How to improve your home security

The impact of burglary is devastating. Not only do victims lose valuable items, but they can also lose the feeling of safety in their own homes. Unfortunately, Australia has the seventh highest rate of burglaries in the world per 100,000 people and in 2021, almost 240,000 households experienced a break-in.

Fortunately, there are a few quick and basic things you can do to make your house more secure.

Install a security system

Home security systems are an excellent means of protecting you and your family from all potential threats and intrusions. About 60 per cent of convicted burglars say the presence of an alarm would deter them from attempting to enter a home.

Home security systems work by the installation of cameras or sensors in key entryways of the house, such as windows, doors, etc, with a control panel installed in a suitable location so that it can be easily monitored by the homeowner.

Some of the most common components of a home security system are:

  • control panel
  • motion sensors
  • security cameras
  • a loud alarm system.

These systems can be installed professionally or by the homeowner. The level of security depends on the type of system used. Today, there are many types of home security systems for every household’s needs and budget. Two of them are listed below.

Read: Keep your home safe from thieves

1. Security alarm system

This type of security alarm system consists mainly of an extremely loud alarm, with sensors in place to detect movement and stop thieves in their tracks. This kind of system is installed in both households and commercial properties.

The sensors trigger an alarm when someone tries to intrude on your home, alerting you to take prompt action. Some systems are designed to automatically contact the authorities when the first signs of a break-in are detected.

The device can also be configured to send you a message and activate strobe lights around your property.

2. CCTV security systems

These kinds of systems allow you to see what’s happening around your property even if you are away from home. The system can be monitored and managed from mobile phones and computers, and recordings can be stored for future use.

The main difference between these systems is that while a security camera system can show you exactly what happened during a break-in, it often does not notify you of the incident as it occurs. In contrast, an alarm system cannot provide you with camera footage, but alerts you as soon as it detects unwanted movement.

Put up any stickers or signs that came with your safety system. By doing this, people will be aware that your home is secure, and they will be tempted to move on to a less risky target.

Secure your doors and windows

Statistics show that almost 30 per cent of burglars enter homes through unlocked doors or windows.

It is important to inspect all of your doors and windows to make sure the frames are strong, and the hinges cannot easily be tampered with.

Make sure your windows cannot be opened from the outside. Checking your locks frequently and having a deadbolt is a good option. If you want a more technological option, you could shift from traditional locks to password or fingerprint-operated smart locks.

Hardware such as strike plates and video doorbells also increase the overall security of a home.

Read: How hotel thieves operate

Install adequate lighting around your house

Eliminating dark spaces from your garden will reduce the chance of a burglar finding a good hiding spot.

Motion activated lights switch on whenever motion is detected, they alert the homeowner and ultimately serve as a deterrent for burglars. Most motion detector lights are inexpensive and can be installed professionally or by yourself.

Do not advertise your personal information on social media

Oversharing personal details can increase the risk of a home invasion.

Remember to censor your personal information, such as your home address and licence plate numbers, from your social media profiles. Remove location tagging when you share something from the comfort of your home, and do not share the details of your upcoming holiday on social media.

Thieves are also more likely to attempt to enter a house when they think it’s empty. There are some simple ways to make it appear that someone is home, such as leaving a car in the driveway, keeping your lawn in good condition, and using lights that turn on/off at specific times.

Read: Home security on a budget

Other tips to keep in mind:

  1. Password protect your wifi to prevent potential thieves from accessing sensitive information and disabling home security devices.
  2. Put your most important belongings, such as jewellery, in a secure, immovable safe.
  3. When ordering expensive items online, make sure not to let the item sit on your porch for too long as this increases the risk of it getting stolen by ‘porch pirates’.
  4. Do not advertise expensive purchases on social media, and remove geotagging from all the content that you post.
  5. Use high-quality locks and motion sensor alarms to secure your garages and sheds.

A few simple and easy steps can make your home safer and give you some peace of mind.

How do you keep your home secure? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

1 COMMENT

  1. There is a number of additional ways of improving home security, some low cost, some quite indirect.
    A few battery backed time switches with lights attached around the house to come on at normal night times and switch on and off to suggest movement from room to room will help.
    Leave a radio on a high talk content channel (ABC News Radio) will give the impression from outside of conversation inside. Put it on a time switch.
    If you can’t fit locks to Windows or sliding doors, a strip of wood or metal tube in the track can make it difficult to open.
    Always parking your cars in the garage so they are safe but your absence from home is less obvious.
    Using a P. O. Box address for all mail, travel and purchases means no build up of letters in your mail box, no documents to steal, when you travel your absence is not broadcast and when you buy a new TV or computer their whereabouts are not recorded.
    Do not leave any home address items or documents e.g. log books in your car. If your car is stolen or when it’s serviced your home address is secure.

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