A secure roof over your head is one of our most fundamental needs. Your home doesn’t just keep you warm and dry; it also keeps you safe and gives you a place where you feel comfortable and carefree. The last thing that you want is to spend your time worrying about someone violating the sanctuary of your home. The thought of someone breaking in and damaging or stealing your property isn’t one you normally want to entertain.
With statistics from police.uk showing crime and burglary in Nottingham has risen from 23 police reported incidents per 1,000 people in 2015 to 33 per 1,000 in 2018, it pays to review your home security and ensure your property is as secure as possible. By acting now, you can avoid problems and expense later.
There are a variety things you can do to improve your home security. We’ve worked with the home security team at Locksmith Nottingham to bring you this comprehensive guide:
- Check and upgrade your exterior locks and doors
If someone wants to get into your home, they’ll be checking the doors and windows for any vulnerabilities. The first step that you should take to improve home security is to carry out a security audit and check the strength of your external doors. By installing high-security anti-snap locks on all of your external doors, you can create a better line of defence for your home. Depending on the age and construction of your existing doors, it might even be a good idea to consider getting new external doors.
- Check your windows
Windows are another easy entrance point for criminals if they don’t have decent security in place. Windows are often a weak point in homes because people don’t think about them as a point of entry to their property. If you don’t secure them properly, it could not only increase your chances of a break-in but also invalidate your home insurance if anything does happen. Make your windows more secure with locking handles on UPVC windows, or additional locks on older wooden windows, plus remember to actually lock them if the property is unoccupied!
- Inspect your garage
Your garage is a potential target for criminals too. If you have an attached garage with a door into the house, it’s especially important to keep it secure to prevent it being used as a simple way to get into your house. The main garage door needs to be secure, and you should check any other entrance points too, including doors and windows. Apart from your vehicle, you might want to avoid keeping anything too valuable in there unless you have good security in place.
- Don’t forget about sheds, gates, and outbuildings
As well as your garage, there are other entry points and buildings to consider outside. If you have a shed, you don’t want anyone breaking in and stealing your tools, bikes or anything else that you keep in there. A good set of hinges, plus a secure clasp and padlock are normally enough of a deterrent to make would be thieves leave. Outbuildings such as workshops, stables or barns need to be secured too. Secure the perimeter of your home by making sure that gates, fences, and walls are able to keep people out.
- Illuminate the problem
If you’re worried about your home security, literally throwing some light on the issue will help you. Darkness around your home makes it easier for people to sneak around and no lights at all can show people that you’re either asleep or not home. Outdoor security lights can make a big difference, whether they’re on all night or you use motion sensors. Try using automatic, solar powered lights to save energy.
- Protect your patio doors
Patio doors are often a weak point for homes because they’re not secured as well as other external doors. If someone can get into your garden, they can possibly force your patio door open too. It’s essential to check that any patio doors are just as secure as other entry points to your home. You can choose to install special security doors or replace the locks with stronger patio door locks and bolts.
- Install a burglar alarm
Burglar alarms have long been a useful tool for homes and businesses that want a warning system to prevent break-ins. They’re not just for letting you know that someone might be trying to break in, but also for scaring off any potential intruders. A modern burglar alarm system should help to protect your home but shouldn’t be overly sensitive. You want it to warn you of intruders, but not activate every time someone walks past your house.
- Get security cameras in place
CCTV isn’t just for businesses. It’s a great aid to have for your home too, especially when you link it to other devices. Combine your cameras with a smart monitoring system, and you can get notifications on your computer or phone if anything happens. You can even get smart doorbells so that you can see if anyone rings your doorbell (a common tactic for burglars to see if anyone is home) even if you’re not in.
- Pretend that you are home
When you’re out of the house, whether you’re at work or on holiday, you leave your home more vulnerable to break-ins. Using a home automation system and personal assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant will help you to create the illusion of being at home when you’re not there. Your smart home gives you the option of turning lights on and off, playing music and sounds, and even opening and closing curtains and blinds with the right tools. If that’s all a bit high tech for you, there are plug-in timers and lights that do a very similar job.
- Keep out intruders with protective planting
If you’re not keen on the idea of a fence around your property, using plants to your advantage is an alternative to consider. By using rows of hedges or prickly shrubbery, you can keep out intruders while also making your home look great. At the same time, you can also improve privacy by blocking out prying eyes and planting also helps to dampen noise.
- Don’t be flashy
Before breaking into a property, burglars will often take a look through the windows to see what they can steal. Even if they’re not actively looking to do anything, something valuable could catch their eye. It’s a good idea to try to keep valuables hidden out of the way, so that they’re not visible from the street. Don’t leave laptops, expensive jewellery or other items clearly visible downstairs if you don’t want them to be a potential draw for thieves.
- Maintain summer safety
During the summer, you might inadvertently leave your home vulnerable because you want to open up doors and windows to let air flow through your home. But this can increase your risk of a break-in if you become lax about securing your home at night or when you go out. Make sure you lock your doors and your ground floor windows if you’re not downstairs, especially at night, even if you decide to open upstairs windows to let the breeze in.
- Consider cybersecurity
It’s not just your doors and windows that you need to keep secure. Cybercrime is also an important thing that everyone needs to be concerned about. You should be taking steps to secure your data so that no one can steal your sensitive personal information. One of the things you should definitely be doing is keeping your Wi-Fi connection secure so that you need a password to access it and it’s not open to anyone.
- Forget about hiding keys under a flowerpot
A spare set of keys is handy to have, but leaving them under a flowerpot, mat, or on top of a door frame isn’t the wisest thing to do. Those are the first places people will check if they want access to your home. The smarter thing to do is to use a lock box with a keycode that you can access if you ever need to. You could also leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour. Keep a local locksmith’s number in your phone too, just in case.
- Be community minded
Working together as a community helps to protect your whole neighbourhood. By joining your local Neighbourhood Watch and getting to know your neighbours, you can all keep an eye out for each other. Preventing crime is a group effort, and not something everyone can do on their own.
To find out more about home security, or to book an appointment for a home security review, contact Locksmith Nottingham on 0115 8246828 or visit: //www.locksmithnottingham.org/