As security professionals, we always encourage customers to think ahead when it comes to their home security. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the calls we receive come after a family has experienced a crim-related issue or a break-in. Many families fail to fully consider and address security concerns until experiencing firsthand the result of poor preparation. In this post, we share some steps towards achieving proactive home security in order to address this issue.
We’ll begin with a focus on adding surveillance to your home’s exterior. We have different options worth exploring to make this happen. From there, we’ll look at adding lock hardware that provides much more security than standard locks. Then, we’ll share some tips on using your alarm system as a proactive security tool. This includes allowing potential thieves to know you have an alarm before they attempt their crime. It also includes adding alarm components that activate your alarm before a burglar even gets inside your home. Now, let’s get started with a look at camera options to help secure your home’s exterior.
Keep an Eye on Your Home’s Exterior
You may remember our post sharing some Yard and Driveway Security Tips. In that post, we shared the importance of adding cameras to your home’s security measures. We strongly recommend doing so for a couple reasons. For starters, cameras can show you what happened if you ever experience crime at your home. When most people think about the benefits of surveillance, they think about reviewing video when necessary. Furthermore, cameras also act as a great deterrent to crime. Burglars who see cameras will often choose another property to burglarize. In this section, we’ll look at a couple ways we can add surveillance to your security plan. Let’s get started with a look at adding hardwired cameras to your home.
Hardwired Surveillance Cameras
Hardwired cameras make up the more “traditional” method of adding surveillance to a property. When we install these cameras, we run wiring from each camera location back to a recorder. In turn, this recorder captures and stores several weeks’ worth of continuous video footage. Additionally, these cameras provide a tremendous picture quality and generally feature infrared lights for well-lit footage at night. Put it all together, and you have the best surveillance that money can buy.
However, adding hardwired cameras to a home does occasionally prove cost-prohibitive to some homeowners. Part of the reason lies in the fact that the recorder and cameras come with a reasonably high price point. Moreover, the labor cost to run the required wiring to each camera can also drive the price up quite a bit. For this reason, we still provide homeowners who look for a “lighter” home surveillance solution another option. Next, we’ll see how smart cameras can represent an affordable way to add some proactive home security to your property.
As we mentioned above, traditional camera systems require wiring each camera to a central location. This adds cost and, based on a home’s layout, can even restrict us from installing cameras in some locations. Smart cameras can solve both of these issues. These cameras do not require us to run wiring to a central location in order to capture video. Instead, they use a Wifi-based connection to your network to communicate with you. Rather than storing continuous video to a recorder, smart cameras record motion-based video clips in the cloud. This feature saves customers from having to buy an expensive recorder. Additionally, it also leads to a lower installation cost due to the lack of wire-running involved in installing these cameras. Now, let’s see how adding the right door hardware can make your entry points much less vulnerable.
Install Locks that Thwart Break-in Attempts
Lock hardware can vary greatly in both price point and quality. In fact, lock hardware quality varies so much that the industry uses a three-point grading system designed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) to “grade” a lock’s effectiveness! Lock manufacturers often seek out ANSI/BHMA certification for their product lines. Standardized tests gauge factors such as bolt strength, security, ability to withstand impact and force, and quality of finish, among others. Allegion, one of the biggest global providers of security products, provides this helpful guide to door hardware testing. The lowest-quality hardware receives a “Grade 3” designation, with the best scoring in at Grade 1. As you can probably guess, Grade 2 falls right in the middle. Grade 2 locks represent a step up from Grade 3, without having quite the quality of a Grade 1 lock.
Unfortunately, most residential locks found in hardware stores for bargain prices fall under Grade 3 quality standards. Burglars can easily pick these locks, or drill them to gain access to your property. We recommend installing Grade 1 locks, such as our preferred locks by Medeco, on your property. These will make your home’s doors incredibly difficult to breach. In turn, this will also cause many thieves to find another target. Next, we’ll look at two alarm-related proactive home security ideas!
Advertise the Presense of an Alarm System
Burglar alarms have long remained one of the most popular security measures that we install. These security systems perform multiple important duties. For starters, an alarm activation creates a siren response to alert anyone in the home to a potential break-in. In turn, this siren response often also causes the thief to flee. Furthermore, monitored burglar alarms also create an emergency police dispatch if necessary. Therefore, burglars prefer breaking into homes without this security installed. For this very reason, we encourage our customers to provide visible evidence of their alarm at all times. The yard signs and stickers that we provide when we install an alarm do their part to scare away would-be thieves and act as a powerful deterrent. Let’s investigate one more burglar alarm-related proactive home security tip.
Add Security Contacts That Activate Before a Break-in Occurs
Many alarm customers install a security system with efficiency and cost in mind above any other factors. For example, some customers secure their doors and install a few motion detectors to secure the interior of their home. This approach does provide less expensive security than installing sensors on every single window. However, it also allows burglars inside the home before creating an alarm response. This can lead to an unnecessary and sometimes dangerous conflict between a home’s residents and a burglar.
Therefore, we recommend taking steps to create an alarm activation before the breaching of your property. We can use a couple types of sensors to make this happen. For starters, securing every window with a contact can go a long way towards creating a quick alarm response. Additionally, we recommend installing glass break detectors in areas with a lot of glass. This alerts you to burglars trying to gain entry by breaking through a window or slider before they get inside your home. Adding this security now can greatly increase the chances that a thief abandons an attempted burglary upon activating your alarm. More importantly, this security can greatly decrease the chances of you coming face to face with a criminal in your own home.
Using Proactive Home Security
We hope that you find these proactive home security tips useful. We certainly prefer that our customers act before, instead of after, experiencing a difficult situation. Moreover, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. Perhaps you have some security in place but realize you may need to take some measures to fill in the gaps. Or, maybe you’ve done very little in the way of home security and need to get started. Either way, we will be happy to help. Furthermore, we also encourage you to take part in our free site survey program. We provide both new and existing customers alike with free information and quotes to add security to their property. Together, we can create a plan to keep you, your most valuable possessions, and your family as safe and secure as possible!
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