The matter of home security has come a long way. Ancient Babylon worried about it. And so was Greece, Medo-Persia, and Rome. Today, you think about it. We all do. The goal, either time is the same- to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your valuable property. Do you know that some security measures employed in medieval times are still in use today? These include Moats, Watchtowers, Walls, Gates, weapons, and so forth. These security measures worked very well then. They served to protect people’s lives and properties. They still work very well today.
No doubt, many people would jump at the idea of making their home one of the most secure places on earth. It can feel exhilarating to achieve that. Consider a home with impenetrable high tech security such as hidden cameras, sensors, motion detectors, floodlights, and with premium trained security dogs patrolling your grounds. Some would even prefer to have Lions and Tigers guarding the perimeters of their homes to keep unwanted visitors at bay.
While this may appear appealing, normal day to day living should not be a simulation of a city under siege. Your home will never be Area 51 but a living abode. Modest security measures may be all you need to live happy, hale, and hearty.
Let us examine seven forms of security measures employed in homes globally. What makes them tick and how your choices impact your security. In the end, you will be able to tell which is suitable for you. You may choose to integrate one or more options into your home security system. This would depend on your budget, where you live, and your circumstances.
Home Security Measures in Perspective
The first thing that may come to your mind when you think of securing your home is your door. You must pay attention to your home entryways. Home burglary statistics in the US shows that almost 30% of burglars gain access to homes through unlocked doors or windows.
How secure are the doors and windows in your house? What type of security doors do you have installed? How solid and reliable are the door materials? What type of security locks do you have on your doors? Are they tamper and kick-open proof? Would you need extra fortifications for your doors? Door jammers, lock reinforcers, and door security bars are some great options.
What further security measures can you use? What if you install extra iron bars on doors (as shown in the picture below)? That could deter burglars from attempting to make a break-in into your home.
How important it is to have a visible security system in place in your home. In 2013, the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF) funded a study. Researchers at the University of North Carolina conducted the study. Here is what they found. 60 percent of the convicted burglars confessed that they would change their minds to target another home if they knew a security system was in place. You must, therefore, pay attention to your doors and windows. Do not make them vulnerable to easy access by intruders.
Having a visible security system in place can make a big difference when it comes to your home security. Smart locks, alarms, and Outdoor Security Cameras are extra security layers to consider.
Doors will remain a fundamental security measure to protect your home and loved ones. Whether your doors can do a good job in that regard would depend on a lot of factors. Your preference, your budget, and the circumstance in which you live will play a part.
Common types of doors in the world based on the material of production
- Timber/Wood Doors
- Battened and Ledged Doors
- Framed and Paneled Doors
- Flush Doors
- Glass Doors
- Steel Doors
- PVC Doors
- Fiberglass Doors
2. Security Fence
You may want to put up a fence around your home. The aim of having a fence is to enhance the physical security of your property. But a question can arise. Do you think putting up a fence will cause a rift between you and your neighbor? Whether it is a good idea or not, the choice is yours to make.
It may be wise to come to some sort of agreement with your neighbor if you share a boundary. A fence can provide a safe and comfortable play environment for your young children. Your pets too will be better contained. This will help reduce the risk of unnecessary incidents. A fence thus helps keep people and other undesirable elements out.
Some experts have expressed concern though. Fences separate apartment complexes and entire neighborhoods. They thus worry that the barrier created will prevent people from coming together as a whole. And people coming together can be a force for good in crime deterrence.
What about the false sense of security that residents within fenced neighborhoods have? Most of the time, they feel no need to be alert. They care less for the need to keep an eye out for suspicious persons and activity around them. By lowering their guards, they become vulnerable targets for burglars and other criminals.
Fence Other Security Measures to Take to Heart
Security and privacy may be your primary reasons for setting up a fence around your home. Some take it a step further. They make their fence blend very well with the home structure and landscape. The ensuing ambiance provides the family with a comfortable, welcoming home feeling. Consider backing up your bland-looking metal fence with a well-trimmed natural green hedge. This may add a different beauty tweak to your home.
You may want to consider too your jurisdiction laws about setting up a fence. Privacy fences are usually between 6 and 8 feet tall. Some laws specify how far back a fence needs to be set on your home property. This is usually 2, 4, 6, or 8 inches from the property line. If you set up your fence right on the property line, be ready. By law, you may share the responsibility for the fence with your neighbor.
Extra Security Measures in Fortifying your Fence
What if you desire an all-encompassing home security plan? This you can do by adding to your fence other defenses and burglar deterrents such as the following:
- Electrifying the fence
- Outdoor security cameras
- Powerful floodlighting
- Burglar alarm with backup power
- Anti-climbing spikes
- Light timber trellis on top of the fence combined with thorny climbers
- Barbed wire and razor tape
- Broken glass
- Spinning fence toppings
- Anti-climb paint (also known as non-drying paint)
You will need to be cautious with some of the deterrents mentioned above. For example, if you decide to electrify your fence or include cemented broken glasses. You may need to put a warning that points to the danger of violation to play safe with the law in some jurisdictions.
You may even decide to go for an all-round smart home security system. This lets you get real-time alerts on your mobile device of all activities outside your home. That way, you keep abreast of happenings around your home 24/7 whether you are at home or not. Some Smart Home Security Systems to Consider includes the following:
- ADT Home Security
- Vivint Smart Home
- Frontpoint Home Security
- Protect America Home Security
- Alder Security
- Frontpoint Home Security
- Brinks Home Security
The following are the most common types of fences in the world:
- Wrought Iron
- Chain Link
4. Outdoor Security Lighting
There is no question about it. One of your priorities is to prevent or discourage intrusions into your property. You also want to deter criminal activity around your home. This is the aim of security lighting. Security lighting should top the list of the security measures you want to take to secure your home. The right security lighting increases the feeling of safety of everyone. More so, if you position them in the right locations around your home.
There is no short supply in the types and variations of security lights available today. Most will do a good job of lighting up your home premises at night. Talking about light behavior, there are outdoor security lights that provide continuous Lighting. Others provide moveable lighting, emergency lighting, and standby lighting. We have three basic types of security lighting. They are, the Motion Sensor, Led Floodlights, and Solar. Let me give you a brief preview of each of them.
How the 3 Types of Security Lighting Works
The Motion Sensor Light
There are two fates a burglar or an intruder would pray never to meet in his nefarious career: One, to get exposed without warning under a glaring light as he sneaks up on a property. Second, to get caught! A motion sensor light is always primed to allow the first fate to befall a burglar.
The light gets triggered by anything that moves within its sensor’s range capability. Many sensors have a range of 150 to 200 meters. This can disorient or scare away an intruder from going ahead with his mission. By remaining in off mode when not triggered by movement, it saves on your energy bills. This is a plus if you decide to go for the Motion Sensor Light.
The LED Flood Lights
Floodlights are very bright and can illuminate a wide area. The effect of a well-lit home environment in the night can be strong. It can discourage burglars from attempting to make a move on your home. LED floodlights are also energy-saving and more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Some like the Morsen LED Flood Light comes with over 40, 000 lumens. This 400W floodlight is equal to 2500W halogen bulbs.
You may not need to bath your home with the power of the sun in a bid to scare away intruders. This would not be necessary. The level of brightness you want to achieve would depend on the aim of having the floodlight. This is what influences the location of your security lights around your home. For example, Greenshine , suggests the following:
Types of Lighting
Motion sensor lights
Hardscape lights (on walls)
Solar lights serve both security and decorative purposes for your home and courtyard. Some like the Sunforce Triple Head Flood Solar light can be very bright. Some others like garden and pathways solar lights emit a cool low light. Place them in strategic locations around your garden and pathways and see the appeal. They can light up your home environment in an adorable way. Most solar lights are waterproof and made to withstand all weather conditions. Some come with motion sensors and can be set to switch on when they detect a movement and off.
You may need to secure your security lights as they could be subject to vandalism. Vandals target them to weaken their effectiveness when an intrusion attempt is in the works. So it would be proactive on your part to mount them out of easy reach. You could as well protect them by wire mesh or by using tough polycarbonate shields.
Homeowners should also take to heart that burglars keep refining their strategies. They are aware of modern security measures to beat them to their game. Contrary to widespread belief, crime data have shown an unusual trend in burglary cases. Most household burglaries occur more during the day. This often occurs when members of the family are away at work, in school, or out shopping. This knowledge calls for not letting your guard down even during the day.
Many Outdoor security lights are DIY and are quite easy to install. They seem inexpensive too. As such, they would remain one of the key security measures around the world to keep homes and families safe.
4. Security Dogs
You will agree that a dog is an amazing animal. From all indications, it is man’s best friend amongst animals. No wonder they are the number one choice of pet globally. Dogs poll 33 percent out of 57 percent of consumers who own pets worldwide. This is according to GFK (a global leader in data and analytics) survey.
Talking about home security measures, dogs are a top choice for most people. According to the Guardian, large barking dogs are one of the top deterrents mentioned by Burglars that put them off breaking into some homes.
Dogs generally serve different purposes. Some are pets. Others assist humans to do their work. Dogs thus have specific job roles. These include Police dogs, Army dogs, Fire safety dogs, Assistant dogs, Messenger dogs, Hunting dogs, Herding dogs, or Rescue dogs. How many breeds of dogs exist in the world? Well, it may be hard to be definite. At the time of this writing, the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognizes 340 breeds of dogs. Since our focus is on home security, let’s take a look at a list of some security dog breeds. A lot of people have found these breeds to be great for keeping homes safe from intruders. It is important to note however that some of the breeds here like the Pit Bull, Rottweiler and some others are banned in some countries and states. Some of these breeds are banned due to their aggressive nature and their susceptibility to bite or attack. So before you decide on which dog to own, check to see if the breed you are going for is not banned in your state.
24 Options of Dog Breeds to Consider in Your Home Security Measures
Security dogs do not only keep your home safe and secure from unwanted guests. Like most pets, their presence helps to reduce stress and anxiety. They could also ease depression and loneliness. Most people do not have the motivation to engage in exercise. Your security dogs could motivate you to get up on your toes. They compel you to engage in exercise and playfulness when you take them out for a walk or a run.
What is more? Your cardiovascular health could improve as a result. Having well-trained security dogs could turn out well for your children too. Children develop helpful traits when they care for animals. They grow up to be more secure, active, and caring. Security dogs as pets in the home play other valuable roles. They provide companionship for older adults and the infirm.
That said, there is no doubt that security dogs will continue to have a special place in people’s hearts when considering security measures for the home.
5. Security Cameras
Security cameras are one of the most effective security measures to detect and deter crime and burglaries globally. Burglars are most likely to abort breaking into homes that have CCTV cameras according to a panel of former criminals.
The use of security cameras in homes and cities across the world has grown in popularity. This is because of heightened security concerns due to international terrorism. Surveillance cameras watch many people in many cities across the world. The awareness and reality of that fact on the public could be chilling. This, on occasion, has sparked protests by people of interference on their right to privacy. People cherish the freedom to be free of prying eyes of security operatives.
According to reports, an “average American appears on CCTV camera an estimated 75 times a day.” In the UK, “an average Londoner the world’s most photographed person appears on public and private security cameras an estimated 300 times every 24 hours!” When security camera privacy concerns get matched with the crime deterrence role they play in society, the security benefits tend to overshadow people’s concerns. But it is not unusual for people to cast a wary eye at security camera prying eye on them with a note of ambivalence.
Security measures that incorporate the use of security cameras can thus enhance the effectiveness of your home security.
Facts and True Essence of Security Cameras
The goal of home security is not to invade people’s privacy. It is to protect homes by deterring criminal activity. The presence of security cameras also works to reduce crime generally. In Baltimore and Chicago for example, Urban’s research reported that the presence of security cameras reduced crime even beyond areas with camera coverage. Security cameras go a step further. They provide material evidence in the event of a crime.
Globally, there are approximately 25 million CCTV cameras. Out of these, Britain holds a high percentage with a record number of around 4 million. Among European countries, the UK has more CCTV activity, per capita as reported by caughtoncamera.net.
According to data gathered by PreciseSecurity.com, China, the United States, and Germany are the countries leading the world in the number of surveillance cameras. China tops them all with four times more surveillance cameras installed in its territory than the United States.
True, the widespread use of security cameras in homes and cities is not limited to the aforementioned countries. Security cameras will remain one of the fundamental security measures employed by people to detect, deter, and document criminal activities in the society.
6. Home Security Guards
Private home security guards are a common sight in many urban neighborhoods. Their use in securing homes in cities across the world has grown quite popular. When considering security measures for the home, they are a top choice for many households. A home security guard should be professional, smart, intelligent, be alert, and vigilant.
The duties of a home security guard often include securing a home, its premises, and its occupants. This he does both during the day and at night. He patrols and inspects buildings, ensuring that everything is in order. He also keeps an eye on surveillance equipment to be sure that nothing is out of place. He mans access points to permit and prohibit entry when required. For many homes, having a private security guard may be one of the first security measures that come to mind.
How Some Throw Caution to the Wind in Sourcing A Security Guard
Many households opt for Private home security guards when considering security measures for their home. They believe that security guards will do a good job of watching over the home and family. In Nigeria for example, a private home security guard is often referred to as a gateman, Meh-guard, or an Aboki. A large number of these private home security guards are from the Northern part of the country.
Here, there exists a rather strange trend. In Corporate establishments, you see trained security personnel from Licensed private companies. The same goes for high brow schools as well. But in most private homes, mansions, and villas, what you see is different. These places have, instead, untrained Meh-guards or Abokis from the North. Could the reason be that there is no much security threat to worry about? Or is your goal to render personal economic aid to the often needy gateman? This you are willing to do at the expense of your home security?
For economic reasons and the lure of cheap labor, many opt for this personal home security guard arrangement. The guards most times, get sourced from the neighborhood. Often, they come by referrals from friends. There may be little or no background checks. The guards may lack professional training too. Usually, there is a slim chance of any corporate backing. This practice is not only dangerous but risky. It leaves the home and family members vulnerable to security breaches. for the security conscious, they have the choice to do better than that.
To ensure the observance of proper security protocol, go for the services of a licensed professional security outfit. This would ensure that you get the right security services that good training delivers. Besides, you will have an organization to hold accountable in case of any omission or commission on the part of your security guard.
Some Essential Skills A Home Security Guard Needs to Have
- Basic Training and Experience.
- Alertness and Readiness to Patrol
- Knowledge of Law Enforcement
- .An Eye for Detail.
- Oral Communication Skills.
- Surveillance Ability
- Written Communication Skills.
7. Armed Home Dwellers
Think about this scenario. A burglar had success in breaking into a home. He pauses as he steps cautiously towards a room he believes is the treasury. Without warning, a door nearby bursts open. Frozen in his tracks, he stares at the homeowner leveling the ugly barrel of a cocked shotgun on his head! Mission busted!
A battle-ready homeowner armed with a gun can be a formidable roadblock for any would-be home intruder. Except the burglar is a well-trained former soldier who is no stranger in navigating the dangerous maze of gun confrontations. He may succeed in disarming the homeowner and make away with whatever he wants. But that can be tricky. Because a gun even in the hands of an amateur can take down an unwary trained soldier. Besides, the homeowner has the advantage of surprise.
While arming yourself at home can be an effective security measure against home intrusions, it is a tricky one to pursue. Depending on your country, there are gun ownership laws to consider. There are gun safety concerns. There are issues whether you may be able to use your firearms to prevent an invasion.
What Countries Can Homeowners Legally Carry A Gun?
There are only three countries in the world that have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They are Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States. As for the United States, it is the only country with no restrictions on gun ownership in the constitution.
Countries like Serbia, Yemen, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia have records of the highest ownership of firearms in the world.
How Effective Is the Use of Guns for Home Protection?
According to a 1995 study led by Arthur Kellermann, out of 198 home invasion crimes in Atlanta, Georgia, only 3 of these cases did the victims use guns for self-protection. The authors thus concluded that “Although firearms are often kept in the home for protection, they are rarely used for this purpose.”
This study is an eye-opener. It may reflect the true situation worldwide. So what is the justification for keeping firearms in the home if they will not be used for self-defense that they are meant for? Does owning a gun in your home reduce your risk of gun violence? Experts have debated this. According to a kqed.org interview, “Keeping a gun in your home makes you more likely to be a victim of crime, homicide or suicide.” In deciding what security measures to adopt for your home protection, therefore, you may need to take to heart these findings.
12 Important Home Security Tips to Consider
- Make sure all exterior doors have reliable and secure locks.
- Develop the habit of looking around before opening your door.
- Ask for a referral. Before you hire someone, get a personal or corporate recommendation.
- Don’t flaunt expensive buys. An empty television or computer carton left on the terrace is a red flag to hoodlums.
- Know your neighbors.
- Keep your mail out of easy reach.
- If possible, create the illusion that someone is at your house.
- Don’t leave spare keys in predictable locations.
- Keep your garage doors shut at all times.
- Secure your sliding glass doors with shutters or other fortifications
- Keep your drapes and blinds shut
- Have emergency or police numbers to call should the need arise
You will agree this has been a revealing ride. The 7 fundamental security measures discussed here are not exhaustive. There are many other security measures you can take to protect your home from break-ins and intrusions. These 7 however, are major. Go through them again as your time permits. The expose’ will help you make informed decisions when considering security measures for your home.
Are there some important ones that we omitted? Or do you have any interesting viewpoints to share with us? We would like to hear from you. Feel free to comment below.