Home and Business Security

General Security Advice

Below are various categories of security advice for home owners and for the general public to stay safe.

Security alarms

Electronic security alarm systems can be an effective crime prevention tool for your home and business. They can alert other people in the area, a monitoring company and or/the relevant authorities about possible suspicious activity at the business address.

Types of alarm systems

There are a number of electronic security alarm systems available including:

  • Movement detectors (ultrasonic, microwave infra-red) that react to movement and/or heat and can be placed in strategic locations around your home or business.
  • Magnetic Reed Switches – electro-mechanical devices that are activated when the electronic circuit is broken.
  • Duress or panic assistance in the form of a fixed button, coded pad pin alert, or a portable device connected to an alarm.
Things to consider

If you have a pre-installed electronic security alarm system or are considering purchasing an alarm in the future, there are some key points to keep in mind including:

  • Having a complete understanding of why you want an electronic security alarm system installed
  • Be clear about what you want the alarm system to do
  • Have a budget in mind but remember the cheapest is not always the best and don’t forget to take into consideration any ongoing costs
  • Decide if you want the alarm system monitored or if you want it to activate a siren and strobe at your premises
  • Consult reputable companies and or security industry associations
  • Obtain several itemised quotes from different suppliers/installers
  • Ensure the system meets Australian Standards
  • In the event of alarm activation, decide who will attend
  • Be aware of false alarm activations
  • Decide if you want the alarm to be audible or silent
  • Ensure the alarm system has a battery back up
  • Investigate whether the system resets itself after a fixed period to minimise annoyance to neighbours
False alarms

An area of concern to the Police Service is the large number of call-outs to false alarms. These calls absorb a significant amount of police resources taking police away from their core business of preventing and detecting crime.

To lessen the impact of false alarms it is important to be aware of possible causes and take precautionary steps to minimise these activations. False alarms can be caused by:

  • Insects, pests and pets
  • Power failure or surges
  • Telecommunications failure
  • Poor or incorrect installation
  • Storms
  • Inadequate maintenance program
  • Incorrect equipment for the application
  • Old equipment
  • Objects hanging in front of a sensor
  • Drafts or breezes from open windows or air conditioners
  • User error
How to reduce false alarm activations

Electronic security alarm systems do require periodical servicing and maintenance in order to perform properly. For servicing and some maintenance of the alarm system, a specialised technician may be required. However there are some basic steps you can take to minimise not only false alarms but also repeat service calls by those responding:

  • Ensure spider webs are cleaned away from the sensors and other alarm equipment
  • Avoid leaving pets inside when the alarm is activated (internal audible sirens can cause pets undue distress when activated)
  • Consider an effective pest control program as vermin and birds can activate a false alarm activation
  • Close windows and doors and switch off air conditioners as drafts can move items causing them to be detected by alarm sensors
  • Avoid hanging mobiles and other items from the ceiling as these can trigger a false alarm activation
  • Ensure an alarm technician completes periodical services
  • Ensure all users of the alarm are competent in operating the system
  • Conduct regular system tests (monthly)
  • Advise the monitoring company of any changes to users or the system
  • Repair any problems immediately
  • Change alarm codes on a regular basis or when there is a change in users
  • Ensure duress buttons are located in a position that cannot be easily bumped by people or other items

If in doubt about the operation of the alarm system, contact the installer. When testing the system, ensure the monitoring centre is advised.

Access control

CCTV and other monitoring system can be fitted to monitor external areas and identify visitors.

Will it work over the NBN?

Many types of devices that are normally connected to phone lines such as; medical and security alarms, EFTPOS and fax machines, lift phones and fire indicator panels can work over the NBN. However you will need to order the right type of service over the NBN to make sure they continue to work correctly.

It’s important you get advice from the device provider first before ordering your service over the NBN. Read More

Lighting

External sensor lighting which comes on when movement is detected is a useful deterrent for potential thieves.

Lock up

Double deadlocks should be fitted to front and back doors and key operated locks to all accessible windows and sliding doors. Security mesh screen doors can also be fitted with key operated locks.

Make sure garages, tool sheds and gates are locked.

Before going to bed ensure all windows and doors are locked. If you need a windows open during the summer then have a security grill fitted to accessible windows.

Have a phone in your bedroom. Ring Triple Zero (000) for Police, Fire and Ambulance.

Security guard services

A security guard service is an option for home owners with large properties. Guards can patrol property day and night and also conduct security checks and access control of visitors.

Smoke Alarms

State and Territory Governments regulate the requirements for smoke alarms and following are the legislative requirements for each State and Territory.

New South Wales

Victoria

Queensland

South Australia

Western Australia

Tasmania

Northern Territory

Australian Capital Territory

Holidays

Give the impression that your home is occupied by letting neighbours know and asking them to keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour and collect the mail. Cancel the newspaper delivery and have the lawn mowed if you are going away for a long period.

Lighting can be put on a timer so it will come on in the evening and switch off later.

For expensive items a home safe may be an option for smaller items, larger items can be placed in storage facilities for added security.

Surveillance

Be watchful of any persons acting suspiciously and occupied parked vehicles staying longer than would normally be expected.

Insurance

Make sure that your contents insurance is valued at the correct amount and any high value items, such as jewellery are covered.

Parties

Security guards can also be hired for parties, an assessment should be made if your premises are large enough and you have adequate facilities to accommodate the number of people invited.

Ensure measures are in place for the responsible service of alcohol. Your neighbours and the Police should also be notified.

Each State and Territory Police Service provides information on hosting parties on the website links below.