21 October 2019

Safe and sound: the beginners guide to home security

Pat Carbone
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In 2018 alone there were 168,031 victims of burglary in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That’s around 0.66% of the total population, so while it’s not something that should keep you up at night, it’s definitely worth preparing for to make sure you’re as safe as possible.

The best way to do this is to install a decent home security system. To make your life easier we’ve compiled everything you need to know to make sure you pick the right system for your home.

GET THE BASICS RIGHT FIRST

Before you start setting up laser-guided home defence system make sure you’ve got the basics of security right:

  • Make sure all doors and windows close and lock securely.
  • Ask a neighbour to collect your mail and check on your home if you’re going to be away to deter opportunist thieves. Don’t broadcast that you’re going away in public or on social media.
  • Leave a light on and don’t leave valuable items in clear view of windows when you leave.
  • Consider installing motion lights at vulnerable areas on your property (usually the front and back doors).
  • If you don’t want to spend money on a security system strategically place some fake stickers and cameras to scare thieves off.

Installing a full home security system is a great way to keep your home safe but taking small measures like these can also make a huge difference.

CONSIDER A MONITORED SYSTEM FOR ULTIMATE SECURITY

  • Cost: $350 to $1,200, plus a monthly monitoring fee.

A monitored security system is the ultimate in home security. Usually this type of system will be installed by a professional at a home security company. When the system detects an intruder, it will contact a security monitoring centre who will call your home to ensure it’s not a false alarm. If you don’t answer the police will respond.

These systems are great because they don’t rely on neighbours or passers-by to intervene when they hear your alarm sounding. If you really want to go all out, you can include CCTV cameras in your monitored security system so that your security company can visually check your home if the alarm sounds.

A monitored security system like this this will make your home as safe as can be, but it could cost thousands of dollars, particularly if you install CCTV cameras.

CUT COSTS WITH AN UNMONITORED SYSTEM

  • Cost: $75 to $500

Unmonitored home security systems sound an alarm when an intruder is detected to draw attention to your home and scare off the intruder.

They’re cheaper than monitored systems and the loud siren might be enough to scare off an intruder. However, if you don’t have trusty neighbours nearby the intruder may be able to continue unimpeded as these systems don’t alert the authorities when they’re triggered.

GO WIRELESS

  • Cost: $50 to $1,500

With smart home technology you can rig up your own home security and video monitoring system with ease. This can include an alarm which sends a notification to your smart phone if triggered, video cameras that can be monitored remotely via an application on your device and motion sensors in rooms. You could even install smart locks which can notify you when people come and go and unlock or lock remotely. So, if a sensor is tripped, you can lock your bedroom door with the press of a button.

If you know what you’re doing and you set it up well, a system like this can be very effective allowing you to monitor your home and call the police yourself if something happens. They can also be much cheaper than monitored security systems.

On the other hand, it’s easy to set your system up wrong if you’re not experienced with home security. If you buy cheaply you might also find that your devices aren’t reliable and things like gusts of wind will set them off.

Whatever type of system you choose, make sure it’s set up correctly and if you don’t know what you’re doing get a security expert to help. Your system could cost a few hundred or thousands to set up, but if you do it right it could save you even more by preventing a break in whilst keeping your loved ones safe and sound.

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