5 Top Tips for Securing Your Home this Winter
With National Home Security Month ending only a matter of weeks ago, here are 5 top tips which we’ve put together in conjunction with Duratec Security Solutions for those who missed it and to remind those who just failed to take notice – after all, you may fail to pay attention to matters of your own home’s security, but you can bet all the thieves, robbers and would-be burglars out there won’t.
- Fit and Make Use of a Home Alarm System
There is no two ways about it, and no doubt either; home burglar alarms prevent and reduce crime. This is why the UK police feature it as one of their own top tips via the official UK Police website.
The police also advise placing an alarm system somewhere visible as the mere presence of an alarm fact a house is alarmed is sufficient to deter burglars in a vast amount of cases. Burglars are, after all, and for the most part opportunist thieves. This means that rather than scoping out their victims and ‘casing joints’ ahead of robbing them, as is often portrayed in the movies, in reality burglars are far more likely to simply notice an easy target and make the most of it.
Further, fitting a working and modern home alarm system and remembering to make use of it is likely to reduce you home insurance premiums, as explained via the This is Money website: Insurers will ask householders if they have security measures in place – such as burglar alarms – as part of their risk assessment when calculating premiums. The higher level of security, the lower the risk and this will push down the cost of your household policy. In fact, in 2016 some home insurers will even refuse to insure your home or contents unless you agree to fit a home burglar alarm. Hence, to save money, disappointment and potentially being robbed, get, fit and use a home alarm.
- Do Not Advertise You Belongings
One cost-free, simple and sure way to instantly reduce the likelihood of your home being burgled and your belongings being stolen is to simply refrain from leaving them out and / or on view.
Bikes, gardening equipment (especially ladders!), outdoor toys and machines such as lawn mowers should never be left out when not in use, even for a matter of minutes. A matter of minutes, after all, is all it takes for a thief to be away with your belongings, especially in the case of a bike which they can simply and inconspicuously ride away on.
For this reason, it is also worth investing in a very cheap garden security measure known as ‘Prikka-Strip’. As the name suggests, Prikka-Strips are literal strips of plastic spikes which can be directly affixed to the top of garden fences to deter thieves from climbing over your fence. Barely noticeable aesthetically, Prikka-Strips are available to buy in packs via most DIY and garden stores, including Screw Fix Online.
Meanwhile, it is also important to refrain from leaving valuable such as laptops, tablets and Christmas presents in view of windows. Similarly, never leave keys near to your door or within sight or close proximity of your letterbox. If you want your keys near to the door invest in a key cabinet.
- Secure Outside Perimeters, Fences and Gates
It is no good making use of deterrents such as Prikka-Strips if your garden fences are old, worn out, broken or flimsy. The same is true if your garden gates are also in a state of disrepair – or worse yet, your garden does not even feature a gate where side access is a feature.
Then, and before even worrying about securing your home, it is imperative to secure your garden. To do this, fortunately, is very simple: fix and / or replace old or broken fences and gates. Secondly, ensure all of your garden gates feature suitable and lockable latches. Not only will this deter most would-be burglars it is also likely to reduce your home insurance premiums as well as create a far safer garden in which your children and / or pets can enjoy playing.
- Get to Know and Watch Out for Your Neighbours
Making a point of keeping an eye on your neighbours’ properties and politely requesting that they do the same for you in return does not just help to build community spirit; in areas in which neighbours maintain relationships and know one and another successful burglaries are often lower than in typically more urban and less neighbourly locales.
It is also worth, for this reason, researching whether your local area currently operates a neighbourhood watch network and if so joining it. Meanwhile, in areas where no neighbourhood watch is established it is worth considering setting one up. A great way to meet and get to know those living within your community an establishing a safer community in which to raise your family, you can learn how to go about joining or establishing a neighbourhood watch over on the Our Watch website.
- Invest in Home Surveillance
Finally, don’t just trust the neighbours to keep an eye on your property. Instead, and a far more reliable means of keeping watch over your home, whether you’re there or not, is to purchase a home surveillance camera.
Inexpensive CCTV cameras can be purchased here in the UK for less than fifty quid a piece via the likes of the B&Q website. Cameras in this price range are mostly going to be of the wired variety, but are sufficient in most cases and as with home alarm systems deter potential thieves just through being visibly fitted to your property.
For those willing and able to afford to spend a little more though, consider a more sophisticated kit such as the Netatmo surveillance camera which feeds directly to any smart phone and detects the presence of vehicles, people and animals and will alert you whenever there is movement outside of your property, so you can instantly check it out and see exactly what is going on.
Further, the Netatmo system also features a built in flood light that you can switch on and off remotely, although you do not require the flood light to be switched on to see what is going on outside of your property as the Netatmo camera is fully equipped with infra red technology, making this system one of the most modern, effective and practical kits currently on the market. To learn more about the Netatmo Home Surveillance Camera, head over to the Netatmo website.