Home Security Matters

| Sunday, April 3, 2011
By Owen Jones

Home security is a massive issue, but this is nothing new - it always has been an issue for parents and home owners. The issue is that family structure has changed. Not so long ago, people had much bigger families and mothers or grandmothers were at home to look after the children. With six, eight or even ten kids in a family, the house was never empty so burglars did not have a lot of opportunity. There was more social cohesion too, so criminals were loath to steal from their neighbours. So they set upon shops instead.

However, shops and other businesses started using electronic burglar alarms as the prices came down. These security systems were so effective that burglars turned to stealing from people's homes, which is made easier by the fact that the kids are in school and the parents are at work all day. American federal statistics show that domestic burglaries are up almost ten percent since 2004. So, what can you do to deter a burglar?

If your residence is left unoccupied for a large part of the day because your children are at school, nursery or a baby-sitters' and you are at work, consider getting some home help or joining a neighbourhood watch scheme. If you had a cleaner coming and going, it would afford some activity to discourage thieves.

Becoming a member of a neighbourhood watch would convey to your neighbours that you are concerned about security and they will keep an eye on your home while you are out. Get your self a dog too, although be conscious that they can be easily poisoned, if the robber has access to them..

Install an electronic surveillance system. This could be a monitored or tape system. Monitored is the best. An added bonus to a surveillance set-up is that you can be sure what your baby sitter gets up to while you are out too. You can turn it off when you yourself are at home or just leave the external cameras on.

Another additional benefit with a home security system is that you can get a panic button connected to the system's main external siren and strobe light. If you are attacked or concerned, you can activate the alarm by pushing a button on a device that you can wear around your neck. They can also be built into watches and brooches. These personal panic buttons are useful for the elderly and single women providing peace of mind to those living alone.

A monitored surveillance system will also warn you if your house catches fire while you are asleep or out or if someone is prowling around your backyard. Often the operator of the system will phone the emergency services as well after they have alerted you.

A good surveillance system can be used as a bargaining chip with your insurance broker to obtain some hefty discounts on your premium. If you have a small business that you operate from home, you may be able to off-set some or all of the overheads against your business too and a good home surveillance system can boost the selling price of your house, because it makes it that one step more comprehensive, like having uPVC doors and windows and a timber deck.

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