Home Security Tips and Tricks
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The best way to protect your home
Unfortunately, household robbery is one of the most common crimes in Australia with more than 330,000 break-ins recorded annually.
With the threat of burglary ever-present, the best way to ensure your home and belongings are protected is to install a home security system to act as your personal security guard, operating round-the-clock 24/7 to immediately detect anything which could pose a threat to you, your family or your property.
A home security system can also work as a lifestyle tool—no matter where you are, you’ll be able to check in on your pets, see if a parcel has been left at your door, or make sure the kids arrived home from school.
A home security system ultimately grants you peace of mind that everything in your home will be safe and secure at all times, so you can pay more focus and attention to the other things you have on the go.
Will an older home alarm system do the job?
While an older system is better than nothing, there are a few vulnerabilities that prevent them from providing the same level of protection as a modern security system.
A key issue with older alarm systems is that burglars know how to get around them. In most cases where an alarm is connected to a fixed phone line, the siren can be disarmed by cutting the phone line. Even if a siren does sound, without a working phone line connection the system won’t be able to notify the central monitoring station to trigger the response process.
While many alarm systems do send the occasional test signal to ensure the system is operational, the homeowner won’t be alerted to an intruder until after their property has been ransacked.
Some of the other disadvantages of older home alarm systems include:
- They can be expensive to operate – Antiquated home alarm systems which operate off a fixed phone line typically involve costly line rental fees and expensive call charges (you’ll incur call charges each time the alarm sends a signal), in addition to ongoing monitoring fees.
- They’re known for triggering false alarms – The sensors used in older systems lack some of the ‘smart’ features of newer systems which prevent false alarms.
- They don’t include video surveillance – Without live video access to your property, it can be difficult to determine if an alarm is triggered in response to a genuine threat or if it’s merely a false alarm.
Simple security ideas for your home
Keeping your home safe and secure doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are a few simple security ideas you can incorporate into your security system to improve safety in your home:
- Opt for a ‘polled’ alarm system: Polled alarm systems send a regular ‘heartbeat’ signal to the monitoring centre via both internet and mobile (so they don’t need a phone line). This ensures your security company will be immediately alerted to any system disruptions.
- Look for an IP-based security system: IP-based systems allow you to monitor and control your home security system remotely from any location with an internet connection.
- Utilise a combination of ‘smart’ technologies: From smart home locks to smart switches and lighting, smart technologies grant you the ability to control access to your home from any location or make your home look like it’s inhabited when you’re away on holidays.
- Choose a security provider that is AS2201.2 Grade A ASIAL-certified: This provides validation that the monitoring centre connected to your home security system is appropriately certified and ensures that any emergency response calls made to police can’t be refused.
How to minimise false alarms
- Change sensor batteries regularly: Home alarm systems are known to malfunction when batteries are drained.
- Check where the sensors are located: Sensors located near vents, drafts or curtains/blinds which can cause movement are common culprits for triggering false alarms.
- Upgrade to a modern system: Newer home security systems incorporate smart technology features which are better at distinguishing genuine threats from false alarms. They also offer the ability to arm and disarm the system remotely and provide movement and monitoring notifications.
- Conduct routine system checks: Routinely assess and monitor your alarm system to ensure equipment is in-tact and functioning normally.
Home security and insurance
- Take the time to understand what is and isn’t covered under your home and contents policy.
- Be honest and accurate with your insurer, as providing false information about the security measures in your home could jeopardise any claims.
- Always ensure your home is secured when you go out, closing and locking all windows, doors, sheds and garage spaces and remembering to arm your alarm system.
- Never leave spare keys outside the home.
- Avoid leaving your home unattended for more than 60 days (or the period specified in the PDS), as this could render any claims as void.
- Always take note of any changes to the insurers’ PDS.
With so much at stake, it’s well worth implementing these measures to ensure any insurance claims you do need to make can be processed as smoothly as possible.