Whether you’re a home owner or a renter, home security should always be front of mind. But depending on your circumstances, your security needs may be significantly different to others.
Here are some expert tips to help make your home as secure as possible against intruders this yuletide season
1. Re-key those locks
Don’t assume that every former owner or renter of your new home is as trustworthy as you are. Unless your property is brand new, who knows how many sets of keys exist?
If you’re a renter, dozens of people may have lived there before you moved in.
No one except you should have the keys to unlock your house, so it’s worthwhile getting the locks re-keyed as soon as you move in. You should speak to your landlord or the property manager to ensure this is done.
Depending, you could also install a SMART lock which can be controlled by either an app or by keying in a secured pin number.
2. Get to know your neighbours
The apartment boom in most capital cities has changed the way many people live. In buildings with dozens of apartments the sense of community can be lost, with residents and tenants keeping to themselves and not getting to know their neighbours, despite the fact that they spend hours every day just a few metres away.
So don’t be a stranger. Get to know the people who live in the apartments near yours, and introduce them to your partner and children, face-to-face. That way, if a stranger is attempting to gain access to your apartment, there’s a good chance someone will notice and either intervene or call the police.
3. Hide your key
It’s truly staggering how many people still hide a spare key in a pot plant by the front door, beneath a door mat or inside an easily accessible electrical box. Where’s the first place a burglar is going to look?
If you have a yard or live in the country, consider putting a spare key inside a key safe box.
For apartment dwellers, a magnetic key box that attaches to the underside of your car is a great idea, and keeps your spare key out of sight.
4. Go high tech
A security system is probably your most overt defence against a break-in. For homeowners, a full security system with in-house cameras, sensors and alarms might provide the level of security you need. For renters, who are restricted by landlord rules about what you can and can’t install within the property, options have always been somewhat limited.
5. Use Lights For Protection
Thieves love to work in dark, that’s why you should have proper lightning in your yard. An excellent idea is to mount a motion sensor light right above your entrance door, but more motion sensor lights around your home means more protection.
When you leave your home for a longer period of time, give an extra key to your neighbor (the one you trust, not the one you barely know) to occasionally visit your home and turn the light and television on in the evening hours.
In that way, sinister observers won’t know the house has been left alone for a longer period. But, also, don’t leave the light on all the time while away, since this is another clear sign that the house owners are on vacation.