How to Improve Your Home Security
Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their home and it’s natural to want to protect your property and belongings. Unfortunately, burglaries do happen and one statistic estimates that a burglary occurs every 106 seconds in the UK. Many burglaries are opportunistic but burglars will also target homes if they think they’re vulnerable or unsecure.
Luckily, there are many ways to improve your home security and reduce the chances of your property being targeted. If you’d like to improve your home security and deter thieves, see below for our top tips.
Hide your valuables
Almost half of all burglaries are opportunistic, so don’t give thieves a reason to target your property. Keep expensive items out of sight and draw your curtains if you’re going out for the evening. Don’t leave any valuables near windows and hide packaging from any expensive items. An empty box from a laptop or an expensive games console can act as an advertisement for thieves, so keep packaging indoors until recycling day.
Don’t forget the windows
We all make sure to lock our doors if heading out for the day, but this doesn’t mean much if you neglect your windows. Statistics show that a quarter of burglars will attempt to break a window to gain entry and 23% enter through a first floor window. Don’t leave any windows open or unlocked when you leave the house; even windows on the first or second floor.
Ideally, all windows should be fitted with secure locks and you can add sash jammers to uPVC windows to stop them from opening. If you’re looking to make an investment, upgrade your windows to double glazing. Double glazed glass is significantly stronger and almost impossible to break. If you can’t afford to upgrade all windows, choose any that are easily accessible or on the ground floor.
Upgrade your lock
All home locks should be upgraded to BS3621 if possible. This is a British Standard where locks are tested against common burglar techniques such as drilling and picking, and many insurance companies require locks to be fitted to this standard.
Mortice locks are also much more secure and most aluminium or PVC doors have these fitted as standard. If you have an older wooden door, consider upgrading to a mortice lock for additional security. You could also add a bolt or door chain to make unauthorised entry more difficult. Don’t forget your back doors either; a Patlock is a great option if you have French double doors. These locks work by holding the internal handles securely and restricting movement of the external handles. They can be easily fitted and removed as required and come with tamper resistant mechanisms for added security.
Thieves often rely on the cover of darkness, especially if the break-in wasn’t planned. Most burglaries occur between 6pm and 6am, but the right lighting can help to deter opportune thieves. Install motion activated lights above your front and back door so thieves have no place to hide (plus there’ll be no more fumbling for your keys in the dark!).
It’s also a good idea to install light timers for occasions when you’re not home or on holiday. These timers are easily fitted and automatically turn lights on and off to give the impression that somebody’s home.
Fences and gates
Fences and gates help to secure the perimeter of your property and they give additional privacy too. There are many different options to choose from to suit the existing style of your property, from ornate iron fences and gates to traditional timber. If you already have fencing or gates installed, check them regularly to make sure they’re in good condition.
Rotten wood or gaps in fencing can compromise the security of your property, so make sure there are no missing or damaged fence panels. Homeowners should also inspect gates’ locks, bolts and hinges to make sure they’re secure. Fences and gates provide an effective visual deterrent and they can increase a property’s kerb appeal. Fences should ideally be at least two metres high and you could plant thorny bushes or shrubs for additional security.
Install a security system
There’s a wide range of home security systems available on the market, from a full CCTV system to a simple security alarm. The type of system you choose will depend on your requirements, including the size of your home and the level of protection you’re after.
Smart cameras are a popular option for the modern home owner and they can be linked directly to your smartphone. You’ll get a notification if movement is detected and you can also review footage or watch livestreams remotely if you’re away from home. These systems are a good option if you spend a lot of time away from home or want that extra peace of mind.
Other options include night vision cameras, two in one camera and spotlight systems, CCTV kits and security alarms. Place the cameras or alarms in a prominent place, as the visual sight of a security system is often enough to deter thieves. Some insurance providers even offer a discount on certain approved alarms, so speak to your insurance company first.
Be smart online
You might be very excited about your upcoming holiday but it’s best to keep it to yourself. Don’t broadcast details on social media as this advertises that your home will be vacant and when. Thieves can easily scroll platforms like Facebook or Instagram to find out when homes will be vacant and 43% of burglars know their victim.
Keep holiday details private and consider investing in a timer to give the impression that someone’s home at all times.
Invest in a safe
Home safes are becoming increasingly popular and there are many different options available to suit your requirements. If you’re not sure which type of safe you need, speak to a locksmith to find out more about what’s available. Fireproof safes are a great option for storing important documents like passports, birth certificates or marriage licences.
If you’re looking to protect your valuables, consider a discrete underfloor safe to store jewellery, family heirlooms or antiques. Many safes have a high ability to withstand forced entry and a built-in safe means that thieves can’t remove the safe in its entirety.
Secure your garage
Your garage can be another common entry point for thieves so make sure that it’s secure at all times, especially if it’s connected to your home. Thieves could steal valuable tools or equipment from the garage itself, or use it as an entry point to access your home. If your garage doors are rusty, dented or damaged in any other way, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
Roller garage doors are one of the most secure options available as there’s no obvious entry point. Many are electronic too, which makes the door almost impenetrable from the outside and opened by remote control only. If you don’t want to replace your garage door, install some additional locks or add security lighting above the entrance.
Affordable and effective security systems from Campbell & McGovern
If you’re looking to improve your home security, consider the range of superior home security systems from Campbell & McGovern. We’re proud to offer a range of security systems to suit your needs, including access control systems, CCTV, Smartair security and secure window and door locks. If you have valuables that need protecting, we also offer a range of fireproof safes and safe installation throughout Liverpool and Wirral.
For more information about our security systems, safes or locksmith services, don’t hesitate to give us a call today or contact us online.