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Home Security Tips

An Englishman's home is his castle, so lets secure it like a castle, well maybe a moat and drawbridge is a little over the top, but there are a number of important steps that a homeowner can take to secure their home.

Door and Window Locks

Lets start with locks for doors and windows.  All external doors should be locked by a British Standard Lock, this could be a mortice lock that is fitted inside the door or a rim nightlatch that is fitted to the back of a door, either way the lock needs to conform to BS3621.  Doors that are not a final exit door, can be further secured but a bolt that is operated from the inside.
Patio doors also need to be considered, a good multi point lock is require to secure patio locks, along with a BS rated cylinder, for older patio doors an anti lift device should be fitted.
All windows need to be locked with a key operated lock, this can be a locking handle that is fitted to the window or a separate window lock, all windows should be locked shut when the property is empty even first floor windows.

Don't give criminals an easy time

A lot of burglars are opportunist, so lets not make it easy for them.  Expensive items such as laptop computer, tablets and camera's should be out of view from windows, best to keep these out of site or if possible a locked cupboard.  Giving the impression that a home is occupied is another method to deter criminals, this can be achieved in a number of ways.  Lights on timer switches that come on and off, will give the impression of someone at home, even with closed curtains or blinds the glow of a light will give the impression of someone at home.  The good old fashion leave a radio on, just like your Grandparents used to, is still a good idea, but not to loud to upset the neighbours.  A TV simulator is a small device that contains LED's, these are set to simulate the light given off by a television set and again this will give the feeling that someone is home.
If the property is left unoccupied for any length of time, such as a holiday, other measures should be taken to protect your home.  Make sure that any regular deliveries of papers or milk are stopped and if possible ask a local friend or relative to keep and eye on the place.
TV Simulator

 Security lights, Alarms and CCTV

Good lighting around a property will dramatically improve overall security.  Lights with motion sensors can be used all around a house and garden to illuminate a dark corner, solar powered lights are very useful when a source of power is not easily accessible and also saves the cost of an electrician!
A home alarm system will protect your house in a number of ways, first the external bell box acts as a visual deterrent, most system will also be provided with window stickers that can be displayed in a window, warning people that this property is protected.  If a house was broken into and an alarm activated, the siren would hopefully alert neighbours and cause the criminal to leg it.  High end professionally installed Alarm system are often connected to a monitoring company, who will alert the police if the alarm is triggered.  Yale now offer local cost easy fit Alarm and CCTV systems, both of which can be remotely monitored and DIY installed.
A home that is fitted with a CCTV system is 90% less likely to be burgled, enough said!

Home Safes and Key boxes

Small home safes have become very popular with households to safely store small expensive items and documents.  Often hidden with a cupboard or wardrobe they offer protection within a house just in case a criminal was to gain access.
As car and vehicle security has improved over the last 10+ years, so has the methods used my car thieves to steal them.  I car is much easier to steal with the keys, so that is the method that is now used, with properties now often broken into just to gain access to car keys.

Common bad habits

We all get into bad habits, some can be very hard to stop, but it is important to recognise and stop any poor home security habits.  Firstly a review of all home security procedures should be taken, it is a good idea to review home security on a regular basis, maybe every year.  Once this review has been undertaken, put into place any required changes that have been highlighted.  Common bad home security habits include, a door key left underneath the door mat (or some other very obvious place!), door and windows that are not locked - even if you are out for just a few minutes, keys left in a lock or within easy reach of a window or not setting the alarm when going out.

  • Close and Lock all doors and windows when out, even if out for just a few minutes
  • Install British Standard Locks to all External Doors
  • Install window locks to all windows.
  • Don't leave spare keys outside in a "Safe Place", if needs a key with a close relative or trustworthy neighbour
  • Secure and Lock garages and sheds, if either are some distance from the main house, consider installing a battery alarm system
  • Setup security lighting to illuminate any dark corners where an intruder could hide
  • Lock or put away any ladders, if available these could be used to access upstairs windows
  • Timer switches could be fitted to lights, giving the impression someone is home
  • Gravel paths or driveways are noisy when walked over, another possible method for intruder detection
  • Door viewer / spy hole could be fitted to a front door to verify callers before the door is opened
  • Large thorny shrubs could deter anyone getting close to your property
  • A small home safe could be used to hold high value items such as jewellery and car keys.

 If you have any concerns about home security and would like some expert advice, please contact the locktrader team.

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