Burglars are opportunists – many of them have experience of how best to find a way into properties with poor security.
This doesn’t mean that being burgled is inevitable, and it certainly isn’t unavoidable. By avoiding common mistakes and following certain home security best practices it is possible to secure your home, protect your family, and ensure that your personal belongings remain your personal belongings.
Don’t leave a spear key out
Leaving a spare key under the front door mat, or even under the ceramic hedgehog at the side of the house, really is an open invitation to interested burglars. Get a secure key lockbox with an entry code and place it discretely out of the way or consider alternatives to leaving a space key out.
Only leave a key with those your trust
One alternative to leaving a spare key outside the front, or even the rear of the property, is to leave a spare key with a family member, friend, or neighbour. While most of us would like to think that our neighbours can be trusted, you should only leave a key with people that you genuinely trust.
Follow best practices with door and window security
The Metropolitan Police advise checking the security levels of doors and windows to make sure that they are thoroughly secure. While it may not seem glamorous to consider security ratings, this is just as important, arguably more so, than the colour and the layout of the window. Roller doors, shutter windows, and security shutters are secure solutions to protect a property.
Replace any laminated, single glazed windows especially on the ground floor. Ensure that the handle is not the only method of closing and securing your windows and doors.
Check windows at night
Most people remember to check that doors are secured and locked at night, but windows are often overlooked, especially during summer months when we tend to open windows to let fresh air in. Make sure they are shut fully, and also ensure that they are properly locked.
Ensure that keys and other valuables are kept away from windows.
Secure sheds and outbuildings
Adding sheds and other outbuildings is a great way to increase the practicality of your home and your property layout. They can provide a great place to store a host of different items, but they are often targeted by burglars because they are easier to access and they can contain valuables. Doors and windows of your outbuildings should be as secure as those of the house, and rather than allowing would-be burglars to see in through the windows, use curtains or shutters to further increase security levels.
Lighting is known to be one of the most effective deterrents to prevent would-be intruders from targeting your property. Install security lights, ask family members to come in and open and close curtains, and consider installing timers on your lights so that they come on at night and turn off in the morning. If the house looks occupied then intruders will steer clear.
Follow security best practices to try and ensure that opportunist burglars are not tempted to find a way in. Check that any possible routes from the ground to open upper windows are blocked, or that all windows are fully secured.
Check the security of outbuildings to prevent theft from these buildings, and use security equipment like burglar alarms, security light