tips that keep criminals out
16 July 2009
There is an email doing the rounds at the moment that shows how criminals colour code the exterior of your home with crayon to indicate that it has been ‘cased' and the type of crime to which it is vulnerable. A weekend newspaper has confirmed that this is no urban legend, just the first step in highly organised criminal groups' modus operandi. Web searches reveal that the targeting of homes offering quick, easy access is the preference of criminals the world over. The solution is to ‘harden the target', making your home difficult to break into and therefore less attractive to criminals.
The question is how to go about go about achieving this. Trellidor's countrywide network of franchisees has had many years of experience in securing homes after they have been invaded by criminals. They have the following suggestions for readers to avoid their home being ‘selected' by criminals:
- The most common points of entry are the front door, back door and garage. They are often left open or poorly secured. Install good quality security barriers inside the exterior doors and keep these locked at all times.
- Keep your garage door closed and make sure you know where all your remote controls are. If one of these is lost, ask your garage door supplier to reset the rest to avoid potential theft. Never leave the remote controls in your car as some thieves are able to ‘record' your transmitter's signal and open the door without stealing the control. Also, insist on encrypted coding or code hopping transmitters and receivers to optimize your security.
- Locks are often a weak point, so ensure your security gates are supplied with the strongest locks available. Upgrade your door locks too. Quality hardware stores should be able to assist you with suggestions.
- Secure all your windows with barriers, no matter how small or high up they are. Select burglar guards such as Cottage Guard that cannot be kicked out. Make sure some of your windows have retractable security barriers such as those offered by Trellidor. You don't want to be trapped in a room and unable to get out because the windows are tightly secured. As with your external doors, window security should be installed inside rather than on the exterior.
- Noisy deterrents such as large dogs and burglar alarms are a good investment as they heighten the burglar's fear of getting caught. Allow at least one large dog to sleep inside the house as an element of surprise should criminals gain access to your home.
- Keep your garden free of hiding places for criminals. Trim overgrown shrubbery near the house and exterior walls or fencing.
- Don't leave garden implements or tools outside. The criminals only need a small hammer left lying around to break a window and get into your house.
- Check that you have adequate lighting outside so that you don't have to walk from your car to the house in the dark. Exterior lights are also a deterrent as criminals don't want to be seen. Use night lights in the house for the same reason.
- Join your neighbourhood watch or get one going. Areas around the country that have worked together successfully have cut down the incidence of crime drastically.
- Ideally, one should install ‘layers' of security from exterior movement sensors to secure perimeter fencing, burglar alarms, interior movement sensors, burglar guards on all windows, sliding barriers on doors, panic buttons, a safe room and armed response. This is a costly exercise, though, so begin with barrier security on doors and windows and add more layers as the funds become available.
Trellidor North Durban and Dolphin Coast has trained Security Consultants who will do a comprehensive free security assessment of your home and advise you on the best plan to show criminals that your home will not be easy to break into without a high risk of discovery.
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