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Home Security In Canberra

By Leinna 16 June 2010 44

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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Home Security In Canberra
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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 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.

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