With the number of police officers expected to fall some 16,000 by 2015 and domestic burglaries on the rise,* it's not the worst time to be looking at beefing up security at the family home. Assuming you already have good window and door locks, here are some other good 'investments' that will help keep burglars, vandals and prowlers at bay:
Wireless LED Motion Sensor Spotlights
These are great as they don't require wiring so there's no need to spend a year or two training as an electrician! They can be put just about any place that needs a security light and their low cost means you can afford to use plenty of them. The batteries won't last forever, but being LED and motion activated means they will last quite a long time. Used in conjunction with owning a dog ensures that two major scourges of the average burglar (light and sound) are pretty much covered!
Wireless alarm systems
Sticking with a wireless theme there is a massive advantage in not needing miles of wire and heavy duty drilling not to mention trying to work out the headache inducing diagrams!The devices need only be fixed to a convenient mounting point so you have the relatively straightforward tasks of fixing a box to a wall and the devices in the desired area plus a little bit of programming. OK you won't have Fort Knox and you'll have to monitor batteries occasionally but a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind
Video door intercom
Although this product is best suited for apartments or flats, it is also useful in a large house where a kitchen or living room may be some distance from the front door. For under £150 you can get a video door intercom system which includes night vision and infra-red LEDs and a panic button for unwanted visitors. Most intercom systems are easy for the amateur to install and can just be plugged in at the mains.
A Closed Circuit Television system with recording devices will not be cheap, but how much do you actually need the real thing? There are some good decoy or replica CCTV cameras on sale which are not just realistic but are identical to the real thing. With a few stickers warning that your premises are 'protected by closed circuit TV and 24 hour recording' you you can probably get change from £30.
Anti climb strips
These are the spiky strips that fit to the tops of fences, brick walls and gates and are designed to give a certain amount of 'discomfort' to anyone trying to climb over them! They are easy to fit to angled surfaces and are weatherproof and durable. Like many security products they are not going to stop a determined thief but they are a good statement of intent! Some stickers warning or personal injuries adds a nice touch as well.
Although the quality and specifications of these products will vary, it not too far fetched to suggest that all of these could be installed by a competent DIY-er for less that £500 – or the same as the excess you might have to pay on a typical contents insurance policy!
Rick Bloomfield is the website editor for The Workplace Depot, one of the UK's largest suppliers of safety steps and other industrial equipment.
*Inspectorate of Constabulary on BBC news 11/3/2012 and Guardian 14/7/2011-14% increase in domestic burglaries
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