Is Your Home Secure?

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The Englishman exclaims that his home is his castle; unknown by many is the end of this idiom… “And each man’s home is his safest refuge.”

Our homes are our refuge, shelter from the storms of life and safety from those who would seek to do us harm. In this day and age of increased threats we know they want to harm us in our homes too. So do we need to build castles and moats? I always thought a moat filled with crocodiles was a very good deterrent, impractical as it may sound.

Today, the moat and thick castle walls have been replaced by high walls, tensile wire, floodlights and CCTV, Oh! and the occasional crocodile. The point to any home security measure is it must be an effective deterrent. Criminals tend to be opportunists or very meticulous in planning a home invasion. They will assess your home security measures by infiltrating your home as the cable guy, by applying duress to your domestic staff or simply by studying you and your habits.

Preparation is key to both you and would be intruders, so you must be better prepared to deter them from even thinking about your home as a target. Like the criminal you must engage an assessment of your home, known as a ‘Vulnerability Test’ or VT. This is basically an exercise that is conducted to find the most vulnerable points of your home.

In carrying out the VT you should make it as real as possible, make every effort to break into your house as the criminals would. Attempt to gain entry through all known entrances, doors, windows, balcony and any roof opening. Get a close relative to access your home when you are not there. To make it a worthwhile exercise, inform your security that you are not expecting anyone and under no circumstance is anyone allowed access to the property. Assess how they deal with this individual that they recognise and know as a known
associate or family member. Most times the vulnerability exists with those employed as part of your household staff. Be careful and have a controlled situation, remember safety first.

Do inform your family members of the test. It is advisable to keep it as quiet as possible so that members of your domestic staff or other transient workers are not aware of the vulnerabilities you do find. Like the criminals would plan to break into your house, you must plan the VT test so it is conducted safely and successfully.

Once you know the vulnerabilities that require attention, it is important that you address them immediately. For example, all external doors, and windows will require reinforcement. Install security doors and windows and the obligatory burglar proofing as necessary. All external doors should have 3 locking points. Window locks can help to stop people getting in, check the rigidity of the burglar proof, if incorrectly installed this could become an access point for intruders. Most burglaries take place in the evening or night, Always draw your curtains at night and make sure valuable items cannot be easily seen from outside. A window slightly ajar can be all the invitation an intruder requires.

Use your assessment in concert with a professional to install CCTV. It is worth it to pay good money for good equipment. Visible burglar alarms, good lighting and security lighting are effective deterrents. Particularly ensure that recessed areas and doorways have good security lighting.

The best deterrent and alarm is of the four legged variety. NO! Not a crocodile. A dog or dogs will serve you very well. Well trained dogs are loyal and always vigilant. The crocodile can be a great accessory too.

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