A lot of you wont be aware that I used to work within the security industry and I have seen a lot of things over the years. But also what people are looking for during a robbery. For example thermolite block buildings with steel doors. All that happens is a hole is sledge hammered through the walls in less than a minute. Roof voids where people have bypassed entire security systems because nobody has bothered to survey and secure the voids and ventilation. Other locations have involved cutting down telegraph poles or taking up the underground cables via an inspection hatch and cutting with an axe. Either way although these are fairly well thought out robberies they could have all been avoided. The thing people forget is the people normally looking to break into a house or a building have time on they’re hands and its upto you to make life difficult. You wont make it impossible but the main thing is to make life harder.
In the Philippines most people go for security grills which are a great way of stopping unwanted visitors but there is always the risk of a doorstep robbery for example. Adding a simple intercom with camera could be a way to help combat this type of crime aswell as adding a few CCTVs. The thing with CCTV technology is it has moved on a lot in the last 10 years and making it very affordable. From the old tatty black and white cameras that don’t offer much in picture quality and even if it caught someone on camera committing a crime its virtually impossible to identify them to now where its dropped from hundreds of pounds for each camera down to around £100+ for a set. Within the set which normally consists of 2 – 4 cameras it pretty much has everything to get you going aswell as normally there are upgrades available. The cameras themselves have moved forward a lot offering full colour and most now come with some form of night vision. The technology available can now allow you to tap into your cameras from the internet if setup. Allowing not only the ability to view but also remote recording. A friend of mine currently works for an ISP (Internet Service Provider) and you can log on to him and see him at his desk at work. Big brother maybe watching us but its nice to actually get some use out of it ourselves.
The next piece of equipment is security and fire alarms. One of the biggest threats to a property in the Philippines is fire infact I couldn’t tell you which is more likely to happen since fires seem to hit the press everyday due to poor electrical wiring and other things. But what is different these days is the fact you can add GSM (phone sim card) to the systems. Even if you don’t have a modern alarm you can always add a triggered GSM Module (such as the one shown) which will contact you if your alarm has gone off. The other advantage is newer systems now come with a combined panel allowing fire and security in one panel.
Where to buy the best deals in equipment in the Philippines is the big question as its probably easier to buy in Hong Kong if your on a stop over and bring them in with you. But I’m hoping we can get a few replies from people out there who have already upgraded house security and the things they would and wouldn’t do again if setting up another system.
The way to look at your house is if you were a burglar how would you get in. Is there an overhanging tree that gives access to the roof or upper levels, are there bushes that could be a place someone can await you arriving home. A tidy garden is a secure garden. Also adding security lighting to badly lit areas and access routes and having them operating from PIR sensors is also a good deterrent. Normally I wouldn’t make sure they were grilled except on commercial buildings but in the Philippines would strongly advise it to save risk of damage. If you have dogs for example instead of PIRs attached to the lights as some of them don’t have the adjustable lense for animal heights, you can get beam detectors.
Security is all about prevention and some of the things above may be over the top for security on your house but other people may need it depending on location and type of house. Most things happen because we either neglect to look at small changes or we don’t think it will happen to us it also doesn’t have to be too expensive. Most locks in the Philippines on doors are low grade locks that I can open in a few seconds. Deadlocks are always a good measure even if you just use them at night. But also are security bolts that are fixed between the door and frame at night fitting four of those makes it pretty impossible to open from the outside (as they can only be opened from the inside). Chain locks and window locks are cheap security products that could also be added. They are very visual security products which make access difficult.