Home Security Tips
Burglary can be emotionally devastating and financially costly, but by taking just a few simple precautions you can reduce the chances of it happening to you. Read our tips below to help find ways you can secure your home.
Protecting your home
Doors are usually the first point of entry or exit for burglars, so it’s important to secure them effectively;
- For safety and security, fit a door chain and spyhole
- Consider fitting your letterbox with an internal cover plate and don’t leave your keys in or near the door, as they can be removed through the letterbox
- It's important to check the frame is strong enough to support the door, hinges and lock
- Fit a door frame reinforcer to help provide additional support to the door frame
- Locks for your property should be certified to British Standard BS3621 or in the case of your home being a flat or maisonette above ground level, locks certified to British Standard BS8621, to meet fire safety recommendations
Windows are often used to gain entry or exit to properties after a burglary, therefore properties with windows left open can be a target. To keep your home safe, ensure you;
- Close and lock all windows, even if you’re only popping out for a few minutes
- Make sure all windows are fitted with the correct locking system for that type of window
- Ensure windows in accessible areas or on the ground floor are double glazed or made with toughened glass
- Avoid leaving keys or valuables near windows
There are a few different ways you can deter a burglar;
- Exterior lighting is a useful addition to have to support perimeter security. Passive infra-red is commonly used and is activated when someone comes into its field of vision. It can be set for a certain length of time and will re-set when there’s no-longer anything in its sight
- Leaving lights on in the house can give passers-by the assumption that the house is occupied, when in-fact no one’s in – the best place to leave a light on is in the front room, or a room passers-by may notice
- There’s also simple yet effective and sophisticated automatic devices which can switch your lights, TV and radio on in a random fashion, convincing a burglar that the house is occupied
By making simple changes in your garden, you can help prevent burglars from entering your home;
- Try to keep your garden neat and tidy so burglars can’t hide
- Consider laying your drive way with gravel as it’s impossible to walk on without making a sound
- If you have a garage, try to keep your car, bike and other valuables locked away and ensure its locked when not in use
- Install an alarm system or security cameras for extra security
- Fit security lighting with sensors
It’s important to secure gates and fences to make entry more difficult for burglars;
- The cross members of a wooden gate can be covered with panels, making it more difficult to find a foothold
- Wrought iron gates tend to be a deterrent as burglars can be seen through them and they’re not as easy to climb
- Have at least two locks on your gate
Studies reveal those with correctly fitted and well maintained burglar alarms are less likely be a victim of burglary, but an alarm should always be part of a complete security package. Visit the National Security Inspectorate or Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board for approved installers.
- Your alarm should always be installed in a visible place
- There are both hard-wired and wire-free systems depending on preference
Marking your property
Marking your property is a great way to protect your valuables and it will make them more identifiable to the police.
- The Police use an Immobilise website to check when mobile phones have been lost or stolen - if your phone is found, the Police will check this database to ensure you’re reunited with your valuables
- bikeregister.com offers a similar service - warning stickers and other marking products are available
- UV pen lights can be used when the above measures have been taken; mark your belongings with your postcode using the pen (which is invisible to the naked eye), and label your product with the stickers provided
- Take detailed photos of your property, as an alternative to marking your possessions
Not all burglars break into homes, some con their way in claiming to be from Gas or Water companies. There are ways you can help identify people who come to your door, but if you’re ever unsure, please call 999 immediately and ask for the police.
- If someone knocks your door always look out of the window first or use your spy hole
Ask the caller for identification, the Utilities now give a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identification
- Beware of callers who may try and distract you by claiming they have seen something which urgently needs fixing at the other side of the house just so you leave your home – there may be an accomplice awaiting this distraction
- If you are still unsure, don’t let them in – ask them to come back when you can arrange for someone else to be in the house with you
You may also be interested in our Home Insurance. Your mortgage lender will usually insist that Buildings cover is in place and adding Contents cover can give added peace of mind when it comes to protecting your home and possessions inside.
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