Did you know that over 350,000 burglaries were recorded by the Home Office – Police Recorded Crime in the year ending March 2020?
No one wants to think about the possibility of their homes being burgled, it’s a horrifying prospect, but it is vital to remain vigilant when it comes to home security.
There are a number of simple steps you can take to help secure your home and deter burglars. As we are residential and home security specialists, we have had clients contact us about making their homes more secure, and this list of tips below are what we’ve shared with them in the past. Whilst some may seem obvious it’s good practice to remind ourselves of some of the things we should or should not be doing. By taking these steps now, you can rest assured knowing your home is safe and secure.
Before diving into these our tips, consider investing in home insurance as a backup plan in case a burglar does make it into your home and steals any of your valuables. Most homeowners insurance covers theft and burglaries, so if you do happen to be a victim of a break in, you can feel safe knowing your valuables are covered.
Valuables: If you can see it – they can see it too!
Burglars want to be in and out of a property as quickly as they can, a handbag left by the door or a laptop left out on the table will make easy pickings for any home invader. Be sure to store your valuables out of sight, wherever possible. This is a sure-fire way of deterring burglars.
Another helpful tip is to store tell-tale boxes out of sight. If you’ve recently purchased a brand-new TV or maybe a laptop be sure to store the empty boxes out of sight until recycling day. Keep your jewellery hidden in boxes and out of sight.
You don’t want to advertise your new purchase to potential burglars!
In the same vein, some people choose to leave a wallet with cash by the door – this way if a burglar happens to break in, they’ll see the cash, grab it and leave immediately. We recommend you do this at your own risk and decide if this is something you want to do.
A common mistake, which many of us are guilty of making, is leaving keys by the door or on a hook in the hallway. As a homeowner it’s a logical place to put them but it may leave your property vulnerable to what is known as a ‘Fishing Burglary’; long poles or rods with strong magnets are used are to literally fish for keys. Make sure all keys are stored away from exit and entry points and are not visible from outside the property.
You may want to consider installing a letterbox guard as this will help prevent fishing and lock manipulation.
We all love a holiday, there’s nothing better than a change of scenery and maybe even a bit of sunshine, if you’re lucky! Whilst it’s tempting to post your holiday snaps on social media, we would suggest abstaining – you never know who is seeing your posts.
Burglars are opportunistic thieves looking for easy targets. Uncollected post sticking out of a letterbox, the absence of a vehicles on the driveway and lights being off at night may indicate a vacant property to a burglar.
If you are due to go on holiday ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property, collect your post while you are away and maybe even park their car on your driveway, if possible.
If your house is a smart home, you can set your lighting up to turn on and off at random times, making it look like you’re there.
If you don’t have a smart house, it may be worth investing in timer switches for your lights – timer switches allow you to schedule different times for your lights to be on during the day and night.
Home Security Systems
There are a wide range of home security options available, from motion activated security lights to interactive doorbells with recording functionality, all of which will most certainly help deter burglars from targeting a property – the risk of being seen and identified will give them pause for thought. If you are in the position to add these features to your home, it is certainly worth consideration.
CCTV cameras are a great way of keeping your home safe and secure. You can instal discreet cameras wherever you’d like and monitor various locations around your home or property, and can catch any possible intruders in the act. Protect your home with a CCTV camera – you’ll feel safer for it. Many CCTV cameras nowadays stream live to your laptop, phone, or even your smart watch. This means you can always check in on your home, no matter where you are.
You can also instal a burglar alarm, which is usually a motion activated alarm that alerts you if there is movement in your home when there shouldn’t be any. If you have any pets, it is possible to change the sensitivity of the motion sensors to detect only human-sized intruders. This ensures that you can leave your pet safely at home should you happen to be out while knowing that your home is protected against break ins.
You can also set up a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign outside your home, even if you don’t have a dog. Possible burglars will see the sign and be deterred by the possibility of an aggressive dog on the property. Some people even choose to automate occasional barking sounds using their smart home technology to be really convincing.
Keep an eye out for suspicious people
Many burglars look at possible homes to burgle beforehand. If you notice anyone you don’t recognise taking photographs of your home, walking around the perimeter of your home or approaching your home, be wary and contact the police.
Door and Locks
The Master Locksmiths Association and Metropolitan Police recommend asking a locksmith to review your doors and locks to ensure they are in good working order. Inadequately fitted locks and locks in poor condition may leave your property at risk.
If you are in doubt and in need of expert assistance, please feel free to contact Abbey Locks for a security survey and quote. We are approved by the Master Locksmith Association and have been providing locksmith and security services in the North London and Hertfordshire area for over 20 years.
We can assist with the following Home Security Services: –
· Free insurance and security surveys
· Locks fitted to Insurance standards (BS 3621)
· Door reinforcement
· Replacement doors
· Window locks fitted
· Safes supplied and fitted
· Grilles and bars
· Restricted key locks
· Access control systems