Did you know that two-thirds of homeowners worry about their home's security once a month or more? You're not alone. Almost a fifth report that they stress about it every day! Fortunately, it doesn't need to be this way. Everyone has different home security routines and methods that work for them. However, fundamental generally-accepted principles should always feature to ensure peace of mind. With 75% of burglars gaining entry into a property within five minutes, simple changes can go a long way to deterring opportunistic thieves.
With this in mind, let's take a look at five of our best tips that you can start using to protect your home and family today.
Most of us were taught as children not to answer the door to strangers. In the modern, interconnected world, it's harder than ever to avoid. With online shopping, home delivery, groceries and everything in between, the person ringing your doorbell could be someone you're waiting on. Ideally, you should keep track of who you're expecting and when. This way, you at least know who the visitor is likely to be.
Sometimes you'll get a completely unexpected knock or ring on the door. These situations are when you need to be extra careful. Try looking through the window or otherwise checking out who they might be. If this isn't possible, a handy tip recommended by NSW police is to engage (or pretend to) with someone else in the house, so you don't appear an easy target. If the visitor requests entry for any reason, always check their identity thoroughly and request to speak with their company if possible. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't!
For online deliveries or groceries, it's usually not necessary to let them inside your home. If you do, it's obvious what they're there to do or deliver. In other cases, such as required tradespeople or other home services, you'll have to trust this person inside your home for more extended periods.
A good first start is to rely on word of mouth recommendations that you can trust. For example, if a friend has used a painter recently and can vouch for their services and integrity, you can probably trust them in your home too. If this isn't an option, make sure to research and read as many reviews as possible, so that you're comfortable with the person you're requesting. It's always best to deal with the company directly as you can be sure you're dealing with the trusted source and their brand is on the line. It's also noteworthy that all franchisees must undergo police and credit checks with their head office, so they're probably in a reasonably trustworthy position.
It's essential to get the basics correct. Intruders will prioritise easy targets, right? Simple additions such as motion lighting (covering property access points) can be a considerable deterrent for would-be thieves. Anything that draws attention to untoward behaviour is desirable.
Locking all your doors should be a given, however many people forget to lock other entry-points such as gates or sheds. These areas may indirectly provide access to your house or the tools to do so. Setting alarms and installing security screens and blinds will also go a long way to protect your home and upgrade it from a criminal's 'easy-pickings' status.
Utilising modern technology is a surefire way to maximise your home security efforts. Knowledge is power. Knowing who's at your door before they knock is an excellent tool to prepare yourself from surprises. Smart cameras can be linked to your Wifi network and monitored live from your phone at any time, meaning you can check on your house and loved ones when you're out and about. This is especially valuable considering home's are under the most threat when nobody is home.
The best cameras also feature facial recognition and real-time alerts or alarms. The software can identify friendly-faces as well as unknown guests. If an unexpected person gets picked up, you can be immediately notified on your phone and choose to set off an alarm, or flashing light. For proactive, real-time home security, nothing beats an advanced home security camera system.
Online shopping and exchanges are becoming much more common. The advent of local buy-swap-sell communities and websites like Gumtree allow us to interact with buyers like never before. Even if you can post the item, it's usually necessary to share details such as your address and phone number which may leave you exposed. Furthermore, local pickup and meetups are largely more convenient for buyers and sellers, given it's faster and postage doesn't need to be paid. If you choose to meet with a stranger in person, it's best to organise the interaction to take place in a public space, such as a shopping centre or busy park. Inviting them to your home may be convenient, but it's another element of risk. Particularly for buyers that are unqualified and you're not sure how serious they are.
We hope these tips help with your home security efforts and put your mind at ease. For more insights, or if you have any questions, please get in touch today.