A guest post-
Protecting the family home is, naturally, a top priority for homeowners both new and old. It’s knowing that your family are safe as the nights draw in sooner that make parents sleep well at night, so we’ve teamed up with our friends at Unique Fire and Security, a leading independent home security company in Dorset, to give you expert tips you may not have thought of when protecting your home from burglary.
This is something I know is on homeowners’ minds all the time, so I really hope this list helps you! Let me if you have any extra suggestions in the comments.
1. Teach your kids a password and tell regular visitors
Some burglars will try ringing the door to test the water. Now we all know that kids don’t always like doing what they’re told! So instead of teaching them not to ever open doors, teach them a fun password that close friends and family who visit your home have to say if they get to the door before a parent or guardian. It really works!
2. Do a once round check every time before you go out
This isn’t the most realistic tip to give as with regular morning struggles, checking if every door or window is locked adds time that we just don’t have. But it only takes one window to be left slightly open and one opportunist burglar trying the windows whilst you’re dropping the kids to school for it to end in disaster. It’s always worth checking just to be sure!
3. Don’t leave spare keys in easy to find places
A tip that often needs repeating to homeowners, don’t whatever you do leave keys under mats or plant pots, behind unlocked gates, or on the wheel of a car. Burglars will do a quick check of the easy to find places and we often hear of a burglar who has literally let himself into a home. Your job as a homeowner is to make it as difficult as possible, not too easy!
4. Get to know your neighbours, next door and down the road
This one’s often overlooked, as communities aren’t as prevalent as they used to be. Go the extra mile to introduce yourself to neighbours in the road so they can look out for any suspicious activity and be called upon when you need them i.e. to put the bin out, move the post, or park their car on your drive when you’re on holiday. Neighbourhood watch works!
5. Don’t underestimate the power of a well lit home
A well lit home will be an immediate put off for a burglar looking down the street at homes that look vulnerable. Having as much outdoor security lighting on the driveway and entry points is really effective in deterring intruders. External LED lights are energy efficient and can be set on motion sensors too so there won’t be expensive electricity bills! An extra tip on lighting would be to look into getting timers installed on main interior lights so your home looks occupied even when it isn’t.
6. Check how strong your windows and doors are
The main vulnerabilities in a home are the windows and doors; if one of these is compromised then that leaves your home at serious risk. Get either an expert or a handyman you know to check how strong your windows and doors really are. Does your front door have a deadlock? Do the sliding doors have weak locks? Do you have a peephole installed? Could your windows be forced open easily? These are the questions to ask.
7. Make your home look like there are dogs present
This one’s a slightly obscure tip but one that really works. Even if it’s a small sticker in the window of your front door or a small sign on the driveway gates that says “beware of the dog” because the last thing a burglar wants is to get badly bitten by a dog.
8. Get a high definition night vision CCTV camera system installed
According to a recent report by Co-Op Insurance, in the UK, the number one deterrent from burglary and car thefts is having a CCTV camera system in place covering the access points of a home. Now that’s probably not surprising considering how high definition the cameras are nowadays. If you’re interested, speak to the CCTV camera installers in Dorset.
9. Have monitoring installed on your alarm system
A standalone alarm system with no means of communication to anyone (apart from those who can hear it!) isn’t a very useful alarm system. Neighbours don’t always respond and aren’t always in so relying on them when your home could be in the middle of a burglary is criminal! What a monitored alarm system does is communicates via text or notifies an operator in an Alarm Receiving Centre to call the chosen key holders as soon as the alarm has a confirmed activation. It can even be linked to the police who will be dispatched if an alarm activation is confirmed too.
10. Complete the UK Home Security Checklist to find vulnerabilities
When it comes to home security, you know your own home as well as anyone. But would you know if there was a potential vulnerability? Check out this free printable UK Home Security Checklist that you can run through every aspect of your home with and tick whether you’ve got it covered. If not, you can act upon that information to ensure your home is as protected as possible.
I really hope these tips from Unique Fire and Security have helped you think twice about securing your family home, especially with the lead up to Christmas with the heightened risk of burglary. If it has then please let me know in the comments below and as always, send this on to friends and family who might find this useful too!
(Burglary Report Source: Co-Op Insurance 2017)
Thanks for reading!