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Home Security In Canberra

Leinna 16 June 2010 43

As a recent burglary victim, I’m looking at ways to make my home more secure.  Fortunately the theives didn’t get much, but I feel quite vulnerable in my home at the moment.

I’m asking the Canberra community for advice on installing security systems and who would be a good, trustworthy company to go with.  AAMI didn’t have any suggestions for me (but they’ve been really good with the insurance claim).  Any other security tips would be really appreciated as well – thinking of going CrimSafe on all accessible windows and doors, upgrading to mechanical garage doors with keyless entry, etc.

Or if you want to share opinions on what should happen to lowlife criminal scumbags feel free.


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43 Responses to Home Security In Canberra
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LSWCHP LSWCHP 12:23 am 27 Nov 10

If you are in the woods with a friend and you are chased by a bear, in order to survive you don’t need to run faster than the bear. You just need to run faster than your friend.

In the context of suburban home security this means you don’t need to turn your house into a fortress, you just need to make it a harder target to attack than all the other houses in your neighbourhood.

The average suburban burglar is not into Mission Impossible penetration operations against overwhelming odds. They are opportunistic, and they have enough rat cunning to understand risk minimisation. Generally, they will perform a quick local surveillance, and then pick the softest target they can find. If you are just a little bit more difficult to attack than somebody else then you are already ahead of the game.

Adopt the mindset of a burglar and walk around your suburb. Study all the houses. Think about how you would break into them. Then change things to make your property as unattractive as possible to the bad guys in comparison to everybody else.

Keep three things in mind. Depth, all around defence and mutual support.

Defence in depth isn’t a distance thing, it means having as many layers as possible, both visible and concealed, that will deter intruders. Clear vegetation so that there is no concealment out the front. Have alarms. Have signs advertising alarms, regardless of whether you have them or not. Have a dog. Have “Beware of the dog signs”, whether you have a dog or not. You’re smarter than them, so deceive and misdirect the bastards every way you can. Have deadlocks. Have screens on doors and windows. Be creative.

As an aside, in my idle moments I like to envision the layout of wire covered by claymores that funnels the f*ckers towards the automatic weapons mounted on my verandah, ooooooh yeah! But that’s just me. 🙂 Everybody who wants to respond with comments about violent fantasists…Yes, it’s violent, and it’s a fantasy. I don’t really have claymores or automatic weapons. All negative comments duly noted in advance.

Where was I…

All around defence means not putting deadlocks on the front door while leaving the back door unlocked. Also consider vegetation that might provide concealment around the rear fenceline.

Mutual support means talking to your neighbours. Offer to clear their letterboxes and mow lawns during absences. Ask them to do the same for you. You might find you like them, and you can help each other in many other ways. If they’re really nice, tell them about defence in depth etc. The burglars will go further and further away.

And finally, if you get a dog, don’t do it just as a security measure. Do it because you want another family member who will love you regardless of what happens, and be prepared to look after him or her for a lifetime. If you get burgled despite all your efforts you’ll have someone to hug while talking to the police.

John H John H 5:45 pm 26 Nov 10

I have read some of the urban myths here and, being in the industry, I am not surprised.

1. Yes there are alot of places that install cheap alarm systems and subsidise the price via the contracted monitoring period. My business doesn’t do that, but what is so wrong with it? For a person who does not want to pay $1500 up front, it is an easy to get a defacto loan over several years. After the contract period, there is nothing stopping you from going to a company with cheaper prices. It’s no different to a mobile phone and phones have made people all to aware of the positives and negatives of contracts with cheap devices up front.

2. Absolutely there are alarm companies who will install non monitored systems. The fact that someone says they are hard to find is simply because they have never bothered to look. The alarm costs more, obviously, but which company, apart from a couple of fanatical monitorers, would not want to get their money now, as opposed to getting it in $40 or $50 payments over 3 or 4 years?

3. The fact that a patrol vehicle does not get to site for 20 or 30 minutes in most cases does not diminish it’s intended reason for being. The primary reasons for patrol cars are to get to site to report on the damage on a property and to show that the alarm is back to base, not just stickers, so that if the alarm was simply set off by a thief who then waited to see if there was a resulting action, it confirms that the alarm communicates somewhere, and gets a response

4. A dummy siren box will help deter vandalism, but every thief knows that there are tamper switches in alarm panels and siren boxes, sort of like the button in your fridge, open the door, light on – take the siren off the eave or hit it really hard and you will hear an alarm going off as the tamper switch is activated. No noise normally means fake.

5. Cameras are a thing of review. As I tell everyone who wants a camera system, get an alarm first because it does not matter who is recorded on the cameras if the recorder is stolen with everything else. They will simply watch how good their thieving style is at their leisure.

6. Good locks are great. Crimsafe type screens and doors also. They won’t send a message to a monitoring centre if there is smoke in the premises. They won’t let you hit an emergency button if someone breaks into the house with you in it and they don’t lock down roof tiles.

7. Love dogs. They are a great deterrent, until you go on holidays and the dog goes to a kennel, goes with you or is left for the week with a friend dropping over to feed and water it. They are also no good if you poison them.

8 At least twice a year for the last 10 I have installed alarm systems for people who were robbed, decided that they had had their turn and did nothing about it, only to be done over in the next 3 months once everything had been replaced with new.

Alarm systems, camera systems and back to base alarm monitoring are things that need to be chosen based upon individual preferences. I know of very few people who get alarm monitoring and then decide (apart from financial reasons or retirement) that they would prefer an alarm unmonitored. They are part of an overall security setup and compliment locks, dogs and cameras. The greatest deterrent however is being observant, getting on with your neighbours and using common sense, not dismissing things because some know all regurgitates urban myths.

bobbatty bobbatty 9:48 pm 27 Jun 10

DBCooper you certainly had an interesting childhood. I’d suggest you install those large sticky matts that are very similar to the fly traps that were the rage for a while and of course cockroaches also stick to them so it’s a double bonus.

DBCooper DBCooper 3:18 am 23 Jun 10

Example conversation

“ Finally after months of bullshit I saved up enough to take me and the old lady on a Chirpa guided tour of scenic northeastern Carjackistan . Don’t worry I will be updating you all on my blog @ I’mnothomebreakinandstealeverything.com along without hourly tweets detailing the precise nature and location of my activities”

Don’t leave empty boxes from your new plasma TV on the curb.

Don’t ever put your safe or valuables in your bedroom. Maybe a hidden floor safe concealed in a room that isn’t your bedroom (Think kids room) . Any safe that isn’t bolted down will be stolen. I remember as a kid my Dad opening his safe and pulling out a little .22 derringer and a Colt python .357 he told me that if anyone ever got the jump on him, unarmed and forced him to open the safe he would open it then immediately surrender the derringer, by tossing it away from him on the floor momentarily focusing their attention away from him and on the 1st pistol so hopefully they would be distracted when he started firing the .357 at “them”. Not foolproof but an interesting plan B. (I never had the key to the house I grew up in, in the States as it was never locked and fortunately over 25yrs no one ever broke into it,you think some idiot would have tried? been pretty lucky to not have that happen)

In theory If your door locks are not specially designed to prevent the use of a 999 Key AKA “Bump key” you might as well leave the doors unlocked.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr23tpWX8lM

Even if your locks are difficult to compromise via non destructive picking methods it’s kind of a moot point if they break a window. But worthwhile anyway in the case of the intruder being someone you know ie workman,or A maniacal ex-girlfriend ?who might be reluctant to throw a brick through your window and effect entry yet is all to happy to “bump” your lock in search of the tube of chap stick she forgot when you was still bumping uglies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDWo6m5hbG4

glennmatthew glennmatthew 11:07 pm 18 Jun 10

vg said :

Yes, I tactically clear each room in regulation close quarter battle style, throwing distraction devices into each room before doing so.

Oh perfect, I need to try distraction devices! That will make the process more secure, thanks for that vg 😀

T1G3R T1G3R 2:43 pm 17 Jun 10

You can get a big dog, we used to have two guard dogs but the funny thing is, we still got robbed even with the dogs hinting that it was an ‘inside’ job from someone we knew. Unfortunately my mum lives alone and the dogs have passed away, shes been robbed twice in six months and this time they managed to walk out with a 50″ plasma. Of course we suspect it was the drugged up scumbag neighbours but who knows. Alarms, dogs and screens do nothing, its best to bloody move to a more secure and nicer environment. A crimsafe screen or comepetitor screen won’t stop a brick flying through the bathroom window and then also flying through the shower screen 😛

Leinna Leinna 11:48 am 17 Jun 10

Well, I was thinking that the people who needed help were the burglars, breaking into other people’s homes. To me that shows that you have no respect for society or other people and should be removed from it. I guess I do have a bit of pent up rage about it! Wouldn’t you?

I’m going to try and get in touch with the group you recommended Skidbladnir, thanks a lot 🙂

pptvb pptvb 10:04 am 17 Jun 10

goose said :

I purchased a LS30 (7 piece) system from http://www.securepro.com.au/
It was easy to install and has great features. system will call any numbers you give it – you can listen to what is going on in the house. It has so many features and it just beats all others hands down.
I have never had a false alarm to date (touch wood)

Be careful of self installed systems. Their price seems attractive, but they don’t meet Australian Standards (AS2201). While these are technically just a guide, you don’t want to give your insurance company an excuse for not paying.
Seen it happen.
Similar to the “top-of-the-range” alarm & camera systems sold by Dick Smith Powerhouse & the like.
If these systems are so good, why aren’t they using them?

eyeLikeCarrots eyeLikeCarrots 9:24 am 17 Jun 10

johnboy said :

monitored systems can, however, call the fire brigade.

Monitored systems provide very limited asset theft security.

Johnboy pointed out the above and that could be a benefit for your circumstances (live in a tinderbox/high risk dwelling etc)

Another benefit that a monitored system/guard response ‘can’ offer is: after some arsehole has broken in, with pre approval they can organise a glazier/carpenter to show up and do soemthing to re-secure your house/shop if you’re away/cannot be bothered/don’t have someone else. Again, only if your circumstances warrant this.

I do agree that monitored systems/guard response offer almost no benefit over the alarm being installed and setup correctly (pptvb mentioned the unit than can call your mobile is a good option).

Monitoring contracts are a terrible thing to get tricked/bullied into…

PBO PBO 9:15 am 17 Jun 10

A possible solution is to have someone who you trust stay there at all times (kind of like a live in angry-hippy shut-in) whose only job is to tend to the grounds and look after the house. I had a similar short-lived arrangement with a girl in Sydney who looked after my stuff when I was busy or away and cooked and cleaned (sadly no sex). Give them free or subsidised rent and away you go.

Aurelius Aurelius 8:57 am 17 Jun 10

Get a dog.
Make sure your house is visible from the street.
Get to know your neighbours and the kids in the neighbourhood.
Get a girlfriend who works from home during the day.
Park an extra car in your drive.
Get timed programmable power switches for when you’re away.
And motion sensor lights for when you’re not.
And then go see a shrink for that pent up rage expressed in your stupid comment about capital punishment. You need help.

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 7:57 am 17 Jun 10

Or lasers.

astrojax astrojax 7:10 am 17 Jun 10

a dog and a good neighbour does the trick nicely…

goose goose 5:46 am 17 Jun 10

I purchased a LS30 (7 piece) system from http://www.securepro.com.au/
It was easy to install and has great features. system will call any numbers you give it – you can listen to what is going on in the house. It has so many features and it just beats all others hands down.
I have never had a false alarm to date (touch wood)

cleo cleo 12:33 am 17 Jun 10

Nothing like a couple of big dogs!

vg vg 10:55 pm 16 Jun 10

glennmatthew said :

I completely understand being anxious, it’s why I live in an apartment on the top level. Insurance is only good for replacing what is taken, it doesn’t make you feel any better about intruders.

Perhaps I’m just anxious, and it helps my place is relatively small, though I do a quick check of my home when I arrive and ensure it’s clear and no one is hiding. Does anyone else do similar?

Yes, I tactically clear each room in regulation close quarter battle style, throwing distraction devices into each room before doing so.

glennmatthew glennmatthew 10:43 pm 16 Jun 10

I completely understand being anxious, it’s why I live in an apartment on the top level. Insurance is only good for replacing what is taken, it doesn’t make you feel any better about intruders.

Perhaps I’m just anxious, and it helps my place is relatively small, though I do a quick check of my home when I arrive and ensure it’s clear and no one is hiding. Does anyone else do similar?

Leinna Leinna 10:29 pm 16 Jun 10

Thanks for the tips, will be checking out the other posts 🙂

Will be calling some places and getting quotes, looks like it’s a toss up between expensive installation and ongoing costs.

Also a sudden supporter of capital punishment!!!

bd84 bd84 9:11 pm 16 Jun 10

Buy a dog with a nice deep bark or that barks a lot at the sight of people. It will turn most nasty burglars away (touchwood).

sexynotsmart sexynotsmart 8:33 pm 16 Jun 10

Three words – get a dog.

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