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How to Secure your Home

12 September 2023

How to protect oneself from home theft? The security of one’s home is an issue that concerns everyone and requires a lot of attention. In this article we recommend tricks, systems and technologies to make it safer, with a particular focus on aluminium burglar-proof windows.

According to various surveys, the security of one’s home is one of the issues of greatest concern to Italians. The desire is to always have the perception of feeling safe within one’s own home, but also to be able to leave home or go on holiday in the security that one’s home will be well protected from intruders. In addition to the damage caused by the theft of valuables, what is often most striking is a kind of ‘psychological theft’, i.e. the impression of feeling vulnerable and having one’s privacy violated in the very place where one should feel most protected.

When it comes to providing security for oneself and one’s loved ones, it is always necessary to equip oneself with quality systems and mechanisms that allow us to sleep soundly.

How to have a safer home: 10 tips to protect yourself

There are many ways to protect oneself from theft and to secure one’s home from intruders. Often a few small measures are enough to make you feel safer, but it can also be useful to adopt real security systems if circumstances require it. Certainly, windows and doors play a key role in avoiding break-in attempts: as we will see later, aluminium is the most suitable material in this case thanks to its high mechanical resistance and its many advantages.

The following are 10 actions you can take to secure your home. Many of them can be taken in synergy to make your home truly secure against theft even during the most vulnerable times, such as night hours or summer holidays.

1 – Knowing the area where you live well

As in many other cases, securing one’s home must start with a careful analysis of the context. Is the house you live in or are going to live in in the countryside or in an urban area? In a small town or in a metropolis? Surrounded by other houses or isolated? What is the level of risk of theft and petty crime in the area?

Knowing the neighbourhood or area in which you live is fundamental to providing your home with an adequate security system. This check must be carried out periodically, because the movements of a neighbourhood or a built-up area can change over time; what is valid today may not be valid tomorrow and vice versa, so it is necessary to deepen one’s knowledge of the area in which one lives in a prudent and far-sighted manner.

Finally, it is important to remember that burglars almost never act impulsively, but rather study the house well with reconnaissance tours before attempting a heist. In everyday life and especially if you live alone, therefore, it is a good idea to keep an eye on suspicious movements in the area and to alert the authorities whenever you notice people or behaviour that could endanger the security of your home.

2 – Analysing the weak points of one’s own home

The best – albeit difficult – way to prevent the intervention of a burglar is to try to put yourself in his shoes and identify the points of the house that would facilitate access. These are the weak points that endanger the safety of the house and its occupants; it is essential to take action to improve these aspects.

Some of the potential weak points of the house may be:

  • gutters, walls or other elements that could act as a foothold;
  • balconies or terraces on the first floor, on which it is easy to climb;
  • bushes or trees in the immediate vicinity of the house, making it easier to climb up to higher floors;
  • doors and windows sheltered by hedges or bushes, behind which the thief can act without being seen;
  • back doors or garage and cellar doors that are not visible from inside the house and are not equipped with locks or security mechanisms;
  • electrical or alarm system cables that are not buried and, therefore, exposed to more rapid tampering.

Acting to improve security in these areas is aimed at making it as difficult as possible for the attacker to approach and gain access to one’s home.

3 – Using lighting as a deterrent

Equipping oneself with smart lighting systems is another action to curb the intrusion of intruders, who usually act in the dark so that they cannot be seen and reported.

One can first make sure that every entrance – front door, stairs and back doors – are always well lit at night. If you want to avoid constant lighting, it is very useful to install motion sensors in the garden, yard or near entrances. They make sure that the lights only come on when movement is detected; this may induce the burglar to leave rather than act under direct light. In general, then, one should always make sure that the lighting points are very difficult to reach so that they can be destroyed or dismantled by the burglar.

4 – Protect your home with a burglar alarm system

Depending on the area and the type of house one lives in, it may be essential to have an effective alarm system to prevent burglary attempts. The alarm constitutes a concrete security – it is connected directly with the police, who will act in a very short time if necessary; but it is also a powerful psychological weapon, as it makes the tenants of the house feel safer and is a deterrent for the burglar. In fact, even if it takes a long time to intervene, it is to be hoped that the sound of the alarm will deter the burglar from continuing with his burglary attempt.

There are many types of anti-theft devices that vary in complexity and may also include the use of video surveillance cameras. In order to choose the most suitable system for one’s needs, it is essential to turn to professionals who not only know how to give the best advice, but also provide references of the utmost reliability.

5 – Equip yourself with a burglar-resistant entrance door

Apart from all the measures one can take to discourage a burglar from approaching one’s home, it is essential not to underestimate his capabilities and therefore to ensure that access points to the home are as protected as possible.

There is no such thing as an impenetrable door. However, there are burglar-proof entrance doors that can make the burglar’s job very difficult.

Burglar-proof doors are designed to resist break-in attempts by experienced burglars. They are made of robust and durable materials, and are equipped with advanced security systems.

The entrance door must be a burglar-resistant door with a frame and counterfrrame that make it difficult for a burglar to break in.

There are many types of burglar-resistant doors on the market, with different locks and also with the possibility of combining mechanical and electronic openings to enhance security. As far as the frame material is concerned, it is absolutely advisable to choose aluminium; it is an extremely resistant material that is very difficult to break.

The entrance door must be supported by elements that enhance its burglary-resistant functionality. METRA Building entrance doors, for example, can be equipped with state-of-the-art multi-point security locks.

6 – Installing burglar-resistant windows and doors

Windows are a favourite access point for burglars in private homes. It follows that, among the many functions that windows and doors must fulfil, is the function of burglar protection and security.

Windows are often attractive to burglars not only because they are left open more frequently, but also because they tend to be less solid and resistant than a front door. In order to prevent this from happening, it is very important to invest in high-quality windows made of durable materials and reinforced with elements that make them very difficult to break into.

As far as the frame material is concerned, aluminium is the most suitable choice if you want a secure and burglar-resistant window. As mentioned above, aluminium boasts a high mechanical resistance and is therefore preferable for burglar-resistant windows over PVC or wood. It should also be remembered that aluminium has many other advantages in terms of durability, thermal and acoustic insulation, customisation, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The choice of glass must also be carefully considered; depending on the different requirements, one can choose shatterproof or even bulletproof glass to ensure that one obtains a truly break-resistant product. Everything must then be completed with reinforcement plates, multi-point locks with security cylinders, and other elements that allow you to obtain frames that are secure against any burglary attempt.

7 – Reinforcing windows with grates or shading systems

Since they can be the weak point in home security, the question arises as to how windows can be additionally secured. A good solution, in this case, is to install grates, bars or grilles that make it particularly difficult for burglars to enter the house through the windows.

With these elements, windows and balcony doors can also remain open without the thought of someone gaining access to them. There are many different types of grilles and gratings: fixed or openable with a key lock. It is important to study the characteristics of the different products and get advice based on the security needs of your home.

If these systems are not compatible with the aesthetics or preferences of the tenants, a good solution is to use shading systems, such as roller shutters, blinds or shutters, which provide an additional barrier to the ill-intentioned. METRA Building shutters are made of solid aluminium, which is useful for protecting windows not only from a security point of view, but also from the sun and weather; are also a valuable ally in thermal and acoustic insulation, for greater energy efficiency.

8 – Performing small actions to protect safety

In everyday life, it is always good to act with a little caution in order to be able to live with peace of mind. Here are some small things to keep in mind:

  • maintain good relations with the neighbourhood. This way you can count on someone to keep an eye on the house during times when it is unoccupied – such as when travelling – and warn you in cases of suspicious movements.
  • never leave doors and windows open for too long or when you cannot keep an eye on them. Also avoid leaving a copy of emergency keys in hidden but common knowledge places, such as under the doormat.
  • suggest a presence in the house even when it is empty. This can be done by using remote controls, for example to switch on lights inside or outside the house, or to raise and lower blinds. This will give the burglar the illusion that the house is inhabited. For the same reason, it is always a good idea to ask a neighbour to collect your mail, which, if piled up, could signal that you have not been home for days.
  • not provide too much information about one’s movements on social media. The latter are often used as personal diaries to recount one’s habits or, perhaps, departure for a trip via geolocation. But it would be good not to be too precise in this respect: a burglar who is already keeping an eye on a certain dwelling would not take more than a few minutes to realise when it is most vulnerable.
  • equip the house with a video intercom and the front door with a peephole, to verify the identity of people and avoid unwanted visits.

9 – Keeping your most precious objects safe

Unfortunately, and despite all precautions, it can still happen that a burglar breaks into your home. In this case, it is a good idea to make sure that your most cherished possessions are safe, especially when you are away from home for several days.

A good strategy is to equip the house with wall, floor or cabinet safes – and with different combinations of mechanical, key and electronic locks – in which to store the most valuable objects and documents. They should not be left in the most obvious places in the house that the thief will immediately check, such as cupboards, drawers, beds and vases; rather, it may be useful to leave small sums of money in these places, hoping that the thief will be satisfied with them and leave the house immediately. Among the most important documents to keep safe are photographs or receipts for jewellery, works of art and other very valuable objects; if they are stolen, such documents will help to claim ownership when making a complaint.

10 – Installing a home automation system

The last tip for securing one’s home is very useful to manage everything mentioned so far. A home automation system is a technology that allows you to control different aspects of your home remotely, through the use of your smartphone. To protect yourself from home theft, you can use this system to:

  • open and close windows and shutters when we have forgotten to do so before leaving the house;
  • open and close the shutters, switch lights off or on – as well as the radio or TV – to give the illusion to the attacker that the house is inhabited;
  • manage the burglar alarm system remotely;
  • manage outdoor lighting remotely;
  • lock the front door;
  • connect with live video surveillance cameras.

Obviously, to be able to do all this, it is essential to have set up all devices for home automation, i.e. remote control with a smartphone via a web network.

Securing your home with burglar-proof windows

Windows can indeed be a home’s main weakness when it comes to burglar-proof security, so it is imperative to return to the subject and understand how to turn them into strengths instead.

In addition to securing windows with any shutters, bars or bars, it is the window itself that must be designed down to the smallest detail to be as secure as possible. A burglar-proof window takes several minutes and a lot of noise to break in, which could lead to burglars desisting from their burglary for fear of being caught.

One of the most important elements of a secure window is the material from which the frame is constructed; in this case, as we have seen, aluminium is the most efficient choice.
It is a ductile and light material but, at the same time, has a very high mechanical resistance. This allows it to make lightweight, yet very compact windows: the aluminium frame will be very difficult for even the most experienced burglars to unhinge.

The importance of burglar-resistant glass

Under violent stress, ordinary glass does not offer much resistance and is therefore very easy to break.

In order to have a safe home, it is good to choose laminated safety glass, which, on the other hand, is an additional obstacle to burglary intrusion into your home. Laminated glass has a completely transparent plastic film inside that keeps the glass panes intact and the window closed in the event of stress. This result can be enhanced by bonding the glass to the perimeter of the frame. Laminated glass, by the way, is also an ally of safety from another point of view: as it does not cause sharp splinters, it does not cause injuries or accidents in the event of breakage.

Other elements to make fixtures more secure

Aluminium windows with shatterproof glass are already excellent protection against unwanted intrusion. If your situation requires an additional level of window security, you can equip your windows with additional devices. For example, you can install handles that can be locked by means of keys or buttons, as well as burglar-resistant hardware to be mounted on all sides of the window for maximum protection.

METRA Building Aluminium Windows: How to have a safer home with burglar-resistant windows

The security of your home and its occupants is a very important aspect to consider when installing windows and doors, especially if you are in an area with a high risk of theft and burglary. In this case, relying on professionals is a must: they will know how to best reccomend and reinforce windows so that they are really difficult to penetrate. METRA Building produces aluminium window frames that, in addition to the natural resistance of this material, guarantee an excellent level of security thanks to its anti-burglary systems.

METRA Building aluminium windows and doors are class RC2 and RC3: they are able to withstand the common mechanical and electrical tools used by burglars very well. Finally, security is guaranteed by a perimeter locking system that reinforces the window at several points of its perimeter – up to 16 – to make it as safe as possible from break-ins.