How to Make Your Property More Secure
If you’re a homeowner, it’s important to consider how you can secure your property to avoid it being a target for thieves. Home security doesn’t need to cost a great deal of money, but it’s worth investing in basic things like high-quality locks and finding out whether your local area has a Neighbourhood Watch program. You can even get your children involved by teaching them the importance of checking that all outer doors and windows are locked before you and your family go to bed.
Doors and Windows
If you live in the UK, it’s important to choose mortice locks for your doors that conform to British standards, or that have at least five levers. Your door should be thick enough to accept the lock and keep its strength. Patio and conservatory doors can be protected with purpose-made locks or security bars. If you’re not sure about the kind of lock that will be suitable, it’s best to get in touch with a qualified locksmith. French windows should have bolts fitted at the top and bottom of each opening door, and the bolt should go into the door frame for added stability. Don’t ever leave outer doors or windows unlocked when you leave the house, and don’t leave valuable items (including technology) lying about where they can be seen from ground floor windows. These are common mistakes and make properties very vulnerable to burglary.
Gates and Fences
Fences provide psychological boundaries, even if they’re not particularly high. Intruders are often more cautious about stepping over a fence, as it is a clear marking of the boundary of your home. If you live in a high-crime area, it’s definitely worth investing in a taller, sturdier fence, preferably made out of wood or metal. A gate at the front of your property can be a major deterrent, particularly if it has a heavy-duty closer, like those available from Barrier Components. Burglars often choose the ‘path of least resistance’ when it comes to targeting homes, so the more deterrents you have, the better.
The Exterior of Your Property
Make sure that your house name or number is clear and easy to read. Burglars often prey on homes that seem untidy, uncared for, or will be difficult to identify by house number if the police are called. Your front and back gardens should be well-maintained and all shrubs and trees trimmed so that there are fewer potential hiding spots. You could even add small, sensor-triggered lights to the perimeter of your home, so you will know when someone is in the garden, or walking up the driveway towards the front door. These lights are also useful for if you have evening tasks that need to be accomplished around your property, such as locking the shed, bringing inside bikes, or putting out the bins.
Should I Get a Dog?
Dogs are thought to be the classic home protectors, a pet and an alarm system rolled into one. However, you should never rely on an animal to secure your property, or train your dog to attack strangers because you may end up liable for prosecution if they are badly injured. Buying a dog will not protect your home, but it may deter potential burglars. If you want to fool potential intruders into believing that there is a large Alsatian on your property, a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign is cheap to purchase and will make any thief think twice about approaching your home.
What If I’m Going Away?
If you’re planning to take time away from your property, it’s important to put security measures in place to prevent your home from becoming a target for thieves. If you have a trusted friend or neighbour who can look in on the house to collect post and open and close the curtains, this will prevent the property from looking empty. It’s always worth making friends with your neighbours, because you can help to protect one another’s properties.
How to Deal With Cold Callers
It’s very important to protect your home from bogus callers and people who pose as maintenance workers. It’s definitely worth fitting your front door with a viewing hole and security chain, so you can determine whether or not your visitor has been invited before fully opening the door. Maintenance and repair men will not come to your home unless the meeting has been previously scheduled by letter or over the phone. It’s always a good idea to ask for identification for those who claim to be from energy companies, charities or government bodies. You don’t have to allow anyone into your home who is unable to provide you with valid identification. Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who comes to your door. If you want to donate to a charitable organisation, there are plenty of safer and easier ways to do this.