When it comes to home security it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Do a bit of online research and you’ll find yourself wanting to install home security systems, cameras, triple glazed windows and steel reinforced doors. All of which may be a great idea – but what if you can’t afford them? Good home security comes down to common sense. Here are seven things you can do on no – or very low – budget. And you can do them straight away, easily so that peace of mind is not something you have to wait for!
The number one thing to keep in mind is to make it difficult or at least uncertain for thieves to access or target your home. They want places that are easy to get in and out of so anything you can do to deter them will hopefully put your house in the ‘too hard basket’.
1. Check every lock before you leave the house
It’s so simple but we all forget from time to time. This is especially the case for window locks and garage locks. Thieves don’t want to force entry as this can attract attention. Make it impossible for them to get in easily.
If your garage provides access to the house this is especially important. Even if it doesn’t, try and make garages and sheds secure and difficult to access. That way nobody can get hold of tools or find a convenient place to hide.
2. Insert rods into sliding door and window cavities
This is a neat and very effective trick. Sliding doors can be relatively easy to ‘lift out’ of the cavities in which they sit. Make this difficult by placing rods in the cavity when you go out so the door does not slide open very far.
The same goes for windows, such as sash windows. You can insert a thick nail or pin into the frame so the window only opens a few inches. When you are home you can simply remove the pin to open the window fully.
3. Attach a security system sticker to front windows
A great diversion method. No thief will be 100% certain if you do or don’t have an alarmed security system. But if you have a sticker or label clear and visible on the front of your house they are less likely to try. Again, it’s not worth their risk and effort. They will move on to an easier target.
4. Tidy up your garden and yard
Don’t provide easy places for thieves to hide or even just be on your property without you knowing. Keep trees and bushes neatly trimmed, especially those near the house. This kind of attention also implies that you are active around the house and pay attention to what’s going on. This is in itself can act as a deterrent as many thieves find it easier to burgle a house where the owners or dwellers are absent a lot.
5. Don’t leave valuables exposed or visible
Never leave items like bicycles, skateboards or other equipment outside and not secured. Ideally you should not even do this if you are home, but certainly never leave them lying around when you are out.
Similarly, be careful of what people can see through your windows – both when you are home and when you are out. Many people have their most valuable equipment (eg: televisions, stereos, computers) in a front room. Try to avoid having blinds or curtains open so people can easily see into these rooms when you are not home. Another time to be cautious is at night. Because it is dark outside we assume others can’t see. But if your room is lit up and curtains are wide open, you are basically on display for all the world to see.
6. Install sensor lights or be creative how you use lights and routines
Sensor lights really do work. A light coming on startles any person and may cause a thief to move on to another house. Of course many burglaries happen during the day when the house is empty. You can do things like install timers so lights come on and off at different times during the day, or even other equipment like radios or televisions. If at all possible, break your or your family’s routine from time to time. Drive home at lunch time if you can, leave later or get home earlier. Anything that stops an obvious pattern from forming will act as a deterrent if someone is watching your home.
7. Introduce yourself to neighbours
This is so simple and probably as effective as all of the above tips put together! It’s not as easy as it used to be, especially in cities where we live more anonymously. But statistics prove time and again that burglaries are less common in areas where neighbours look out for each other. If someone is lurking around your place, a simple shout out from a neighbour: Can I help you? – can deter the potential thief.
You don’t have to become best friends with every neighbour, but take the initiative. A simple introduction and offer to collect mail if they go away can be a good way to break the ice and open up similar return offers.
Final small cost tip: If you invest in one new security measure the best one is to ensure all external doors have deadlocks and all accessible windows have secure locks. A good locksmith can come and provide a quote for these basics. This small investment buys you a lot. Remember – anything that makes life slightly harder for a thief will deter them. They want easy targets!
For any further advice or to get a quote, please contact our mobile locksmiths service on 1800 348 378, or visit our website: www.fivestarlocksmiths.com.au We service Melbourne CBD and most Melbourne suburbs 24/7, 365 days per year.