Residential Security: Protecting Your Family, Home and Valuables – An Introduction

This article and the rest of the residential security series is for anyone who wishes to increase their level of security at home. Although the series has an emphasis on residential security, this will naturally contribute to an increase in your level of personal security. It is substantially different to the security of corporate, commercial and industrial premises, which will be dealt with in different series of articles. Aviation and maritime security will not be dealt with in the current or forthcoming series.

There are many reasons why you can decide to improve on or increase your level of personal security and similarly the security of your family, home and valuables. Given the value of human life, followed by the product of all your hard work, the decision to increase your level of security should always be proactive rather than reactive.

Proactive reasons include increasing your level of security: for reductions in the cost of insurance, especially in respect of contents insurance; in line with threats such as an increase in local crime involving residential premises; or following recent investment in fixed or moveable assets. These examples are by no means exhaustive. Generally we proactively increase the level of our security as a precaution and simply for increased peace of mind.

Reactive reasons include increasing your level of security as result of: being a direct or indirect victim of a crime, including crimes perpetrated against a member of your household, family or friends; significant changes to personal status such as a substantial increase in your wealth or position; or injury to yourself or others; or as a consequence of ill-health. Again, the examples are by no means exhaustive. Generally we reactively increase the level of our security following ‘incidents’, as a preventative practice against future incidents (actual risk) and again for increased peace of mind in this respect.

The problem is that the latter reactive state requires that you have already suffered damage (including perhaps personal injury) or loss (including perhaps that of life). It is therefore more beneficial to act in a proactive manner rather than a reactive one.

There are many precautions you can and should take to ensure your safety and security. These precautions can be applied to any residential premises and include three core areas of activity, which are to:

First you should assess the nature of risk as it applies to you, your family and your assets, looking at the many factors influencing risk. Secondly you appraise and decide on differing levels and types of controls that can be implemented to manage, reduce or eliminate risk. Thirdly you look at how you should manage and maintain controls and more importantly avoid complacency.


You should carry out an assessment referred to as a ‘risk assessment’ in order to identify hazards, quantify risks, evaluate and implement controls and manage your resulting security system by way of set procedures.