How Do I Make My Home More Secure?
Often a customer will come in to our Retail Store on St Peters Road in Walkinstown with a very clear idea of what they want. E.G a Home Safe or a Padlock for their shed or whatever.
Sometimes though a customer will come in with a more vague question;” How do I make my Home More Secure?”
This is usually because they have had an attempted burglary, or their neighbour has suffered one or perhaps it’s just the feeling of vulnerability that comes with the dark nights drawing in.
What we offer the customer is a wealth of experience about how to best upgrade the security in your home. When deciding how to go about improving your Home Security a few things gleaned from recent Garda Statistics is illuminating;
1. Nearly 50% of all burglaries happen through the rear of the house
Garda Statistics shows that front doors are the most common entry point in 29% of burglaries. However Burglars gain entry through the rear windows 24% of the time and back doors 26%.
2. Brute Force is the number one method used to gain entry
Burglars most commonly use their body to force entry into homes through doors and windows.
3. Almost half burglaries during the winter occur between 5pm and 11pm
As the evenings become dark, the most common time for home burglaries is between the hours of 5pm and 11pm.
4. Cash or Gold
Garda figures, covering June 2015- July 2016 show that untraceable items such and cash and gold are the most targeted items, however, easily transported electronics are also popular. The loss here can be more than the value of the item and personal information & privacy and irreplaceable photos are covered by no insurance policy.
5. Over 160 cases of ‘keys being fished’ through letterboxes
The fact is, the easiest way to steal a car is by stealing the keys. The practice of leaving keys on the stairs or hall table is irresistible bait (forgive the pun) particularly if there is a letter box in the door.
And here are some facts that statistics don’t show but experience does;
1. Some Modern PVC Doors keep the weather out but let the Burglar in.
The cylinders are often very cheap and can be snapped in seconds. The combination of flexible doors and light locks means a good shoulder or kick is very effective.
2. Burglars don’t like carrying tools
They would far sooner use yours, taken from your shed, or using the ladder you meant to return to your neighbour last year!
3. Burglars prefer the sound of silence
A lot of older windows (and some new ones) have the glazing slips and rubbers on the outside, which means the window can be removed in seconds & silently.
4. Opportunity Knocks
While undoubtedly some home burglaries are the work of opportunists most have carried out at least some scoping out, including knocking on the door to see if somebody is in, and banging against windows to see if the alarm is set.
5. If an alarm goes off and no one is around to hear it does it make a noise?
The fact is, any alarm is only as good as the response it gets and an un-monitored alarm is likely to be ignored, giving the burglar plenty of time to get in and out. Equally, if a monitored alarm has no perimeter protection and waits until the burglar is inside till is activates, it’s too late!
6. You pay for what you get
Similarly to most things in life, if you go cheap you pay for it in kind with security. Buying a cheap safe from a D.I.Y. store, then leaving it on a shelf in the wardrobe merely saves the burglar trouble of having to look for your valuables….and it’s in a handy box for him to take away!
So what conclusions can we draw from the above when looking at how best to beat the burglar and keep our loved ones and valuables safe in our home?
• Sometimes the simple things are the most effective.
Go out into your back garden and pretend you’re locked out. What would you do? (Apart from calling our Locksmith Service that is!) What are the easiest points to get in?
Windows accessible from a flat roof and sliding patio doors are particularly vulnerable and there are a range of simple products which beef up the security on these.
Are there tools or ladders available? If so a decent padlock and bolt for the tool shed and a hardened chain and padlock locked to a ground anchor solves that.
• PVC Door Locks can be upgraded.
There are a range of cylinders and locks with extra hooks and grabbers which can be retrofitted to most uPVC doors. Talk to our experts here in Crother’s for details.
• Lighten up!
Sensor activated lights are a very effective deterrent and can act as a pre-warning of intruders in your garden.
• Big Brother is Watching…
Wouldn’t be very handy to have a big brother watching your house for you? Most of us don’t, however a CCTV System does act as a very effective deterrent to those callers who knock on your door “looking for any scrap” or selling scratch cards as a ruse to suss out future nefarious visits. They are a lot more affordable than you might think, find out more about the options we offer on our website or get in touch with us to find out more.
• Alarms; The Do’s and the Do Not Do’s
Do get a Monitored Alarm. See the philosophically inspired point 5 above.
Do get perimeter protection. Otherwise how will you set the alarm at night without lifting everybody out of it when you get up for a glass of water? (quite apart from it being too late for the alarm to go off after your house is invaded!)
Do Not engage a mate’s mate who fits alarms as nixers. Apart from it being illegal (see https://www.psa.gov.ie/en/PSA/Pages/enforcement ) it is very poor value in the long run.
• Do read THE SMALL PRINT. One well – known nationwide brand has this at point 5 in the contract;
“5. OWNERSHIP OF THE ALARM SYSTEM
5.1 As Your Contract with Us is a rental agreement (as described on the System Design
Proposal), We retain sole and absolute ownership of the Alarm System at all times and the
Alarm System is provided to You on a rental basis only. The Alarm System shall be returned to Us on the termination of the Contract and You agree to allow Us access to the Premises for the purpose of removing the Alarm System. Such access will be at a reasonably convenient pre-determined time.”
(Just for clarity, the Crothers Monitored Smart Alarm is yours at the end of the fixed term contract)
In conclusion, the advice we give to the customer who comes into our shop is that it is not a choice between Physical Security such as Locks, Safes, Security Grilles and Electronic Security such as Lights, CCTV & Alarms but a well thought out combination of both.
Drop into us and we can have a chat about your concerns, give you some advice and guide you in the right direction as to where best to spend a few bob on making your home more secure or give us a call at 01-4567947.