Virginia is a fairly decent state to move to. It has a robust healthcare system, the education system consistently ranks high in national-level assessments and the state boasts of excellent Universities for higher education such as The University of Virginia. Combining that with a lower than average national crime rate, Virginia sure has its fair share of pros.
A beautiful state in general; there is something for everyone as the landscape is quite diverse. From the bustling lifestyle of North Virginia, you can opt for a slow-paced lifestyle in the southwestern region or settle for a middle ground in the suburbs of Chesterfield and Richmond. In case you prefer to enjoy the scenery, you can choose to reside near the beautiful coastal region of Virginia Beach if you fancy the sea or opt for the mountains of the western region which also boasts of wineries.
Irrespective of your preferred choice of location, home security should still top your priority list and our list below shall provide you with an overview of home security measures – before moving on to the specifics it is better that we understand how burglars target your property in the first place:
Burglars like to scope out properties well in advance. The primary signs that attract them to your property are an unkempt lawn, uncollected mail or newspapers spewed near your front entrance, indicating sporadic inhabitants or a long-term absence. Once your property has been identified as a possible target, begin the scrutiny of your security measures. Obvious turn-offs include the presence of surveillance cameras, a visible security or alarm device, or the presence of a guard dog on your premises.
The reconnaissance then proceeds to scour your trash for documents that provide a better picture of your financial situation. Things such as receipts of expensive gadgets or jewelry, sensitive documents such as credit cards or bank statements are particularly sought after. In rare cases, the perpetrators may be bold enough to physically invade your property to scout your security system disguised as maintenance folk so be wary of suspicious behavior and notify law enforcement accordingly.
Security measures: From primitive to advanced.
- Glazed window panes – In addition to the inherent insulating nature of glazed panes, they are more robust in construction and hence less prone to breakage in the event of a forced entry.
- Window locks – Install window locks that allow the adequate opening of your windows but at the same time restrictive enough not to leave space for s burglar to shimmy through. Bolts securing windows to the frame instead of each other are more secure.
- Burglar Bars – These are quite restrictive but also a major hindrance to mobility in the event of an emergency – Burglar bars are first installed onto a frame which in turn is then attached to your window frame. This makes it impossible for intruders to gain access without making a significant amount of noise and therefore are stern deterrents to burglars looking for a smooth operation. While these are a great albeit basic security measure, choose a design that requires no special tool and can be quickly disassembled in the event of a house fire.
- Deadbolts – A deadbolt with a strike plate amplifies the security quotient of any door. Unlike locks, a deadbolt cannot be pried open easily using tools such as a crowbar.
- Homeowners Insurance – Before you proceed to get your home insurance in Virginia, spare a moment to go through this point. A decent home insurance provides cover against a variety of situations including but not limited to theft or robbery. Homeowners insurance provides cover against damages incurred from natural causes such as a storm – this includes your main building as well as structures present on your property such as your tool shed or swimming pool. It also covers expensive items in your home such as appliances, gadgets and furniture. Multiple plans exist so it’s as easy as getting one that best serves your purpose. Plans vary as per the location so be sure to check the fine print.
- Smoke detectors – Self-explanatory really, triggers an alarm in case of a fire hazard, keeping your property and family safe in the process.
- Motion sensors – In case you aren’t satisfied with glazed panes and reinforced locks on your windows, the next course of action would be to install motion sensors. These are extremely versatile to install and can be installed in vulnerable places such as your windows, garage door, main entrance, garden shed, driveway etc. Motion sensors can be configured to trigger a light, an alarm, or both and are key to detecting intruders first-hand.
- Surveillance cameras – A great deterrent to potential intruders, they are fairly easy to implement and provide coverage over a large area. The system mainly consists of outdoor or indoor cameras and a recording device responsible for storing the footage. Indoor cameras can be quite inconspicuous and can be installed for discreet monitoring of areas containing valuables such as your closet, study or common areas such as your porch or hallway. Sophisticated systems work in tandem with security systems and can include facial recognition software which can identify intruders and upload their footage to the cloud while also triggering your security system in the process.
- Security system – Perhaps the most capable security measure you can probably opt for, the major advantage is its capability to utilize various smart home devices including security systems to provide a unified protective ecosystem. It is primarily of two types:
- Non-monitored system – While a non-monitored system integrates various subsystems (Cameras, motion sensors, smoke detectors) to protect your property it however has no role in notifying the authorities on its own. This is not a problem if you are present on your property while the system gets triggered, or if you have vigilant neighbors to do that for you while you are away, it is quite useless in an isolated property.
- Monitored system – This is the crème de la crème of security systems. In the event of an intrusion where say a motion detector is triggered, not only will the system sound an alarm locally on your property but also notify your security company of the same and they will proceed to handle the situation by attempting to contact you. In the event that is not possible, they will proceed to notify emergency services. You can even choose to allow access to people on your property remotely only after their identity has been verified in real-time.
We hope this list has managed to provide a simplified overview of all your security queries. Hope you have a great living experience in Virginia!