Living in a desirable property may bring you many benefits, but it also comes with the added risk of burglary. Though it is not something you want to dwell on, it is certainly something that you should be well prepared for, so that any potential invasion of your home proves unsuccessful.
While statistics seem to indicate that the number of domestic burglaries is decreasing, it doesn’t mean homeowners should become complacent about home security. This is especially important if you take regular trips, are away from home a lot due to work or other commitments, or if you have multiple properties.
Being prepared is key and there are a number of simple steps you can take to protect your home and keep you and your valuables safe. Read on for seven useful tips for securing your property this year and beyond.
Keep all doors and windows locked
If you are leaving the house unattended, even if it is only for a short period of time, make sure all your doors and windows are securely fastened. In most cases, burglaries are opportunist crimes, so don’t invite burglars into your home by giving them an easy access point. Make sure you remember to set alarms and lock any gates prior to leaving home, and remember it may only take a thief a few minutes to get in and out of your house.
Lock away ladders and tools
Leaving out ladders or tools is another way to help a burglar into your home, and this is certainly something you want to avoid. Ladders offer thieves an easy way to access the upper floors of any property, where windows are more likely to have been left ajar. Most type of DIY tools, when placed in the hands of a skilled burglar, can be used to break into your home. So, always try to ensure that ladders are put away and if tools are stored in a garage or shed, make sure it is safely locked.
Don’t leave valuables on display
As previously mentioned, most thieves are opportunists, so leaving valuables in full view at any time could be considered an invitation to them. Always try to ensure when you are out of the property that you close blinds if you have them or make sure any valuables are hidden from plain sight.
Install security lighting
Security lighting around your property can prove a good deterrent to any would be thief. Floodlights should ideally be placed all around the home with a special focus on doors and entrances. You can use smaller lamps to illuminate the patio and decking areas, which can be an attractive addition to your garden while also acting as a deterrent. Another lighting option is motion sensor lights which can surprise and deter would be burglars.
Consider installing a quality security alarm or CCTV system
The installation of a quality burglar alarm will usually act as a serious deterrent. Burglars in most cases are on the lookout for an easy target, so if the choice is between a house with a security system and one without they will generally take the easier option. While having an alarm system doesn’t guarantee you won’t be burgled, it can significantly reduce the odds. Other smart features such as a video doorbell can be useful, while footage from CCTV you have installed can also be used to assist the police with any investigation.
Upgrade your door and window locks
Quality door and window locks will automatically make it more difficult for thieves to gain entry to your home. We spoke to Forth Locks who gave us the following advice:
“It is advisable to have locks that fit properly and conform to British Standard BS3621. If you contact a reputable locksmith, they will review your door and window security including internal doors to conservatories and garages. They will be able to check you have the appropriate locks and that they are in good condition and properly fitted, and they will also be able to check that your locks fully meet any conditions laid down by your insurers.
“At Forth Locks we pride ourselves on being members of the Master Locksmiths in Edinburgh. This means all our locksmiths are fully vetted and qualified having passed the MLA exam. As a result, we are ideally placed to ensure your door and window locks are affording you the best protection available to you.”
Make your home looked lived in
Making sure your home continues to look lived in when you’re not there will help deter would be thieves. If you are going to be out or away on holiday put things like lights, TVs and radios on timers to give the appearance that the house is occupied. It is also important to remember to cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries and ask a neighbour to put your bins out if need be.
While we all like to share the experiences of our holidays with friends, avoiding posting dates of an upcoming holiday or pictures while you are away on social media. This will help to avoid alerting thieves online to the fact your house is empty.