Home security is one of those things we know we should care about but that always seems to escape attention. The midst of a busy life running a home and helping our kids, it slips to the back of our minds. It is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security, with every day that passes without an incident confirming this.
It goes without saying, however, that this is not an area you should skimp. The items you possess, the very property that you live in and the safety of your family all depend on it. Therefore, it is time to bring it from the back of your mind and give it a starring role, in handy bite size form. The alphabet is a valid teaching method at any age, so what better way to start the ball rolling?
A is for… Alarm
An alarm is an investment you are unlikely to regret. It gives you security when you are away from home and acts as an effective deterrent.
B is for… Basement
It is possible to gain access to a house through the basement if you have windows. These should be as locked and secured as any other window in the house; make sure the locks of childproof also.
C is for… Cameras
It may seem a little 1984, but the presence of security cameras like this at Security Camera King is a huge deterrent for potential thieves.
D is for… Darkness
Crimes are more likely to occur at night. If you have a limited budget or time, then focus efforts on those that will protect during the hours of darkness.
E is for… Emergencies
If you are in bed at night and think you hear a disturbance, what will you do about it? Run through the scenario and think of how you might react.
F is for… Foliage
Gardening can make your house less attractive to burglars if you install thorny bushes or roses near entranceways.
G is for… Gates
If possible, protect your yard with gates – even the non-electric kind offer more protection than having none at all.
H is for… Heights
Store your valuables in not easily accessible areas.
I is for… Illumination
The brighter your home and garden are lit, the less attractive it is to thieves.
J is for… Join
Find out if you have any neighborhood watch schemes to join, which can provide an extra layer of protection.
K is for… Keys
If you keep a spare key outdoors in case you are locked out, make sure it is well hidden. Don’t buy specialist products meant to disguise the key; burglars are aware of them and know what to look for.
L is for… Locks
A single lock is not enough for the main doorways to your home. Install extras and use chains as well.
M is for… Manual
There’s no point having an alarm or security camera if you don’t know how to use it. Read it thoroughly and contact the manufacturer if you have difficulties.
N is for… Nighttime Sweep
Get into the habit of doing one final security sweep before going to bed. Check locks and windows, put on outdoor lights and arm the alarm if you have one.
O is for… Outside Perspective
Walk and look at your home from the outside. Does it look tempting to a burglar? Try to see it from the other perspective and close down any problems you notice.
P is for… Possessions
Try to keep valuable items shielded from view through windows, either with curtains or with blinds. This step is particularly important on the ground floor.
Q is for… Quick
How quickly can you respond if you notice there is a problem? Designate an area of your house as a safe space, and keep a cell phone and charger in there for use only in the case of emergencies.
R is for… Roll blind
For the lower levels of your house, blinds make life more difficult for anyone trying to peer inside than curtains.
S is for… Storage
Particularly in the garden, always lock any storage boxes you own and keep the keys in a separate place. Even if someone is able to get to them, at least make it difficult for them to be opened.
T is for… Telling Friends and Family
If you are going to be out of the house for an extended period, tell the people you trust and ask them to keep an eye on the house. If you are going on holiday, house-sitting is a wise investment.
U is for… UV Light
If the police do manage to track down stolen goods, it can be difficult to prove who owns what. Mark expensive electrical items with a UV pen and your initials, so what is yours can always be identified should the worst happen.
V is for… Vigilance
Being aware of your surroundings is vital. Learn what is normal for your neighborhood and report anything that falls outside of those limits. Talk to neighbors frequently to see if there are any reports of crime patterns developing.
W is for… Windows
The lock that comes with the window is not sufficient; always install extras and keep the keys hidden within the house. It is not advisable to store window keys outside of the home; keep them internal.
X is for… eXtra
(Okay, cheating a little bit here…) The more effort you put into these things, the better. If you’re tempted to think you’re going too far, then be aware that the extra steps could make all the difference.
Y is for… Yelp
Make sure your children know to make as much noise as possible should they notice anything untoward. If they see something suspicious, always take their claims seriously.
Z is for… Zip Code
The area you live in can dictate how home security issues might trouble you. Check local alerts for any possible issues that have been identified so you can up your guard and know of any threats. It is good to just check local news reports at least once a month for anything that might have occurred near you.