Aside from making our homes beautiful inside out, protecting all entryways is also a priority. While it’s challenging to block out intruders completely, you can always make it difficult for them to break in! Good thing there are lots of ways to ensure security for homes using automated, ingenious or low-cost techniques.
Break-ins in Australian Households
According to a 2018 to 2019 report, approximately 2.4% of Australian homes encountered a break-in at least once, around 238,100 households. In a 2020 survey, researchers also found that 55% of surveyed homes with break-in experience had no security system in place. Moreover, they also concluded that 24% of the surveyed participants, mostly younger families, had reinforced security for homes after encountering a break-in.
These findings are not to scare you, though. But, in reality, home offenders are like a natural calamity: they will strike when you least expect it. But we can do something to keep burglars at bay and our families safe. Here are a few tips and ideas to handle the most crucial security issues.
1. Upgrade Your Door and Window Locks
Opportunistic burglars and intruders often use doors and windows to get inside our homes. But sometimes, even if we see to it that we lock them, the built-in locks are not always the most reliable. In case you are building a new home, choose durable frames, hinges and latches. For existing structures, however, these techniques can keep your entry points secure.
- If you are moving into an existing home, make sure to change the door and window locks installed by its previous owners.
- You can reinforce your door chain locks by installing a deadbolt, strike plate and alarm systems.
- Adding a video doorbell can prevent your kids from opening doors to strangers. This buying guide and list of the best video doorbells in Australia can help you find the ideal smart device.
- Keep interior and exterior doors leading to your garage secure at all times. Install a smart garage door opener, if possible. If you need to enter codes to open it, make sure to do it away from neighbours, visitors or delivery personnel.
- Install a glass break sensor, security screen or shatterproof film to your windows and sliding doors.
- Keep the drapes closed. If you have a first-floor window, secure it with protective shrubs like blackthorn or Christmas bush, the crown of thorns, brambles and roses. Growing Australian native hedge plants also help ensure privacy.
2. Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
Security for homes doesn’t only cover your physical surrounding. Cybercriminals also lurk online. Without proper cybersecurity measures, you may be leaving personal data out in the open. Your kids may be unknowingly putting themselves at risk by accessing forbidden sites, chatting to strangers or posting things they should not have. So, make sure to educate them and keep your home network protected with these tips.
- Ensure that you have a secured wireless router, with your WPA or WPA2 encryption and privacy settings enabled.
- Make sure to rename your home network, use strong passwords and keep it hidden or locked.
- Use a firewall and install anti-virus and anti-malware software.
- Download a parental control app to keep kids safe from online predators or bullies.
- Tell your kids to let you know about any suspicious emails. Also, teach them the habit of thinking before sharing information or photographs online. Ask them to limit personal details to people they know.
- If you’re going on a family trip, refrain from letting the world know that you’re not home for several days. Instead, share details and photos of your adventure when you are safely back.
3. Have an In-Home Safe
Hide valuables like money, jewellery, gadgets and expensive electronics to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Ideally, not keeping large sums of money at home is the most practical security advice. But if necessary, having an in-home safe is the next best alternative to protect your valued items. Here’s what you need to keep in mind with this home security tip.
- Look for water and fire-resistant safe with the right size to store all your valuables. Make sure to keep its keys, if any, secure as well.
- Get a heavy in-home safe or one that you can anchor to the floor.
- If having a gun at home gives you a sense of security, consider storing it in a gun safe. This tip not only prevents burglars from stealing it but also protects your family from serious mishaps.
- Hide your in-home safe in an unlikely place. If you are building a home, creating a hidden room for storing your valuables is another idea.
4. Install Outdoor Lighting and Cameras
The outdoors is your first line of defence when it comes to security for homes. We don’t want intruders anywhere near the house in the first place. And one way to keep them out is by having lights and cameras around your yard, garage, porch and pathways. If there’s anything burglars hate, it’s being in the spotlight and drawing attention. These outdoor security measures should help make them extra nervous.
- Install motion-sensor lights and home security cameras with motion detection feature.
- To reduce energy usage, consider getting outdoor lights on timers. Solar-powered lights are also excellent.
- Consider installing deck and garden lights for both safety and curb appeal. You can use your walls, posts, plants or trees to keep the outdoors well-lit. These outdoor lighting tips should give you more ideas.
- Weather-resistant cameras with night vision should keep your devices working despite outdoor elements. You can also use a weatherproof covering material.
- Make sure to connect your CCTVs to Wi-Fi and a mobile app. They should be able to record and save real-time footages for a police investigation if needed.
There are indeed so many ways to ensure security for homes. And while some of these ideas may be costly and time-consuming to install, in the end, it pays to be extra cautious and vigilant!