Do It Yourself Ways to Make Your Home Safer

Making your home a more secure and safe place is easier than you might imagine. It is well worth the time and effort spent to know that your home is protected and your family is safe. Check out these easy and inexpensive projects that you can do yourself to make your home less susceptible to intrusion or danger.

1. Trim Your Hedges!
Put yourself in the shoes of your intruder, where would you hide? In the tall and wide bushes around the house right? So trim the hedges around the perimeter. Also, have a look at some other security weaknesses on the outside of your house, and make repairing them a main concern.

2. Put Your Security Signs in Clear View
Stand in different places around your home, down the block, and across the street. Make sure the signs that let intruders know you have a security system in place are clearly visible from all angles.

3. Set Your Lights on a Timer
Timers are easy to install on your own, and are relatively affordable. If you connect a timer to your lights, you can easily trick a burglar into believing that people are home when they aren’t, especially if you are clever enough and you change the schedule of your light timer to be unpredictable.

4. Hide Cash and Valuable Items in Surprising Places
A thief will almost always check the master bedroom first for expensive articles such as jewelry, in the most expected of locations, the underwear drawer, the nightstand, and under the mattress. Be imaginative when choosing a hiding spot for these valuable items. Inside a cereal box in the pantry, for example, might really throw your burglar for loop.

As always, these ideas are most effective when implemented in addition to a professionally installed and maintained home security system. Protecting your home in Brisbane is easy, just follow these tips and tricks, and call in the experts at Coffeyco Security to set you up with a smart home security system to keep your family and home safe.

A Brief Look at Crime in Brisbane

Overall, the city of Brisbane, in Queensland Australia is a safe place to live. But like any city, it does see its own share of crime. Generally speaking the crime rates of inner city Brisbane are somewhere between four and six times higher than their outer city counterparts, and western suburbia is statistically the “safest” area of Brisbane.

In the past ten years, there are several neighborhoods of the Brisbane Metro Area that have displayed increasing criminal activity and gang activity. Neighborhoods of reference include the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise and the Woodridge.

Break-ins and burglaries seem to be the most common in neighborhoods such as Augustine Heights, Bellbird Park, Camira, Carole Park, Gailes, Goodna, and Springfield, as well as Underwood and its surrounding area. Markedly, the Oxley district has also ranked high on the unlawful entry scale, with the majority of break-ins involving violence. In 2014, the following neighborhoods made a top ten list for the most break-ins in Brisbane. From top to bottom, the list is as follows: Inala, Forest Lake, Deception Bay, Woodridge, Runcorn, Southport, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Surfers Paradise, Eagleby, Kingston, Dalby, Slacks Creek, Caboolture, and Helensvale.

Regarding the list above, suburbs on the southeast side of Brisbane were named three times as hot spots for break-ins. Neighborhoods that are highest on the list for Brisbane break-ins that are on the southeast side of the city are Inala with 272 break-ins last year, and Forest Lake with 205 break-ins. Many of the neighborhoods on the list are close to the train network, which has its own reputation for crime.

Youth gangs also significantly contribute to the crime rate in Brisbane, which is normal for many metropolitan areas across the world. There was an increase in altercations in which youth gangs or other individuals would harass passengers and police officers in railway stations. These stations on the City train circuit include Bald Hills, Beenleigh, Burpengary, Caboolture, Cannon Hill, Central, Indooroopilly, South Brisbane, and Strathpine. Despite these issues, the Queensland Police Operations Support Command insist that the network of trains is undeniably safe. Since this string of harassment and violence, QR Limited, the City train operators have employed several further security measures such as closed-circuit television, or CCTV surveillance in trains and on platforms. This security initiative functions well in conjunction with security guards and Revenue Protection Officers (police officers dedicated to the City train network) to keep the transportation system safe.

Brisbane police are urging home and business owners to invest in security systems, particularly CCTV surveillance, as there has also been a spike in business break-ins in the city. Coffeyco Security of Brisbane can be called on for a number of security needs such as home security systems, corporate security systems, 24/7 monitoring systems, smart security systems, CCTV surveillance, alarm monitoring and alarm systems. Having a professionally installed, maintained and monitored security system in place certainly makes a home or business less susceptible to intruders, burglars and violent crime doers.


Security Options for Pet Friendly Homes

Imagine you’ve spent the time and money it takes to have a security system installed and the first time the alarm goes off is because your dog goes to get a drink of water. Embarrassing – sure! But more importantly it means your system  isn’t doing what it needs to do. While you want your home to be protected, some security systems are not designed with pets in mind and this makes them ineffective.

Thankfully, there are a host of motion sensors available that can prevent this from happening. Called “pet-immune”, these sensors use a combination of technologies to determine weight, mass and speed of an object (or in this case, pet) to prevent false alarms. With weight as a factor, many systems will not alarm for a pet weighing less than 80 pounds. So this means that your cat, dog, fish or other animals are safe.

Another consideration is where motion sensors are placed. It is generally a good idea to put sensors wherever possible, but perhaps avoid areas that your pets frequent, such as a feeding area or favorite nap spot.

The We.R system has several options for pet-friendly sensors, including the Essence Security ES800PIR, which has an option for intelligent signal analysis for pet immunity. A great addition to the We.R family of products, these sensors can keep your entire family safe – even the furry ones.
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The Advantages of a Monitored Burglar Alarm

Monitored Burglar Alarms and their Advantages
Having your house broken into is a devastating crime. Even if the monetary value of the property stolen is small the occupiers of the house can go through a variety of emotions ranging from violation of personal space, a feeling of uncleanliness within the home to long term insomnia, depression and insecurity. Often victims will seek to move to another home as soon as practically possible. Whilst many occupiers will be insured, money cannot replace items of a sentimental value, which can be lost forever.

Australian Crime Statistics
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show an average of 2.9% of households suffer a break-in and 2.3% suffer an attempted break-in each year.

That means that every sixty seconds someone’s home is being visited by a burglar intent on gaining entry to the property.

Burglar Alarms – Do they make a Difference?
Research by Seungmug (a.k.a. Zech) Lee, Ph.D. of Rutgers University on behalf of the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation concluded that burglar alarms definitely make a difference to the property they are installed at as well as the surrounding properties. The increase in the number of burglar alarms installed in New Jersey, USA over a five year period matched the reduction in domestic burglary.

Home Invasion
Burglars will mostly ignore an alarmed property in favour of an easier target. But an article in Ezine by Melissa Carey, an independent expert home security consultant, showed that the traditional pattern for break-ins has changed. No longer does a single criminal enter a property quietly in the dead of night to steal the blueray player and leave; or ransack the house during the mid afternoon, when everyone is at work or school.
The new global pattern are home intruders working together in gangs entering the property at any time of day or night, willing and prepared to confront and threaten the homes occupants until the criminals obtain what they came for. The new term is home invasion.

Alarm Monitoring Centre
The Alarm Monitoring Centre is central to the operation of a monitored system. Graded against Australian Standard 2201.2 according to their ability to respond to alarm activations the highest grade is A1 which means the centre has demonstrated it can respond to 95% of activations within the allotted time frame. The centre confirms what is happening at the premises and in accordance with your previously agreed instructions coordinates an immediate response. This type of service has stopped many attempted crimes both during and before.

Alarm Installation
The most reliable installation will always be a professional installer who will work to a standard recognised by the Australian Security Association Limited. Modern technology facilitated the development of wireless systems allowing you to install your own equipment with almost the same reliability. These systems can be pre-programmed by the security company and all you have to do is fix them up and switch them on.

Those same developments produced the Z-Wave protocol. This system turns your alarm into an “occupier proxy” enabling the remote control of lights, heating, curtains, doors, windows or locks, the list is endless. Advanced systems now offer the option of Smart Security and the ability to control these linked devices from any web enabled device both locally and remotely.

There are a multitude of sensors available to suit every installation. One of the biggest concerns was false alarms for people who own pets, but it is now possible to fit pet immune motion sensors. Another trend is smoke sensors that integrate with the security system. These are more expensive but are monitored 24 hours per day by the monitoring facility, which could be the difference between life or death. Other alarm users are fitting a window/door sensor to every entry point to the property. This allows the user to arm the entire perimeter of the home day or night while still enjoying the convenience of moving around inside the property without setting off the alarm.

Advanced Protection
Security is not only about break-ins, it’s about total home security. Modern systems can have a panic button for when you are at home and a duress code allowing you to tell the monitoring centre you’re in trouble. Small video cameras can be added to the system with the same ability to be controlled through your smartphone as any other appliance.

The options for customising your system are simply endless and it will always be worthwhile to talk through what you want with a professional adviser.
The Advantage

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Surveillance in the Workplace

The Benefits of Video Surveillance in the Workplace

As a business owner you want to ensure that your staff has an efficient, safe and productive working environment, as well as ensuring the safety of your premises and property from thieves and vandals. A quick and simple way to achieve all of these things is to install a properly implemented video and electronic surveillance policy to help ensure consistent compliance and protection.

The first video monitoring systems used large cameras and were connected by wiring installed within the building. They were analog systems and usually had a central monitoring room nearby. These were expensive to install and maintain. Large institutions like banks, casinos and military installations would be the typical users of these early systems.

However these days the most common requirements of security have changed, and it is also important to remember that your employees still have a right to a reasonable level of privacy. So how do you balance these requirements?

Having a video surveillance system installed at the workplace provides the following advantages:
– Protection against pilfering and outright theft: This is one of the original purposes for installing video surveillance. The surety of getting caught if a theft is committed reduces the temptation to commit it.
– Improvement of work practices and routine: An employer can use the recorded video to determine the best routine to follow for a certain task. Time and motion studies can be applied to find out the most efficient way to complete a job. This is especially useful for businesses with large operations areas like factories and warehouses.
– Protection against false work place injury: A video recording can verify if a reported injury was an accident or done on purpose.
– Improves staff accountability and productivity: It has been proven in a lot of work places that the presence of a surveillance system increases productivity in the workplace. It discourages idleness and keeps people on focus during hours of work.
– Sexual Harassment: Video surveillance curtails impropriety. It works in a similar way to how the system discourages pilfering and idleness. The knowledge that everything is monitored and that any erring employee cannot escape the consequences of their actions, makes people think twice before they do anything foolish.

It is important that your business strikes a balance between effective monitoring and privacy. There are laws that can provide you with a guideline on how to implement video monitoring in your facilities, and Coffeyco Security technicians can always advise you of what is and is not allowed when it comes to workplace security. If you adhere to these guidelines you will be able to reap the benefits of video surveillance in the workplace.

Always remember to inform your employees before you implement any form of monitoring. Ignoring this step will put you at risk of eroding whatever benefits you can gain from any form of surveillance.

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How to Avoid Being Burgled

Have you ever arrived home and had that feeling that things aren’t where you left them? Have you seen strangers or odd vehicles in your neighborhood that don’t need to be there? We all have the right to feel secure in our home. Sometimes those “unsure” instincts are strong indicators that thieves may be present in your neighborhood.

Two of the simplest, and largest indicators that something is amiss are strange vehicles and suspicious behaviour by unfamiliar individuals. Most of us know our neighbors’ vehicles. If they are new neighbors, we become aware of their vehicles quickly. If there is a vehicle parked near your home for an extended period of time, it could be a thief attempting to learn your routine. You also need to be aware of strangers walking the street. If you and your neighbors are vigilant, strangers and odd behavior should be obvious. The best advice is to be safe rather than sorry, and call the police if you feel unnerved, or alternatively installing a home security system can ensure your safety and peace of mind.

Another overlooked way for people to get access to your home is as a tradesperson. Whether a plumber, electrician, or the like, always read reviews and make sure you are dealing with a reputable business. Research the business on the internet and learn about them before letting them into your home. Too many times reports of burglaries come shortly after getting work done inside the home.

With a home security system, many of these situations can be caught early and avoided, without loss of property or otherwise. As is life, things can sometimes happen. Being observant and knowing your surroundings can help you be aware of any potential problems in your neighborhood. Installing a home security system can alleviate these concerns!
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