Tips to keep your home as secure as possible
From the thousands of house burglaries committed every year only a very small amount result in the culprit being identified.
Some of the most effective tips on home security are (perhaps unsurprisingly) obvious and almost cliched in their common sense.
Garden, grounds and access security
If your house has a path or access to the rear make sure it is well lit with security lighting which turns on whenever anyone steps on it. Motion detection lighting is relatively inexpensive to get installed but can be a great deterrent.
Locked gates provide an additional layer of security but if padlocks and locking mechanisms aren’t securely fixed the fixings can break with sufficient force which means the locks are inherently useless. Make sure all aspects of the gate are as robust as they can be.
Keep all garden tools locked away in the shed where they belong as leaving them lying around can be a gift to burglars as tools for gaining entry into your home.
Don’t leave important items on view
Household calendar – if your calendar is on view from outside a window it could provide a burglar with just the timetable he needs to target your home. He’ll take note of when you are away for the day, out at an appointment one morning or afternoon and then plan his burglary for when the house is empty.
House keys – It’s amazing how many of us leave our house keys (including spares) in full view and near the front door whether on key racks, in bowls or just lying on a bookcase or chest of drawers. Burglars are adept at using wire coat hangers to reach inside the letterbox to grab them and let themselves in. Even worse is a spare key left outside!
Electronic equipment – it goes without saying that laptops, mobile phones and tablets are a magnet for burglars as they’re valuable and easy to conceal. make sure they are out of site when you leave the house.
Look after your burglar alarm!
There are many telltale signs a burglar can look for if he wants to take advantage of your house alarm. If the box outside is dirty it might indicate that the system is old and easy to bypass or might be ignored by neighbours if it goes off regularly. If the burglar gets inside your house, a dirty alarm keypad will show up the most used keys
Always keep ALL your alarm equipment looking clean and as new and serviced regularly.
Social media and home security
When you share your photos on social media while you’re away on holiday, it only takes a couple of Likes, Shares or ReTweets for all your friends’ friends to know where you are. You are running the risk of advertising to a huge number of people that your house is empty. Wait until you are home before you share your memories online.
Further advice on home security
Before cuts to many local policing services you could arrange for your local Crime Prevention Officer to visit your home and advise on how best to keep it secure. While this is still possible in some areas it’s not as available as it used to be. Alternatively, there are many crime prevention websites who can offer more detailed advice.