You could say that Spain is quite a safe country, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody enjoys the same levels of protection.
Although this isn’t something I tend to share with my colleagues, I’d say that overall expats are more at risk, but this comes down to two issues: language and a lack of local knowledge.
With regards to language, when you have a problem communication is more challenging which means that things are resolved more slowly. Secondly, concerning a lack of local knowledge: all citizens know the usual habits of criminals in their country, meaning that they might be more at ease when confronted with a dangerous situation, whereas for us expats all situations are new and unfamiliar.
For this reason, I decided to protect my house, as although admittedly the risk is low, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What’s more, this is the only environment which I can fully control, as in the street I rely on other people and their willingness to help in the event of an attack, in other words, something that doesn’t depend on me.
I looked for home protection and defence solutions and there were various options, but out of them all I opted for a Securitas Direct alarm, which is Spain’s leading security firm (through a promotion offered by HolaBank).
One important point, armed self-defence is not approved of in Spain, so you should rule out this approach in case it is permitted in your country. Furthermore, you are required to have a state license to own a firearm.
As I was saying, the Securitas Direct alarm is the best as it offers a feature which I really appreciated and struck me as highly innovative: ZeroVision, a defence system (which is legal) and which fills your house with smoke meaning that a burglar wouldn’t be able to see. But don’t worry, the smoke will in no way harm your family.
The alarm also works over an ATN network, which cannot be disrupted with the use of blockers, in contrast to alarms which work using WIFI, 3G or radio. In addition to this, it includes early warning systems, meaning you’re able to defend yourself against an intruder before any break-in with sensors fitted to your doors and windows.
Nevertheless, despite this alarm being one of the best on the market, if not the best, insuring your home is also advisable, in case the alarm fails or for more everyday occurrences, such as your son leaving a tap running in the bath.
For good home insurance I would recommend HolaBank, the organisation I am now working with. HolaBank (otherwise referred to as “CaixaBank”) has specialist offices for expats, meaning they’ll be able to help no matter where you’re from. I personally haven’t had any problems with them.