HDB and home security

One of my least favorite things about my place is the windows… the corridor ones of course. It’s the fact that they are even facing a corridor that irks me.

Other than the loss of privacy, and the noise (from noisy kids mostly, sigh) that really depends on the neighbors that you have, greater security risk is probably something that all HDB dwellers with corridor units face.

You see, no matter that you may have some high-tech biometric electronic door lock, I hear that many HDB break-ins occur via the windows.  As you can read from this recent news report, a burglar managed to break into 145 flats to steal $903,175, mostly from those located along corridors.

So to address our (mostly mine I think) security concerns, we installed a monitored home alarm system at home. Of course, it comes with a prominent label that we stuck outside our unit to deter would-be burglars. Actually, this is one of the protective measures recommended by the National Crime Prevention Council (read more below).

Even if your flat is located on a high floor and is not a corridor unit, don’t think that your flat is secure… burglars can climb through windows located next to stairs landing or corridors. E.g.

For those renovating your homes, you may also want to be careful not to move in too many valuables during the renovation… those metal chains with number locks commonly used to secure the door can be easily cut or broken. Items that have been reported stolen include furniture, refrigerators, DVD recorders, home theatre systems, ceiling fan lights, cables… and even door bells.

I thought I’ll end this article with some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council:

Physical Protection

  • Main doors should be of solid construction and fitted with a good-quality mortise lock with a dead bolting feature (where a key is needed to lock and unlock the door).
  • Reinforce all doors with iron grille gates together with metal clasp and a close-shackle padlock.
  • Install hinge bolts or weld the hinges of grille gates to prevent lifting.
  • Fix door peephole, latch chain and surface latches on the main doors.
  • Install windows with iron grilles and good quality key-operated locks.
  • Install a burglar alarm.

Preventive Measures

  • Lock all doors and windows when leaving the home unattended, even if it is for a short while.
  • Keep large sums of cash in banks and jewelry in a safe deposit box.
  • Do not hide your keys under the door mat, in flower pots or on top of the electricity meter box outside the house.
  • Leave the radio on and a light on at night to give an “at home” appearance.
  • Cancel all deliveries (e.g. newspapers) when you are away from home for a few days.
  • Change all locks when the house keys are lost or stolen.
  • Ask your immediate neighbours to keep an eye on your house for any unusual occurrences.
  • Inform your Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) or Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) when you are away on vacation.

More info here:  Preventive Measures- Do You Know How?

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