Why security companies will never promise you ‘burglar proofing’ (and 6 security tips)

Though you may be looking for the next miracle cure to prevent home break-ins, the sad truth is that short-term physical solutions are not going to satisfy you 100%. There are many impressive new solutions to help protect your home from break-ins & other dangers, we encourage you to use what best suits your lifestyle & budget.

This includes all barrier systems (yes, including those sold by Thorne). But the truth is that there is no miracle cure to completely burglar-proof your home. Not a single one of them will really protect you from ALL hazards ALL of the time. What they will do is exactly what these systems do promise to do: provide additional obstacles & barriers to potential intrusion.

Don’t get me wrong! Our barriers are spectacular (and don’t forget it!). But we’re committed to our promise that we wish to help you build safe & effective security systems – and for this reason, we’re committed to brutal honesty about home security products. If others tell you that their product is 100% burglar proof… well, they’re lying.

That is, no single alarm system will entirely stop burglars on their own. The same goes for burglar bars. And various types of fences. Each of these represents one type of barrier against intrusion, and they need to be used in conjunction with other security products. And, most importantly, YOU need to use them responsibly & practice proper home security procedures.

For example:

Alarm installedYou’ve installed an alarm system & a burglar breaks in while you’re away. The alarm functioned, but the burglars were quick enough to get in and out of your home in a matter of minutes. If you had signed up to an armed response service, there is a chance they may have been caught – but for the few hundred rands you’re paying each month, there’s no armed response service that could be there in the 3 minutes it took to rob your home of the TV, hi-fi & expensive miscellaneous items lying on the dining table. [Certainly, if they took an unexpectedly long time to arrive, you have every right to complain and/or have them compensate you! They set their promises (e.g. ‘under ten minutes’ response time’) and they have to stick to them. ] Back to our example: whose fault is it that your home was burgled? The truth is, it’s neither yours nor your alarm company’s, but the jerks who broke into your home. And they’re long gone. The alarm company stuck to their promise (the alarm went off). So what is to be done?

1. You can add additional security measures.

Make your home difficult to infiltrate. Don’t just rely on one single security measure, but  a number of them. Spend sufficient time & effort doing this in a way that you know you will find comfortable & easy to manage & use. It’s not a fun thing to think about, but neither are other life necessities such as insurance, student loan repayments, and ensuring you drink 8 glasses of water a day. Examples of multiple security measures are: alarm system, perimeter security, burglar bars, CCTV, sensor beams, etc. You may not want all of these, but a few will be handy. Choose any variety as long as it works & will make it extra difficult for a burglar to break in.

2. You can join a neighbourhood watch scheme.

Help support & fund neighbourhood watch programmes so that you’re kept aware of new trends neighbourhoodwatchin break-ins (e.g. popular break-in times & methods, weak points in the neighbourhood, etc.). Be careful not to become too militant here – there are enough dangerous people out there as it is.

3. You can check for any vulnerable spots on your property BEFORE anything happens.

It’s always good to be prepared, so try to “break” into your house a few times to see how easily & quickly it may be done. Don’t do anything dangerous, but check that sensors on windows are working, that your burglar bars are properly secured, that lights are working properly & that that your alarm system is actually working.

4. You can avoid making simple security mistakes.

Unprotected doorDon’t pay an arm and a leg for security & then forget to close your windows or lock your doors when you go out. Certainly, having a security system will still interfere with any attempted intrusion but leaving a conveniently open window or door will make it unnecessarily easy for thieves. An example: you’ve installed burglar bars on your windows & electrified fencing on your perimeter wall. The thief manages to get over the fencing and gets to an open window. Ok, but you have burglar bars. Good! This will keep the thief busy for (hopefully) at least 20 – 30 minutes (some burglar bars take under 2 minutes to get through with the right tools). Ah, but you have no alarm system. So those 20 minutes are a luxury the thief actually has. The lack of an alarm system and an open window (so no noise from breaking glass, etc.) all contribute to making life a little easier for burglars. It’s good that you have some security, but burglars are opportunistic & determined, and when you give them time, they will manage to get in. Again: make it more difficult for them. You’d be surprised what types of small tools could be used to get through various barriers.

5. Don’t share too much information. Facebook icon

From social media to leaving your post unattended. Any information shared with the outside world offers intruders an opportunity to get at your home once you’ve announced that it’s unoccupied.

6. Don’t let renovations let you drop your guard.

Houses under renovation are often an ideal target for burglars as they offer plenty of concealed spots from which to attempt to break in; loud noises are easily disguised as ‘building works’; perimeter guards are often deactivated/non-existent & the home occupants have not yet got used to the lie of their own land. Be extra vigilant when you’re conducting building works for all the reasons listed above. In addition, you’re also exposing your property & family to a host of strangers walking in and out of your homes & lives. Potential intruders may easily blend in with the strangers, so get to know your contractors & get  trusted references for them.

These are just six basic tips, but they are essential to follow if you are to effectively secure your home. Don’t let security companies lie to you by saying that their product is 100% burglarproof, because every security system is only as strong as the persons making use of them. Home security systems need to be installed & used effectively, and in conjunction with one another to provide a number of obstacles to potential intruders. Alarm systems, burglar bars, electrified fencing, home automation systems, CCTV & even security gates can be tampered with if they’re exposed to the wrong people with the right tools.

Cat BurglarExamples: Don’t put the box containing your alarm circuitry in the loft/attic, for example, as not only thieves, but rats can get to it & you can’t (easily). Don’t place your CCTV cameras too low down. Disguise  your exterior sensor beams as best you can. Don’t have a light switch to control the motion sensor lighting near the actual light (this is an actual example of poor planning which we have witnessed).
There are many examples such as these to consider

Again: given enough time & privacy, an intruder will get through any security system. It’s up to you to trip the intruder up – limit his/her time (e.g. armed response & burglar bars), privacy (e.g. lighting & an alarm), and opportunity (e.g. entry points left open) in order to secure your home as best you can. Be aware & keep informed. Keep emergency numbers within easy reach of all household members & test your security products out regularly.

Even safe countries experience break-ins, so don’t become depressed about it, just don’t forget to do what is needed to make your home unattractive to burglars.

There is no miracle cure. If you want to help secure a safer community for your children & others in the future, we encourage that you focus on long-term projects so that we won’t have to put bars on our windows (except for those wily baboons!) or electrify our fences. Join safety forums, help uplift the community in all ways that you can & join in on some of the fun & be part of the ongoing change that is affecting where you live.


One thought on “Why security companies will never promise you ‘burglar proofing’ (and 6 security tips)

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