Keeping your home security up to date will help prevent unwanted visitors from your home and keep your valuables safe.
No-one wants to have their home broken into or items stolen, it’s a highly unpleasant experience and but according to FBI crime figures on average, there is a burglary in the USA every 23 seconds, and an attempted burglary every 40 seconds in the UK.
I recently became part of these statistics, my family and I were unfortunate enough to go through the experience of having people try to gain entry to our property.
Early on a Thursday morning, around 2 am there was a loud bang from our back door, and three burglars were trying to break in and steal whatever they could get their hands on.
Fortunately, I disturbed them before they got very far and they did not get into the house but they could have.
So I decided to review my home security and upgrade where I could, to make sure that they would be kept out even if I wasn’t at home.
Here are my top tips for improving your home security and making your home a safer place.
Home Security Tips
- Install an alarm, having an active alarm is an obvious deterrent to would-be intruders, many will simply look elsewhere rather than try to and chance setting off an alarm.
- Use smart lights/timers – if you plan to be away from your property for any length of time, make it appear that someone is home by setting lights to come on when it becomes dark using local timers or apps for companies like Hive
- Fitting wireless window alarms means less wiring and gives your windows an added deterrent
- Update or add window locks. Increase the security of windows by adding locks to the handles or frames, depending on the type of style of window you have, always opt for a key release type lock. Using Sash Jammers for example really adds security
- Update door locks – Update and upgrade your door locks by using Anti-snap Euro Locks they are easy to fit check out the podcast and blog post
- Hide valuables – don’t leave wallets, handbags or easy to pick up items like mobile phones or laptops downstairs always bring them upstairs at night.
- Install a safe to keep documents and valuable, choose one that fits the items you need and look for safes with at least 30 mins fire resistance.
- Keep keys in a safe place, don’t leave keys by front or back doors, they are obvious places for criminals to look, move them upstairs at night, keep them in a safe when you are away.
- Put car keys inside a metal tin to avoid scanning.
- Check your security regularly make sure lights, cameras and locks are all working on a weekly basis and check smoke detectors once a month and replace batteries regularly
- Install CCTV, with the latest wireless units, security cameras are much easier to install and use these days and can be a great deterrent against criminals. Choose a wireless model that suits your budget.
- Install External/security/flood lights – putting up security lights not only deter criminals as they don’t like working in bright areas they also help you to see and move around your property when its dark, check out our blog post on how to install them.
- Secure sheds and outhouses with good quality locks, make sure tools are secure as they can be used to gain entry to your own home.
- Mark or Paint the handles of your tools this makes them unique and helps to avoid them being taken and sold on elsewhere as they can be easily identified.
- Mark valuables with Smart water or UV pens with postcodes and your surname this makes them easier for the authorities to return them if they are stolen and found.
- Use a bar or pipe to brace sliding patio doors. Drop it in the gap between the moving door and the wall.
- Make sure hinges are set inside so burglars can’t force the pins out from outside your property
- If you are going on vacation use a house sitter or ask friends and family to check on the property regularly.
- Turn your telephone ringers down low, a ringing phone is an obvious sign no one’s home and let thieves know you are out.
- Keep valuables in a locked box in the attic/loft space or your children’s bedroom when you are away, avoid keeping them obvious places like the master bedroom or bedside drawers.
- Lock the attic door, especially in a terraced house with share roofs, to stop intruders coming in from above.
- Install digital a door viewer on external doors, you can choose to upgrade to video/audio units which can link to your mobile phones via an app, this gives you updates and will let you know when someone is at your door when you are away.
- Fit security chains to your doors and use them when strangers approach your door to stop them forcing their way in.
- Always ask to see Identification when a stranger or unknown worker comes to your door, and call their office to check they are genuine, but use a website phone number not the one on their card as this can be bogus.
- Fit a letter box guard on your front door to prevent ‘fishing’ which allows burglars to reach door handles from outside.
- Use round door knobs inside front and rear doors, this helps to avoid burglars fishing and makes it much harder to open the door.
- Fit Security grills or bars which can be locked when you are away. But use them with caution when you are at home in the event of a fire they can cause problems escaping.
- Regularly change your alarm code. Consider changing your alarm or door codes once a month especially if you have given the code to workers, contractors.
- Take your keys out of locks at night, this is an easy one and it reduces the possibility of quick access for intruders.
- Using ‘Sold Secure’ padlocks to shed and outhouse doors will slow potential thieves down and act as a good deterrent.
- Install a ‘Shed shackle’, in outhouses and sheds which can be used to lock or chain garden tools or equipment, this helps prevent items being stolen or used to gain entry.
- Use a patent key system to stop people copying keys, as they require forms of ID to make copies.
- Always use high grade BS/US standard locks which meet or exceed legislation and check your house insurance as some companies won’t pay out if the door locks are not up to standard.
- Install handle locks to secure French or patio doors.
- Strengthen your garage door by using plywood and battens on the inside as an added layer of security
- Get a dog, not only do they act as a natural intruder alarm, they are great companions and will keep you fit and healthy with lots of walks. but remember they are for life and need to be looked after and loved too.
- Plant spiky bushes near low windows, they make reaching windows awkward and any scratches will offer up potentially traceable DNA.
- Use gravel paths to increase noise near doors or windows, this will attract attention to anyone walking near them.
- Avoid advertising holidays or trips away on social media, keeping quiet about holidays until you have returned, this is a must, as lots of social media platforms are scanned by potential thieves.
- Yale Grab lock
- Fit shot bolts inside to your up and over garage door, this stops the door being lifted from outside even if the lock is forced open.
- Avoid keeping valuables or documents in the master bedroom, fit a safe in another room or in the attic, better yet have more than one hiding place.
- Make a list of your valuables and take photos or video which include the model and serial numbers, this way you can prove you own them to the police if they are recovered and it helps make insurance claims easier.
- Backup laptops and computers regularly, keep your online data, photos safe by using online servers or external hard drives, try to update them weekly and keep a copy off site in case of fire. You can find out how by reading our post on how to back up and secure your computer data
- Don’t store personal information in one place, keep bank details separate from passports or social security information,
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