Security Tips

by Rob Tait - Group Purchasing Manager, Carlisle Homes

Security Tips

Whatever security measures you have built into your new home – use them!

Home security has always been a consideration, but in recent times the interest in home security features has been much higher.  But this doesn’t mean that you have to turn your home into a fortress or spend a fortune on electronic security measures. 

In fact, the two most effective precautions against theft at your home involve no technology at all. Whatever security measures you build into your new home – use them! 

Whichever door or window locks you have specified – use them to ensure your doors are actually locked. Many, many thieves gain simple access to a house through an unlocked door or open window. Don’t make things easy for would-be thieves. 

The only thing thieves hate more than securely locked doors are dogs! Thieves don’t like attention being drawn to them and there’s nothing like a territorial pooch to bring unwanted attention. Research consistently shows that dogs are an excellent deterrent for intruders.  

But even if a dog is not a practical solution for you just now, there are plenty of additional measures you can take. 

When it comes to physical locks, all external swing doors have a keyed lock in the handle, which for many people is sufficient.  But in addition, deadlocks can be added. A single cylinder deadbolt is a bolt that requires a key to unlock from the outside but can be opened with a snib from the inside. A double cylinder deadbolt provides additional security in that it requires a key to open from the outside and from the inside, so once locked, cannot be opened at all without the key. 

A double cylinder deadlock will prevent the front door being opened via a broken sidelight. It will also prevent a thief leaving the house with your possessions. But remember to disengage the deadlocks when you are home to ensure an easy exit in case of a fire. 

Electronic security measures can be bewildering, but the choices range from a very simple alarm through to highly sophisticated detection systems. 

Starting at the beginning, a basic alarm system comprises motion detectors, control pad, a siren and strobe light. Once the alarm is activated via the code pad, any human activity inside the house will cause the alarm to sound.  Thieves don’t like that! 

This alarm can be just local, or it can optionally send an alert to your phone or even to a monitoring company.  A monitoring company can then respond by sending out a patrol to investigate or to secure the premises. 

If the alarm has communication capability, it can also be monitored and controlled remotely via a mobile phone.  So as well as being alerted to an alarm, you can also arm or disarm the system remotely.  

Thieves hate to be seen and hate to be identified, so two more sensible deterrents are exterior sensor lights and Closed Circuit TV cameras. 

Sensor lights switch on when activated by movement.  Their sensitivity can be adjusted so that they don’t come on unnecessarily when plants move in the wind and can also be adjusted for the duration of time they come on for.  Sensor lights at key access points to your home will ensure that thieves don’t get to work in the dark as they would prefer. 

Similarly, thieves do not want to have vision of their crimes recorded on a Digital Video Recorder.  Cameras speak for themselves as a deterrent, but also serve other purposes. Both live and recorded vision can be seen on your mobile phone, which can help with receiving deliveries, checking on pets, and keeping an eye on things generally. 

An internal switchboard is often overlooked as an important security measure. 

A conventional external meterbox contains both meters (which need to be accessible to the electricity authorities) and circuit-breakers, which might need to be reset by the home owner. You may not feel comfortable walking outside to the meterbox to investigate a light or power circuit-breaker which might have switched off – or been switched off. 

Instead, the circuit breakers can be housed in a switchboard inside the home – often in the laundry or garage. This means you can check on circuit breakers in a well-lit and safe environment rather than venturing outside at night. 

So there are very many approaches to keeping your family and your possessions safe. Some are physical such as locks, others are electronic such as alarms and cameras, and some are behavioural. The behavioural measures are probably the most important. 

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Taking the common sense approach of actually using the security measures you have, and taking basic steps to avoid the appearance of your house being unattended, will generally provide the deterrence to thieves you are looking for. 


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