Home security is important for anyone and especially for coin collectors so their valuable assets are not at risk, not just from burglars, but also from natural disasters and unexpected events. You may wonder what is the safest way to store coins. Here's how to make sure your family and your coins are safe at home.
1. For many burglars, someone at home is a significant deterrent.
It turns out that many burglars ring the doorbell first. If someone is home, the burglar goes elsewhere. Dogs deter, too, but some burglars have said that they bring treats to the job to fend off even the most ferocious canines.
2. When not at home, program a timer to switch your lights on and off.
Lights being turned on and off create the occupied-home effect. A television with the volume audible from the outside of your home is an effective deterrent, too. Some burglars hearing a TV might go elsewhere without even ringing the bell to check if the home is unoccupied. Leaving a television set on is also helpful during extended hotel stays.
3. A video camera or closed-circuit television is becoming the centerpiece of home security.
A visible, genuine, functional surveillance camera is often considered one of the very best deterrents, in some cases even better than a monitored alarm system. But the camera has to be able to capture footage legally admissible in court. Some security cameras have built-in motion detectors and sirens.
Many do-it-yourself cameras have recently come under fire for losing their recording and notification capacities if the WiFi connection fails. Other cameras have received adverse publicity for their vulnerability to hacking. Increasingly, professionally installed cameras are being used which notify a central station in a remote location in the event of an intrusion, fire, or carbon monoxide event.
4. Use more than one home security system or brand.
Two heads are better than one. In case one system fails, the other is there for you. Some families with security systems that have central station monitoring install a local alarm (one that isn’t connected to the internet or able to dial out) in addition to the professionally installed one. Battery-operated burglar alarms, some with sirens in the 105-decibel range, are available online for under $20. These alarms can be remarkably effective in the event of a failure of the bigger system.
5. Conventional wisdom is evolving regarding displays of alarm system warning signs and decals.
For many years, insurance companies universally recommended putting authentic signs on a home’s lawn or decals on the front door warning of an alarm system. The belief was that the warnings would scare away potential thieves, who would seek out a softer target elsewhere.
The trend might be changing here. Increasingly, we’re seeing former burglars coming forward who say that they were unfazed by security systems; others were able to disable them. And still, others say that the warning signs alerted them to residences with items of value. There seems to be some agreement, however, that security camera signs do deter burglars. Check with your insurance carrier and local police department for guidance on all of this.
6. Keep digital copies of your coin transaction documentation and insurance policies in the cloud.
In the event of a break-in or other harmful event, physical or computer records could be stolen or destroyed. If possible, record the serial number of each certified coin. Photographs of coins are also helpful.
7. Don’t use fake security system warning signs or simulated cameras.
The names of the fake security companies and simulated camera brands can be easily verified on Google by the intruder. Fake signs and simulated cameras can increase an intruder’s confidence that your premises are unprotected.
8. Secure doors with deadbolt locks.
Metal doors with deadbolt locks (cylinders that can only be activated by keys) provide superb protection when the door is locked and a key isn’t on or around the premises. Burglars look for open doors for an easy hit, and sometimes homeowners, unfortunately, oblige them.
9. Accumulating mail, newspapers and magazines at a door sends a message that nobody is at home.
Coin collectors often get their mail at a P. O. Box, as there is high confidence that valuable packages will be delivered to the addressee and not left on a porch or in an apartment building lobby. Don’t have coin publications sent to your home. There’s no need to advertise that you’re a coin collector or investor.
10. Secure your internet connections, and plug your router into an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), which is effectively a large battery.
Some alarms lose their transmission capacities in the event of an internet outage, power failure or cut wires. Many high-quality alarm panels, such as those from Honeywell, have battery backup systems that are constantly charged and ready. Having backup power for all parts of a home security system, including the alarm panel, can give peace of mind.
This story about home security for coin collectors previously appeared in COINage magazine. Click here to subscribe. Story by Scott A. Travers.