Summer isn’t about living in a metropolis. From June to August, you want to throw things away, get your family and go somewhere nice place, like mountains, or at least a summer house for a month or more. Not many people can afford this luxury, of course, but everyone tries to escape the city for, at least, a week or two. However, a carefree vacation can be a great disappointment if you return and find a broken lock and an empty apartment.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2018, more than 92,000 apartment thefts were recorded in the US – that’s every 32 crime in the country. Meanwhile, despite the statistics, the overwhelming majority of people are leaving things to chance.
According to Damian at the HomeCareChoices, it seems that there is nothing to worry about because of just a seven-day absence! But to “clean up” your apartment, an experienced burglar will need a couple of hours. And it’s quite easy to calculate the empty real estate – the criminals use observation and their experience. Ideal “spotters” are often the homeowners themselves when they, often accidentally, post their locations on social networks.
First, the carefree vacationer makes the final selfie at home, then check-ins at the airport and complains about the long flight to Ho Chi Minh City in Twitter, and the very next day publishes a winning photo by the pool. And now the intruder knows exactly when the victim’s apartment is empty and defenseless.
Do not simplify the life of thieves! Provide guaranteed security of your place and rest with your heart at peace.
Secure Doors and Windows. Minimum Security
It’s no secret that the apartments on the lower floors are the most delicious objects for robbers. This partly explains their lower price on the real estate market. In 70% of cases, thieves get inside a house through the windows: in some situations, they break the glass, and sometimes it is enough to loosen the old frame or stick a special device through a not tightly closed window. Mainly, the apartments hidden from other people’s eyes due to thick bushes or trees are exposed to higher risks.
Classic protection in such a situation is metal gratings. But it must be admitted: they have long been morally outdated.
- Firstly, few people like to feel like a prisoner in their own place, and the gratings not only spoil the view but also shade apartments on the lower floors that already lack sunlight.
- Secondly, in case of fire, protection from thieves can complicate evacuation and cause a tragedy. Therefore, experts advise residents of the first and second floor to close the windows and protect them with a special shockproof cover-up. It will give the windows additional strength: to break them, attackers will need an ax.
Cracking a door is the second main method of apartment thieves. At the same time, most criminals bump the locks, rather than lockpick them.
The security of your home depends largely on the class of the door. There are more than a dozen security levels, but, unfortunately, ordinary household doors are rarely more reliable than the 4th. It will take an average of 30 minutes for a professional thief to open a simple first-class door worth up to $300. And all the intruder needs for that is the simplest tool and physical strength.
Locks are also divided into 4 classes, and the mechanisms of the first level can only protect your peaceful showering. And, as you may have guessed, it is absolutely senseless to buy an expensive reliable lock and put it on the cheapest door.
As noted by professionals, you can crack almost any door. However, robbers spend a lot of time dealing with them, so they will rarely get involved with complex non-standard locks and serious metal construction – it is easier to find another victim. However, if you put such a good lock, then you surely have something to hide. So don’t relax.
From a safety point of view, it is also useful to install two doors at the entrance. And it is better to leave a simple wooden door outside, which will not attract much attention, and inside – a solid metal one.
Entrance Security System. Cameras
These days many residents of multistory buildings install video cameras near the front door. It can be transmitted to every apartment of the building, recorded on a hard drive or sent to a smartphone. However, in practice, this system is often useless: most inexpensive video devices give a poor picture, especially in the dark. In the case of a robbery, the low resolution of the recording does not allow to identify the intruder – maximum – his sex and size. Therefore, if you want to feel safe, the video surveillance system must be of HQ.
Much more effective when there’s concierge working in the building. Not only does it record the visits of all the visitors, but it also monitors the images from the camera in real time.
Of course, security and video in the entrance area is a privilege that cannot be afforded by low-cost homeowners. But sometimes it turns out that you already have a free and very observant “concierge” at your entrance. Real estate security experts advise: be friends with your neighbors! An old man from the first floor is able to protect your apartment no worse than a guard dog if you maintain good relations with him and ask for the service. The main thing is to leave a phone number for emergency communication and to warn your neighbors, what relatives or friends will feed the cat in your absence. But, of course, you have to trust them really good (both your neighbors and your relatives).
Property insurance is especially important during summer when apartment buildings get half-empty all at once. When buying a flat you have to remember that insurance will be useful not only in case of robbery but also in various force majeure situations, like a sudden pipe breakthrough which will not be prevented by anyone. It is not necessary to conclude a contract for a long time and pay an impressive amount for the sense of security – the insurance can be issued exactly for the duration of your vacation.
When choosing an insurer it is important to be guided by the experience of the organization – the longer in the market, the better. Large companies have approximately the same rates for all types of services, suspiciously cheap offers should alert you.
The main thing is to be as attentive as possible when drawing up the contract:
- Study the list of insured events, the conditions of payment of compensation and its size.
- Correctly indicate the terms for additional security of the apartment.
You can also specify some expensive items of property, equipment or interior in the contract. The more precise it will be, the easier it will be to get money in case of an accident.
Security System. Entrusting Apartment to Professionals
According to the estimates of law enforcement officials and independent security specialists, the most effective way to protect the apartment from burglars is a modern security system. Unfortunately, metal doors and grates, surveillance cameras and attentive neighbors are more of a preventive measure that scares away inexperienced thieves. If a professional thief is serious about your place, that measures won’t stop him.
Installing an alarm system in your apartment is a much more reliable way to protect your belongings. When an intruder breaks into the door and gets in the house, special devices send an intrusion alert to a service organization. After that, the security force group immediately moves out: according to the rules, the arrival time should not exceed 5 minutes.
The cost of security depends on various factors: the complexity of the system itself (the number of sensors installed), and the assessment of the apartment. The minimum monthly fee in different companies starts from $20 per month. The owner of the apartment can sign a contract both with a private security company and with the government agency.
Unfortunately, sometimes even security systems fail: the security force group may be 2 minutes late, or an intruder manages in 3. The damage, however, in this case, is still less than it could have been initially, but sometimes lucky petty thieves have time to grab what lies right under their noses. Therefore, it is best to provide comprehensive protection for your home: a reliable door and security system usually discourages a robber from wanting to hang out in your apartment. And competent insurance and good neighbors will be an excellent help in case of any force majeure.