Just recently a complete world class collection was stolen in Europe / Belgium most certainly by persons familiar with our hobby. The family was away for the week-end and no-one was home.
You can read an article in French here
When you hear about something like that you immediately re-assess your own situation and while collections vary greatly in size and value the sentimental value is huge , it is something your worked hard for to attain. Something you are proud off. Losing it means losing part of your life.
1) Raising the threshold
To stop someone to walk into your house we lock our doors. That is a simple barrier. How do you stop someone that breaks down your door ?
Well he might think twice if you have an alarm installation , the siren is visible from the outside this creates an additional problem for any potential thief.
Worst case he proceeds and grabs the most valuable things in a few minutes.
Alarm installations these days range from your basic motion sensor detectors to video recording when motion is detected with or without your alarm being connected to a control room that sends someone to investigate.
A basic alarm system is the minimum I would recommend for ‘defending’ your collection. But keep in mind that the basic system would not have stopped the burglary I started my blog with.
While not as efficient as a full fledged alarm system IP camera’s are cheap and easy to install around the house and with you being in full control.
These are camera’s that connect with your home network and with an App you can see through these camera’s on your smart phone or Ipad wherever you are. Some even have simple motion detectors and record whenever they detect motion. You then get a message on your smart phone and can playback the recording.
You can connect several camera’s to your network and control them all via an App.
2 things are key when you’d consider buying a couple. Go for the High Definition ones and make sure when you install them that you change the factory installed password. If you do not change the password hackers can easily see in your house.
Also put stickers on windows and doors that say you have camera surveillance.
3) Armoured door
The majority of burglars will already be looking for easier pickings after points 1 and 2 but those that have come especially for you may not be deterred that easily.
Another major delaying factor would be putting an armoured door in as access to your collection room. Armoured doors these days are not the steel ugly bulky things you may think they are. You can get them in any color.
An armoured door will be a tough nut to crack for any thief.
4) The weakest link : Windows
Windows are the weakest part in your home defense but also here you can make some improvements.
Very effective is changing your window handles to ones that can be locked. Burglars are known to drill a hole in the plastic of your window and unlock the window by pulling the handle with a string through the hole. If you have a handle that is locked you can prevent this.
In combination with a handle lock you can also have a bar on the window frame that locks at the top and bottom so that it takes quite a lot more effort to force the window.
There are probably even more ways to make your house burglar proof but these are in my opinion useful suggestions for all budgets. Don’t wait till they get inside your house to start thinking about protecting it.
Take care and good hunting,