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Safety Measures

It has been argued that whatever preventive measures are taken by the householder, the determined felon will be able to force entry.  However, if sufficient precautions are taken, then these may deter the criminal from entering the property or, at the very least, slow a thief’s activities sufficiently to make it difficult to seek out any but the smaller disposable items.

Essentially there are three areas of protection to be considered:
-prevention of entry;
-avoidance of tell-tale signs of absence; and
-protection of goods within the home.


THOSE WHO DO NOTHING TO PREVENT CRIME – ENCOURAGE IT!

  • Always secure the home when away.
  • Always secure the home when at home – break-ins have been known to occur while the occupant is inside or out the back.
  • If you return home to find the house has been broken into and you believe the intruder may still be inside, DO NOT ENTER.  If possible, go to a neighbour’s home and call police.  Watch the house from a distance and try to get a description of the person as they leave and a licence number of any vehicle used.
  • Ensure childrens’ toys, tools and ladders are not easily accessible as they could be either used to break into the home or stolen.
  • Obviously, when away for an extended period, have a friend or neighbour collect mail and papers.  Cancel milk, mail and newspaper deliveries if necessary.
  • Never leave messages on or near front doors advising of absence or intended length of absence.
  • When having window grilles installed, only cover the opening side of the window.  This allows the other side to be broken if required as a point of exit in case of a fire.
  • Mark valuable items with engraving tools or with ultraviolet pens with either a name or code that includes a drivers licence number.  As a record of proof of ownership, write down all models and serial numbers and take photos of items that cannot be easily marked.
  • Ensure the view of the house is not obstructed from the street.  If it is then an intruder could easily enter the house without being seen by neighbours.  Consider removing or trimming trees and shrubs or install sensor lights.
  • Ensure the house number is clearly displayed, as this helps police or other emergency services to find the house quickly.
  • Ensure all external doors are constructed of solid timber and that door frames are made of a good quality, sold timber that will securely hold hinges and locks.
  • Consider installing a fireproof safe for storage of important documents or items such as jewellery.  If you want to keep negatives safe, make sure your safe is also heat proof.
  • To allow you to see who your visitor is without giving them the opportunity to enter the house, ensure your front door either has a peep hole or a deadlocked security door.  If visibility is poor, also consider installing a sensor light.
  • Ensure all timber and glass windows and doors have adequate key operated locks.
  • Where view of a window is obstructed, especially around the side or back of the home, consider installing window grilles.
  • If you are considering an alarm system, make sure you have plenty of warning stickers displayed around the outside of the home to deter would-be intruders.
  • Install smoke detectors and ensure they are fitted in appropriate areas.  Test detectors regularly to make sure they are still working correctly.
  • Consider joining your local neighbourhood watch, especially if you are new to the area and don’t know anyone yet.
  • Did you know that with some insurance companies, the more security products you have in your home, the cheaper your premium will be.  Check into this next time you renew your house & contents insurance.

Even the best secured dwelling can be breached by professional criminals if they have motivation, capacity and opportunity.  However, even the best burglars are concerned with the amount of time ‘on the job’.  The longer they are in the home, the greater their chances of being detected.  The essential rule then is to ensure that the home ‘looks’ secure, that is, that entry might seem to be so awkward and time-consuming, that the intruder will seek out easier pickings elsewhere.