Imagine if there were no burglar or criminals who threaten the safety of our homes; we will be surprised how much savings we would have on several things we do to secure ourselves and our loved ones. We would not need fences, gates with locks, doors locks, window grills, CCTV cams, perimeter lighting, shotguns and baseball bats. The cost of maintaining these things can run up to the entire cost of building another room or, in some cases, a whole new house.
The rationale for home security is the same for national security. A nation maintains an army whether it has enemies or not; so, whether burglars will come or not, we have to prepare for the eventuality. Hence, we end up spending for something we might never put into the actual use it was intended for. You buy a pistol and when a burglar breaks in you fire the gun either to scare or disable the intruder. We hope we will never have to use these things; but we still buy them for the peace of mind that comes from knowing we can secure or protect our family and home.
Home security need not be an expensive undertaking. Here are 5 tips on how you can set for yourself a home security strategy without having to spend so much:
1. Security is primarily a state of mental preparedness.
A lot of people do not buy guns or CCTV cameras and are able to sleep soundly because they do not depend totally on themselves and their abilities or on technology. A person who has a positive outlook or a prayerful attitude may appear fatalistic, especially in areas where lack of home security is suicide. Yet, in reality, even during the time of war, a lot of our brave soldiers felt secure because they had prepared their minds to accept the dangers as well as the consequences of facing them. People who commonly see pickpockets in buses or holdups in dark alleys have set their minds to either run or give up their wallet in case they run into a similar situation.
Preparing yourself for what could happen, like blowing a whistle or ringing a loud bell during an intrusion, may be all that is necessary to prevent burglary.
2. Engage others
But what if you leave the house and nobody is looking out for you? There are neighbors you can call upon to house-sit or watch over your home from a distance. It is essential to keep good relations with your neighbours or to have a strong and effective neighbourhood association in your area. The police may not be as dependable as a nearby group of families you can count on for help and you can help as well. Some areas actually have roving residential members who take turns scoping the neighbourhood round-the-clock. It is an old-school approach but a cheap and effective way of keeping bad elements away.
3. Design you home for maximum security protection
Before even buying all those expensive gadgets, consider the lines of defenses you can put up to, first, discourage and then, second, prevent illegal entry into your home. A high solid fence is not advisable as you cannot see who is behind it. A see-through or low fence is much better. Having high fences and CCTV cams are not always the better alternative as they lessen your real-time response to any emergency. Having to look at a monitor inside a room or even in your iPad will mean seconds lost when the burglar may already be inside your home. Having a low fence and a lawn between it and the house will allow you to see any movements easily.
Of course, it is a great help to have several cameras showing your whole perimeter area. But having big wide glass windows with iron-grills will also give you that advantage of a clear view from your living room and provide you enough space or leeway to protect yourself as you see fit. You can either run upstairs into a built-in secure panic- room inside your bedroom or out through a small escape back-gate where you can at least call for help. The latter, of course, is the cheaper alternative; but a panic room need not be expensive. It could be small space you can build behind a cabinet or closet where you can hide and call for help via phone.
4. Prepare for the worst scenario
Knowing what could happen can provide peace of mind as well. But, we have to admit that people are worriers, in general. And so, many spend so much on home security and still do not sleep soundly. What is the use of having all the protection when you cannot have peace of mind?
Remember, any security protection can be breached. Any CCTV camera can be disconnected or even disabled just by covering it. We know that from Mission Impossible. Any iron grill or steel door can be broken into because all it takes is a key to unlock the padlock or a saw. Any high fence can be scaled by a determined burglar. So, what is the alternative? Let them come and prepare to protect yourself. How? What is your last line of defense?
The answer is obvious to many – they buy guns or tazers. Others learn self-defense. It is each person’s call. But having a connection to public emergency support (911, police or neighborhood group) can provide enough deterrent and protection for most instances. In case the burglary or the crime has been done, you can still catch the perpetrator or recover whatever you lost if people come around to help you in time.
5. Be creative
Break-ins are often done by creative professional criminals. The amateurs may also pose a threat; but they often target small stuff, like stealing a phone or an appliance they can carry. The rest may have vehicles to cart away bigger stuff and even people.
Prepping your home to counteract these pernicious social elements can be a great challenge that need not be expensive. A friend once used empty sardine cans put on top of one another to rattle anyone who might topple them in the dark. Or having a bright light that can be triggered by a nylon string pulled across the lawn or before a backdoor will give enough security defense.
In the end, home security is not a person or a family’s exclusive concern. It is a concern of society and the government as a whole. Perhaps, the best home security people can provide for themselves is to teach their children good morals and values so that more people will be law-abiding; which means fewer people will be a threat to security. In the long run, good education protects more than all the security measures we can ever think of.