When you are on holiday or away from home, burglars are at their most busy. You need to be one step ahead. We show you how to make things harder for thieves and keep your home safe.
By Anna-Maria Stawreberg
Times when you are away from home are golden times for burglars. That’s why you need to think preventatively about how to protect your home.
The absolute peak for break-ins is during the dark months, and because many people go away at that time, it is more important than ever to protect your home.
Asking your neighbours to keep an eye on your house while you are away is the most effective protection.
If you live in a house, you can ask your neighbour to park in your garage entrance for example, and empty the mail box.
Set up a timer that turns lamps off and on now and then. Asking your neighbour to clear snow from the driveway is even more effective. If you think this is too much to ask, you can still ask your neighbour to walk round the garden now and then and leave a clearest of footprints from the entrance to the front door. Another effective protection against burglars is an alarm.
“Just having the stickers in your windows and on your door showing that your house is protected has a deterrent effect and will cause many small thieves to turn around directly,” says Anders Theodorsson, technical information officer at Clas Ohlson.
Even the simplest form of alarm is useful, because it sounds loud, stresses the burglar and brings the attention of neighbours and passersby. One of Clas Ohlson’s simpler alarms also rings a number you have programmed in advance to warn that someone is moving round in your home.
“After that there are alarms in different price ranges that ring varying numbers of pre-programmed telephone numbers. These work even though the fixed telephone line is out of action, if the burglar has cut the line, for example,” says Anders Theodorsson.
It is important that the alarm you choose can work even temporarily on batteries, if the power is cut off for any reason.
“It is important to think about where the alarm is located when you are installing it. Placing an alarm in a remote part of the home can be meaningless,” explains Andreas Ehrling, technician at the electricity workshop at Clas Ohlson.
Also think about placing the alarm where it is most likely that the burglar will try to come in, for example close to the door onto a deck, which is often easier to break into than the front door. Many alarms can also be added to with several sensors placed in different parts of the home. Sensors that react to the sound of breaking glass, movement, doors that open or even smoke, means that you can have the whole house covered from several perspectives with the same alarm.
“But also think about placing the motion sensors facing into the room,” advises Andreas. “Because they react to heat they might otherwise sound the alarm when the sun or heater for example heats up a curtain which then moves in the draught.”
Now there are many good value alarms available with touch pads, central alarms and sirens that can be placed in many different places in the home. This is a useful function where the alarm continues to work even if the burglar destroys the touch pad. If you don’t have this function on your alarm you might think about not placing the alarm panel directly inside the front door. Hide it instead, so the burglar doesn’t have time to destroy it.
Think about …
• Advertising that you have installed an alarm. Just setting up stickers in windows will often cause a burglar to desist.
• Place the alarm where it is most likely that the burglar will try to gain entry, because a simple alarm that reacts to movement only activates when someone moves in the room where it is installed.
• Place sensors in different parts of the house, so the alarm sounds regardless of where the burglar gains entry.
• Don’t place the touch panel directly inside the door- there is a risk that the burglar will break the panel before the alarm has sounded.
• Program in as many telephone numbers as you can. Change the number to a neighbour you know is home when you are away on holiday.
Alarms for different needs
The alarm you choose depends on where you live, what sort of alarm you need and how much money you can spend.
There are simple and efficient alarms that don’t cost a lot of money, and there are more expensive alarms with more options that can be expanded to.
Cheap and high decibel
The simplest possible alarm doesn’t ring any numbers or an alarm central, instead aiming to get the attention of neighbours and passers-by and also frightening the burglar. Easy to take with you on holiday.
Simple and effective
Alarm central with built-in motion detector and siren. Connects to your landline. The alarm is activated using remote control or by pressing the touch pad. If the alarm sounds, three telephone numbers are rung and a pre-recorded message plays. Can be connected to extra sensors via cable. Battery backup.
Alarm with built-in camera
Wireless alarm system with camera function that works via the mobile network. If the alarm is activated pictures are sent via email or text alert to the pre-programmed telephone number. Comes with integrated battery backup. Can be expanded to include smoke detectors and up to 40 other accessories.
Wireless alarm system which doesn’t require a landline. Rings up via GSM or the mobile network. Has integrated battery backup. Can be expanded with several different accessories and smoke detectors added.