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Living In A Village House - Hungary (Central Europe)

Property Protection - Security Fence - Burglar Alarm

Living in a Hungarian village, whether it be rural/remote or within a community, may sound romantic, but the truth is that property will still need some form of security protection, at some point, to ward off burglars and petty thieves; especially if you are not living in that property all year round.

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What is appropriate and needed security will depend on your level of perceived threat versus genuine high risk in the neighbourhood, taking into consideration that you will stand out in your neighbourhood as a "Foreigner" whereby your neighbours may automatically assume you have a house full of valuable goods to steal. With this said: Below I have highlighted some of the PROs and CONs commonly associated with main security measures.

The Use Of SECURITY CAMERAS

PRO - Security Cameras can be installed, just like on a UK property, but should only record the inner and outer boundaries of your property. Meaning, they should not really be filming your neighbour's property; or the main road.

CON - Security Cameras only act as a deterrent at the end of the day. A persistent, knowledgeable, professional burglar who knows your neighbourhood well will not see your security cameras as a challenge; especially as they will wear dark clothing, a mask and gloves to disguise their identity. In fact, they may have picked your property because of its high security level; believing you have valuable goods worth stealing and doing prison time for.

Another thing to consider is that courts do not normally convict burglars unless your security cameras have recorded clear/sharp pictures that are so good they cannot be challenged; even if the police are certain of who burgled your property.

The Use Of A BARKING DOG

PRO - Investing in a security dog, that barks every time someone comes onto your property, is potentially a great deterrent that should scare off any intruder.

CON - One major downside of investing in a dog is that someone has to be living in your Hungarian property all year round. It is no good asking a neighbour to look after your dog and property if they become the burglar, which is quite common in Hungary unfortunately.

You also need to consider your neighbours in regards to the noise your dog will cause in the neighbourhood in general. And if your neighbours have security dogs too... There are many small villages in Hungary with security dogs in most homes whereby the noise levels are unbearable and cause more neighbourly disputes than are needed. In other words, not worth the hassle.

The Use Of BURGLAR ALARM

PRO - Investing in a Burglar Alarm system should be a must for you, especially if you have no one staying in your Hungarian property all year round. Your insurance company should be happier too.

With advancements in technology, these days a good Burglar Alarm system can automatically inform the police and you of a property intrusion whereby the response police are called to your property within minutes as a 'potential intrusion' callout; especially if they cannot reach you via phone for example within the first couple of minutes. It would be common sense to give the police and/or your security firm a set of house keys and to let them know each time you leave Hungary.

CON - A Burglar Alarm system can malfunction at any time, due to it being computer-based, whereby you may be charged by the police and/or your security system provider for each 'false callout'. Also, your neighbours will not want your burglar alarm to go off all night long.

The Use Of SECURITY FENCE

Many walls and fences in Hungarian villages are built to 'head height' maximum (i.e. 1½ Meters) and are normally half see-through (i.e. with railings as opposed to being to a solid brick wall) with double gates for a car entrance and/or a single gate with lock for main entry.

PRO - Although wrought iron security gates are used more to mark out property boundaries and keep your garden items safe for example whereby the gates are painted to make the property look more attractive, security-wise they are a great deterrent. If you want extra security at the top of your fence (or wall), do NOT use barbed wire or cut pieces of glass (see below). Keep things simple and have some pointed wrought iron sticking out at the top.

CON - Some people wrap barbed wire on top of their fences for extra defence. However, I would NOT recommend doing this because these days even a burglar can sue you for cuts to their hands/body; even though they are trespassing on your property. So do NOT add things to the top of your fence that could harm a potential burglar.

The Use Of SECURITY LIGHTS

PRO - Security Lights are another great deterrent these days. They come on/off as a car or person enters your property. If you have good neighbours who frequently look towards (look out for) your property, they have a better chance of seeing who is entering your property in lamp light.

CON - Security Lights are not much of a deterrent to a persistent burglar who knows no one is in your property. They will knock on your front door a few times, at different times of the day on different days (as a tester) with no answer from you; giving them the knowledge that your security lights 'only come on as a deterrent'.

The Use Of SECURITY BARS & SHUTTERS

PRO - Security Bars around doors and windows are pre-burglar alarm. Love them (great security) or hate them (they look ugly), security bars are not just a deterrent, they do actually put off a burglar from entering your property; especially when you have Shutter Blinds fitted to your windows too.

The Use Of NEIGHBOURS / COMMUNITY

If you are not going to be staying in Hungary all year round, while you are away you might consider paying a local gardener to maintenance your garden once a month, a security firm to check over your house at least once a week, a cleaner to clean your house just before you return (and to check that your mailbox does not get too full) and a neighbour to pay your utility bills (if they cannot be done online). Hence why it is imperative to build-up a good repport with those in your local community.

How Secure DO YOU NEED?

Obviously, the more security measures you put into place the more attractive your property becomes to a burglar. Before doing anything it would be worth contacting your local council to ask them what can and cannot be installed and actioned; down to the point of what materials and sizes you can use, how many security measures you can put in place and what you can legally do. As well as what would be illegal of course.

An example of the just said would be to check the allowance of fitting an Electrified Fence - An electric fence is designed to control animals whereby it has to have warning notices on it. Hungarian law states that it is trespass to cross a fence, and fence does NOT have to be substantial to make a case. From the law's perspective a piece of string between two posts is as valid as a 2 Meter high brick wall and probably just as useful unless the burglar is stealing your furniture. If there is no fence then there is no trespass simply because the property's boundary is classed as undefined/unknown.


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