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The key thing to remember about home security is that you should never leave anything to chance, or assume that because you’re in the garden, your house is safe. There are a number of precautions you can take against intrusion and it’s worth spending time and money on these before an incident forces you to.
Starting outside, you could treat your drainpipes with anti-climb paint (please note that you are legally required to display a warning if you use anti-climb paint) and invest in security lights if there are external areas of your house that are particularly dark at night. You should ensure that the lights are programmed to stay on for at least 5 minutes to ensure they deter intruders.
You could lay a gravel pathway or drive – as the noise when walked on would help deter burglars.
Inside there are also a number of measures you can take. Invest in a burglar alarm – as well as protecting your property, having an alarm can also lower your insurance premiums. It’s worth getting professional advice about this to ensure you’re choosing the right technology for your home and lifestyle.
Obviously, good locks are essential, both on doors and windows. Almost two thirds of burglars gain access through a door. There is a wide variety of locks available, so do some investigation into which type will be right for your doors/windows. You should always fit external doors with a mortice deadlock with British Standard Kitemark. You need to consider the door surrounds as well and make sure they are sturdy. You might want to also consult with a locksmith. Once you’ve got good locks in place, use them properly.
Your local crime prevention officer will be happy to arrange a visit to review and advise what steps you can take to improve your security – both inside and out.
Make sure you are not invisible from your neighbours. High walls, fences and hedges mean that if your neighbours can’t see in, your home becomes more attractive to burglars.
When you’re going away keep your holiday plans quiet and cancel your paper and milk deliveries. You can also ask the Royal Mail to hold your post. Think about timer switches to control lights and perhaps even the radio, to make it sound as though someone’s at home.
- Make sure all your locks are well maintained.
- Think about exterior security lights and having lights on a timer during holiday periods.
- Seek professional advice as to the best burglar alarm system for you.
- Never leave keys in doors or windows or have them visible.
- Ensure you lock ladders and tools away – don’t leave them out for burglars to use.
- Make sure your shed is securely locked – garden theft is an increasingly common crime.
- Don’t ever leave your house empty without properly securing it.
- Consider joining or talking to your neighbours about starting a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.