In this series I want to cover a number of common health, safety and security issues, at home, which kills, injures or mentally scars many people every year and / or cause property damage and financial hardship. At the moment I plan on 3 articles. A little bit of vigilance, inspection, house keeping and maintenance can help prevent these issues. Prevention will save you money in the long run, do it now, don't wait for the horse to bolt! serious issues could result in time off work with loss of wages or even worse, not being able to work at all. How would you pay your mortgage and bills? need to repair the property or pay insurance excess and the resulting increased insurance premiums. having to replace faulty equipment, well maintained will last longer. house break in and / or property theft, subsequent repair and insurance costs, and the worst bit, the psychological feeling, knowing that an intruder has been in your home or garden.
Here in part 1 I'm going to discuss security So what are we talking about, theft and house break in primarily. It may seem strange for a health and safety advisor to discuss security however the affects of a security issue can certainly have a direct influence on the victims health and safety. The psychological feeling, knowing that an intruder has been in your home or garden could affect your health for the rest of your life, you may also feel unsafe in your home or in the area you live in.
The first thing to do is inspect your house and garden, walk around, see what a prospective thief would see, what tools they could use, equipment or items they could either use or could be of value to them. Remember that not all thieves are adults! Opportunists do not like to waste time, straight in and out, if we can delay them, highlight their presence with lights, threaten to record their activity etc. we will more than likely move them on to another victim.
What precautions can you take? These are just a few suggestions, a good inspection and thinking outside the box will im sure turn up many more precautions you could take. Use things that can be seen from a distance where possible as this will hopefully deter the opportunist thief who will move on to an easier target. Lock garage, outhouse, sheds, storage boxes. Large or hi vis padlocks are good as they can be seen from a distance. Put tools away, tools can be used as weapons, a tool for smashing windows or doors. Ladders should be put away or secured with an anti theft wire and padlock so as they cannot be used to gain access. Bikes, mopeds, trailers, scooters should be put away or secured with an anti theft wire and padlock.
Security lighting checked, motion sensors angled correctly, bulbs replaced, spare bulbs purchased, CCTV cameras checked and angled correctly, wiring protected, recording equipment checked. If you don't have CCTV consider mounting dummy cctv cameras. Alarm system checked or serviced. If you don't have an alarm system consider mounting a dummy box, Signs on the gate warning of CCTV or the dog can put opportunists off. Gates, keep them closed, another hurdle for the opportunist to overcome, even the squeaky gate - don't oil it, its a warning system that you know about and opportunists wont like.
Door bell system with camera will not only let you see who is at your door when you are in but also record when you are not, opportunists do not like being recorded. Trail cams with motion sensors can be purchased very cheaply, although they might get stolen if advertised they will certainly help the police if set off by an intruder.
If you are getting work done ensure workmen tidy up at the end of the day, scaffold access ladders removed, tools, equipment, ladders, material secured safely. Power leads off and disconnected.
Now don't forget that the opportunist might not need to use your bits, if any of your neighbors have left enough of their own stuff lying about. Have a polite word with them, and for them to have a polite word with others, and before you know it the area will be a more secure area. Thieves will always find a way but don't make it easy for them!