There used to be a time when you knew all your neighbours, could leave your doors and windows unlocked and even leave a spare key in the garden under a flowerpot or stone. Those days are gone, which is a shame. Not having to worry about home security is a thing of the past. It is reported that there are an estimated ½ million forced entry burglaries in the UK every year (approx. one every minute).
Households are now starting to take home security very seriously, fitting stronger locks, installing better lighting inside and out, and not leaving valuables on show through downstairs windows. But there is much more to securing your home than locks and lighting, it also includes: security cameras, door viewers, safes including fireproof document boxes, personal attack alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, panic buttons as well as simple things like making sure that you lock all doors and windows when leaving the house, keeping hedges and bushes trimmed, making sure fences are in good repair, not leaving tools and ladders in the garden that can be used to gain entry and so much more.
Below are some home security tips that will easily help your secure your home:
- Fit key operated window locks to all your windows.
- Lock all door and windows when leaving the house or even when you’re just out in the garden. Make sure that you double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn the key).
- If you have to leave a spare key outside (e.g. for carers) then make sure that you use a Police Preferred key safe.
- Have visible security devices such as a burglar alarm and make sure that you set it every time you leave the house.
- Install a video doorbell.
- Change locks on doors to prevent lock snapping.
- Install a strike plate to doors if you don’t already have it.
- Install exterior security lighting.
- Have internal lights and a radio or television on timer switches (or Hive or other smart home systems), making sure that the timings are random so that a pattern cannot be established easily.
- Don’t leave any keys, including car keys, near the letterbox and in view (burglars are very good are using hooks through the letterbox).
- Don’t leave valuables on display that can be seen through the downstairs windows (e.g. don’t leave your laptop on the coffee table).
- Secure any small or high-value items and documents in a safe / fireproof box (secured properly to the floor) or in a bank vault.
- Mark all your property with your postcode and house number. You can register your property for free with Immobilise.
- Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition.
- Make sure bushes and hedges and trimmed to limit hiding spaces.
- Make sure any gates to your garden are always locked and in good repair.
- Keep ladders and tools stored away so that cannot be used to gain access to your home (a lot of burglars are opportunistic and don’t carry tools, they will just use what they find around your garden).
- Make sure any external buildings, such as sheds, are secure.
- Secure any bikes at home by locking them in the shed or garage (if you have one), preferably to an immoveable object.
- Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property.
- Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Whilst there is no guarantee that following all the home security advice available will make your home 100% secure, it will deter any thieves and make your home a less enticing prospect.
You can do a lot to secure your home without spending a lot of money, but if you do need to purchase extra security equipment we have been trying out some different security products like security cameras, safes and video doorbell among others. Read our Home Security reviews and see if any of items we have tried will make a difference to the security in your home and give you peace of mind.