Humans don’t exactly hibernate in winter. After the festive season is over, however, many people tend to spend most of their free time at home.
As the days get warmer and longer, however, people often like to start going out again. This means the arrival of spring is the perfect time to reassess your home’s security. Here, ISET UK share their tips to help.
Start on the outside
Explain to your customers that security always starts at your perimeter. What that means in practice depends on what kind of property your client lives in. The principles, however, are much the same for everyone.
Maintain your boundary
If your client actually has a perimeter barrier, then now is the time to check it. It may well have been damaged over the winter.
If they don’t actually have a perimeter barrier, try to mark your boundary in some way. For example, if they have a garden, place some stones around its edges. If you don’t, maybe you could use paint.
Essentially, you want to deny somebody the chance to claim that they wandered onto their property by accident.
Take care of your exterior space
If your customer has any sort of exterior space, then there’s a strong chance that it’s going to need a tidy-up after winter. Taking care of this will improve your security in two ways. Firstly, it sends out a message that somebody is taking an interest in your property. This in itself is a deterrent.
Secondly, it makes it harder for malicious actors to approach the property without being noticed. At a minimum, there is less cover for them. Ideally, they’ll have a clearly-designated route to your door. Anyone not following that route will be noticed.
Install plenty of lighting
The invention of solar-powered, motion-sensitive outdoor lights have to be one of the biggest security benefits of all time. Solar-powered lighting only means that you’re effectively powering your lights for free. It also means that you never have to worry about loss of power. This could mean either batteries running out or a power cut.
Likewise, motion-sensitive lights are a significant improvement on standard lights. Firstly, they’re more economical to run than regular lights. Secondly, they effectively serve a second function as alarms because you actively notice when the light comes on.
Effective lighting is also a necessity for a cost-effective domestic security system. The alternative is either doing without cameras or investing in night-vision cameras.
Invest in security cameras
If your clients budget is really tight, then you could suggest CCTV alternatives such as smart doorbells. Their functionality is, however, much more limited than proper security cameras.
Ideally, therefore, your client will be happy to invest in a smart doorbell plus security cameras. The good news here is that even low-cost security cameras can deliver high-quality results. It is, however, vital that you position them correctly.
Firstly, you need to ensure that they’re covering the area(s) you need to be covered. Secondly, you need to ensure that they have enough light to work effectively. Thirdly, you need to ensure that they’re protected against the elements, wildlife, and humans. Generally, that is the order of priorities.
The most obvious human threat is the threat of physically damaging the cameras themselves. With modern security cameras, however, you also need to think about the possibility of somebody disrupting your internet connection. Make sure any physical infrastructure is hidden and/or protected and keep your WiFi password safe.
Secure your doors and windows
This is probably the most basic security precaution of all. It’s as important today as it always has been. Make sure that doors and windows fit securely in their frames and have high-quality locks on them. Keep them locked by default, even when no one is at home. It’s a nasty thought but people can enter your home while you’re there.
Remember to secure the doors and windows on any outbuildings too. Even if your customer doesn’t store anything valuable in them, they can still be used as hiding places. Alternatively, a malicious actor could create an issue with them (e.g., a fire) to distract you. Then they could attack the house.
In addition to securing doors and windows physically, think about what can be seen through them. Spring brings longer days. These can lead to people waking up earlier and/or going to bed later. When people are awake, they’re probably going to want to have natural light in their homes as much as possible.
That means it can help to have window treatments that allow light through while still maintaining your privacy. Slatted blinds and shutters are both good here but are not to everyone’s taste. If your client prefers curtains (or roller blinds) consider pairing them with net curtains or privacy film.
Traditional security measures still have value
Old-school door-viewers and chains very much still have value in the modern world. Firstly, they give you a low-tech backup to modern devices such as smart doorbells.
Secondly, chains make it easy to open a door slightly without having to worry about it being pushed open. For example, a lot of parcels that are too big for letterboxes will fit through the gap made by a chain.
See if you can get support from neighbours
Suggest that your client checks if there’s a neighbourhood watch scheme (or equivalent) where they live. Alternatively, just reach out to neighbours and get them on board with everybody looking out for each other. Remember, it’s in everybody’s best interests to keep crime out of a neighbourhood.
Having a group of humans looking out for each other is still more effective than relying on automated devices alone. That’s exactly why businesses employ security guards even though they have the best automated security technology currently available.
Hopefully, most people should know by now that you should be careful what you post on social media. For clarity, that applies even if you think your account is completely private. Sadly, that discretion has to extend into the real world too. Be careful what you say (and show) in public. That includes private spaces where there are a lot of people.