Security 101: Access Control – at home?

In the earlier installments of Security 101, we’ve talked about fences and bollards, and barriers in general, which is what you might call “perimeter protection”. We’re pretty much done with that for now, so we’ll step a little closer to home and say a few things about “access control”. It’s easy to dismiss this as something only big companies or public buildings need to worry about, but that would be a mistake. Every day, you use some kind of access control where you live (or, you should be, at least). How, you say? We’ll explain.
Intrusion preventions and access control can be something as simple as the locks on your doors and windows. Don’t have locks on your windows? Well, you probably should. Access control is also having a little bit of oversight on how many keys there are to your house and your garage, where those keys are, and/or who has them. I’m not saying you should keep a detailed list at home, detailing when keys were loaned out or assigned, to whom, periodic audits and whatnot else, but a general idea is good.

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Let’s say you’ve got five house keys. One is on your key chain, and maybe you keep a spare key buried in the back yard, just left of that old stump you’ve got there since the rotten tree fell down. Or maybe it’s in a can on a high shelf in the garage. That leaves three keys, and where are they? Handed out to the family, maybe. When the kids go off to college, ask ’em every now and then if they still have their keys and know where they are. Not every day, of course, but what about once a month? This is simple access control, and prevents a lot of potential grief. You get the idea, I’m sure.
Windows are another worry. Getting some good window locks is essential for security. Why, when someone can just smash the glass? Well, most burglars or home invaders like the easy targets, just like any other predator, both human and animal. Given a choice of having to break a window with all the noise and risk that carries with it, and just slipping in one that can be pried open, the outcome is simple. If you have locks, the chances that the burglar moves on is much better.
At home, there’s not much need for special locks, system keys or electronic locks. There is one thing, however, that’s worth considering. “Security containers” are essential to companies, meaning heavy duty filing cabinets, safes and fireproof lockers or even rooms. For your house, that might not be all that necessary, but if you do keep sensitive records such as birth- or death certificates, photo negatives, adoption papers or whatever else at home, you should have a fire proof safe somewhere. And don’t keep it out in the open, either – have it installed in a closet, inside panelling, or someplace else that is smart.
Access control and intrusion protection for anyone’s home should be carefully planned out. That doesn’t mean that you need a team of experts working around the clock for years on it, it just means that you should think it through, just like you did for the fencing and the mote you’ve been busy digging since we first write about it. You did start on the mote, right? Remember, summer is coming, and digging during the summer beats trying to pound through frozen ground come fall! So get crackin’!
Here’s a little bullet list that you can consider as a checklist for your access control and intrusion prevention.
  • Locks and keys. Do you have good, modern locks that can’t be easily picked? Do you know where all your keys are?
  • Window locks and blockers. You should get them. There are also window blockers that will allow you to keep a window slightly open without having to worry about anyone getting in!
  • Basement / Storm shelter entrances. Make sure you use good padlocks!
  • Security containers. Remember that some things just can’t be replaced, such as old photo negatives. If you plan on keeping those things at home, better get a fire proof safe. This is also a very good place to keep spare keys to your house, your garage and your car, etc.
The need for access control at home doesn’t stretch quite as far as it would have done for a business, where I would have included such things as guards, patrols, visitor ID programs, parking security and even remote monitoring of entrances, but even you as a home owner or potential such should be aware of a bare minimum that would be appropriate “back at the house”.
Next up in the Security 101 series, we’re going to talk a little bit about fire! Yay. As usual, come back soon!
Oh, and leave a comment, why dontcha? We love ’em!

0 Replies to “Security 101: Access Control – at home?”

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