Future-Proof Security for your Home
Your home is the biggest financial investment you ever make. So whenever you build or renovate, consider what products are on the market now that weren’t available when the work was last done around you home.
One in six burglaries occur while your’e at home, and half are during the day.
Here’s Future-Proof Building’s tips for protecting your home and your family.
1) Key-less locks:
You can negate the problem of losing keys or needing to leave a spare “under the pot” – burglars know all the places to look.
Pincode door locks can hold up to 25 user codes (eg, all the family, the cleaner etc has a pincode), as well as single-entry codes – so you can give to a tradesman and it won’t grant access after they have completed the job.
This has the added security of not knowing who may have a spare key – former cleaner, the last lodger etc.
“Some also offer a holiday function, that deactivates all pincodes, so nobody can come into your home while you are away,” Richard Gough, General Manager, Future-Proof Building says. “And most models can be retro-fitted – making them a small investment for added security.”
2) Garage door with built in alarm system:
It is becoming more common for homeowners to choose an alarm system that can be integrated with their garage door so that a single remote can set/unset the alarm when they open/close their garage door.
The alarms now use billions and trillions of code combinations, making it harder for thieves to crack the code. New products are also fitted with multi-frequency technology that protects the openers from interference from other wi-fi in the house – such as baby monitors, wireless entertainment systems and other remote-controlled appliances.
Future-Proof Building recommends also installing a lockable door between your garage and home for added security.
“If your car has a GPS system fitted, it would be prudent to not have your actual home address in there. If your keys are stolen and people get into your car, they may then have access to your garage door opener, which in turn turns off your alarm,” Richard points out. “Instead, load in a commercial address nearby, such as your local petrol station.”
If looking to replace your garage door, choose a roller door with side runners and ensure the installer pins it at the top of the roll so it cannot be lifted up. These are far harder to break into than a tilt door.
3) Infared sensors:
One in six burglaries happen when the owners are at home [stats below]. Added to this, people are living longer in their own homes, and more sections are being subdivided with homes being built down long driveways out of view from the road.
If you don’t want to lock all the doors and windows when you are at home, consider installing a wireless perimeter alarm or one that protects access ways in your home. Good quality sensors are designed to have multiple infared beams that trigger an alarm if someone goes past. These can be connected to your door chime, another cost-effective investment.
“You can use it so that it sounds when sensors trigger around your home, with different chimes for different areas. That will let you know someone is, for example, out the back of your garage. Fitting a door chime is important as you don’t always hear a door knock, but you can hear a chime.”
Security lighting is now more energy efficient, requires less maintenance and is more aesthetically pleasing. Models used to require 300W bulbs, but new-to-the-market products run off 15-20W, last longer and are smaller but illuminate the same area.
Future-Proof Building suggests choosing models that are not easily tampered with and frequently checking their position. This makes it harder for would-be thieves, who could have been checking out your home while you are out, move the direction of the lights in preparation of coming back at night.
Increasingly cost-effective, homeowners can spend as little as $500 to have CCTV cameras that link and stream to a smartphone. You can be anywhere and see what is happening at your home.
As their popularity grows, fewer people are having their homes monitored by an alarm company. Instead they are creating their own monitoring timetable using CCTV that notifies them if it senses activity, for example via a gate buzzer or indoor sensors.
By accessing their CCTV remotely, it shows what has triggered it. Was it a pet or a burglar?
“We fitted security cameras at our place to help us sleep easier at night,” Richard says.
“And they help us feel safer during the day too. You hear about brazen burglars coming into your home and taking the first things they see, when you are only in another room. This way we know who is on the property, whether we are at home or not.
“Who knows how many supposed tree fellers or roof cleaners lurk around your home during the day when you’re at work? This way you know if people are on your property.”
They are also beneficial for added peace of mind with parenting. You can see what a toddler is doing in their bedroom from another part of the house, or how that teenage party is going while you are out – by logging in on your smartphone.
“And you can ensure contractors came around when they said they did, and reset your door alarms when they have gone.”
New Zealand views command big windows and Kiwis love indoor-outdoor flow with bi-fold doors and sliders. Locking mechanisms have evolved to now have multiple locking points in doors and windows, that are all activated at the handle. This makes it harder for burglars to “jimmy” their way in because there are no weak points.
However, if burglars have gained access and want a big door or window to get out off, make that job much harder by adding mortice key locks. These are more aesthetically minded than dead bolts.
For added peace of mind, when replacing glass or joinery, consider using laminated glass. Unlike toughened glass that will shatter and crumble when smashed, laminated glass has a sheer film between two panes, so it will crack but remain intact.
View more articles
Find out what you can do to be Security & Automation savvy in the articles linked below.