Sunday, July 27, 2008

Making Villas Andrea safe

When there is a lull in the number of break-ins, folks can get a tad complacent about their security. However, for all our sakes we need to be vigilant at all times so that thieves get the impression that visiting Villas Andrea is a waste of time.

There are simple precautions that we can take at very little cost. Just to remind you of the advice from one of our Committee members who is an ex-policeman:-

  • Lock all your doors and gates when you go out - even for a short while.
  • If you have an alarm use it.
  • Leave a light on in your house at night when you are out. Make sure the light can be seen through your shutters.
  • When you go away, use a timer connected to a light to make it look as if you are still there.
  • Leave a radio on when you are out.
  • Putting the outside lights on gives the impression that someone is in the house.
  • Hide you valuables somewhere totally unobvious.

Security experts who have looked at our properties say - the main doors are about as secure as you can get; the grills on the windows are firmly built into the walls and would resist all but the most determined attack.

The weaknesses are the aluminium doors fitted on some models of houses. In all cases these are protected by some form of steel security gate. However, these security gates have revealed potential flaws in their design.

The eurolocks that were fitted to the steel gates protrude out sufficiently to make them easy to snap. The answer to that is to have caps welded on to protect them. Some people have gone a stage further by changing the locks for single sided ones so there is no lock visible on the outside.

The hinges on the gates are simply wrapped around the pins making them easy to open with force. It is a relatively simple job to replace the hinges with more substantial ones or failing that have the wrap around welded to make them stronger.

A further step is to have extra locks fitted to the gate. You can have steel loops welded on to take padlocks or have extra locks fitted above and below the existing one. The type that hook into the frame are probably better than the one already fitted.

The frame for the gate is securely fitted to the wall but is still vulnerable. That can be easily remedied by having lugs welded on to take extra long screws into the wall.

If we work together, we can make Villas Andrea a safer place for us all. I'm aware that many of you have already taken measures to make your properties secure. Sharing your ideas would benefit all of us. You can email me at if you have some ideas that you are willing to share.

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