In 2020/21 there were over 267,000 home burglaries in the UK and behind every one of those is a story of personal loss and discomfort. As we enter 2022 and the shine of Christmas presents is still bright, the following guide offers top tips for ensuring your home, family and precious gifts are safe and sound for the year to come.
Update your locks
Quality locks for both your doors and windows are an important part of good home security. Some home insurers will even offer you a discount on your premium if you install approved locks because burglars become familiar with older systems and have ways to open them. This year consider installing modern, professionally fitted locks at all the points of entry to your home, and to change locks if they have not been updated in some time. A qualified local locksmith can help you choose and install suitable systems that will offer you both peace of mind, and perhaps a cut in your insurance bill.
Consider a burglar alarm
Visibility of security systems can be an important part of putting off any potential burglar approaching your home. If there is already a burglar alarm installed then the box should be in a prominent position on the front of your property as a signal that your property is protected and not worth risking breaking into. Home alarm systems range from hundreds of pounds up to several thousands, depending on their sophistication, but if your budget doesn’t stretch to that then you can buy a fake box for much less which may have the same effect.
A simple way to make your property less appealing is to keep your expensive items out of sight so intruders, or potential intruders, cannot see them through windows or find them easily upon entering. Take the time to ensure your garage door is closed, there’s a curtain over any bike shed windows and avoid leaving expensive electronics, purses or jewellery by your windows.
Don’t forget the second floor
Downstairs door and window locks are often first on a homeowner’s list of areas to secure but entry points on upper floors are sometimes overlooked. Here you can consider sensors that signal if your window glass is broken or windows are opened. It’s also important to make a thorough tour of your property before retiring to bed and making sure there are no windows left open and all doors are locked.
Take a break, but don’t take a risk
If you’re planning to take a holiday then ask a neighbour to collect your mail and a smart plug is a clever investment to make it seem like lights are going on and off in your property. A seemingly empty home is an attractive target!
Install a smart doorbell
A new addition to the arsenal of home safety equipment is smart doorbells which record when someone approaches your door or porch. These have a small camera inside and send images to a smartphone so you can check who is at your door before greeting them and give you the opportunity to ask them the reason for their visit. These can be particularly helpful for elderly persons who may feel cautious about opening the door.
These simple additions can make a big difference in improving your home security but there’s no substitute for personalised advice from an experienced tradesman. Your local locksmith will know your area well and can be an excellent first point of contact to secure your home this year.