Keeping your investment property secure is not just a matter of feeling your property is protected it’s the law to provide adequate security for your tenant. Below is a range of options for home security that you may consider for your investment property.
First line of defence
While alarms are great, you should think about preventing burglars getting into your home in the first place. Most break-ins occur through a door, so the key to good security is a good lock. A keyed entrance set gives minimal security. A step up is a night latch, but deadlocks and dead latches provide more security. (Better Homes & Gardens, 2012)
Window locks & Screens
In an investment property you need to ensure your windows are secure for a tenant, they do not need to be key locked but they you need to make sure from a shut position they cannot be opened. Window screens are also a great way to secure your property from potential intruders when the window is open. There are many types of windows in various materials, such as timber, aluminium, PVC and steel, and they all work differently and need different locks to secure them.
A second line of defence at any entrance is a security screen door. It should comply with the requirements of Australian Standard 5039-2003, while AS 5040 specifies how it should be installed. Security screen doors are ideal for the front and back main doors; they can keep the property safe and can be locked if the main doors are open. A security screen door allows you to safely see out, while stopping unwanted people from getting in. It also provides ventilation and lets cooling breezes into your home. (Better Homes & Gardens, 2012)
1. Night latch Night latches are surface-mounted and not lockable on the inside, so you can easily get out of the house in an emergency. But a burglar can also open the door from the inside once they’re in.
2. Deadlatch and deadbolt A deadlatch, such as the Whitco Deadlatch (about $80), is similar to a night latch but is keyed on the inside. This means a thief needs keys to get out of the door. But the key also needs to stay in the lock at night in case of fire, unless the deadlatch has an emergency release. A deadbolt fits inside the door, with the bolt thrown by a key inside and out.
3. Deadlock A deadlock, like the Lockwood 355 Deadlock (about $140), is similar to a deadlatch, but the lock engages with the keeper, so it also works on sliding and double-opening doors. And when locked, the lock and keeper can’t be separated.
If you are unfortunate enough to have intruders actually get into your home, your next defence is an alarm (or a hungry Rottweiler). Alarms range from basic beepers to sophisticated multi-thousand-dollar systems that alert a base station. But, you can make a loud noise with an inexpensive system.