I am asked the same question over and over again. “How Do I Perform A Security Risk Assessment On My Home ?”. This article is dedicated to the families across Canada that want to understand the vulnerabilities they may have in relation to the protection of their home.
If you want to try and avoid having your house broken into, or at the very least not make it easy for burglars to target you, then you must think as a burglar. Let’s take a walk in the shoes of an intruder (burglar) before they even commit the act. First we need to understand the thought process and any preparation they may go through in choosing their next target.
As a homeowner we have two options to look at, we can either place a large bullseye target in the front of our house or attempt to create some kind of deterrent. Does your home have any signs that will display that your home is being protected ? This could be a security sign on your lawn from ADT, TELUS or Alarm Guard. How about a sign displaying that the home is under video surveillance ?
If you answered NO to the questions above then you are in need of some serious attention to how your home will appear to thieves and intruders. Signage is the number 1 deterrent as it displays you have taken measures to protect your home. If you have a security system with a reputable security company and you do not have a sign displaying it, then get on the phone and call them immediately.
Listen, some people will say that they have a sign displaying “Beware of Dog” but between you and I, we receive many calls from families in Canada that have been broken into with this sign and a dog present during the intrusion. I’m not saying that it is useless but it is proven that it is not as effective as displaying you are protected with a monitored security system.
Ok, so you want a security sign on your lawn and want to know where to get one. Well, unfortunately you cannot simply purchase one. At Least not a real one without having a security system installed. Trust me, burglars are on to the signs you can get at the dollar store that hold no real value.
The easy choice here is to call your local security company and have one installed so you have both the real signage and the monitored security system to back it up. Wait, before you do that let’s take a walk around the house and see what you might need to fully protect it.
This way when you call us, (Chances are you will as we are a leading provider for home security and your local TELUS trusted provider.) you will know exactly what you want and need to satisfy your safety needs.
Security Assessment 101
The first thing I always recommend is to find out how many doors will need protecting that lead from the house to the outside (including the door leading to the garage). This is your primary defence in perimeter protection. Most break ins will occur at the front & back doors as it offers fast and easy access for intruders.
Your second line of perimeter defence is windows. Listen, there is no need to go crazy and start counting all your windows. Be realistic, eliminate any main floor windows that cannot be reached without a ladder, and the second level also.
You can place a security contact on them all but it will be costly so this is where you have to draw the line between fort knox and your home. I will leave it up to you as this is a grey area that really depends on making you feel safe and secure.
The third line of perimeter defence is video surveillance and lighting. This can come in the form of a video doorbell camera with the ability to see and speak to anyone at your front door, or outdoor cameras that can trigger motion and immediately notify you of anyone on the property.
At the very least a recommendation for proper lighting with motion or smart lights that can be placed on a schedule for at night.
Now that we have covered the perimeter let’s take a look inside the home in case the intrusion occurs without breaching our perimeter defense. You might be wondering how someone can bypass the perimeter if it is secured ? The short answer is if a window or patio door window is broken and the door or window is not opened then the alarm will not go off.
Here is where we need to add another layer of defense in case someone breaks in through breaking a window without sliding it open. Glass break detection is recommended in this case for the most obvious areas such as large low windows or patio doors. The great news is the IQ Panel 4 comes complete with a built in glass break detection so that alone will save you money.
The glass break that Alarm Guard Security uses is the IQ-Glass-S which is an encrypted S-Line sensor technology that protects signals sent to the IQ Panel. It Actively listens for breaking glass frequencies when your home is armed in “stay” or “away” modes.
Typically installed on the wall opposite the windows needing protection, or on the ceiling in a room with windows on multiple sides. Protects widows within line of sight within 20’.
Another important part of the interior security system is made up of motion detectors. The best possible practice for adding motion sensors to your security system is to use them as trap zones. This means that instead of having one in every single room you can minimize through placing in areas that an intruder must go through in order to get to another room.
A central location is recommended at the very least, again this is totally optional to all homeowners and to their discretion. If you can afford to have more motions and it absolutely gives you that added peace of mind then go for it. To give you a better idea my home has two levels and I have placed a motion on each floor creating a trap zone for each level.
Here is some info on the motion detection that you can expect from Alarm Guard Security (Your local TELUS trusted provider).
The IQ Motion detects infrared body heat useful for both security and home automation. Create rules like “when someone enters the room, turn on light” or “Trigger siren when body detected”. Multiple installation options include walls, corners and even shelfs or flat surfaces.
When installed properly, the device can also be “pet immune” preventing false alarms in homes with animals under 40 lbs. Typically installed pointing AWAY from windows (to reduce false alarms) the IQ Motion has a range up to 35 feet.
Now interior protection does not stop here, there are an array of sensors that can be used such as vibration sensors, indoor cameras that offer motion activated two way voice sound and picture. Most of which are usually found in businesses etc.
The final and most important line of defense is nothing to do with burglars or intruders, it’s emergency devices that could potentially save your home and the lives inside. Yes, I am speaking about fire, flood, CO poisoning.
Keep in mind most homes will come equipped with fire protection but as the homeowner have you ensured they are up to date (not expired) or properly running efficiently with batteries or power ?
The sad truth is many homeowners see smoke detectors as a nuisance and when they burn toast or catch someone smoking too close they will panic and because it is not a real emergency tend to remove batteries and never put them back in to avoid the annoying sound.
This is dangerous and not good practice as the device was only doing its job and alerting you of the smoke or need for attention. To disable it without regard to your safety could end up costing you or someone in the home serious danger.
Why Have A Monitored Smoke Detector Or CO Device In Your Home ?
Here is the short version. Non monitored smoke detectors or carbon monoxide devices will alert you of danger, however it will stop there. So in the case you are not home or possibly fast asleep from smoke or CO inhalation it would render useless.
A monitored smoke or CO detector will alert you and the authorities in many ways eliminating the “What If’s”.
In the event of a monitored smoke or CO device detecting a problem, the obvious siren will go off similar to non monitored. However, it will also send instant notifications to all users that are attached to the account through SMS.
Wait, it does not stop there, a signal is also sent to the 24/7 monitored security station so a fast follow up can be done whether to send the fire department or not.
For more information on why you should have a smart home security system for your home please feel free to call our Security customer care team for a full evaluation at absolutely no cost.
Make the call, your life could depend on it. Besides for less than a cup of coffee per day it makes absolutely no sense to avoid having one. We will provide free equipment and certified installation at no cost when you select any of our monitoring plans.