15 Tips for Home Security
As the evenings draw in and the daylight hours shorten, the opportunities for petty theft and burglary arise. Now's the time to start thinking about security around your property to deter would-be thieves and trespassers and alert you to any unusual activity. Take a look at our list of ideas to help keep your peace of mind both when you're at home and whilst you're away.
1. Keep an eye on your home from anywhere in the world. Smart security cameras can be accessed from an app and means you can see and even hear (in some cases!) what is going on in and around your property at the touch of a button.
2. Illuminate your garden and driveway with motion activated lights - popular are the large floodlights which is an extreme deterrent but you can can choose from a large selection nowadays.
3. Install a security alarm - some home insurers will offer a discount on home insurance if you have a security system in place. Sometimes just having signs in place helps to deter potential break-ins but better safe than sorry!
4. Don't give intruders an easy way in. Make sure fences and gates are in good condition. It may be worth upgrading and getting a new gate if yours is getting a bit old; metal gates are the most effective and are the strongest. Consider having two lock mechanisms on gates so if they do get through one they still can't get straight in.
5. Don't leave keys 'in a safe place' under a pot in your garden. This is one of the first places burglars will look. If you need them available either leave them with a trusted neighbour or install a key safe, but try to be discreet about where you install it and use a code that's not easy to guess.
6. Consider investing in a smart video doorbell such as Ring. It lets you view, listen and speak to visitors even if you aren't there, using an app. It has motion detection so it will notify you of people outside your property. This can be handy if you are at work and have parcels delivered as you can tell the delivery driver where to hide them.
Ring camera doorbell, from £89, Ring.com
7. Secure outbuildings and consider adding an alarm to them to alert you if a break in is attempted. If your shed contains ladders and heavy duty tools, these can be used to gain entry to your property so make sure they're locked up and hidden away.
8. Protect bicycles by investing in a lockable bike store; for extra security lock the bikes up inside with a heavy duty chain or a D lock.
Hardened steel security chain, £12.99, Screwfix.com
9. Anchor down valuable garden furniture to hard surfaces using chains and anchors.
10. Secure your car from theft - if you aren't lucky enough to have a garage but park on a driveway, install a retractable post to block the exit.
11. Top up gravel or stone driveways as they make a loud noise when stepped on which will alert you if there is someone lurking around.
12. Deter thieves by planting prickly or thorny plants around the perimeter of your property.
13. Keep your valuables locked out of sight and consider getting a small safe.
Box safe, from £29.95, Safe.co.uk
14. Keep keys away from the door as thieves are known to fish through the letter box to pick house and car keys. If you have a car which has keyless entry and ignition they can steal it using a transmitter so put the main key in a metal box to block the signal.
15. Look like you are at home even if you are not. Cancel newspaper and milk deliveries so they don't pile up, and ask a trusted neighbour to get your post and parcels, and maybe turn a light or two on each night for you. Alternatively, you can buy timers for lighting so you can set them to go on in the evening and turn off around bedtime.
These are just a few ways which can help you guard against thieves but all are a small price to pay in order to keep yourself, your family and your valuables safe.