How to make your apartment burglar-proof
June 26, 2003, 3 p.m. |
Summer means seaside idylls for some, and sweaty working conditions for others. For criminals it means that more people than usual are away from their homes, making it a high season for burglary. So if you’re going away, it’s a good idea to take some measures to safeguard your apartment.
When it comes to burglar-proofing a residence, the first and most important issue is the front door, which can make all the difference. Kyiv is flooded with places selling armor-plated models that can be installed for $70, in under an hour.
If you really want to feel secure, however, an armor-plated door might not be enough. Although it may sound dependable, the material a door is made from is fairly irrelevant. It is highly unlikely that any burglar would use a power saw to cut through the door, after all; there are far more sophisticated (and quiet) ways of getting in. What really matters, then, are the door’s lock and its hinges.
A safe door should have internal hinges that can’t be cut of from the outside. Some of the best locks are produced by the Multi-Lock Company, available at most retailers. One of these is Luka, 16 Lva Tolstoho, 235-2755.
In addition to being made of composite layers, a high-security door should have metal bars that fix it from all sides to prevent it from falling off if the hinges are cut. Such locks range in price from $150 to $250 (including installation). As far as the door itself goes, the price depends on the size and finish. A simple metal door with internal hinges and no fancy exterior will go for $200 (Try Bastion Company, 3 Vyzvoliteliv Prospekt, 516-5778, 531-9337).
Installing a security system is the most effective way of securing your place. The roughly $400 cost of an alarm system from Fortesya-S (25 Chervonoarmiyska, 244-4230) includes motion sensors, a front door alarm and a device connecting the apartment/house to the service’s headquarters.
There are several companies in Kyiv that provide monitoring services. Zahyst (9 Studentska, 212-2230) is part of the State Security Service; actual militia men will be guarding your house. They charge from Hr 30 per month to monitor private apartments (the bigger the apartment and the higher value of its furnishings, the higher the cost). Zahyst requires that your property be insured; if it isn’t, they’ll help you buy insurance. Another security service, Bezpeka (27B Chokolivsky Boulevard, 241-1301) doesn’t require you to have insurance and bears 100 percent responsibility in case they fail to prevent a robbery. Bezpeka’s security service charges around Hr 500 per 100 square meters.
If your place is on the ground floor (or even second floor), you’ll want bars, which make it difficult for thieves to crawl through a window. Look online at www.bronedveri.com.ua, or call 517-0431 or 574-7519 for information on decorative custom-fitted bars.
Remember that most break-ins are performed by people who’ve been watching your routine. So get to know your neighbors, change things around once in a while and take note of strangers hanging around your building. In the end, security starts with being alert.