Security & Safety

Security (and safety) systems and devices can be basically split into six main design categories:

  1. Physical barriers such as fences, hedges, gates, locks, safes, fire safes, etc.
  2. Psychological deterrents such as lighting on timer switches, PIR driven lighting, false alarm boxes, etc.
  3. Safety devices such as fire extinguishers, escape ladders, fire blankets, etc.
  4. Alarms and sensors such as PIRs, beam-break sensors, smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, glass-break sensors and magnetic switches.
  5. Surveillance cameras such as video cameras, to record activity and not necessarily raise an alarm.
  6. Survival spaces such as bomb shelters or hurricane proof cells.

Physical Barriers

Never underestimate the simplicity and power of physical barriers in making your home and its content more secure. A tall hedge grown using spiky plants can offer great protection for exposed perimeters and act as a real deterrent to thieves and burglars. A simply locked gate can prevent casual or opportunistic thieves entering your garden. A simply padlock on you garden shed could be the only thing between a thief and your garden tools and implements.

Another less obvious physical barrier for improving your security is to use a paper shredder to shred sensitive paperwork and junk mail that has pre-filled forms and address data on it. Composting shredded paper makes it even less likely for it to fall into the wrong hands.

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Psychological Deterrents

Night Lights

These are the most basic form of automated lighting and should be avoided if possible. They simply turn a light on when it gets dark outside. An obvious downside to this approach is that they use electricity unnecessarily. There are more advanced versions available that allow control allow a time period to be selected.

Timer Switches

These are perhaps the cheapest and most readily available deterrent on the market today. They are easy to use and also provide have a convenience element whilst you are still at home. They are available in analogue (dial) or digital (display) form and the latter can be programmed to perform quite complex timing sequences over a 24 hour or 7 day period.

PIR Activated Lighting

These essentially come in three forms:

  • Standard external lamp with a built-in PIR sensor to automatically switch on the light when someone approaches.
  • PIR activated flood light, used to illuminate large spaces.
  • PIR activated switch unit, which can be used to control existing lamps.

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Safety Devices

Safety devices should be designed into any new home, to make things more accessible when needed. This includes:
  • Glass hammers to break double glazing windows (there are rules defining which windows should open though).
  • Escape ladders from rooms above ground level and fire escapes.
  • Signs and lighting to signify escape routes.
  • Fire boor and fire barriers.
  • Fire fighting equipment

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Surveillance Cameras

These are covered in the camera section.

Safety Spaces

Bunkers, storm shelters, hurricane proof cells, bomb shelters, survival shelters, priest holes, etc.

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