Home Security

The safety and protection of your family will always be a top priority for any homeowner. Our peace of mind rests on the assurance that our homes are well protected from intruders, robbers, and criminals. Follow these tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of crime.

External Security

Trees, plants and shrubbery may serve as natural hiding places for criminals intent on burgling your home. The following suggestions can help make your yard less of a target:

  • Keep the lower branches of all trees trimmed up to six feet high.
  • Trim hedges to a maximum height of two feet.
  • Remove hedges and trees within six feet of your doorway that may offer concealment.
  • Ensure that your front door and other access points at the front of your house are visible from your neighbour’s house across the street.
  • Remove large landscaping rocks that are close to windows since these may be used to break into the home or vandalise it.
  • Plant gardens with low shrubbery close to windows to serve as barriers against ‘peeping Toms’. Thorny plants such as the cactus and bougainvillaea may also prevent unwanted guests from gaining access through windows.
  • Trim or remove trees that offer access to upper level bedroom windows.
  • Place signs such as ‘Property Protected’, ‘No Trespassing’, ‘Dangerous Dog’, etc. in conspicuous places.
Exterior Door Security
Hollow core and glass doors are not very secure. Ideally exterior door should be solid wood or laminated wood core construction 1 3/4″ thick. The doorframe should be of solid or laminated wood or metal.
Glass doors should have burglar-resistant wire mesh or tempered safety glass installed. This precaution should be observed for any glass panels near or in a door that would allow a burglar in. Sliding glass patio doors are often easily lifted out of their frame. To prevent this, self-tapping screws should be installed in the upper track. This will fill the space between the upper door and track and make it impossible to lift the door out of the track. This is neither difficult nor expensive. Patio doors may also be pinned using ‘jimmy bars’ or locked with a commercial lock available at any hardware store.
Additionally, installing a peephole or wide-angle viewer at all entry doors allows you the security of seeing outside without having to open the door.
Hinges and Strike Plates
Exterior doors with hinges on the outside will provide burglars with easy access to your home. This situation can be corrected in three ways:

  1. Have the door removed and the hinges remounted on the inside of the frame so that the door swings inward.
  2. Install a set of non-removable hinge pins.
  3. Install a locking pin in the existing hinge plate as follows:

Remove the centre screw from each plate of both the top and bottom hinge. Insert a “headless” screw or bolt into the doorframe through the hole in the hinge plate, leaving 1/2″ protruding. Drill a hole 3/4″ deep through the opposing hinge plate into the door. Once this is done, the pins in the doorjamb will penetrate the opposing hole in the door. The door will be held in position even if the hinge pins are removed.

Deadbolt Locks
A good quality deadbolt lock with a 1″ throw that affixes securely to the door with hardened steel bolts provides excellent security. All key-in-knob locks should be replaced with deadbolt locks for all entrance doors. Deadbolt locks are available with single and double cylinder opening. The double cylinder locks are operated by key on both sides. It is designed to provide additional security on doors where a glass window is within 40 inches or arms length of the inside door lock.
Avoid Key-In-Knob Locks and Door Chains
Although these are very common locking devices, they provide little security. This type of lock on an entrance door is an invitation to even the most inexperienced burglar. Over the years, this type of lock has proven the entry point in many burglaries. Door chains are also not a very reliable form of security as they are easily broken. However, while double cylinder deadbolt locks provide additional security, they can be extremely hazardous if the door they secure is to be used as a fire emergency exit.
Window Security
Windows provide little security. Although a burglar may hesitate to break the glass, most window locks can be pried open with ease. The following are a few suggestions to appraise and possibly upgrade your current window security.

  1. Pinning – nearly all types of windows can be pinned for security. Commercial pins are available, but large nails are just as effective and substantially less expensive. Drill a 3/16″ hole through the inside window frame and into (but not through) the outside frame. A nail or pin can then be placed in the hole to secure the window.
  2. Double hung windows (windows that slide up). These can also be secured by pinning, or by a commercial lock.
  3. Sliding Aluminium Windows – These windows can be secured by pinning using a commercial lock or a ‘jimmy bar’.
  4. Basement Windows – If these exist in your home they should be permanently secured especially if they are seldom used.
These should be used in addition to other security measures, and not be the only security measure.

These should be carefully chosen as there are many kinds at many prices, and should only be purchased from reputable distributors who provide maintenance guarantees.

Security Lighting
By fitting security lighting, your driveway, garden or the outside of your house will be flooded with light whenever movement is detected. In this way you will be able to keep an eye on visitors to your door. All main entrance doors should be well lit at night. The Security Lighting Range can be split into two main categories:

  • Security Lanterns
    Security lanterns are often used to light the front of the home or the porch and are available in a range of colours and styles. All security lanterns incorporate exclusive sensors which can detect movement up to 8 metres away and light the lantern for approximately 2 minutes. This will deter unwelcome visitors by illuminating your driveway or garden.
  • Security Floodlights
    If you have a larger garden, security floodlights may be the best choice as they generally project more light than lanterns.
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