A well-secured home is not only needed in extraordinary times (such as this quarantine season when every member of the family is inside) but also during ordinary days. Whether your property is a condo unit, an apartment, a bungalow in a village, or a mansion in an enclave, it is wise to make sure you have peace of mind before you call it a day.
So before you sleep, make sure you (or any member of your family) keep this simple checklist in mind:
- Lock all doors and windows
This should be an SOP of every homeowner but sad to say, a lot of people forget this. Home security experts recommend homeowners to have a certain “routine” in order to make locking doors and windows part of “muscle memory.” For example, designate a family member to be responsible for checking if all doors are locked, or make it a habit to check doors after you have brought out the trash.
- Activate an alarm
There are a lot of options available in the market today when it comes to home alarm. It can be an entire home security system to an alarm specific for detecting movements. If you don’t want to spend that much for an alarm system, you can make it “crude”—placing an empty bottle on the floor beside the door or put a windchime near the window.
- Take out mess
Clutter must go away if you want to have a secured home. Clutter—big boxes, crates, empty cartons, etc.—can become a “hideaway” for burglars. If you have tall shrubs or trees filled with leaves, security experts suggest that you cut some leaves so that it would not block the upper levels of your house. Burglars have nowhere to hide in a house that’s clean and orderly.
- Let light shine
Make sure to have lights on outside your house for added security. If you want to save on electricity, there are now motion-sensing lights available in the market. Security experts also advise homeowners to put one light on (preferably LED) inside the living area so that burglars will not know if everyone’s asleep or if there is anyone awake.
- CCTVs do the work
CCTVs are valuable these days not only at business establishments but also in your home. You can access the video feed through you smartphone in real time, enabling you to check on your house when you are outside. This also minimizes your movement, especially if you hear something suspicious as you can first review the video feeds before making the necessary calls to authorities. If you don’t have the budget for a full CCTV system for your house, you can install webcams or have a few well-positioned cameras instead.
- Don’t divulge schedules
Though this is not part of the house’s infrastructure, each member of the family should not disclose too much information online. Burglars now are also tech-savvy, checking out Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles of vulnerable homeowners who share too much info about their vacation plans, schedules, and photos of their houses. All this online info gives burglars the advantage of checking your house after you “check out” for vacation.
- Fortify the gate
Your gate is the entrance to your house so it’s the first line of defense before your door. Now that you have more time during the lockdown, check your gate for signs of weakness. Are the locks still functional or loose? Is your perimeter wall still secured? If the burglar climbs up your gate, what security features are in place (e.g. barbwire, glass shards, electric fence)?
Security experts also suggest to have a “double” door. It can be a metallic door, a grille-type of door, or one made from wrought iron. It adds a layer of security and makes it harder for burglars to immediately enter your house.
- Pets as protectors
Your pets can become your best protectors as cats and dogs can sense (and make noise) if a stranger is in the perimeter of your house or unit. A well-trained dog can even be the one to “bite on” the burglar until authorities arrive.
- Disseminate information
Each member of the family must be aware of what to do in case a burglary happens. Each one should at least memorize (or encode on their smartphone) what number to call in case of an emergency. A burglary is not the time to panic, so the best way is for everyone to be equipped beforehand with the correct and relevant information.
- Check, check, and check
It pays to be “OC” sometimes when it comes to the security of the place that houses your family. Double check the doors, windows, and gate from time to time. If you lose your keys outside your house, it is wise to change the locks instead of just duplicating it from a spare key. Check if your alarm’s battery is still functioning, check on your pet if it is fed well (you don’t want a burglar feeding it), check if the CCTV is still working. There is no harm in double checking as it only brings more peace of mind to you and everyone you love.