The lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic has had a silver lining for many of us. Being confined to where we live means we’ve had time to take a fresh look at home improvement ideas. Not least of these is home security improvements. They can add value to your home, so are worth the trouble while you have the time.
Here is our take on home improvements projects to do during isolation. If you can persuade other family members to get involved, it can become a group project with a hugely beneficial outcome for all: increased safety at home when the lockdown is lifted and crime is expected to rise again.
- Audit your physical security measures
Start with doing a check-up of the protection measures you currently have on your doors, windows, patio and other vulnerable areas.
Walk around your home and take a critical look at all your security gates and burglar guards, noting any signs of wear and tear. List any that are rusted or weak. These can easily be kicked out or pushed in by housebreakers, so plan to replace them once lockdown is over.
Also note down any windows that are not protected by any burglar proofing and add them to your ‘to do after lockdown’ list. Do this even if these windows or doors look inaccessible. Burglars will find a way to get through anything if they are really determined.
List any external doors that don’t have a security gate fitted next to them, including the door from the garage into the house. These are weak points that can allow easy access to your home if they are not blocked by a good quality security barrier.
If you have a patio that you use a lot, think about enclosing it with security doors. There are so many attractive options on the market that will add value to your home because they look good and do multiple jobs for you.
Here are some ideas from Trellidor:
- Trellidor Clear Guard – mesh screens with a neat aluminium frame, available in sliding doors, bi-fold doors and framed doors to suit the space. You can see right through the screens, which block out insects, snakes and monkeys, and they make very appealing doors.
- Trellidor Louvre Shutters – louvre doors that can be made in a wide variety of configurations to suit your patio. The louvres can be tilted to control the amount of light, air and privacy you need. The doors can be opened if you prefer this when using the patio.
- Trellidor Rollerstyle shutters – rolling shutters that roll up completely into a shutter box overhead when you want to use your patio. If the weather is rainy or windy, you can close the shutters and use the patio in comfort. They give new meaning to the word ‘lockdown’ when closed as they are virtually immovable.
Take a look at all these design ideas on the Trellidor website and chat to the Bot if you need more information. Virtual consultations are available during the Covid-19 lockdown period too, if you want a face-to-face chat with an expert from Trellidor head office.
- Check your electronic home security
When you’re hectic with the busyness of everyday life, it’s tempting to put off tasks like checking batteries on home electronic systems. It’s a tedious job but do it while you have time on your side. Electronic systems in good working order add value to your home and could save a life in an emergency.
Change batteries that are flat and check that back-up batteries are still capable of operating for several hours. Power outages are always a possibility so it’s important to ensure you are protected when there is no electricity.
The list of items to check includes driveway gates, alarms, panic alarms, automated security doors, garage doors, external and internal sensor beams and security cameras.
If you use a security app on your phone, add the purchase of a power bank to your ‘to do’ list if you don’t already have one, so that you never get into a dangerous situation with no means of calling for help.
If you can’t repair any faulty back-up batteries or electronic security items yourself, add them to your list to deal with after lockdown and then get the experts in.
- Plan a safe zone
There is no better time to plan your safe zone than during the lockdown. You are in your home all day and have plenty of opportunity to take a good look at how you use your space. The result will be a really well-planned safe haven for you and your family.
Another point to note is that if you can’t afford to secure every single door and window in your home, a safe zone may be the way to go. It can provide a protective area for emergencies such as a home invasion.
So, what is a ‘safe zone’ and where do you put one? It is a fully secured area so well protected that criminals battle to get inside it. People usually select the bedroom section of the home to create a safe zone so that they’re safe at night while sleeping.
The basics include burglar guards on all windows in this zone; a security gate in the passage or on the stairway; and security gates on any external doors such as those on verandas that lead off bedrooms.
Even if you can afford to secure all your doors and windows with high quality physical security barriers, it is still a good idea to create a safe zone for peace of mind at home.
Remember to install at least one window security barrier that can be opened in your safe zone. This can be for use as an escape route if there is a fire or home invasion.
Trellidor offers a wide range of burglar proofing that can be opened including:
- Trellidor Retractable sliding security gates (yes, they are for windows too!);
- Trellidor Clear Guard security screens;
- Trellidor Louvre Shutters aluminium louvre shutters;
- Trellidor Rollerstyle rolling aluminium shutters.
Take a look at all these options on the Trellidor website while you have time during lockdown to do your research.
- Garden maintenance – part of your security plan
Homes with overgrown gardens can provide protection for criminals scouting out your movements while planning a home invasion. While we’re doing our home improvements, add some serious garden maintenance to the list.
Trim shrubbery and trees around the perimeter of your garden so that there are no hiding places for robbers.
Overhanging branches from trees on the verge provide perfect access for robbers looking to get over the wall or fence. Send your municipality an email request for tree trimming now, if this facility is available to you, and be first in line for a trim after lockdown.
Make sure that you clean up enough to see into the street so that once lockdown is over, you will be aware of anyone loitering outside your property without good reason.
Get your children into the habit of tidying up toys in the garden at the end of the day. Do the same with your garden implements and tools. An orderly garden means there are no convenient ‘weapons’ lying around outside for robbers to use.
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