Category Archives: Security in Portugal

Though much safer than most countries, it still pays to be prudent. So helpful advice is on offer to help your house and contents stay safe.

Fire spreading

Fires in Portugal

Fires in Portugal

 Fire spreading

It can be alarming and saddening to witness the Fires in Portugal.

 

Most people who have a full time home or holiday home here worry about the Fires in Portugal and the effect that the Fires in Portugal will have on the value od their property and their ability to insure a hone against the Fires in Portugal.

Its a fact we have Fires in Portugal every year. Normally during the hottest period of the year July – August and September.

Usually people are not killed and few properties are actually destroyed by the Fires in Portugal. Occasionally like in 2017 things are bad and many people are killed.

So what can you do to protect your own life and that of your family and pets from the devestating fires in Portugal.

1, Don’t buy a house in a highly forested area.

2, Don’t live in a wooden or timber house

3, Old houses with their very dry timber roofs are often set alight by brush fires nearby concrete roofs are safer.

4, Clear the land of weeds, grass and shrubs around the perimeter of your land. Make a 4 meter wide clear band.

5, Make sure that your neighbors’ are obeying the law by cleaning their land along your perimeter. If you are not you can ask them to carry out the work promptly or ask the Camara to enforce the law and contact the owners.

6, Make sure that your neighbors’ are obeying the law by clearing the trees on their land along your perimeter if they are too close to your home. If you are not you can ask them to carry out the work promptly or ask the Camara to enforce the law and contact the owners.

7, Make plans to have a water spraying system or enough large bore hoses to reach all around your property. Preferably at the perimeter so that you can wet down large areas before the fires reach you. You will need a motorized pump and a water source like a swimming pool or well.

8, You cannot rely upon the public water supply having any water that you can use or for the electricity to work as over land wire become rapidly burnt out in a Portuguese fire.

9, If you are not living permanently in the property you must have the land cleared regularly and have a neighbor who will react to save your property in the event of a Portuguese fire.

10, Planning aids prevention. Just hopping for the best will cost you dear in the long-run.

Doors

Having a house renovated or built from scratch allows us the opportunity to install new back and front doors.

We tend to think about style first, then maybe the material it’s going to be made from and then cost and finally security features. Which is a little out of sync with what a door is supposed to do. Secure your home and keep out the weather!

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What kind of door to choose

If you ever watch the Police programs on TV where they carry out raids on suspects homes you will have no doubt noticed that even a very strong UPVC door with a multi locking system is only able to stand 30 seconds of real force before it buckles and bursts open.

Thankfully in Portugal we are very unlikely to have our homes attacked with such ferocity. Unless you are a part time drug lord or gun runner that is.

Install strong locks in your doors

Install strong locks in your doors

You door is probably (if ever)  only going to suffer the attentions of an opportunist thief or someone may attempt to drill out the lock which requires time and makes a lot of noise.

Most modern external doors here in Portugal are made from either wood, UPVC or aluminum.

 

The aluminum doors and windows are broadly similar to the UPVC products that you will have experienced in the UK. They have multi point-locking systems and are usually trouble free in operation.

One word of caution – make sure that you have hardened lock barrels fitted not the normal ones. These are cheap to buy but resist being drilled out very well.

Aluminum doors come in all sorts of colours and are available in many kinds of wood grain finish. I prefer aluminum because it withstands the huge range of temperatures experienced in Portugal and also withstands the summer heat without buckling or jamming. In the case of an emergency like a house fire the doors and windows will not jamb shut.

If you are about to choose windows or doors for your home in Portugal why don’t you request our free check list so that you can be sure each supplier is pricing for the same standard of product.

A quick look at wooden doors. The reason for the “quick look” is that in general I don’t recommend them. Unless that is they are made of well-seasoned, good quality hardwood. If you’re paying less than 1,000 Euros a door they wont be.

Inferior doors including those made by your local friendly carpenter will not be made of the correct quality or properly seasoned timber.

As a result this will happen.

The door will expand and stick in the frame making it hard to open and close. When it is shaved a little to make it fit. It will become loose and rattle in the summer. It will also twist and bow because of the high temperatures and high humidity.

The yacht varnish, micro porous eco paint, traditional gloss paint or teak oil that you decorate the door with will need to be taken off and replaced every year or certainly every three years even if the door is located under a porch.

I say this as an experienced carpenter and disappointed home owner who has in the past succumbed to the temporary charm of a nice wood front door!

Grand Entrance

We may not all have the charisma to carry of the “Grand Entrance” when entering a room but we certainly can have a Grand Entrance when it comes to designing our home in Portugal.

There is something special about arriving at a home positioned behind a large set of gates or a door.

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Large wooden door

Another advantage is that apart from security you can surround the drive to your front door with colourful plants which add to the impact when the doors are opened.

The style and type of timber used needs to be selected carefully of it will split and warp. But if you get it right you can have an entrance to your home like this –

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Give your home a real entrance

If your finances dont run to the cost of one of these doors Castelo Construction can help with advice on the best type of entrance for your Portuguese home without breaking the bank.

 

contact info@casteloconstruction.com    We work throughout Portugal