hide in them while breaking into your home.
A Clear Walk Way
Anyone approaching your front door should be visible from your peep hole and front windows. Any kind of trees, bushes, or installations should be kept clear of the approach to your home.
Another key CPTED principle is having proper lighting. Being able to see any threats during night and day is essential. Don’t block out sun light and provide yourself with a good light system to use during the night.
Maintain Your Yard
Maintaining your yard plays a big role in preventing criminals from attempting to break in to your home. A well-maintained yard shows criminals that you care for your home. It also prevents any potential hiding spots.
Installing A Security System
Your home can be breached in any number of ways. Windows and doors are the most common methods, but thieves get very creative. Knowing the instant that a thief gets into your home is key to catching them and preventing the loss of your property. A security system allows you to do that.
The Parts Of A Security System
Door sensors are crucial to a security system. When a door is opened, the alarm is triggered. These typically take the form of small magnetic sensors that are placed on the inside of the door frame.
Protecting your windows requires a two-fold approach. The first approach is to utilize the sensor that alerts you if the window is open. But windows can also be broken while leaving the sensor in place. That is why a thin metal contact can be placed along the window to alert of a broken window. Other methods can be used to detect a broken window such as a microphone to detect broken glass. Microphones for picking up the frequency of glass are capable of reaching out several feet, so one will work for a whole room.
Motion detectors are utilized inside the home to alert of a criminal that has found a way to bypass your other methods of alert. These motion detectors are typically armed only when you are away from the home, not when you are in the house as you will set them off.
An alarm horn will sound when your security system is triggered, allowing anyone breaking in to know the authorities are on the way. Further, it allows you to know there is an intruder and to take measures to protect your safety.
The last part of major alarm systems is an alarm panel. This is the portion of the panel that allows you to arm and disarm the system. It also features the equipment that equips the alarm to call out to authorities.
One last thing that needs to be mentioned is the alarm monitoring service. New alarm options that can be purchased on Amazon and at stores around the world, can be set up at your house and work using the internet. They go to your phone as opposed to an alarm monitoring company. For some people this is a good solution as it allows them to save money. One downside is that the internet can be cut by cutting the power, even if the alarm panel has a backup, there is no way for it to get the alert out.
Alarm monitoring services allow you to have a phone subscription that will send a signal out to a company whenever the alarm is triggered. The cell phone signal can be broadcast on the home’s power or a battery. That way you are always alerted, so are the authorities. That is one of the major benefits of the alarm company, they are able to notify the authorities upon an alarm activation.
Installing A Security Camera
Security camera systems have become a needed part of your home’s protection. These systems utilize a variety of different camera types to ensure coverage of a property, both inside and out. A variety of different companies offer security camera solutions at different quality levels.
Camera System Features
When looking at security camera systems you can shop based on cost but that typically won’t get you the product that you are looking for. A far better option is to look for cameras that have the features you want and have good reviews. If both criteria are met, you are likely to get a security camera system that will last you the life of your home. Let’s take a brief look at some of the features that you can have.
Point, tilt, zoom cameras (often called PTZ cameras) offer you the ability to move the camera around to get an image of anything within the camera’s range. You can also set these cameras to patrol so they are constantly moving. Often times, modern PTZ cameras come in the form of a dome shape with motorized internals to move the lens.
Some cameras feature microphones so that you can record and listen to audio when an incident occurs. This can be quite helpful in identifying individuals or to determine what is happening off camera. However, not every city allows for audio to be recorded without the consent of all of those involved. To further benefit a microphone though, many audio enabled cameras also feature a speaker so that you can talk to any potential criminals and warn them away.
Weatherproofing is found on a good number of cameras now so that you can have options that can be installed outside and used no matter what season you find yourself in. Selecting properly weatherproofed cameras prevents environmental damage to cameras.
IR powered night vision allows your camera’s view to be illuminated when it is dark out without visibly illuminating an area. These lights can be picked up by the camera but are not seen by the human eye.
Remote viewing can be used to allow your camera feeds to be accessed from your phone or computer. That way when you are away from the house you can still check in to make sure everything is okay. Some systems even allow you to enable mobile alerts so that you can be alerted when motion is detected.
Having your security cameras installed by a professional company is important. Without a professional installation, the system can experience issues such as faulty wiring or tampering. Professionals work to install a system in a way that is discrete and proper.
Some systems also have very complex setup and installation procedures that make it difficult for someone who is not experienced to work on them. If something goes wrong during the installation, there is nothing to cover any damage to the system. On the other hand, professional installation technicians cover their work so any damaged products are replaced.
Utilizing Security Devices
A number of security devices can be purchased from stores and the internet. While these devices won’t stop those looking to break in, they will help to convince said criminals to move on to a different house. The more protected that your home appears, the less likely you are to become a victim.
Motion Sensor Lighting
Motion activated lighting can be installed on your property so that if someone moves on your property in the middle of the night they get illuminated. This lets the criminal know they can be seen and can cause you to be alerted of someone before they break in.
Video Enabled Doorbells
Many criminals who are looking to target homes will ring the doorbell and knock in order to determine if someone is home first. Video enabled doorbells allow you to see who is at the door before you open said door. You can communicate both ways through the doorbell to let someone know you won’t open the door. This has the added benefit of allowing you to answer the doorbell even when you aren’t home so there is always the perception that you are home.
A home security sign doesn’t have any special features, but it alerts criminals that your property is protected. By itself it won’t keep away criminals but combined with everything on this list, you will make yourself a smaller target.
Inventorying Of Your Property
Sometimes you can be a victim and still get your property back. This is done by having a thorough inventory of your property. Make sure that you have a recorded list of every item in your home. If the item has a serial number, it should be recorded along with the make and model.
For expensive items that don’t have a serial number, installing some form of identification is a good idea. This can be done with an engraving tool or with paint. Make sure that the identifying mark is recorded in your logs.
Having a copy stored somewhere other than your property will help you to keep the list safe.
There are a lot of steps that you can take to keep your property safe from break ins. These are some of the most popular options and the most effective. You have already taken the first step into making your home safer, by becoming a more informed home owner. What are you going to do next?