When you leave your home, whether for a quick weekend getaway or a major family holiday, you’ll want to take some basic safety precautions to keep your house and belongings as safe as possible. Home security is not just for the wealthy, and it doesn't always mean fancy alarm systems and state of the art security cameras. If you are anything like me, you've worked hard to get the things you have and you want to protect them as best you can without going OTT.
Here are a few things that I recommend you consider doing before you leave your home alone.
1. Keeping up appearances
Some of the biggest give-aways to grab the attention of your local robber are the easiest ones to manage. You basically want to give the appearance that there are still people in the home (even if coming and going). Arrange for a trusted friend or neighbour to mow the lawn, collect the mail and generally check up on the house. If you are able to, set timers on a couple of lights or even the TV so that the home has the appearance of being occupied. Even some simple things like leaving a car in the driveway or leaving those pesky kids toys out that have been out there for the last 2 months. Basically, change as little as possible to raise red flags that no-one is home.
2. Hide the Hide-a-key
It just seems to be the done thing these days, that you leave a hide-a-key somewhere on the property for those unfortunate "locked myself out" moments or for the teenage kids. While you may think your hidey spot is awesome, it really is leaving an open door for sneaky thieves who do their homework. Before you leave, give the hide-a-key to a trusted friend or neighbour or perhaps consider a "key-locker". These are a smart little mini safe that can be installed with a combination lock and when opened, has just enough room for your door key. Only those you trust with the combination can get inside to the key.
3. In “Safe” keeping
This might be a good time to invest in a fire/flood proof safe or lockable suitcase. It’s a one-time investment that will serve you for years to come. Not only can you use these devices to secure your important items (e.g. deeds, birth certificates, wills, jewellery, cash etc) while on holiday, it will protect these items in the event of fire or flood.
4. Hold the Broadcast
Sadly, you can’t be too sure who might see your exciting social media post, broadcasting the 2-week holiday you are about to take. The difficulty with even the most security conscious social media user, is that you don’t know who your “friends of friends” are or their security settings. Also, once something is out there on the internet, anyone can share your information without your knowledge or permission and there isn’t a whole heap you can do about it. Your broadcast might be sending the perfect details to a seasoned criminal, for their next “job”. Maybe keep the details of your social broadcasting to a minimum and double check your security settings.
5. Be ALARMED… Our SECURITY is working
Obviously, where possible, we would recommend installing some kind of security system to provide your home with the ultimate protection. With the amount of technology now available to consumers, you might be surprised to find out that it is not always a hugely expensive exercise to install a home alarm &/or CCTV systems. Products range from the very basic to the high-end systems (with live monitored alarms and CCTV which you can view from your mobile phone). According to your home and your budget, I believe you can usually find a solution to suite your needs.
If you aren’t in a position to install working security systems, you do have another option. You can purchase fake CCTV cameras, which are battery operated with flashing lights and can be attached to any area of the home very easily. You can also get generic security signage to make it look like the home is protected by alarms. These are viable options and will give your potential intruders a good reason to leave your home alone, just in case.
Whatever you decide – ADVERTISE your security.
Get cameras with flashing red lights on them. Use security signage to highlight the security measures that protect your home. Be sure to keep this signage non-specific to brands or alarm types.
Security options available at AV Made Easy
What do you do to protect your home?
I get so many questions and calls from customers who just want some help or advice relating to their audio visual technology. I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing some of the common questions and try to provide an online resource for people to get information. So, I hope that you will find some of the information contained in these articles useful. I will try to add as many new relevant subjects as possible to keep you all in the know. I really do want to make AV easy for you too.