There are few worse feelings than returning home to find that you’ve been burgled; that someone has been inside your house, through your things and taken your prized possessions for their own. Keeping your home safe should be a priority for everyone and here are a few simple things you can do to protect your home.
Home alarm system
Obvious, but still worth mentioning in case the idea slipped through the cracks. If you do have a home security system, a good additional tip is to make sure you change the code regularly.
Your home is 300% less likely to be broken in to with security cameras present. Position them to target important places such as ground floor windows, any doors in to your home or garage and the garage itself – these are all the most likely points of entry.
Hiding and protecting any external wires is an important step if you’ve already got yourself an alarm and/or camera system. Giving burglars an easy way to cut your power and disable your security systems is a less than ideal situation!
Your garden shed
Sheds are often used to store power tools, gardening equipment and bikes – some of which can be an easy target for a burglar. In addition, items such as ladders and hammers can make a burglar’s job much easier in accessing your house, so keep your shed protected with a secure lock or two.
Ground floor windows
Almost 25% of burglars say they get access to a home though ground floor windows. There are varying levels of action you can take here depending on your price range. On the cheap and easy end of the spectrum, you could place some painful plants (think thorns!) in front of your windows or install cameras or some additional lighting around them. Darkness and obscurity are a burglar’s best friend, so motion activated flood lights can be a very effective deterrent. More expensive options include protective window films to make your glass shatter- and smash-proof. A step up from these is having reinforced glass put in to make it even more difficult for would-be burglars to break in at these locations. Window bars are also at this end of the scale and boast a whole range of options to look at, including many that are visually pleasing in case you’re worried about ruining your home’s aesthetic with big, unsightly security bars.
And let’s not forget the simplest thing you can do here – remember to lock your windows and close your curtains or blinds!
Lots of people hide spare keys outside their homes, in case you lose them, forget them inside or have a visitor coming that needs to get inside while you’re not around. Whilst not advisable, if you’re going to go down this route, think carefully about where you’re hiding your key. Burglars aren’t stupid and will check obvious spots for keys before resorting to forceable entry to your home. Anywhere obvious near the door is a big no, so stop looking wistfully at those plants and door mats – and the fake rock isn’t fooling anyone! Also remember that if someone is watching your house and observes you going to the same place repeatedly before entering, they might guess what you’ve got hidden there.
A trusted neighbour is usually a far safer option, or a key safe mounted somewhere discrete on the wall.
Keep your home looking occupied
Going on holiday? It’s important to hide this from any potential burglars. You can achieve this with timers for lights and the TV or radio, either via time controlled plugs or a smart home setup to give the impression that someone is still home. If this isn’t possible, maybe you could invite some friends to stay over while you’re gone. You could also ask a neighbour to pop round and turn things on/off occasionally. They can also pick up your mail for you, another good idea to prevent burglars from realising you aren’t at home.
Think carefully about your social media posting, either before or while you’re on holiday. We know that sounds terrible – but any unsecured Twitter and Facebook posts detailing the times your house is empty can be a huge benefit to a burglar.
Simply not leaving obvious valuables in sight can have a positive effect. If a burglar can look through your windows and see items worth a quick swipe, this increases the chances that they’ll give it a go. This also goes for any sensitive documents that could lead to your identity being stolen. And don’t forget car keys! They’re a quick and easy favourite for pinching, so keep them out of sight at least, and ideally in a relatively secure place such as your bedroom. In addition, if you have some of the latest models of cars that are ‘keyless’, you’ll need to make sure you have the right protective case for your keys to prevent burglars from remotely opening your car and driving off!
Garages are often soft targets, so it’s important to give them as much protection as you can. As mentioned earlier, lights and cameras are great preventative security here. You should also make sure you always keep the doors closed and locked and keep any keys or electric door openers safely inside your home. Redundant locks on any doors or windows can be a good idea, as well as covering any windows to prevent showing off anything a burglar might consider worth breaking in for.
Keeping the outside of your home tidy can help too. Remove any cover that burglars could use, such as trees or large bushes in front of ground floor windows. Make the outside of your home bright and well-lit to dispel any sinister shadows that burglars could hide in. Don’t leave any ladders laying around!
It’s important to consider your locks and keys when it comes to home security. Have you just purchased a new home? One of your first home security pit-stops should be a professional locksmith because there’s no way you can know how many keys are out there – better to be safe than sorry. Changing the locks can generate huge peace of mind here.