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Protect your home Posted On 15 May 2019

Protect Your Home

Your home is the most expensive thing you will ever own, so it makes sense to look after it and keep it secure. Here are our top security tips.

Between January and December 2018 there were 380,517 reported burglaries in the UK*. The impact of burglary is severe; taking 8 months* for the average person to feel secure again in their own home, and even then, less than half ever feel completely secure.

For 1 in 10 people*, it can be a reason to move home. The trauma can be especially severe for children and can be carried on into adulthood. Almost 40 per cent of adults, whose homes were broken into when they were younger, are still bothered by their experience*

So, what can you do to secure your home?

Outside

Burglars don’t arrive with their own tools, they prefer to use tools they pick up from unlocked sheds, garages or side passages. Keep your sheds and garages locked, and if you have a side passage, deadbolt and padlock it. You can stop would-be thieves from getting close to your garage or shed by installing motion activated lights. Once installed, these lights will turn on when they detect movement, stopping would-be burglars in their tracks. You can pick up single battery powered units for about £20 each or solar powered units for approx. £30 each.

Security cameras are inexpensive and easy to install, with wireless and wired options available. The wireless options are popular but remember to check the battery regularly. As with TV’s, the higher the resolution the better the picture quality, so you will want something 1080p or above to get crystal clear images. You will also want to ensure that the camera has a good night-vision mode, offering 100ft of vision or more.

A car on your driveway will deter any potential burglars, as will appliances on timer switches. When you’re on holiday, why not ask your neighbour to park on your drive to deter burglars. You can set timer switches to come on at set certain times of the day. Lights are standard but won’t necessarily deter a burglar as much as if a TV or radio is on. Setting a timer to turn your TV or radio on when you’re out is a smart idea and is simple to set up using the built-in sleep timers found in the main menu of most smart TV’s.

Still leaving your keys under the front doormat? Burglars know the most common places where people leave their keys. Get an outdoor key lock-box mounted in a secure location, with a four-digit pin that only you and trusted friends or family know; or leave a spare key with your neighbours. This key will come in handy if you are away, as a letter-box full of post will be a sure sign to a burglar that you’re not in.

Inside

If a burglar gets past your outdoor security, don’t let him get past your alarm system. Window and door sensors are must haves to complete your home security. They are simple, yet effective. A switch and a magnet attach to the window frame and the pane of glass. If the window stays closed, the circuit is complete; when the window or door is opened, the circuit breaks which signals the control panel, triggering the alarm. Most sets offer different modes, including; chime, silent and alarm mode and can send notifications to your smart device.

To complete your home security, you can now get smart systems which allow you to control your security from your phone. These systems connect to your Wi-Fi and, through an app, you can customise what happens when a window is broken, or motion is detected. Entry-level systems include door and window sensors, a motion detector and a hub. These systems are available as full set-ups or separate components which you can add on to build a bespoke system.
Your home is the most expensive thing you will ever own, so it makes sense to look after it and keep it secure.

Other top tips for keeping your home safe:

» Keep your keyholes clear from dust; burglars can tell you don’t use your deadlock if it’s full of dust and debris.
» Don’t leave your keys in your door; burglars can poke through the keyhole, knock them down and use tools to pick them up from the floor through a letter-box.
» Save posting your holiday snaps to social media for when you are home; burglars monitoring social media can tell when a home has been left alone and it will make yours a target.
» Close windows in the evening and when you leave the house; open windows are an easy chance for an opportunist burglar.
» Change the locks. It may sound crazy but how do you know no one else has a set of your keys; what about the previous owner?
» Ask someone to remove the post and put your bins out while you are away, to give the impression of someone being home.

* Source: https://www.allianz.com/en/press/news/business/insurance/160314-the-emotional-impact-of-burglary.html

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