Home security guide

Doubts about whether your home is safe and secure leave one in five (20%) of us awake at night at least once a week The security of your home is a nagging doubt we could all do without, which is why we’ve developed these top tips to improve home safety and get some piece of mind.

1. Invest in a burglar alarm

It may not come as a surprise to most, but research has shown that burglars tend to avoid homes with a burglar alarm . With that in mind, it’s well worth looking at the variety of alarms that are available and what might be most suitable for you. Here’s a brief run down:

  • Bells only – this is the most common, and often cheapest ‘standard’ alarm system that simply creates a loud noise to act as a deterrent
  • Speech dialler - this alarm works by automatically contacting nominated friends and family by phone with a pre-recorded message when the alarm is triggered. The pre-recorded message explains what has happened and what you’d like them to do
  • Wireless alarms – use individual sensors throughout the home that communicate wirelessly to the central control panel, typically using radio frequency technology. These are by far the most popular types of alarms as they are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and can be taken to a new home if you move house
  • Monitored alarms – this system usually requires an annual subscription to a specialist company, such as ADT or Chubb, which will be contacted in the event of the alarm being activated

Whichever system you choose, remember to always update your alarm codes regularly to prevent them being hacked or overridden.

2. Check your windows

In addition to your doors, it’s also essential to keep an eye on your windows, making sure that larger windows which are easily accessible are kept key-locked, and that there are no broken latches that could be forced open.

Open window

3. Install a burglar alarm

If you have just moved into a new home you may not be aware of any previous tenants or owners that could still have a key and access your home. That’s why it’s essential you change your locks.

Contact a local locksmith as soon as you are in to help curb any doubts.

4. Keep your valuables out of sight

It may seem obvious but make sure you always keep valuable items such as jewellery hidden away so that they can’t be spotted through windows. This applies to when you’re leaving your home but also at night, when opportunists might be looking.

If you have high-value items in your home, you could also consider buying a safe to reassure yourself that your valuables will be secure should the worse happen.

5. Remember to secure other buildings

It’s easy to forget to secure additional buildings on your property such as garages and garden sheds. Speak to a local licensed locksmith or an expert at a hardware store to make sure you have good quality locks. This should help to avoid broken sleep worrying that they’re being broken into.  

Shed with open door

6. Install security lights

These are a good addition to any home and will help you to rest easy at night as they’re useful in helping deter burglars, as well as alerting neighbours that someone is trying to break into your home.

Look at the various types available and consider what and where you think you’ll need them. Timer systems are really useful as you can set them to come on in the evening while you are out to give the impression that someone is at home.

Man installing security lights

7. Consider CCTV

CCTV systems can be a great way to improve home security as they can help both deter and catch criminals. They’re becoming increasingly inexpensive so it’s worth considering investing if it means preventing your nagging doubts from keeping you up through the night.

However, this can still be a costly step to take so it’s worth seeking advice from your local police force crime reduction office first, as they can help you decide which system is best for you.

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