Designing Crime Out Of Your House “Bonus Infographic & Checklist”
This checklist has been developed as a guide for assessing house’s resistance to crime. Answering “No” to a question indicates areas where you could take action to improve the security of your house.
It is important that your property number is visible from the street to help emergency services find the house.
Fences and gates
Fences can be used to define your property boundary and limit access into your property. Front fences and gates should be open and see through to increase the visibility into your yard, this helps to quickly identify any intruders in your property.
Trees and other landscaping should be maintained to increase visibility into your yard and reduce hiding places. Tree branches should be trimmed to prevent intruders accessing upper story windows, balconies or skylights.
Sensor lighting should be installed around the perimeter of your home, primarily covering the entry and exit points to increase visibility at night. A good idea is to use light timers to turn lights on and off when you’re not at home. You could also consider timers for tv’s and radios to give the appearance somebody is home.
Letterbox and powerboard
Your letterbox should be fitted with a suitable lock to limit access to your mail. Important documents posted to you (e.g. credit card and bank statements) may be stolen by an identity thief and used fraudulently. The switchboard (powerboard) should also be contained within an appropriate lockable cabinet to restrict tampering with your power supply and fuses. Contact your energy supplier to talk about best locks and other costs, as they man not be able to get in a take readings.
External windows and frames should be of a solid structure. All windows should be fitted with quality key-operated locks, that meet Australian standards (AS4145.1, AS4145.2–2008) and locked when not not used. Existing glass can be laminated or reinforced internally with a shatter-resistant adhesive film to restrict access.
External doors and frames should be of a solid construction, and installed with only the best deadlocks that meet Australian standards (AS4145.1, AS4145.2–2008). Fire regulations must also be met to enable occupants to escape during emergencies such as fires.
Consider the purchase of a security screen door and ensure it meets Australian standards (AS5039-2008). Getting a peephole insalled will help you identify intruders at the door before opening it. If you don’t have security screen doors ensure you always latch a door chain before opening it. Also, consider fitting patio security bolts on sliding doors for added peace of mind.
Garage and garden shed
The garage and garden shed door and windows should be securely locked to stop access. Any doors connecting a car garage to your property should be treated as an external door. The garden shed should be well anchored to the ground to prevent lifting. Tools, equipment, bins and lawn mowers should be locked away when not in use, so they are not used to gain entry to your home. Don’t store expensive items in your car and keep it locked when you are not using it, even when parked in a locked garage.
Record descriptions/model/serial numbers and photos of the property for easy I.D. Ensure these records are secured safely. Mark/engrave your items with a traceable number (e.g. your drivers license number works well) for identification. Your local Library,NSW Police Station or Neighbourhood Watch may have an engraver and/or ultra-violet pen you can book in to use.
Safe, key and valuable controls
Consider fitting a safe for added security for your valuable items. I recommend you get a fireproof safe. The safe should be made and installed to
the Australian standard (AS 3809:1998). The safe should be hidden, securely anchored
to the foundations and kept locked at all times.
Keys (this includes vehicle keys) should not be left in locks or in plainly visible, as robbers may use them to gain easy entry
to your property and/or steal your car. Spare keys should not be concealed outside the property as many break ins happen this way.
Limit the amount of cash you kept lying around the home, as this is often not covered by your insurance. Also secure jewellery and
do not keep other valuable items in clearly visible.
Intruder alarm systems
burglar alarm systems should be made and installed to the Australian standard (AS 2201.5:2008). Research has shown that monitored/back-to-base burglar alarm systems are more efficient as they alert your security company of intrusions, resulting in a faster response. The system should be made to provide the greatest coverage of the property and garage. Remember to regularly inspect the battery and test the burglar alarm.
For further information on property security go to crime prevention.
About Jhai Mitchell
Jhai is an award winning Internet Marketing Real Estate Agent for Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley. After running his own internet marketing business he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to market themselves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can market online so much better than they currently are.
Since then he has been consistently quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Real Estate Business online. He is a regular guest blogger on TheHomePage.com.au, sharing his expertise of marketing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest passions are his wife, martial arts, dogs and most of all property.