Home Security Equipment Tips and Tricks
A family’s home is a sanctuary. It provides shelter for its residents, and space to keep cherished possessions. Unfortunately, burglars see many homes as something completely different: an easy source of unsecured valuables. There are certain risk factors, such as living near major thoroughfares, or in neighborhoods that have already experienced frequent break-ins, that make some homes more susceptible; but the bottom line is that no home is safe from attempted burglary. As with most things in life, the best solutions are preventative. Installing home security equipment can act as a strong deterrent to burglars, even in neighbourhoods with high crime rates. Choosing a home security system, however, can be stressful. Below are some tips to help get started.
Simply put, every single family household can benefit from a home security alarm. Having an alarm system installed decreases chances of an attempted break-in even occurring, as it removes the building from a potential burglar’s list of easy targets. Studies have shown that even a sign in the window stating that the home is protected by an alarm system is enough to decrease the risk of a break-in. Should a burglar unwisely attempt to break into a house that is equipped with an alarm system, not only will his or her presence be broadcast to the neighborhood, but monitored alarms offer the added protection of automatically reporting the activity to a third party. A monitoring company can then alert the homeowner and, if necessary, call the police to ensure an immediate response. For renters, wireless alarms are available that do not require permanent hardware installation. These provide many of the same benefits, and can be transported to a new household, should the resident decide to move. Wireless alarms are perfect for apartments as well, since they are easy to install and do not require making permanent changes to the property. Often companies require the permission of the landlord prior to installation. Chances are, that landlord will be much more amenable to the idea of installing a wireless system.
For those that are looking for more than just a basic alarm package, cameras can provide an extra level of security. The most useful place to install this invaluable piece of security equipment is at easy entrance points. Do keep in mind: most burglars break in through back or side doors, rather than the front entrance. Basic surveillance cameras are quite affordable, and constant advances in technology are improving their ability to deter criminals. Some systems can be remotely connected to smart phones, sending photographs or videos to property owners when they are not at home. These kinds of features drive up the price, but many consider them to be a worthwhile investment considering the level of protection that they offer.
Motion Sensors and Timers
For those that spend a good deal of time away from the house, setting timed lights can give the illusion that it is not vacant. Property owners can purchase timers to set lights, televisions, or other appliances to turn on at a particular time, or even connect them to a cell phone to turn them on and off remotely. A house that appears to be vacant for a long period of time is a perfect target. However, if it appears as though someone is home, most burglars will not chance a break-in. Some burglars case neighborhoods, often for days, prior to choosing a target. Lights that are set to turn on and off at the exact same time each day may appear suspicious. Consider choosing a timer that can be programmed to turn them on at different times, or even at random. It’s also best to cancel any newspaper subscriptions and hold the mail while out of town, as newspapers accumulating in front of the door are a dead giveaway that the home is vacant. No amount of fancy remote controlled lights and cameras will convince an experienced burglar otherwise, so it’s best to take this simple precaution. Installing motion activated exterior lights can be a great help in poorly lit areas as well. If a home has back or side doors that are not illuminated by street lights, particularly if they are not easily visible from either the neighbor’s house or the street, it is more likely to be targeted. Lights that turn on when someone approaches the door may startle off potential home invaders, and at the very least alert others nearby to their presence.
Take Basic Precautions
Even the best of high-end security systems will not prevent a break-in if the household is not properly secured. All doors should have dead bolts, which should be locked at night. It may sound obvious, but be sure not to leave doors unlocked when no one is home. Surprisingly many property owners still make this very basic mistake. Windows should also be closed and locked when the house is vacant, and any sliding glass doors should be secured using a dowel or a piece of wood. Always alert the neighbors prior to leaving for prolonged periods of time. If the people living in the house next door know that its owners are going to be gone for a week or two, they can help keep an eye on the property and call the authorities if they see any questionable activity. It’s best to explicitly ask for help, as people are sometimes hesitant to call the police if they are uncertain whether or not they are supposed to intervene. When deciding which of these security measures are appropriate for any given property, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Spending an extra few hundred dollars on adequate home security can certainly pay off in the long run, offering not just protection, but peace of mind. Most homeowners will sleep better knowing that their properties and their families are protected.