Raising the alarm

With the Christchurch rebuild firmly underway, homeowners are faced with many issues to consider as they set about repairing, renovating or rebuilding their homes. One area that is often overlooked – to the homeowner’s peril – is the issue of home security.

Many residents are currently managing temporary storage or accommodation options. Others are dealing with a variety of tradespeople and contractors requiring free access to homes and properties. Security, in the short term and in the long term, is increasingly more complicated and more imperative to sort out.

With more than 40 years’ experience in handling home security for Cantabrians, Ross Galt Lock and Alarm has a myriad of home security solutions. In the altered post-earthquake environment, demand for security services has increased and the company’s ramped up staff levels and consultation services to meet this.

Ross Galt electronic divisional manager, Peter Erridge says an alarm is the most effective deterrent to burglars, as a thief rarely lingers to grab possessions when an alarm is blaring. Statistics indicate that 90 percent of New Zealand’s burglaries are committed in homes without an alarm.

Electronic security complements lock and key options to provide a total package. The confusion for home owners is selecting the most appropriate combination of security for their personal requirements.

One of the key factors in making an informed decision is to seek advice from a reputable home security company, Peter says. “Your home is the Aladdin’s Cave of your possessions. It requires a quality lock to protect that treasure. Always approach a reputable company – that is really important – before you make any purchases. Let experienced technicians complete a thorough survey of your property and then offer appropriate solutions.”

Picking the right system

Rapid advances in technology have contributed to totally integrated home security systems that connect the offsite owner with monitoring via text messaging and smart phone applications.

Rob Graham has many years experience in home security and has been engaged to provide specialist rebuild support for Ross Galt. “Monitoring options can be simple or sophisticated, but it is important to select the technology that suits your personal circumstances and budget,” he says.

Keyless entry systems are effective for multiple users; up to 20 codes can be programmed into one pad and monitored for each code user. There is scope to have complete monitoring of who enters, when, and internal sensors will record which rooms they enter.

Security systems can include monitored smoke detectors and surveillance cameras to monitor your home.

Systems can control home appliances remotely and perimeter beams can provide advance warning of people entering a property. “For less than one percent of the total rebuild cost, it is possible to have a total alarm and lock package.”

Rob recommends that decisions around locks and home security not be left to the builder. “Don’t rely on your builder to make choices regarding your optimum home security options.

“Functionality and serviceability are important factors and many locks cannot readily be altered to match existing keys. There are lots of options so it is important to get the right advice and the right solution to determine the best way to secure your home, possessions and family.”

Top tips for keeping your possessions and family secure

There may not be a standard profile for a burglar, but there are a number of key strategies that can keep most away from your home:

  • Install lockable bolts on patio and French doors – ensure the key is not left in the lock
  • Attach quality security stays to all windows
  • Install an alarm system; provided and installed by a reputable alarm company
  • Keep all internal security doors locked – garage doors are easily accessible
  • Join a neighbourhood support group
  • Make it look as though your home is occupied by parking a car in the driveway and using a timer to turn lights on and off automatically
  • Clear your letterbox regularly.

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