These days the majority of us have a great deal of expensive items in our homes. In fact the average home is likely to have several flat-screen TVs, a couple of laptops, games consoles and a stack of games, iPods, smartphones etc. Despite this fact, some people still take a fairly relaxed approach to home security, which leaves them open to burglary, theft and damage to their properties. However, there are several simple ways in which you can protect your belongings and give yourself peace of mind:
Install an alarm system – Having a burglar alarm fitted is one of the best deterrents to a potential intruder. Ensure that the external bell box is clearly displayed on the exterior of your home so that potential burglars are aware that your home is alarmed. Crime such as burglary is usually higher in large cities, so it’s common to find many homes with alarm systems in London, Manchester etc as they feel more need to protect themselves. But that doesn’t mean that if you live in a remote part of the UK that you can get away with not having an alarm, they’re always worth investing in!
Secure your windows – Make sure that all of your windows, particularly those on the ground floor, are fitted with locks that meet the correct security standards; and don’t leave the key in the lock whilst the window is open. Double glazed windows offer more security than single glazed windows as they are harder to break through. It’s also a good idea to make use of curtains and blinds to ensure a potential burglar can’t spot your valuables on display through a window.
Secure your doors – Ensure that all of your external doors are fitted with 5 lever mortise deadlocks or a 3 point multi-locking system. Door locks should comply with BS3621 standards as these are the most secure locks and they can also help to lower your home insurance premiums. If you can afford the expense then it’s worth replacing any wooden or hollow-frame external doors with a solid type of door such as a Rockdoor as these are virtually impossible to kick off their hinges.
Secure your garden – Make sure any tools or ladders are locked away in a secure shed or garage when not in use. If a burglar can see them then he can use them so keep them out of sight and don’t take the risk! Keep any large hedges or bushes trimmed back so that your home is not obscured from view; don’t give an intruder anything to hide behind. Plant some thorny shrubs like holly around the perimeter of your home, particularly under windows; a potential intruder will be deterred by the prospect of getting scratched and leaving blood and DNA behind.
Light the area up – Burglars like dark areas where they can easily skulk around and break into your home undetected. External security lighting acts as a great deterrent to an intruder as they don’t like to be seen. It’s a good idea to keep your home well lit from the inside as well. Invest in a timer to control your lights whilst you’re away from home; you can find them at your local hardware store fairly reasonably priced. Set your lights to come on and go off at certain times and your home will appear lived-in even when you’re out for the evening or away on holiday.