Residential Security Checklist

1. Do you have secure deadlocks or similar heavy duty locking devices on your perimeter doors?

Your external doors should be secured with double sided deadlocks or a heavy duty locking devices of some kind. Ensure you select deadlocks that meet the Australian standards for strength and durability. In most cases locks are taken for granted but they are your front line of defence against an attack by an intruder. Locks will not only deter a prospective intruder, they will also delay that intruder from entering your home depending on the quality of the locks selected or installed.

2. Do you have key operated window locks?

All windows should be locked with key operated window locks. Windows operated with key operated locks in the plastic window catch are no stronger than a standard window catch. Window locks should be made of metal and should be installed in addition to the existing window catch. Most windows can also be locked in a ventilation position, 100mm maximum opening to allow fresh air in the house if required.

3. Is your home equipped with a monitored back to base alarm system?

Alarm systems are a great deterrent against intrusion particularly if the system is monitored by a back to base security company facility and with a good response time. Ensure the alarm is visible from the street and use stickers on your windows to warn intruders that your house is alarmed.

4. Do you know who has all keys for your home?

If you have just purchased or moved into a new residence, new or old, it is recommended you change or re-key all existing locks. You never know if previous residents or tenants have retained a key, give a family member or friend a key to the property. In most cases, you can get all the door locks ‘keyed alike’ so you only have to carry one key for the property.

5. Do you have a home safe?

For protection of your personal cash, jewellery, documents you need a quality home safe. Make sure you buy a quality safe that has a recognised insurance rating and speak to a reputable locksmith or quality safe manufacturer for advice as to which safe will most suit your particular requirements.

6. Are your perimeter gates of your home securely locked with gate locks or bolt cutter resistant chains and padlocks?

There is a variety of good gate locks and padlocks available on the market today. Normally a free site call to survey and advise the better option is the best way to give you this advice. If you are going to use a padlock and chain to secure the gates ensure the chain is high tensile and bolt cutter resistant.

7. Do you have good exterior lighting around your home?

Ensure sufficient lighting is provided around your home, entry points and verandahs. Thieves and vandals love nice dark entries and properties to conceal their crime. The more light the better, especially if the area can be seen from the street or by people in surrounding homes and buildings. Light sensors or motion detectors attached to lights will help save the expense of having lights on all the time and assists with the element of surprise for the would-be intruder when they are activated.

8. Do you have home electronic security surveillance?

CCTV or Closed Circuit Television with a DVR or Digital Video Recorder are becoming so affordable that they are no longer out of reach for the average home owner. Many of the CCTV and DVR systems on the market today can be viewed remotely allowing you to keep an eye on your home from anywhere in the world using the internet. Digital also means no more messing with video tapes. All events are recorded to a hard drive just like a computer and the bigger the hard drive the further back you can go to replay captured images.

How would you rate your home security?

Excellent – please do not become complacent with your security and think that you are not a target. Even if your security has recently been upgraded it is best to establish an ongoing review procedure to ensure everything is working and that you are sufficiently protected.

Good – if you believe you have good security systems please remember the technology world is constantly changing and there is always someone waiting for an opportunity to exploit what they see as an easy target.

Average – have an expert conduct an assessment to make sure you are not taking unnecessary risks and provide you with a free market quotation to upgrade.

Poor – do something as soon as possible you are at risk.