If you have gone away these holidays full of happiness only to come back to a few items missing, you are not alone.
Ballarat ranks 5th in the whole of Victoria for the highest criminal offences, including theft, which is astronomical. So what can you do to stop theft occurring at your home?
Here are some simple, yet very effective methods and tools that anyone can employ to improve your DIY Home Security strategies.
DIY Home Security Tactic 1: Scout your boundaries
You will want to look around your front, rear and neighbouring fencing (both sides) to look for anything that can be used as a prop for either getting over the fence or getting into your home. That means anything that can be climbed on or used with force like, benches, tyres, seating and tables. Practically anything that can be used as a step, move it away from the fence. All those tools you have left out for the job you are going to do in a few days…put them back in the shed! You would not believe that I just cleaned up a sledge-hammer from the front yard! That means wheelbarrows, hammers, ladders, wire cutters, screw drivers etc, put them where they belong! And don’t leave anything out you don’t want to lose!
DIY Home Security Tactic 2: Use Locks
This may seem pretty obvious, but sometimes we have an overwhelming sense of ‘it hasn’t happened yet’, that we to stop locking our doors, cars and garages…all or some of the time. Well guess what! That ONE time…could be the last time!
- Lock Your Garage- If you have a lockable garage, lock it after use, and you might as well make sure it’s not on show with the roller door open during the weekly lawn mowing. Someone is just begging for a preview! If the lock is faulty, replace it. A locksmith would charge around $150 for a new lock on a garage side door.
- Don’t forget windows and doors – If you know the company who manufactured your windows, go back to them and ask about security options. Every window is lockable and some are easier to install than others. Awning windows (wind out), that have no lock, can easily be replaced with key lockable winders and it’s as easy as un-mounting usually 4 screws and $20-30. Sliding windows have a few options: there’s a trusty piece of thick timber dowel (or stick) slotted behind the sliding sash and the reveal, or you get have installed “night locks” or “night pins”. They allow you to set a secure opening normally up to 100mm. If you have a sliding door, consider installing a “drop bolt” ($10-20) to the inside as many of them, especially aluminium sliding doors, can be pried open pretty easily with a crowbar.
If your are unsure of the type of windows you have, check out the selection of locks at Bunnings because they have a large variety of aftermarket parts.
- Lock your side and entrance gates – A set of four padlocks at Bunnings that are keyed alike (meaning only one key for all four locks) is only $25. Place one on all side gates and entrances. You want to make it as difficult as possible for someone to even attempt to get in.
- Make A New Nightly Routine – This routine involves one person or two locking all the doors and windows in the house before going to bed. If you have kids, get them in on the act. Call it Mummy-and-Daddy’s-Safety-Sleepytime-Game-So-We-Don’t-Lose-Our-Awesome-Stuff.
DIY Home Security Tactic 3: Close Your Blinds At Dusk
Hate to tell you this but people can see into your home if you have your lights on inside and the blinds are open. You may not be able to see outside, but to any passerby, your house is lit up light a frickin’ Christmas tree and there are lots of goodies that they can see on their list!
You want a full, “block out” blind or curtain. Not a sheer or a lace or a transparent. I mean a full “sun out”, block out curtain. Close them at dusk, before you are unable to see outside.
DIY Home Security Tactic 4: Don’t Blab On Social Media
This one you may not have thought about but if you have over a hundred friends, and let’s face it, some may just be “Facebook friends”, you can never know who is waiting for you to say, “I’m going on holiday this week and no one will be home. The dog is at a friend’s house. I’ll miss my iPad and my Fitbit and my Xbox but I can’t fit them in my luggage!” Well, one of your acquaintances is friends with a serial burglar and just saw your Facebook feed!
DIY Home Security Tactic 5 : Install Alarms And Monitors
There are a lot of different alarms and plenty that are renter friendly and DIY so don’t despair. Bunnings at the moment has a good range of battery operated or plug-in alarms that you can fit yourself. Some cool ones to note are:
The Arlec Home Alarm Security Beam $79.98, as soon as someone breaks the infra-red beam, the alarm sounds; great for garage door ways (DIY plug-in installation).
The Arlec DIY Wall Alarm ($49); which secures doors or windows with a sensor and alarm.
Another great and FREE idea is an IOS and android App called “At Home Video Streamer” and it pairs with the “At Home Camera“. Basically, you can set up your home PC camera or another device such as a spare iPhone or iPad, laptop, IP camera, set-top-box (any device with a camera able to connect to the internet), and connect to the camera, or multiple cameras, whilst you are away. It has built-in noise sensors and visual sensors to detect movement and can record these events while sending you an alert, or you can simply log-in to the camera at any time to check on the house or pets. You can even have two-way conversation PLUS record something as you are watching it! I actually have this app and I think it is marvelous and it has many applications.
Of course, if you are truly serious, you should consider having an IP outdoor tilt/pan camera system professionally installed. Dick Smith have a huge range of professional systems like this kit here from Swann.
What you are looking for in a professional system at least includes:
- multiple cameras (inside and out)
- include your garage and sheds
- a DVR (separate video recording device)
- internet connectivity (so you can check-in anytime, from anywhere in the world),
- alert trip call or message
- infra-red or day/night camera
- But before you go buying anything, speak to a local electrician or security installation specialist. They could save you a lot of money, designing a custom system for you.
Who Can Install?
Check out Standby Security Services, a local Ballarat security installation company, and compare them against other local electricians. Always get at least 3 quotes because everyone will charge differently for different packages and services.
Remember these tips or bookmark them for later and protect your home this year.