Home security - even the most basic security measures form a real deterrent to crime
Everyone’s home is at potential risk from crime - domestic burglaries occur at the rate of about 2,000 every day - but people in high income brackets may face particular risks to their property and safety that justify higher levels of security.
High value property always demands a level of security commensurate with the potential loss - certainly if it is to be insurable - and in this respect there is no difference between corporate and personal belongings. It follows that people with homes at the top end of the property ladder are often well advised to consider the sort of security measures more usually associated with business premises. These might include closed-circuit television (CCTV) and perimeter security. Of course, the fundamental security principles relevant to all homes are also applicable, including a sound basic level of physical protection - security-rated locks on doors and windows and an intruder alarm system.
There is no doubt that even such basic security precautions constitute a real deterrent to crime. The British Crime Survey shows that households with no security measures in place are almost ten times more likely to become victims of burglary. Also Home Office research indicates that some 80 per cent of burglars are deterred by the presence of an intruder alarm. Professional design, installation, maintenance and monitoring are essential features of effective alarm protection. That means that systems should be:
- Designed for your own unique requirements and the layout of your home during a visit by a professional alarm surveyor.
- Fitted by an alarm technician from the same company as the surveyor that designed it.
- Inspected and serviced at regular intervals by the installing company.
- Connected to an approved Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)
A monitored alarm will automatically signal the receiving centre when an intrusion is detected and owners of high value properties in particular should consider the addition of a ‘panic button’ facility, which allows the alarm to be raised manually if an emergency occurs when the home is occupied
An increasing number of householders are also recognising the crime prevention attributes of security lighting and CCTV technology, which have also been shown as significant deterrents to crime. They are particularly valuable and versatile additions to security in the context of homes set in their own grounds, since they extend protection from the building itself to the boundaries of the property. The use of sensor-activated lighting that switches on when movement is detected inside the perimeter can be employed to great effect.
Most types of fence and gate can be fitted with detection technology, which typically comprises a sensor cable attached to an analyser programmed to recognise the types of vibration caused by intruders. The analyser will respond to events such as cutting, ramming or climbing, whilst ignoring motion caused by passing traffic or weather conditions. Monitoring is obviously a key component of any such installation and the detector outputs are designed to interface both with alarm systems and CCTV, ensuring an ability to investigate and respond to any incident. The advent of digital CCTV and video-over-IP protocols has revolutionised this capability by eliminating the former constraints on video transmission distances. Digital quality images can now be transmitted via Local and Wide Area Networks or Internet links and viewed literally anywhere, allowing, real-time monitoring of even the most remote residence.
Detector-activated and remotely monitored CCTV is now subject to a clear set of standards - BS 8418 - which allows users to confirm the capabilities of installers and service providers. BS 8418 governs the situation where cameras and detectors placed strategically around a home or other building - both at the perimeter and at internal locations, if desired - are linked to a RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) tens or even hundreds of miles away. In the RVRC, operators provide 24/7 event-driven monitoring of the area. Depending on the circumstance, the operators can issue verbal warnings to intruders via on-site speakers or alert the emergency services.