“I’m looking at increasing security on my home at the same time as carrying out my reno. What are my options?”
When you’re renovating or improving your home, it’s important to include practical improvements as well as aesthetic. Security strategies are definitely a part of that. Protecting yourself, your family and your possessions is a key role of the property that you live in, and there are some basic and advanced tactics that you can employ.
Really, you are trying to prevent your property from appearing to be an easy target for break-ins. Installing motion-sensor floodlights (you can buy solar-powered models) around the exterior of the building is a good starting point. Keep the verandah or entrances clear of shadow by keeping plants trimmed back, and avoid fences that are very high, if possible.
If you can afford it, you may decide to get a professionally-installed alarm system. If your budget won’t wear this, install dummy equipment such as security cameras or sensors.
Make sure that garages and sheds are locked when not in use and keep garage door remotes in a secure location.
If you have a pet door, buy an automatic one that is triggered by a transmitter on the pet’s collar.
Make sure any air-conditioning units are well secured and can’t be used as access points into your home’s interior.
Install sturdy entrance doors, that is, solid-core doors with deadlocks and a peephole or security screen. Keep keys close by the entrance-way, but not in plain sight. Consider using grilles or shutters for accessible windows, and insert dowel or PVC pipe into the window tracks to prevent them being opened from outside. Window breakage can be alerted by installing glass-break detectors.
You may want to store jewellery and other small valuables in a bolted-down safe in a safe location within the home.
If there are prolonged periods when no one is in the house during the day, use timed devices to turn on the TV, radio or lights, giving the impression of someone being at home all the time.
How far you go and how much you spend is up to you. The main objectives are to prevent your home from looking like an easy target, and to make it difficult to enter the house covertly, and to secure valuables and equipment that may be enticing to burglars. While planning for security, keep in mind also, that you need to make sure your family may need to exit the home quickly in an emergency.