Home security is one of those topics that we don’t really talk about until we or someone we know is affected by a burglary.
It’s a reality that home burglaries happen but there are ways you can prevent your home becoming a target. Police recommend installing sensor lights and alarms as a deterrent, and also making your house look lived in when you’re away.
Here are the key ways you can deter unwanted attention on your property or anyone from entering it.
- Sensor lights
- Wireless remote control activated lights (by a phone App)
- Security cameras
- Security alarms
- Keeping connected in your community
Targeted streets and homes often have poor lighting or are secluded. These factors create an opportunity for burglars because others can’t see a stranger approaching a property. In Wellington this often occurs on steep streets where houses are secluded above or below street level. The good news is you can still have your privacy and reduce any vulnerability.
- Sensor lights on property entry and exit, pathways, around doorways and dark areas.
- Lights on when you’re out or on holiday – via a phone App or set with a timer
- Police recommend ensuring your house is visible from the road, cutting back vegetation around the entry and windows.
Scott Young from Yes Electrical says he highly recommends smart App-based lighting systems which are both efficient and economic.
“We’ve had particular success with wireless remote control systems that turn lights on and off when you’re out, so it looks like you are home at certain hours.
“We’ve recently installed pathway lights where we used a remote system saving the customer the expense of long cabling through the garden. Another workaround we can use is to install outside lighting using garden cabling. It’s both economic and effective.”
- Place cameras over entry areas around the house. You can view the camera visuals on your phone and you’ve got the footage if anything goes wrong
- Ensure cameras are visible on the house exterior – criminals will look for them
- Have a security alarm, connected with sensors inside the house. Set alarm when out.
Criminals do target an area where they both strike success and get to know the place. Communities can help by keeping eye out for unusual activity and reporting issues to police and on local Facebook pages. In the same way that pets are lost and found on these pages neighbours look out for each other by sharing information and it can be really helpful.
Burglaries can even happen under the cover of a lot of noise for e.g. when there’s a howling Wellington wind or loud road works occurring. The noise allows burglars to enter a property undetected.
Top tips from the police (and us!)
- Always secure windows and doors, sheds and garages when you go out
- Test your alarms if you haven’t used them for a while – we know this can be hard on the ears! but it’s worth it.
- Get your alarms serviced
- Keep tools, ladders and bikes locked away when not in use
- Record the serial numbers of your possessions and keep the record in a safe place. See SNAP (Serial Number Action Partnership) https://www.snap.org.nz/Login/Login?ReturnUrl=/
- Get to know your neighbours and look out for each other
- Display a sign near the front of your house “Security cameras operating”.