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Home » Features

10 Security Tips to a Safer Home

Published by on Monday, 12 May 2008No Comment

Living in Brighton and Hove we encounter some unique security challenges that make success in criminal careers easier for the unsavoury. Many of the homes in our neighbourhoods are split into flats with too many residents. Many properties share communal hallways. Scaffolding is rampant and you never know if the builder working next door is friend or foe. A large percentage of robberies use scaffolding as an access point. So what can you do to protect your valuables?

While you shouldn’t ever lull yourself into a false sense of 100% safety, there ARE things you can do to make your property less vulnerable. Here are my top ten tips:

1. I’m going to state the obvious first but it has to be said. Put your treasures away. Look around your home and think like a thief. The average degenerate wants quick cash for drugs, food, drink or worse. So don’t leave valuables about. Don’t leave them in visible places! Don’t keep jewellery in a jewellery box on the vanity. Don’t drop your handbag by the front door or leave your keys in a dish near the door. It’s celebration time for a thief who climbs through a window looking for petty cash and finds your car keys – Vroom vroom!

2. Recognise that you and your home can be targeted by thieves who think you have valuables worth stealing. If your computer or your plasma screen is visible from the window– someone may be watching you to learn your time schedule so they can pay a visit when you go out. Close your curtains at night especially when it’s easier to peek in. Why advertise that you’re prime to be robbed?

3. Thieves like to work swiftly, so do everything you can to slow them down. If you have baby gates, close all of them when you go out. If you have a room with lots of equipment or technology, i.e. computers, install internal locks on those doors. Push- button locks are great because they are inexpensive to install and they don’t require a key.

4. It may sound obvious, but make sure all of your windows have a sash window pin lock with a key. (The simple half-moon lock that flips on the top of a sash window is useless; a thief can break the glass and turn it in a matter of seconds.) With a pin lock however, they have to break enough glass to climb through. This is a much harder task and will most likely deter them. Pin locks are cheap and easy to install, a pack will cost you less than a pub lunch.

5. Keep your property well lit, even when the curtains are drawn. A dark home sends the message that you’re not there. If you are out for more than a few hours, invest in a lamp timer. Timers are available at most local shops and they can give the impression that you’re home by automatically turning your lights on and off.

6. Noise is also a great deterrent. If you’re going out, turn your radio or TV on to a talking program. A thief won’t be sure if someone is home and they won’t roll the dice.

7. If you have a garden or private outdoor space (especially garden flat entrances) install a motion sensor light. Thieves don’t want to be lit up when they enter your space. These lights can be found at most DIY shops and are very easy to install. It’s also a great safety idea to light your walkways. You’ll be amazed how much you appreciate not coming home to a dark entrance!

8. Don’t let your mail or deliveries announce that you’re on holiday. If you go away for a few days, have a friend or neighbour bring in your mail. Don’t leave it piling up, especially if you have a communal hallway. If you get the paper or milk delivered make sure to put it on hold. Not only will thieves realise you’re away, they’ll feel they can take their time robbing your property. That’s a bad combination.

9. Block your mail-slot with weatherproofing or felt so no one can look into your home. Why make it easy to see inside?

10. Security Cameras are the eye that never sleeps. For homes that have multiple vulnerable areas, I recommend a television-accessible camera system. It’s peace-of-mind for a homeowner to pull up their quad camera views on any house television at the click of a button. (Be sure to select one that offers time and date stamps as they are essential for prosecution in the event of a robbery.) Also, don’t forget that you MUST post a sign that divulges you have CCTVs on your premises.

Paris Stone has been a licensed Private Investigator for over 20 years. He specializes in various levels of investigative and security solutions. If you would like a consultation regarding security solutions, please call 01273 72 42 82 or email: paris.stone@brightonpi.com.

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