Increase security in your home

Many locals have expressed their concern over crime rates recently. Here are some tips to help you secure your home. It pays to be diligent when it comes to security.

Marking of valuables The engraving of your driver’s licence number on household property is strongly recommended. Engrave the letters “WA” before the numbers to indicate Western Australia, e.g., WA 1234567. When the engraved item is sold or disposed of, engrave the letter “S” after your driver’s licence number to indicate change of ownership.

Fences, trees and shrubs Your trees and shrubs should be trimmed or the front fence lowered to allow a clear view of your house. This will remove hiding places for the “would be” offender and improve your neighbour’s visibility should you need assistance.

Backyard security Consider putting up fences or other barriers, such as garage doors at either side of your home. This will make it more difficult for an offender to enter and work in the “safety” of your backyard. Also ensure that all tools are stored away and outbuildings are locked securely.

Lighting Good lighting, such as flood lamps, should be installed to minimise hiding spots for the “would be” offender, particularly while you are at home. “Motion sensor” or “reactive” lighting is excellent for this and is quite inexpensive to buy and install.

Protect your power supply  Have a viewing window installed in the lid of your meter box, and a Western Power approved padlock or key lock installed. Circuit breaker switches installed within the home are also an advantage, but the meter box must still be locked.

Door locks Have door locks fitted without delay. Normal key in the knob locks, which are fitted to most homes, are a burglar’s delight. These locks must be backed up with a security lock. Fit a key operated lock (commonly referred to as a patio door bolt) to aluminium sliding doors. Do not rely upon manufacturer fitted locks or catches.

Window locks Windows that are not fitted with key operated locks are an easy target for offenders, and will offer little or no resistance. Key operated locks provide a much greater level of security than manufacturer fitted catches, there is a lock for every type of window. Remember, do not leave the keys in the locks.

Security screens and doors  Have security screens fitted to the doors or portion of the windows that are left open for ventilation. This will prevent an offender from “walking in” on you. Remember, although security screens and doors increase your security, they are for use when you are at home. Ensure the doors are “key locked” as the latch (snib) device on many doors does not achieve maximum security.

Alarms Consider the installation of an Australian Standard 2201 approved burglar alarm. Intruders are far less likely to break into a house with an alarm system. An alarm will usually only tell you after an offender has entered your home. For immediate response to an alarm, the use of a monitoring service will make arrangements for your premises to be checked. All security products should be installed by licensed security installers.

Here are some other simple tips that might help:

  • When leaving your home, ask yourself, "Does it look like this house is empty?" If it does, try to make it look like someone is home.
  • If going out at night, leave on inside lights which you would normally leave on if you were at home. A house in darkness is a prime target for a burglar.
  • Consider using timing devices to turn on the television, radio or lights at selected times.
  • Ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your property, especially if you are going on holiday.
  • Consider installing movement activated (motion sensor) external lights.
  • Have a letter box large enough for a normal day’s mail.