Let's take a look at what you can do to put off a burglar and keep your home safe...
- Top tips to keep your home safe when you're out and about
- Simple tricks to deter burglars from your home
- Clever security updates for the home and garden
How do I secure my home?
- Always keep keys out of sight (including car keys) so they cannot be reached through the letterbox. Hiding house keys in obvious places, like under a doormat or plant pot, makes it easy for thieves to let themselves in.
- Always use the security features you have at home, such as mortice dead locks and alarms. It may be a condition of your home insurance that you do, so please check your documents.
- Install an alarm at home. Keep access codes / pin numbers secret and change them regularly. If you have an alarm system (or even a good guard dog) put up 'Beware' signs as this deters thieves.
- Use timers to turn lights on and off when you are away from home for the night. Ask a trusted family member, friend or neighbour to pick up mail, deliveries and newspapers, as well as put away bins if you’re away longer. If someone can park in your driveway while you’re away, even better.
- Get involved in a local neighbourhood watch scheme. If there isn’t one, see if you can set one up. If not, come to an agreement with your neighbours that you’ll look out for each other.
How do I stop a theft when I'm out?
- Whether you’re using public transport, in a shop or relaxing at the pub, never leave your bag unattended.
- Don't leave laptops, mobile phones or other electricals on show when outside or travelling.
- If you're on your bike, lock it up when you leave it - even if you’re just popping into a shop.
- Don't keep your address with your house keys. If they're lost or stolen, the thief knows where you live. Get locks changed immediately if your keys have been lost or stolen, especially if your address was kept with the keys or there was some other way to identify where you live.
How do I make my home secure?
- Change the locks when you move into a new home, or return to a previously rented property, as the old occupier may have kept copies.
- Make sure the outside of your home is well lit. Exterior lights are important, especially near doors or to the rear of the house, where thieves may attempt to break in. Exterior lighting should be fitted higher up, out of easy reach.
- Always ask for ID from any trades people or unexpected callers and refuse entry to your house if you’re not sure.
- Don't leave items like spades, bricks, ladders or other tools in your garden on show that could be used to break into your house.
- Use an ultraviolet pen to mark your name, house number and postcode on your property. This will make it easier for the police to identify any recovered items that belong to you.
What technology keeps my home safe?
- Invest in Home Security Cameras: Install modern home security cameras strategically around your property, focusing on key entry points such as doors and windows. These cameras can provide live feeds to your smartphone, allowing you to monitor your home from anywhere.
- Smart Doorbells for Enhanced Visibility: Consider installing a smart doorbell with an integrated camera. These devices enable you to see and communicate with visitors at your front door, even when you're not at home. More importantly they also record footage, which can be invaluable in case something happens.
- Motion-Activated Lighting: Well-lit exteriors can deter burglars, so set up motion-activated lights around your home, especially near entry points. This not only discourages potential intruders but also improves night-time visibility.
- Home Automation for Added Security: Embrace home automation to create the illusion of occupancy even when you're away. Use timers to control lights and electronics and consider smart locks and alarm systems that can be remotely monitored and controlled.
Don't forget about the garden...
- Wheelie bins can be used to climb over gates and fences. Try to keep these secure.
- Look round your house to see if you can identify any weak spots, as a thief may see this as the place to gain entry.
- Trellis is a good anti-theft device on fences, as it would break if anyone tried to climb it.
- If you have a long driveway, gravel can put some thieves off as it makes a noise at night when you walk on it.