An Englishman’s home is his castle. It’s an adage we all know. And while it may be a little outdated these days, the message still rings true. Castles were built to be secure; to serve as a safe place where we can eat, sleep and spend time with our loved ones. That’s why the experience of being burgled can be so jarring. You feel as though this personal space has been violated, and once the walls have been breached (to labour the metaphor a bit), it can be very difficult to regain that feeling of security. That’s why prevention is always better than cure. To help with that we’ve put together a few of our favourite home security tips to help you keep would be burglars from the gates.
1. DON’T LET YOUR MAIL PILE UP
Nothing sucks the joy out of a holiday quite as effectively as worry. See that pile of newspapers on your neighbour’s doorstep? You don’t want that. It practically yells that you’re not home. Instead, consider having your post held at the local sorting office while you’re away. The Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will do just that, helping to give you peace of mind.
2. BE VISIBLE
While it’s a good idea to keep valuable items out of sight of would be burglars, the exact opposite is true for your security measures. Visible, key operated locks can convince potential thieves to move on to easier targets. Visible locks on sliding doors and garage doors are important too as these are potential entry points for thieves. Make sure to fit all external doors with 5 lever mortice locks and do not forget about the door to the garage! Sliding doors should always have locks fitted to the top and bottom. Need to allow for some ventilation or pet access?
Invest in a lockable window or door restrictor – a Locklatch or PetLatch are easily fitted to any window or door, keeping them open but locked.
3. PUT YOUR DRIVEWAY TO USE
Never leave your car in the driveway when you’re away. A stationary vehicle tells every burglar in the neighbourhood that no one is home. Luckily we live in an age where JustPark exists! Going away for a few weeks? Why not rent out your driveway while you’re at it. It will make your home look occupied while also earning you a few quid.
4. HIRE A PRO
Always ensure that your burglar alarm is annually serviced and maintained by a professional, preferably a member of the National Approval Council for Security Systems. As an added bonus this little bit of extra effort will also help reduce your contents insurance. A definite win-win.
5. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE CRIMINALS
Burglars are professionals too. They do their due diligence and understand the ins and outs (pun intended) of housebreaking better than anyone. That’s why it’s important to think like a criminal when you approach home security. Think about how you would break in and then systematically make these areas more secure.
Not all shrubs are bad for the overall security of your property. Some can even protect your home from burglaries. Keeping your shrubs at a low height will stop intruders from using them as cover. Planting thorny shrubs, will make it far less likely for an intruder to want to.
7. GET WITH THE TIMES
New security gadgets are popping up on a daily basis. We couldn’t possibly cover every security solution out there but we do have our favourites. Glass break detectors can sense when a pane of glass is shattered or broken and trigger your alarm. Place some of these devices on your windows and you’ll be aware of a breach as soon as it happens.
8. GET INTO DIY
All the locks in the world can’t help you if your home is falling apart. Exploiting soft or rotten window frames is child’s play to a seasoned thief. We know it can be a pain but keep up the upkeep, it’s worth it in the long run.
9. HAVE A “DECOY” SAFE
One thing is almost certain, the first thing a home invader will do is ask you where your safe is, and you will be forced to comply. One great solution to this is the “decoy” safe. In the “decoy” safe, be sure to keep some cash in there, less valuable jewellery and perhaps some old passports. This way you give the intruder what they want without handing over your most valuable items and, most importantly, keeping you safe by complying to their demands.
10. HAVE A PLAN
Perhaps the most important home security tips is to have a plan of what to do if your house is broken into and share this plan with your family. This way everyone in the home knows what to do in a moment of urgency – where to go, what to do and who to call. Know what your emergency word is, know where your panic buttons are and where the safe space in your home is (or a safe way to get out). Practice using your safe word with your family and the procedure to your safe room. A few minutes of practice will ensure you all know what needs to be done in a state of emergency.
We hope that these home security tips have inspired you to shake things up a little at home? We’ve tried to provide some tips you might not have seen before. Do you have any of your own you want to share? Get involved in the comments below! We’re in this together.
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