Whether you’ve just moved into a new home, or are renovating one you’ve stayed in for some time, one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve property values and generally make your home a more pleasant place to live is to upgrade your security.
Housebreaking and burglary is still the most common type of crime in South Africa affecting 891 000 households across the country in 2019/2020. This stat might be frightening, but luckily there are a number of DIY home security solutions that you can do today. In this article, we set out to create the ultimate guide to DIY home security so you can start making your home that little bit safer.
DIY home security options for doors
A great place to start your DIY security upgrades is with the exterior doors of your property. From unlocked front doors to sliding patio doors that can be lifted off their rails, they are one of the most exploited entry points for cunning thieves. Whether you are home or not, you should always keep your door locked to prevent easy access.
Change your locks
This is great advice for anyone moving into a new home, but for everyone else it makes a lot of sense to periodically change your locks. Every time you have given out your house keys, whether it is to a domestic worker or a painter, you have provided an opportunity to have your keys copied. Changing the locks offers a fresh start, secure that you alone control access through your doors.
Install door latches
While first prize may be locking your door, this may not always be possible. Many people rely on their doors for ventilation or need to let their pets in and out. In cases such as these a lockable door latch such as LockLatch or PetLatch give you the best of both worlds. Not only do they allow you to keep your door slightly ajar to let fresh air in, but the adjustable arms mean the door remains securely locked in place. What is more, the device is made entirely from C-304 stainless steel and the robust design comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Add security gates
While not exactly a DIY project, security gates are an alternative way to keep your home secure, while allowing you to leave your door open. While security gates vary greatly in cost and complexity, like most home security upgrades it is best to invest a little more for complete peace of mind.
Secure patio locks
Patio doors are another security area that are too often overlooked. These doors often have weaker locking mechanisms or can be lifted off their rail to provide easy access for thieves. This is another area where LockLatch really shines. The easy installation means that this security device can be fitted onto any type of patio door in minutes, and the adjustable arm stops the door from being lifted off its track.
Install safety pet doors
There are a number of security pet doors available on the market ranging from reinforced doors to those that use your pet’s microchip to only unlock if your pet is nearby. One generic piece of DIY advice is to always get a size appropriate pet door as the larger the door the more of a security risk it poses. If you don’t wish to permanently damage the door by installing a pet door then a PetLatch from LockLatch is a great alternative.
DIY home security options for windows
After doors, windows are the second most popular entrypoint for burglaries in South Africa. Because windows are made from glass they can be easily smashed, but more often than not, they are simply forced open due to their weak locking mechanisms. Here are some ways you can sure-up your window security.
Replace window locks or add locks
As we have mentioned, windows often have very weak catches or locking mechanisms. You can greatly improve your home security simply by replacing your existing window locks or installing additional, complementary locks.
Install window security latches
An alternative to replacing your locks is to install a LockLatch or MiniLatch. We mentioned these devices when we covered doors, but that’s just how versatile they are. LockLatch can be fitted onto any window style or material and the adjustable C-304 stainless steel arm means you control the size of the window opening without sacrificing security.
Reinforced window security films
At the end of the day glass can be broken and this will always be why windows pose a security headache. One solution to help mitigate this is installing reinforced window security films on easy to access windows. This functions much like smash and grab protection on your car windows, and makes it harder for criminals to get in through your windows.
DIY garden security options
Criminals love gardens. They provide hiding places where properties can be scoped out and burglaries planned. They also provide cover which can give a criminal time to force open a lock without being seen from the street.
Trim the bushes
Keeping your garden tidy is a great way to make sure there aren’t hiding spots that can be exploited by potential burglars or home invaders. You should also make sure that you trim trees that might provide access over fences or onto balconies away from the aforementioned features.
Increase your lighting
Darkness can also provide cover and hiding spots for burglars. That’s why it is important to ensure that your garden is adequately lit at all times. If you find your current lighting setup is insufficient there are a number of alternatives available to you.
Solar lights don’t just make good supplementary lighting, but have the added benefit of not adding to your electricity bill. Solar lights are freely available at most hardware stores and can be installed with a little DIY.
Solar Motion activated lights
Alternatively, you can upgrade to motion activated solar lights. These not only help illuminate your garden, but also alert you to the presence of thieves and may possibly even frighten them off.
There is almost no excuse to not have security cameras installed in your home. As technology has improved, new smaller and more cost effective options have entered the market making these high tech security solutions accessible to more South Africans.
DIY Security cameras
If you head over to Takealot.com, you will see the myriad DIY security camera solutions available. These start from a few hundred Rand up to several thousand. However, the amount of options now available is unprecedented.
The best thing about a number of the security camera options is that many of them work over wifi, which means they can be installed without any additional wiring and linked to your phone, which makes self installation a breeze.
Doorbell cameras work by turning on when someone approaches your front door. This makes them fantastic for both screening visitors and alerting you to intruders. With Ring leading the way overseas, these smart home devices can add a lot of value.
Ready to start your weekend home safety project? Start today with LockLatch products
If you’re looking for more ways to keep your home safe, then take a look at this article featuring ten home safety tips. Alternatively, why not start your home security journey today by installing a LockLatch on key doors and windows in your home.