Would you prefer an easy nights’ sleep or a visit from the police and a late night phone call to your insurance company? A few precautions around the home makes all the difference.
Most burglars are opportunistic, and the brazen will attempt to break in while you are home and during the day. Don’t make it easy for them. Here are some ways you can be clever with home security.
- Barricade. Fences walls trees or hedges around your property make it difficult for burglars to scout your home from the street. It could also hinder their access or getaway when in a hurry. And make sure it is sound. Why have a high fence if the latch on the gate is loose? And just because you wouldn’t crawl through a hole in the fence doesn’t mean they won’t.
- Garage doors. Left unlocked or ajar garage doors are an open invitation to the dishonest. Get an automatic garage door opener from an access control company or buy a padlock. And use it. What do you store in the garage that you would miss? Car? Bikes? Tools? Pram? Furniture?Teenagers?
- Tidy up. Search your section. Have you put your garden tools away? Rocks or pot plants on your front porch? Timber or building materials lying around? All can be used to break windows and doors.
- Light up. Burglars want to be invisible. Make sure your security lights work or consider having some installed at each entrance, motion sensor lights are recommended. If going away have lights on a timer or buy light sensitive ones that activate when it’s dark. Your local DIY store can help if you prefer to save some money or contact a home security company for more info.
- Alarming plants. Use them to your advantage. Plant rose bushes or succulents like Aloe Vera under windows as a deterrent. Use exotic smelling plants to foul the air. Small cacti in pots on windowsills could be enough to surprise even the stealthiest bad guy. Check out your nearest garden centre or gardening enthusiast for help on this.
- Listen to your home. Footpaths and driveways laid with gravel shingle or mussel shells give good warning someone is coming. Put wind chimes by the door or a hanging door screen with beads or bells. Take note of the unique sounds your home makes; have you noticed the bathroom door will shudder as it opens, the floorboard by the TV squeaks and the back door clicks twice when it closes? Thieves will not know your home like you do.
- Be friends with your neighbours. Let them know when you’re going away, have them collect your mail, leave them a key to draw your curtains at night. Ask if they could park vehicles in your drive. And do the same for them when they go on holiday. Some may even house sit or carry out neighbourly surveillance for you.
- Paper mate. Stop your newspaper deliveries. A build up on your driveway indicates an empty home. Some newspapers have an online facility to stop and restart deliveries yourself. Or ask a neighbour to pick them up daily and they get a free read for doing so.
- To beat them, join them. Your property looks different at night. Prowl around with the lights out and see what security issues you may have missed during the day.
- Say cheese. Unfortunately, even the bad guys succeed. Remember to photograph precious items. Save to an online photo sharing website like Flickr or Snapfish (but make sure your privacy settings are on). Don’t leave them on your camera, hard drive or PC as they could be stolen too. Caption the photos with the relevant serial numbers so you will always have a record.
There are many more ways to protect your home and belongings.
By being proactive you can make your home less attractive to criminals and you can have that easy nights’ sleep, every night.