There’s a school of thought that you shouldn't invest too much in home security systems because if someone is set on breaking into your home, they'll find a way. Now, if this person happens to be Batman, then it’s true that no amount of security will save you. But a good security system is usually enough to scare off any common criminal or vandal, and at the very least it serves as a powerful deterrent that will make even a master thief think twice before attempting to break in.
The key word there is 'system'. You can't let the safety of your home hinge on just one thing, even if it's the most expensive alarm system or the best quality lock. There has to be a number of deterrents that together form several layers of defense against any potential intruder.
Here are some of our recommended additions for an effective home security system.
Light: The majority of burglars prefer to wait till there's no one at home before they break in. A house with no lights on presents a very tempting target, but what can homeowners do about this? After all, it’s not cost-effective to energy-efficient to leave the lights on all the time.
The answer lies in sensor lighting and timers. Sensor lights switch on as soon as someone passes a certain point, and are frequently installed on the front and back doors. Timers will periodically switch lights on in certain parts of the house. Few things are more likely to send a burglar running than a light suddenly flickering on as they approach one of the windows.
Bars and grilles on the windows: Despite the fact that bars on windows seems common sense to most people, many homeowners are reluctant to install them out of fear that their home will feel too much like a cage. That's why many security companies started offering decorative window bars that help protect the home without detracting from its visual appeal.
Locks on doors and windows: Like window bars, this seems an obvious measure. What may not seem so obvious is how many things can go wrong with the installation of locks if you employ a locksmith who doesn't know what they're doing.
Ensure the locksmith is MLA licensed, and when you've found one who can do the job, keep their number on speed dial. If there are problems with locks, you'll want to get it fixed right away; and you'll also need their number handy if you ever find yourself locked out of your own home. The Master Locksmith Association can help you find licensed locksmiths in your area.
Trellising or plants on the fences: There's been talk about how high you should make your fence, but height is not as important as making sure there's something on top of your fence that makes scaling it difficult. Athletic burglars won't be put off by height, but they will hesitate at the prospect of the trellising collapsing under their feet as they climb over it.
Alarm system: Don't make the mistake of assuming that an alarm system is all you need. Even the most expensive alarm still comprises just one part of the greater whole, albeit it a very effective part. Stay on the safe side by changing the codes regularly.
Get a dog: The number one measure for repelling thieves is to have a trusty hound by your side, making security just one of the many benefits that come with getting a dog. If you have a family, ensure you get a breed that has a reputation for being good with children. Also, remember that dogs should be part of the family, so you’re not just getting a security measure; you’re also getting a companion who deserves love and attention.
A home with good (and unobtrusive) security will also attract buyers who are willing to pay for the peace of mind that your home offers.