It’s time to be more security conscious…
As part of your New Year’s resolutions for 2015 it may be worth thinking about being more security conscious when it comes to your home.
Your belongings may mean a lot to you but to an intruder they’re just a way of making quick and easy cash. A burglar can strike at any time day or night but most burglaries can be prevented by taking steps to ensure your home is secure.
Most burglars are opportunists and in 3 out of 10 burglaries access is gained through an open door or window, burglars love it when you make their job easier for them! The following steps will make it harder for them and in turn more likely that they will avoid your property.
When considering how you may want to upgrade the security of your home it is always a good idea to think like a potential intruder. The majority of intruders will look for the best opportunity to break into a property, some will even scope out a property prior to breaking in. Therefore it is important to think about how you can ensure that your property appears as if it is occupied at all times and that there isn’t anywhere external to your home anyone could hide i.e. high hedges or bins.
Which advises that you ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it obvious when you’re on holiday or away from the home? For example, are your curtains always shut or is there lots of unopened post?
- Are windows and doors left open, even if they’re not easily accessible?
- Do your windows and doors have visible locks?
- How well lit is the outside of your home?
- Is there a spare key that’s easily visible, or easy to find, such as underneath the plant pot or above the ledge on the door?
- Are the lights off all the time, making it look like you’re away?
- Do you have high walls or hedges, which could give burglars protection from being seen?
- Is accessing your house noisy for a burglar? For example, is there gravel on the driveway?
- Are there any ladders lying around that a burglar could use to gain entry?
- What equipment do you keep in your shed and garage? What is its value and can it be used to help someone break in?
- How secure is the shed or garage? Is it always kept locked with high-quality padlocks and security locks?
Additional Security Measures
How many of us actually use additional security in our homes? According to figures by Which only 38% of Which members had extra locks fitted to their doors and 32% use a door chain.
As well as having an extra lock or door chain fitted it is also advisable you have the following fitted to your door:
- Spy-hole – Keep out any unwanted visitors! A spy-hole offers 180 degrees of vision allowing you to identify callers before opening the door.
- Hinge Bolts –Mortice fitted hinge bolts are designed primarily for outward opening hinged wooden doors. These offer added protection against forcing the door hinges and are automatically engaged when the door is closed.
- Mortice Bolts – These are suitable for side and back doors as well as French doors. These are fitted to the top and bottom of the door and the bolts are not visible from the outside.
- Letterbox guard/cage – These can be fitted to prevent ‘key fishing’ i.e. a burglar using props such as a coat hanger or fishing rod to hook keys on the inside of the door (Aviva).
Other additional security measures you may want to consider…
- Security lights – Lights with sensors in the garden and front of your property will help to deter a burglar as they are more confident when working in the dark.
- Key Safe – A Key Safe is a secure box where you can safely and securely store your keys without having to hide them or to rely on a neighbour or family member to look after them.
- Leave a light on a timer when you are not at home as it will look like the home is occupied. Other products on the market such as ‘Fake TV’ also act as a good deterrent as these products make it look like someone is watching TV.
- Upgrade the locks on any garages or sheds and if there is a window, fit a curtain to ensure a burglar cannot see what is inside.
When having any additional security fitted to your home it is always a good idea to call a local locksmith. A local locksmith will be able to do a home security and home insurance compliance check on your home and they will be more than happy to upgrade your home security for your peace of mind in 2015.