Shiny new keys… metal confirmation that you finally have a place of your own to call home. All the hassle that went into getting to this point seems like a distant story now, the bottom line was worth the effort. Be it humble or posh, a house is an important point of reference in our life, one that connects, shelters and offers comfort to the entire family.
And, like any valuable thing, it too needs maintenance and protection. Break-ins can always happen, independent of where you live, and it’s wise to stay ahead of trouble by preparing for contingencies.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Whether we’re talking home-invasion (the house is broken into while the occupiers are in) or simple burglary (the perpetrator acts when the occupants are out) there’s one and the same denominator: the intruder – and this person should be the first focus point when creating a safety plan for your property.
Profiling such trespassers and understanding how they operate are must-do’s if you want to make sure you cover as many angles as possible.
They typically target houses where it’s unlikely that they may encounter resistance and they go for anything of value: cash, art, jewellery, pin numbers etc. Violent behaviour is not out of character for home invaders so, if you end up an unwilling part of an intrusion scenario, be aware of potential triggers.
Unlike plain burglaries, home invasions imply premeditation – most of these perpetrators take their time to research a person or a specific residence. Burglars will mainly scan for intervals when the homeowner(s) are out; home invaders aim to learn the particulars of daily routines (i.e. where occupents work, or hang out or go shopping etc.). This is how they assess the value of their future ‘collectables’ and the resistance they might be faced with.
Both these criminal types easily resort to deception if that helps them approach the targeted residence, therefore think twice before engaging with any unfamiliar or suspicious looking delivery men, salesman or possible scouts (meaning accomplices that facilitate contact for the aggressor).
Working in pairs is not uncommon, so expect (and plan for) that and acknowledge that whatever motivates a home invader, his actions represent a real threat and you should treat it as such.
Securing your Home – the Master Plan
- Outside Protection
First things first: motion sensor lighting is your friend, have it installed all around your property – try to leave no corner or walkway in the dark; the immediate vicinity of the house should not allow for undetectable traffic. Fix all your exterior fences, the garage doors and gates with alarm systems and (even if it goes without saying) make sure the garage doors are properly shut when you are not home.
Though it sounds obvious, let it be said nonetheless: clear your yard and prune your trees. Figure out if there’s anything that might obstructs your outside view or give clues to the valuable items that are to be found inside your house and adjust so that you eliminate any ‘attractions’ and/or ‘obstacles’.
- Inside Protection
First things first: have an interior motion detectors equipped security alarm system installed and use it every time the house is vacant. Moreover, if there are parts of your home that are not used daily/frequently, leave the alarm on even when you are home – burglars actually count on the alarm not being active while occupants are in and busy with different chores.
Make sure the alarm is monitored and able to function in case you temporarily lose power; a secondary keypad unit (that you can use as a panic button) in your bedroom is also something you should look into, it might be more useful than you think. Change alarm codes as often as possible and have self-defence items placed in strategic locations all through the house.
If the space and budget allows it, consider building a safe room and do not skip drafting an emergency plan (with clear actions for all family members) applicable in case your home is invaded. Discuss it with everyone involved so that each person may retain the key details.
Last, but not least, enhance your security plan by getting a dog – a loud and insistent bark could be all the early alarm system you need to take action in due time.
There is a lot that you can do to safeguard your home and your loved ones – the simple, quick measures presented in this article are but a preview of all available possibilities. Start your research today and piece together the best formula for your safety and peace of mind.
Source: Tanya Mayer