The Top Ten Security Tips List
In the UK, it has been proven that there is one burglary that happens every 108 seconds. This means that there are around 34 burglaries that happen in an hour. In order to avoid a terrible experience, we have put together the top ten security tips for you to make sure you are staying safe and reduce the chance of losing your valuables.
In the UK, it’s thought one burglary that happens every 108 seconds. This means that around 34 burglaries that happen within an hour. To avoid a terrible experience, we have put together the top ten security tips for you to make sure you are staying safe and reduce the chance of losing your valuables.
Our Top Ten Security Tips
- Repair or Change Your Door and Locks
- Fit a Smart System
- Data Security
- Plant Security
- Prevent DIY disasters
- Outbuilding / Shed Security Investment
- Make it seem occupied
- Never hide spare keys
- Social Media
1. Repair or Change Your Door and Locks
There are many reasons why you would repair or change your front door locks. Whether it‘s broken, has rusty hinges, there’s problems with door alignment, your door should have frequent checks to decide whether it needs a repair it or if it’s worth replacing the whole door with a new one.
Whether it’s a door or window lock, it’s important to always upgrade and fit the most secure locks to keep security as high as possible. Locks in general are the most vulnerable and weak point to any burglar; if not properly installed and in working order, a burglar will be able to access your home with ease. If you have a uPVC door, it is worth looking into having an Anti-Snap lock fitted. Euro locks found on uPVC doors are vulnerable to a technique called ‘lock snapping’ which gives a burglar access to your home in a matter of seconds. Read here for more information on Anti-Snap locks. Check out our guide on What to Do When Your uPVC Door or Window Won’t Lock here.
Smart locks are another way to change your locks for a better upgrade as they will avoid lost and stolen keys as well as easy control when no one is at home.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Locks Regularly!
Make sure all exterior doors and windows are locking correctly. If you have any problems call a Locksmith to either service or replace your locks.
So, how can you check your locks to see if they are working correctly?
- Testing them – if you don’t use a lock in your house often, like your back garden door for instance, it is best to check every now and then that they still work and are in good condition. Also make sure to regularly check your most used locks and call a locksmith if anything seems out of the ordinary. Not only will this help prevent a burglary, but it could also help you spot a fault before it breaks completely potentially leaving you locked out or in!
- Dirty Locks – Your locks might be faulty due to a build-up of dirt inside the lock. You can attempt to take the lock off to clean it yourself but only if you feel capable to as you do not want to damage your lock and leave your home vulnerable to break-ins or void your home insurance.
- Install additional locks – in addition to your basic lock, why not add some extra security to your door like a chain or a sash jammer? If you have a wooden door, having both a Yale type lock and a mortice will help increase security.
Weatherproof Your Home
Keeping your windows and doors in good nick is vital over the winter as any drafts can be fatal and getting locked out in the freezing cold is no fun game!
Draught proof your windows and doors
Weather Stripping: Weather Strips are an easy and inexpensive way to help prevent the drafts entering your home. The simplest type consists of a roll of foam with a sticky backing that you simply stick to where it needs to be.
Door Sweep: A Door Sweep fits to the bottom of your door and helps seal the gap between the door and the threshold. This allows less heat to escape as well as protecting it from other things such as dust and insects.
Draught Excluder: Another simple, easy and effective way to keep draughts entering your home is to add a draught excluder. This is just a long, rectangular cushion that you place at the bottom of your doors.
Changes in the weather can cause your doors to expand and contract and prevents your door from working as it should. It may be a case that your hinges need loosening or tightening but it is always best to call a professional Locksmith to ensure you don’t accidentally put your security at risk.
Protect Your Locks
Frozen Locks: Over the winter, more moisture enters your locks and if it is cold enough cause them to freeze. Never put hot water on your doors or locks in the winter, unfreeze them with a lighter or hairdryer if you can!
2. Fit a Smart System
The main benefit of fitting a smart system to your house is the “avoidance of confrontation”. This means preventing a burglary and costly damage to any part of your house. Smart home systems include smart sensors and cameras, which can all be connected to a hub that you can control on your Smartphone.
Smart lighting/sensors are usually installed in the garden to draw attention to any suspicious movement before it comes to the house. Smart security cameras, whether indoor or outdoor, scare off burglars as they know they can reveal their identities to the police, besides the house owner’s ability to watch it anytime through the day.
Within the colder months having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be extremely useful to keep your home safe whilst your fireplace and heating is turning on. Having these connected to your smart system means that even when you’re not home, you can be easily notified of potential danger to your house, to keep your home safe.
Burglar alarms and fire/smoke alarms are both crucial when it comes to security. When you experience a home break in, you would want to know as soon as it happens, you would want your neighbours to know, and eventually you would want the police to know. Alarm systems will achieve this purpose. Burglar alarms would make a noise that will draw your attention as well as everyone’s around you.
There is nothing better than an early warning of a threat that can get out of control. Fire alarms are a top security consideration that will help you know about a fire or dangerous smoke, such as carbon monoxide, before it affects someone in a household or a workplace by making noisy sounds for people to evacuate.
4. Data Security
Data security includes many aspects inside a house. From your Wi-Fi, paperwork computers or laptops, a top security tip is to make sure your data is secure as it could be an attraction to thieves. The following are the most important data security tips:
- Use a strong Wi-Fi password
- If working remotely, make sure your devices contain security measures.
- Do not leave any laptops or paperwork in your living room or anywhere that can be of sight.
- Get rid of old IT equipment/devices
5. Plant Security
Plant security can be an unnecessary tip for many people, but plants do get stolen by thieves. If you are particularly a person who is interested in growing plants, it is essential to consider some tips to protect your plants from being stolen and sold at flea markets. The following are the top tips:
- Placing them in heavy pots – this will make it harder to be held by thieves.
- Don’t display your prize flowers – if you have precious or rare plants, it is best to keep them in the back garden
6. Prevent DIY Disasters
According to Aviva, UK homeowners spend an average of £16 billion per year to fix issues with their house that has gone completely wrong. This means that a UK household would spend an average of £589 per year to adjust all house issues.
When it comes to installing any security measure to your house, it is recommended that you hire a professional to help you rather than going to the DIY strategy that could cost you a lot more in the long run. Some security DIY disasters include:
- Wrong security camera DIY installation
- Wrong alarm installation & battery changes
- Door Hardware Repair
- Password breach
- Home coverage – this includes garage door/entrances
- Window lock DIY installation
When you DIY a project, unless you know what you are doing it’s likely you will cause more bad than good and not only can you impact the security of your home, you can actually invalidate your home insurance!
Find out more about insurances in our Guide to Insurance.
7. Outbuilding / Shed Security Investment
It is a well-known statistic that most burglaries in the UK happen during the day. What most people don’t know is that statistics relates to a break in and doesn’t consider the exterior of your property. When it comes to outdoor burglary, this usually happens from 6 pm to 6 am, so we advise investing in security lighting to help prevent this. Although most burglaries do happen during the day, some do still occur at night so security lighting will also protect you from this.
The outdoor area for your house is often neglected even though it has valuables, including garden tools, valuables, or bicycles. Keeping all your gardening tools and expensive valuables inside a secured shed is the best way to help make sure thieves won’t steal them away. A secured shed will help prevent thieves not only from stealing your tools and valuables but also from using these tools to easily break into your house. Here are some ways to keep your shed and garden safe:
- Outdoor lights – ensure there are no dark areas for unwanted visitors to hide and having fully functioning outdoor lights will help deter a burglar during the darker nights.
- Windows – we suggest avoiding having windows in your shed as it could let whoever is looking see if it’s worth breaking in to. If you already have windows, it could be worth applying a film or spray on them to avoid seeing through them.
- Position – don’t place your shed somewhere that you can’t see properly; a burglar will find it a better opportunity to break in if it is in a secluded spot in your garden.
8. Make it Seem Occupied
If you are away, even on a day trip, don’t make your house seem unoccupied. Ensuring you schedule deliveries for days you are home is essential, as a parcel outside your home is an indicator you might not be home. You can avoid piling up the newspaper/mails/deliveries by asking a trusted neighbour to collect it as soon as it is delivered to your house. The following are tips to help you make your house seem occupied:
A great way to make your house seem in use is timed lighting, which you can control by setting a time so they can switch off when it is night-time. Anyone watching your house would assume someone is staying at home, and it could be even worth setting a timer to turn off the downstairs light first followed by the upstairs light.
Car parking is a huge indication that the house owners are not there. A recommended solution is to ask your close neighbours if someone would want to park their cars in front of your house/garage. If they have people coming over during your holiday, offer your car space to them.
Your curtains play a huge role in assuming if the house is occupied. Therefore, consider investing in programmable windows that can be set on time like timed lighting, these can open and shut whilst you are not home giving the appearance of being there. If you find it not worth investing in a programmable window, then leave one or two curtains opened before you go away. Just make sure that all your valuables are hidden properly.
Making your garden seem occupied is also as important as your house. Consider picking all your gardening tools, locking your shed, and preparing heavier pots for your plants. If you are going away for a while, it might be worth investing in timed lighting for your garden as well.
Trimming shrubs and bushes will eliminate places for burglars to hide. Raking leaves, mowing the lawn and keeping the front of your house tidy in general, will indicate that someone is home even if you are absent.
9. Never Hide Spare Keys
Many of us would think of hiding a key somewhere near the door to prevent the hassle and experience of losing or forgetting our keys. However, it should be avoided. Experienced burglars will probably know all the hiding places that you can think of. If you are a person who is in constant need of a spare key, why not go keyless and install a smart lock? Or look at a Keysafe?
10. Social Media
This may not be one you have considered, but social media is a huge hint you are not at home. A survey completed in the UK has shown that 78% of burglars use social media as the main tool to get their targets.
Whether sharing your pictures online when not on a private mode or completing a check in hotel on Facebook, take into consideration burglars might be looking at your social media accounts. A further tip when it comes to social media is to avoid having your address as a default on your social media accounts. What’s even better is to avoid sharing any pictures until you are back home even if you are in private settings.
Extra Safety Tips for Your Home
Spending a few minutes to check over the security of your home every now and then will save you a whole lot of hassle further down the line should something go wrong.
- Locate your stop tap: so you can turn it off should your pipes burst.
- Bleed your radiators: if you have noticed that your radiators are getting hot at the bottom but not at the top it is time to bleed your radiators.
- Gutters and Drains: Clear your gutters and drains to prevent flooding and damp issues.
- Pipes: add lagging to your exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing over, including your outdoor taps.
- Roof: check your roof over for any damages to prevent leaks and draughts.
Keep Your Car Safe
Vehicles always need special attention, whether protecting it from the heat or the cold, you need to keep a close eye to make sure you’re driving safely. Take a look at our top vehicle safety tips below:
- Lights: ensure all your lights are in good working order. If don’t know already, locate your fog lights for when visibility is bad.
- Tyres: check your tyre tread depth, look for damages in the tyres and add snow chains if necessary. Make sure you have the appropriate types on for the time of the year.
- Exhaust Pipe: clear any snow or debris from your exhaust pipe. A blocked exhaust pipe can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Fuel, Oil & Water: check the levels of each of these. Insufficient levels can cause freezing over, talking of which add anti-freeze to your windscreen wash!
- Emergency Kit: add or replenish an emergency kit to your vehicle. Your emergency kit can be lifesaving if you are stuck somewhere for the night. It should include water, snacks, a blanket, and change of clothes, first aid kit, torch, batteries, and a phone charger.
- Heaters & Air Conditioning: ensure your heaters and air conditioners are working in your vehicle, not only to keep you comfortable whilst travelling but to clear your windshield when condensation builds.
- Travelling: plan your journey well ahead of time, check the weather reports and stick to the main roads where they will have more than likely been gritted where needed.
Need a Locksmith?
There is nothing that can make your house 100% secure, but by taking some simple measures you can deter thieves. Look out for sturdy doors and windows or consider replacing them when they are old and worn. Having the locks changed is one of the BEST things you can do to protect your new home.
Hiring a professional Locksmith to fit these is the only way to be sure that your locks are insurance compliant. Keytek® offer a free home security check with every job we do, so if you book us in for the day you move we can appraise your home and give you our best advice on how to keep the burglars away. Talk to the Locksmith about anti-snapping locks and any other doors you need securing such as a garage, gate, or shed as our professional Engineers carry a wide variety of locks on every job.
Security Tips FAQs:
Yes, if you are not very experienced in DIY with home security, call a professional to do it for you as it can cost you more in the long run.
The best ways to keep your house data secure is to choose a strong Wi-Fi password and choose a smart hiding place in your house for all your paperwork and laptops.
Yes, 78% of burglars in the UK use social media as the main tool to find a proper target.