Help & advice: How to protect your home
How to protect your home
None of these jobs are particularly difficult but some electrical and carpentry skills are needed. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when fitting security equipment.
Before buying your alarm decide what features and functions you'll need to best protect your home (fig. 1). There's a good range of systems to choose from...
Wired or wireless alarms?
- DIY alarm systems are either wired or wireless. Wired systems can be a bit tricky to install as you'll need to run wires from each detector all the way back to the central control unit.
- Both types of system usually use a number of detectors. These either sense movement or are triggered if a magnetic contact is broken - when someone opens a door or window, for example.
- These protect vulnerable entry points such as the back and front doors and ground floor windows. Work out how many you'll need.
Pir movement sensors
- PIR sensors are triggered by body heat and movement. They're good for covering large areas inside your home. But the sensors aren't right for doors and windows as they can be triggered by people or animals passing outside (fig. 1).
- Place PIR sensors so the beam doesn't point at a window, lamp or heat sources like radiators - these will set them off.
- Check sensors cover enough area for the rooms you want to protect.
- Most control boxes need a mains power supply, with a back-up battery in case of power failure.
- Get a tamper-proof box so the alarm goes off if an intruder tries to disable it. And make sure small children can't reach the keypad!
- Send burglars a clear message: fit the alarm box to the front of your home or somewhere that's very obvious to passers-by. But place it high enough so no one can mess about with it.
- If people can reach your home from the back, position a second alarm box so they can see it (fig. 3).
Got pets? Work out the best place to put your PIR sensor so they don't set it off. If you think an animal is likely to trigger the sensor when you're out, you can buy a sensor that's pet-friendly.
- Catch the criminals on camera ... CCTV systems give you that extra peace of mind when you want to keep an eye on what's going on outside and deter intruders. They're really easy to fit and don't need special electrical connections.
- The simpler systems include one or two cameras and a controller that plugs directly into your TV via the Scart socket.
- More sophisticated CCTV systems record pictures from the cameras while you're out.
- If you're using CCTV cameras in dark areas or want clearer images after dark, it's worth buying outside security lighting.
Over 60% of all burglaries take place from the rear of a house so it's worth making your back garden tougher to enter. Repair fencing and install security lighting, for example. And make sure your back door is as secure as possible.
- Place cameras out of reach so intruders can't tamper with them. And make sure your cameras have a clear view of access areas - keep them away from overhanging trees or bushes.
- Drill a small hole through your wall or window frame so you can feed the camera cable inside your home (fig. 4).
- From inside, connect the extension cable to the camera cable. Then use the clips supplied with your kit to run the cables neatly to the back of your TV.
- Plug the power adaptor for the camera control box into a 13 amp socket. The Scart plug then goes into the socket on the back of the TV.
- When you're all connected up, switch the TV to the AV channel to see the images from your camera.
- Check the camera view before finalising installation. Follow the instructions supplied with your kit.
- You've got two main types of exterior security lighting: dusk-to-dawn lighting and PIR lighting.
- Dusk-to-dawn lights come on automatically when it gets dark and switch off again when the sky lightens at dawn.
- PIR lights are triggered by body heat so only turn on if someone approaches your home. These exterior lights could be your best option as they should surprise and scare off intruders and also use less electricity.
- Place your lights at least 2.5m off the ground. Point PIR lighting so passers-by don't trigger them. Don't put the light near your boiler's flue as this can also set them off.
- By the way, PIR lights come with an integral or separate PIR sensor unit. You'll find the integral one easier to fit.
- When you've decided on your position, drill a hole through the wall to the inside. Line any holes with a plastic conduit. If you don't want to drill, you may be able to feed the cable through your window frame or fascia board.
- Turn off your power supply when fitting your light. Then connect the light according to the maker's instructions. Once connected, the light can be fixed to the wall.
- With PIR lighting you can set the sensitivity control and adjust the length of time the light stays on once triggered. A few minutes is usually enough to disturb intruders without annoying neighbours if it goes off accidentally.
Look for the kite mark
- The best and strongest locks have a 'kite mark' and are passed to British Standard BS3621. Most insurance companies insist on these. They're also recommended by crime prevention officers.
- The more levers, pins or discs a lock has, the more difficult it is to pick.
- If possible fit two locks on your front door - both to BS3621 standard. A mortice deadlock (fig. 5 and fig. 7B) should go about halfway up the door and a night latch one-third of the way down from the top (fig. 7A).
- If you can only manage one lock, go for an automatically dead-locking night latch made to BS3621 standard.
- Protect your back door with a mortice sash lock to BS3621 standard, together with top and bottom bolts. These bolts should be security mortice bolts (fig. 7C).
- For extra protection, fit hinge bolts, especially to doors that open outwards as the hinge knuckle pins are a weak point (fig. 6). Position them 150mm below the top hinge and 150mm above the bottom one (fig 7D).
For expert advice on installing secure external door locks see our 'How to fit a lock' guide.
If you're installing new circuits or electrical equipment outside your house, you have to let your local council know before you start. You'll also need to pay a fee to have the work tested and certified when the installation is finished.
Wirefree security allows you to secure your home without the need for wiring into a mains supply or the services of an expensive qualified electrician.
The benefits of wireless security
Wirefree products mean there is no need to damage your décor, lift carpets, or run cables when fitting. All components are self contained and no connections are required
Wireless security products
We offer a range of wirefree alarms consists of three kits; a standard kit for smaller homes, a home kit that contains ‘pet friendly’ sensors ideal for family homes, CCTV wireless products and a top of the range premium telecommunicating kit which will ring and inform you when the system is triggered for the ultimate peace of mind.
To compliment this we offer a number of accessories such as additional PIR detectors, door / window contacts, remote controls, and smoke alarms.
1. Ensure you have all the necessary tools to complete the installation such as a drill, screwdriver, hammer, tape measure, spirit level and a ladder
2. Take your time when removing all components from the packaging, this is when parts can easily go missing and is the cause of most helpline calls
3. Pair all components on a table prior to installing in position around your home.
4. All of our products comes with a detail installation guide