There have never been more ways to secure a home or property portfolio. Amazon’s Home Security Systems bestsellers page lists everything from video doorbells to WiFi security cameras by way of motion sensors and window alarms. This exhaustive list of popular home security measures doesn’t even include traditional systems sold and installed by professional security firms.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to security. Rather than make things easier, this huge variety of security solutions makes it more difficult to ensure your home security measures are tailored to your particular property’s needs.
Here’s our list of which properties and property protection measures are best suited to each other.
Flats and apartments
Many new home security measures are geared towards entire houses or buildings, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing out there to help you protect smaller properties. Flats and apartments have their own unique requirements when it comes to keeping them safe, and it’s important to bear these in mind when setting up a security system.
Esteemed security firm Banham have many tips for flat home security. They point out that communal entrance doors are often unalarmed, meaning burglars can spend as much time as they need breaking into an individual flat once they gain access to the main building. For this reason, installing an alarm for your flat alone can be hugely advantageous. Burglar alarms can also vastly reduce your home or landlord’s insurance premiums due to the increased safety they provide.
Smart burglar alarms are an option here, with the caveat that they must be installed by a professional and properly maintained to be completely effective. Compare the Market points out that insurers might require evidence that your alarm was installed by a company with National Security Inspectorate or Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board certification before they give you a discount.
Then there’s the matter of window locks, which are particularly important if your flat is on the ground floor or in the basement. These flats have a 48% higher likelihood of being burgled than average houses, according to LV. Reformed burglar Michael Fraser once told The Guardian that homeowners should put locks on every window if they want to stop break-ins. Some argue that since windows can so easily be smashed and broken into, locking them should make little difference. But the truth is most criminals would rather not have to draw attention to themselves by loudly breaking a window. Locks make sure this is the only window-based option they have.
With no adjacent houses attached, detached properties are at risk of burglary from all angles. Again, burglar alarms are crucial here, especially monitored alarms which will alert the police when activated.
CCTV is also an option for detached homes, as breaching neighbours’ privacy rights is less likely than in terraced or semi-detached homes. Speaking to Co-op Insurance, former burglars admitted they are unlikely to attempt break-ins that could be difficult. Along with barking dogs (which should not be adopted solely for property protection purposes), CCTV cameras were one of the most effective deterrents.
Since many detached houses have surrounding gardens and driveways, placing CCTV cameras around the perimeter can put criminals off before they even approach the front door. It’s also advisable to invest in security gates with their own burglar alarms to keep potential thieves at arm’s length.
Smart security systems can be viable in detached houses, though again it is important that they are installed correctly in order to be functional. Some smart CCTV cameras allow homeowners to watch video footage on their mobile phones via a live feed, which is ideal for those who want to keep an eye on their home at all times.
Though they are an increasingly profitable and popular choice for landlords, commercial properties can be prime targets for burglars. Office buildings will be overloaded with electrical equipment and private information, while retail sites are fully-stocked with desirable products.
For business properties, especially if you run the business yourself, it is worth carrying out a thorough risk assessment before you finalise any property protection decisions. Risk assessments will help you identify any weak points your property has, allowing you to create a tailor-made security system.
Again, CCTV cameras are likely to be effective here. But unlike home CCTV cameras, security cameras in a business property are subject to more rules and regulations. With the introduction of GDPR, data has never been more sensitive. Cameras that record images of employees or customers are subject to a number of conditions. This data must be encrypted. It can’t be kept forever. You will also need to justify the use of CCTV in each particular area. It might be more acceptable, for example, to film only your property’s entrance as opposed to its entire floor plan.
If your commercial property is an office building, installing an access control system can be highly effective. With keycards, ID badges, or even audiovisual entry, access control systems ensure only genuine employees and invited guests can enter a property, making things even more difficult for potential burglars.