How to help secure your home and protect your family
Home security involves more than fitting an alarm, deadlocks or keyed window locks. Another important element is using them - every time you leave your home, even when only for a short time.
Develop the habit of always locking your doors and windows, and if you have an alarm, switching it on. Items such as push bikes, power tools and gardening tools should always be securely locked away in the garden shed or garage.
Unfortunately, security systems are often not activated. Lock up and activate your alarm system every time you leave your home and help reduce the risk of home burglary. Below are some comprehensive tips to assist you in protecting your home and family. We hope you find them useful.
While at Home
Simple things you can do
Neighbours - an important role
Get to know your neighbours, stay in touch with them and, together, keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious. Be a good neighbour yourself. Report to your local police any unusual noises or activities such as breaking glass or strangers loitering or behaving suspiciously. Your prompt action may prevent a burglary. This simple neighbourly spirit can increase the security of your community and reduce the chance of you or other local residents becoming a casualty of theft.
Going on holidays
Would-be burglars will notice if you are not home, so, if you are going away, advise a trusted neighbour and ask them to keep an eye on your home and garden while you are away.
Ask your neighbour to collect your mail or ask the post office to hold it. Stop regular deliveries of milk and newspapers. Use timers on lights and radios to give your home a "lived in" appearance. Arrange for your lawn and garden to be kept trimmed and tidy and leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbour. Also advise your local police if you are going away for an extended period. Never leave a message on your answering machine to say you are on holidays.
Insurance assessors report that the risk of burglary increases for houses that have been burgled once but that very few homes with alarms that are turned on experience large losses in burglaries. They believe it is uncommon for homes where alarms are visible from the street to be burgled a second time. A burglar will generally choose another home with an obviously lower level of security.
In NSW, regulations require that the alarm system must be installed by a licensed security installer. It is preferable to use reputable security companies that are members of well known industry associations.
Similarly, it makes sense to consider the credentials of a security company when buying a security system. When making comparisons you should consider the quality of the system, the coverage provided, the ability of the company to provide service following the purchase, and cost. You should not decide on cost alone.
Home alarms vary greatly in cost and specifications. A system with the following characteristics should provide you with comprehensive and reliable security and may mean that you are entitled to a discount on your Home Contents Insurance.
Recommended requirements for an intruder alarm system for insurance purposes should include:
The following features provide better security and safety but are not essential for an intruder alarm to meet specifications for insurance discounting.
An alarm should:
Installation of the alarm system should generally comply with and meet the intent of the requirements of the Australian Standard for Intruder Alarm Systems. Motion detectors should be of high quality to reduce the possibility of activating a false alarm. Garages should be included in the alarm's surveillance region. We recommend dual detectors at a minimum.
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