Good, effective home security is a habit – it won’t matter how much you spend on an uber- secure door if you don’t remember to keep it locked! Our home security checklist looks at 10 things to bear in mind on a daily basis that can become as natural as mowing the grass or turning the dishwasher on before you go to bed.
No security can ever be 100% secure, but minimise the opportunities for burglars to gain access to your property and you’ll dramatically cut down the risk of your security being compromised.
1. Doors and windows
It’s worth remembering that 1 in 5 burglaries don’t use forced entry, and are merely opportunistic, preying on the mistakes of homeowners. All windows should have a lock and doors a mortise.
Whilst there is no way of ensuring your home is 100% secure, minimising risk will drastically reduce the chance of a burglar attempting a break in. The presence of window locks for example, will mean a burglar needs to smash the glass to gain entry. This is a deterrent in itself, given the potential noise and added difficulty in gaining access to a property that the very sight of locks bring.
2. Social media
Be astute when using social media. Sites such as Facebook are notorious for users having ‘friends’ that they’ve never even met. It’s worth adjusting your privacy settings – do you want ‘friends of friends’ to read all your posts and view your pictures? Although the risk may be minimal, there is simply no way of knowing how many people you are notifying of your holiday abroad, and how many people may be interested to know your lovely home will be empty for a week or more.
3. Concealing valuables out of sight – 60% of burglaries are opportunistic
Your house needs to be lived in to be a home, but given that 60% of burglaries are opportunist, what is on view through your downstairs windows should be part of any security checklist. That £500 laptop you’ve just purchased would only take a few seconds to fold away and put in a drawer, as opposed to it being fully on show should any prying eyes pass by your window.
4. Be vigilant over the phone
Telephone scammers should sound trustworthy and likeable, otherwise they’ll never be successful. As a rule, never give out any personal details over the phone, even when you know the call is genuine. Remember that you are in control of the conversation and can hang up at any time – there is no pressure on you even to be polite in such a situation.
5. Keep house and car keys safe and away from doors and windows
Never leave keys near your front door. A burglar may be able to reach them through your letterbox and be off with your motorcar before you even notice your keys are missing. Lots of people, especially in rural areas or cul-de-sacs are prone to leaving front or back doors open as soon as they get in the house. This may bring a sense of wellbeing as to the safety of the area in which you live, but a burglar will not think twice about exploiting your trust.
6. Insurance – make sure it’s up to date
There’s no point being insured unless you can utilise your cover in the unfortunate event of you needing it. Keep a note of any major purchases throughout the year – does your current insurance policy cover you for these items? If not you’ll need to let your provider know and keep your policy up to date.
It’s the same situation for any home improvements, from changing doors and windows to extensions and even new fences and gates. You may need to fit locks on all of your windows simply to be covered in the event of a burglary – make sure you read the small print of any insurance agreement carefully, just in case.
Likewise, if you have any security devices attached to your property such as an intruder alarm, make sure you regularly maintain it as part of your security checklist. If your security is compromised, an alarm that fails to work is as much use as the proverbial chocolate fireguard.
7. Timer switches
Timer switches on lights can make it seem like you are home, even if you are away. A dark house with its curtains closed can look abandoned; lights on at night indicate a presence.
8. Cancel deliveries/neighbour to check
A week’s worth of milk on the driveway and newspapers piling up in the hallway are clear signs of a vacant property. An easy thing to forget when packing for an exciting trip abroad, always ensure to cancel any deliveries in advance, and better still, leave a key with a trusted neighbour or family member who can visit your home every few days to keep a presence in the property as well as collect any mail gathering in or beneath the letterbox.
9. Keep gates and fences in good repair
Be mindful of any disrepair to your garden – a good, effective security checklist is all about minimising risk. Back gates should have an effective lock that can’t be opened from the outside. Any holes in fences should be repaired. Bring wheelie bins back in as soon as you can following collection. Bins left out give a sign that you may not be at home; they also make great climbing apparatus for anyone considering a cheeky glance over your back wall.
10. Check ID of anyone who comes to your door
Alongside checking for ID, fitting a peephole in your door allows you to view who is there before opening it. A door chain allows you to open the door without anyone being able to get in. You can also take a look at our door intercom systems for that added layer of security.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our home security checklist – it’s amazing how being mindful of a few small things that can quickly become part of your daily routine can make such a difference. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about home security, and remember our security surveys are completely free of charge.
1 December 2016
Catering for all your security needs