Living in a big city like Karachi poses a greater risk of being the target of criminals, amateur and hardened alike, who are looking to make a quick profit from your lapses in vigilance. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, these tips are sure to make your home more secure.

1. Initiate a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’. Not only will this get everyone out of their ‘bubbles’ and get to know each other, it will have a big impact on the security of all residents. There’s safety in numbers, and when you’re all eagle-eyed about any strangers or unusual activity in the neighbourhood, criminals are bound to steer clear of it.

2. Store Your Valuables Intelligently. After all you haven’t watched all those thriller movies in vain. Research shows that though petty thieves scour adults’ rooms, they generally tend to leave children’s rooms alone (they have a heart?!). The kids’ drawer is always a better place to hide valuables than your bedside table (and let’s hope no thieves are reading this).

3. Be Vigilant After Maintenance Work. If you’ve had workers in the house, doing plumbing or other repairs, check that all windows and doors are latched and locked after they leave. Sometimes dishonest workers leave them open to gain entry later.

4. Rope in Some Help. If you’re going away on vacation, request a neighbour pick up any mail or flyers left at your doorstep or stuck in the gate. Clever thieves often leave recycled flyers etc. to check if the residents are in town and have picked them up.

5. Place a Security Decal. Of course an actual security system would be even better but taking into account that security systems are quite expensive, if you can’t afford one, you can at least pretend to. Buy a realistic looking decal and place it on your gate or door. It will fool at least amateur adventurers and deter them from attempting a break-in.