Take Me To:
Architecturally and aesthetically windows and doors are among the most
important features of your home. Unfortunately, they are obvious
points of entry, and the weakest security points of most buildings.
burglar alarms and surveillance cameras are important deterrents, they can't
actually prevent a burglar from entering your home.
thieves you need a BARRIER.
Apex offers a variety of exceptional barrier products that complement
traditional alarms and cameras to help prevent residential break & enter crimes.
Peeling the Onion: Security Layers
By Vin Domino (article published with permission of the
Burglar alarms and security cameras are time-honoured security options, but
they should not be considered a total security solution.
There is good evidence that alarms and cameras act as deterrents to
crime. However, they don’t actually prevent an intruder from getting in.
Theses types of measures provide psychological security barriers.
Most crimes take place in minutes. Check with your local police department,
many will disclose the typical response time for alarms (that are
monitored); In most cases it is not great. The fact that so many alarms are
actually false is making burglar alarms a lower priority as well as making
it more and more difficult for local police to arrive in a timely fashion.
You may be surprised to learn that even private security, which should be
able to arrive before police can take 20 minutes or more to arrive at the
In this amount of time any marginally experienced criminal will have broken
in, taken valuables, and left.
There was a time, not so long ago, when homeowners did not feel the need to
lock their doors. Come to think of it, many still neglect to lock their
doors. This is the most basic security measure you can take to protect your
premises. Your door and lock are the first “physical barrier” to unlawful
entry. Leaving a door unlocked and valuables like car keys, purse, or
notebook nearby (particularly for those with a window in their door or
sidelights) is a recipe to become a victim of theft.
My Dad used to say, “Locks keep honest people honest.” Police and locksmiths
will tell you that most conventional locks, particularly those in the door
handle, can easily be picked. If you don’t have one already, install a
deadbolt. Talk to a reputable locksmith in your area about alternatives to
keyed locks as well.
Even with a decent lock on your door, thieves can make their way into homes
and businesses. Most break ins occur through glass. In a residential setting
a glass window in the door or a sidelight will allow a burglar to open your
lock by simply smashing the glass and reaching in and unlocking the door. If
the front door is too obviously exposed, any glass window or door is
temptingly vulnerable to a smash and grab thief.
The same is true for commercial buildings with glass storefronts or glass
windows in the doors. Many stores with glass doors will install
security bars or gates. However, these
gates are not useless if a thief can reach in and unlock the door for
themselves. Shopkeepers should invest in a lock with a removable thumb turn,
or keyed from both sides.
Gates and bars are an excellent physical barrier to your premises, whether
commercial or residential. However, many do not like their look and feel.
Homeowners and high-end shops may find them particularly objectionable. They
are, however, valuable and can and should be used where aesthetics allow
(basement windows and back entrances for example). Make sure that the bars
are installed properly and that they meet with your local fire code.
Another, much newer and more
advanced security barrier entering the market is
security films for glass. Polyester films
are bonded to existing glass, creating a barrier to intruders, “Like
invisible bars,” says Apex Window Films owner Dean Avey. According to Avey,
security films take away a thief’s main requirements, ease and speed. “An
intruder can hit the glass with a rock or a crowbar, or whatever they happen
to have with them. If they whack away at it a few times and find they can’t
get in chances are they leave—all that hitting makes a lot of noise and
thieves don’t want that kind of attention.”
While the glass will crack, the film and its bonding agents hold the window
or door together to prevent it from breaking open.
“It works well in conjunction with bars,” states Avey, who provides security
solutions for both residential and commercial properties in the Toronto
area. “There have been storefront incidents where the thieves smashed the
glass, chained the bars to a truck and just pulled the whole door out. They
wouldn’t be able to do this if they couldn’t get through the glass.”
Look at security in terms of layers, like peeling an onion; the longer it
takes the more likely you’ll end up in tears. As Avey puts it, “Security is
all about layers of protection; the more layers you have the more frustrated
a would-be intruder becomes.”
There is no ‘magic bullet’ when it comes to security (though there are,
incidentally, window films that make glass bullet resistant!) Alarms and
cameras play an important role that should not be minimized but, remember
the onion, security measures are most effective when used in conjunction
with other barriers. The type and number of barrier solutions you use will
depend on your specific security needs. Frustrate thieves by depriving them
of their greatest asset, a quick and easy entry, and improve your odds of
not becoming a victim.