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How to Burglar Proof Your Home

How to Burglar Proof Your Home… with 29 tips to prevent being a target

You don’t need a security alarm or security cameras to take steps to burglar proof your home, but they sure do help.

Check out out easy to folluw steps on how to burglar proof your home.

Make your home look occupied when you’re away

A house that looks like the occupants are away is a prime target for a burglar, in fact it is the first thing a burglar looks for when choosing a house for a break-in. If you make your house look occupied when you’re away, many burglars will move on to one that seems like an easier target. Here are the top tips.

  1. Use Light timers: Consider using automatic light timers that can turn on and off in a way that closely replicates your usual patterns. Timers with a battery backup are recommended so they can continue to operate in case of a power failure. Use multiple timers to create the effect of movement from room to room.
  2. Connect television and stereo equipment to timers or smart systems like Google home so they can be turned on and off.
  3. Either divert your phone calls or make sure the ringing volume is turned down low so it can’t be heard ringing out from outside.
  4. If your grass is likely to grow unusually long while you are away you should arrange beforehand to have someone mow it in your absence.
  5. Don’t allow uncollected mail and newspapers to build up. To maintain the appearance of someone being home, it’s best not to cancel these deliveries and instead ask a neighbour to pick them up and hold them for you.
  6. Ask a neighbour to use your rubbish bin from time to time and to put it out and bring it back on bin collection day.

Make getting access as hard as possible

If your house looks easy to get into, it’s almost the same as putting out a welcome mat for a burglar. The easier they think they can get access the more likely they are to try, but the harder you can make it for them to get in, the more likely they will look for an easier target.

  1. Don’t leave any doors or windows unlocked no matter how safe you think the neighbourhood is. 
  2. Don’t hide a key to your house outside where it can be easily found.
  3. Secure all external doors with quality deadbolt locks. Wherever possible use deadbolt locks with a horizontal bolt at least 2½ centimetres long. This will make it difficult for them to spread the door frame and open the door.
  4. Use door locks with hardened steel and bevelled outside casing. This will make the lock more impact resistant and difficult to twist off with a wrench.
  5. Use four-screw high security metal strike plates on external doors using 8 centimetre long screws. This will help prevent against a burglar kicking at the plate to kick open the door.
  6. Consider replacing at least one screw in each door hinge with a long screw to help prevent forced entry of your external doors.
  7. An attached garage that has a door between the garage and the house can make gaining access to the house relatively easy. Treat the connecting door like an external door and use the same type of locks that you use on the front and back door.
  8. Attach a clear security window film to any window or glass panel in an exterior door where the glass is closer than 100 centimetres to the lock. A shatter resistant film will prevent an intruder breaking the glass to access the lock and unlock the door.
  9. Ensure all external windows are connected to a security alarm system.
  10. You can also use shatter resistant security film on external windows for extra protection..
  11. Use patio bolts, security braces or long track rods for sliding glass patio doors.
  12. Remove any outside ladders that can be used to access the roof or a second storey window and don’t store them in an unlocked garage or shed.
  13. Trim or remove any tree limbs that hang over the roof, and remove lower branches from trees next to the home that can be climbed to access a roof or window.

Don’t provide easy cover

A burglar will prefer a house where there is less chance of being seen. Eliminating places where they can hide is another way to make them look for an alternative house to target.

  1. If you choose to have trees and shrubs next to the house, make them difficult to hide behind. Consider using roses or other thorny plants like bougainvillea. Also trim back or remove any unnecessary shrubbery next to doors or windows.
  2. Illuminate each access door with security lighting. Use a light at the front entrance that has more than one lamp structure or more than one bulb so it is effective even with one blown bulb.
  3. Ensure outside security lights are motion detector activated.
  4. Avoid having tall privacy fences around the house perimeter. Once someone climbs over them the tall fence can stop them from being seen from the street or by neighbours.
  5. Install a Home Security System. Home security alarm or security camera systems are not a guarantee that burglars will not enter your home. But they make a great deterrent by increasing the risk that the burglar will be seen and caught. If it’s obvious your house has an electronic security system the burglar may look for an easier target.
  6. Be sure to display warning signs that say your house is protected by a security system.
  7. Regularly check to make sure the signs are visible and have not been covered, damaged or removed.
  8. Disguise your security code or password if it is written down anywhere and never keep it next to, or on the home security alarm key pad.
  9. Sometimes the best home security can be neighbours who look out for one another. Make it a point to know your neighbours so that you can ask them to keep an eye on things while you’re away.
  10. And if your neighbourhood doesn’t have a Neighbourhood Watch program, consider organising one. A good Neighbourhood Watch program can assist the whole neighbourhood to be more security aware and help protect your possessions and your family.

And finally, get to know your neighbours, as they are one of the best tools you will have to keep your home safe and secure.

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Choosing a Home Security Camera System

When thinking about home security, security cameras are often the best option as you can watch from your mobile phone, and if you hear a noise at night, you can switch on your TV and see what is happening outside, which vastly improves your sense of security, some people elect to buy a DIY kit, and some like installed security cameras, whatever you prefer, here are some tips.

What Drives a Great CCTV Security Camera System?

This is simple (according to us anyway), the CCTV (security camera) system must provide clear evidence level recording that is easily extracted to ensure user sees exactly what happened and has evidence to prove it.

The system should also provide easy access for live viewing from smart phones, tablets and PCs anywhere in the world without needing a network engineer.

Choosing a CCTV Security Camera System

There are several areas that need to be covered, so we will discuss each area below.

Resolution

You will see terms like 960h to 720p, 600TVL to 480p, 1200TVL to 1mp, 2mp, 3mp, 4mp, 5mp, etc. etc., it’s like the whole story was made to the highest level of confusing.

If you feel this then you are probably right.

The naming of the resolutions are done by specification and age. Meaning a High Resolution camera of 5 years ago does not mean it is HD now as high resolution several years ago was definitely not what we call full HD now.

When talking resolution, we follow these simple rules.

Small offices and front door close up, use a minimum of 1MP, although if you beleive it may be used as evidence we recommend 1080P (2MP) or above.

Front yards and larger retail/office areas, use a minimum of 2MP

Larger yards, industrial areas and other large spaces, use a minimum of 5MP

If you do not follow this formula, you are unlikely to get the results you need when something bad happens.

If the camera you are looking at has a H, like 960h or TVL like 1200 TVL then it probably IS NOT HD.

Always ask about the “p” rating, like 720p, 1080p, etc. or talk in Megapixels like 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP, 5MP, etc.

Technology

As per the resolution section above you will be presented with all the different technologies available like Analogue, CVBS, CVI, TVI, AHD, HD-SDI, IP, etc., the list goes on and on.

What does it all mean you may ask?

Well, not that much in some areas.

Firstly if it is Analogue or CVBS cameras then stay clear as these are obsolete technologies.

If it is CVI, TVI, AHD, HD-SDI or IP then the technology is current and mainstream, although HD-SDI is now an ageing technology and is becoming more expensive and is a little harder to install correctly.

Selecting a Security Camera Shape

There are many descriptions, like pig nose, eyeball, bullet, lipstick, dome, full body, etc. etc.

In actual fact there is only two things to consider when selecting the shape of the camera.

If it is under a few meters high then select a camera type/shape that a crim cannot grab and point away or easily throw a rope over and rip down.

Secondly, select a style that looks aesthetically pleasing as it will be there for years.

Selecting an NVR or DVR

The machine that records your camera images is a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or XVR with technologies like TVI and AHD, and an NVR (Network Video Recorder) for recording IP cameras, as IP cameras are network based. make sure your recorder has easy to set up P2P remote view, is secured against hacking and can handle resolutions high enough for your cameras. Another area for your recorders are if they have a fan, many recorders in the market have fans and are not suitable for a home security setup or a business where it is quiet.

Night Vision

many people require goos night vision as this is when many of the crimes are committed, however night vision is a complicated area as the majority of cameras may not live up to your expectations, so if night vision is important, then we recommend a SONY Starvis sensor, or at the very least any other SONY sensor, as cameras using other brands will often let you down. Another thing with night vision is that it rarely goes as far as advertised due to the testing system manufacturers use, for best result take on third off, do if it is a 20 meter IR camera, expect about 13 meters of usable night vision.

Audio

If you want audio, then this will be a specialised camera and they may not last as long outdoors as often the cheaper brands will eventually get water in through the mic hole, you can get around this by using a separate audio device outside the camera.

Reputation

It is expected that the average quality CCTV system should last up to five years and the industry is moving at an extremely fast pace. An ineffective CCTV system is actually a false sense of security and represents a waste of money.

Warranty

With all CCTV ask your installer to offer at minimum a 3 year warranty. With most OzSpy CCTV systems you have the option for up to or over four years warranty.

Licensing

Always get your equipment installed by a licensed security installer. Failing to do this at very least may void your warranty and at most may end with you facing penalties.

IP vs COAX

For 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP, 5MP and some 8MP, we recommend coax systems as they do not have the latency and dropped frames that equivelent IP systems. You can run a coax based system on Cat5/6, but you will need baluns to convert the cable and you should expect to lose about 5% or so in quality of image/recording.

If you are going 6 megapixel or over then we recommend Cat6 (IP), otherwise for all systems 5 megapixel and under, there is little difference between high quality coax and high quality Cat5 or Cat6.

Wireless

In the average home CCTV camera system OzSpy would not recommend wireless now that the frequencies are flooded and it is difficult to gurantee a reliable image using domestic grade systems.

Cheaper wireless systems flicker causing false recordings 24/7 for the particular channel causing a painful increase of effort in finding a relevant recording.

OzSpy does do wireless systems, but please know that professions wireless CCTV systems are custom built and a larger investment because we know that unreliable wireless CCTV systems make an average system unusable.

Security Cameras | Alarm Systems | DVRs | DIY Kits

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Do you need an NVR or can you just use an IP camera

Introduction

Over the many years we have been providing security, people often ask if they need all the equipment if they just want to watch the front door, or the pool, etc., and the answer is, no, if you just want to watch one area via a PC or mobile device, you can do that for under $200 with a HD or even higher resolution camera.


To achieve this you will need the following equipment.

  1. an IP camera that supports P2P and has 12v input, meaning it can take 12v DC directly (you can use PoE, but we will discuss using 12v DC)
  2. a 12v DC power supply
  3. a network cable to go from your modem to the camera

The process is very simple and most people who have a small degree of experience with modems and connecting to the internet can handle.

Firstly you will need to set it up before mounting it outside so you know everything is working prior to mounting it.


Then follow these steps:

  1. plug the network cable from your camera to your modem
  2. plug the 12v DC plug pack into your camera
  3. wait 30 seconds for camera to boot up, you can place your hand over the front and you should hear a click as it switches from day to night mode
  4. make sure your PC is plugged into the same modem
  5. launch IE Internet Explorer (not Edge, Chrome, FireFox)
  6. If you are on the same range as your camera, for example if your modem is 192.168.1.1 and the camera is 192.168.1.168 they just type in http://192.168.1.168 into your IE browser and you should see a screen requesting your to download a file from the camera. If you purchased your camera from a reputable source, this is safe to do.
  7. IE will now ask you to “allow” access, please do this.
  8. Now you can log in with the cameras default password and you have set it up.

If all of the above was successful, you can mount the camera and you are ready to watch the area in question.


Mobile device

To setup your mobile device, you need to setup the camera as above, then access the network/P2P option in the camera menu and follow the prompts, it will be self explanatory and reasonably easy to do.


Finding the Default gateway and range

If you are on a different range, like 10.0.0.1 or another, follow the steps below to setup your camera to the correct range.

First you need to find out what your network range is and your Default Gateway. Your Default gateway will be formatted like 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1, or something that looks similar.

You can go to your Windows search box on the bottom left of your screen and type cmd then hit enter, select command prompt and you will see a black box appear. Type ipconfig there and hit enter you will then see your default gateway. Write it down.

Now you will need to change your camera to that range, which can be tricky and if you totally don’t understand this part, maybe get someone to help.

Now you need to find out what your camera default IP address is, again it will be something like 192.168.1.168. This will be written in the camera manual.

Your task is to align them to the same range [must match].[must match].[must match].[must be different]

For example if your Default Gateway is 10.0.0.1 you need to get your camera onto 10.0.0.100 (note 100 can be anything between 1-255, but not the same as your gateway)

The quickest way to do this is to change your network adapter on your laptop IPV4 address to manual and make up a gateway that matches the range of the camera. For example if your camera is 192.168.1.168, add 192.168.1.1 as your temporary gateway into your network adapter IPv4 settings. You will also need to manually set an IP which should be almost the same as the Gateway, except the last number should be different and set your Subnet to 255.255.255.0.

Once this is done, plug the camera into the laptop network socket, log into the camera as per above steps, go to network and change the following settings.

Gateway change to your Default gateway of your modem which you wrote down.
IP address to [must match].[must match].[must match].100
Subnet to 255.255.255.0

Then hit save and reboot.

Your camera is now ready to plug back into your modem and should be accessible via IE on [must match].[must match].[must match].100

To revert your laptop, go back to your network adapter, and change IPV4 back to auto.

Good luck, and please if this sounds out of your level, ask someone for help.