Don’t wait until you’ve experienced your first break-in to improve your home security. Read our top tips below for improving home security, and you’ll sleep safer in the knowledge you’re doing your part to protect your home.
1. Check your doors and windows
Many of us have gone to open a window, only to realise in horror that it’s been unlocked since you last opened it a month ago. It’s all too easy to forget that every window or door could act as a potential access point to thieves, so at least giving them a rudimentary once-over is never a bad idea. Sliding doors and windows are a top target for burglars, so pay extra attention to these. You can easily create an ad-hoc door-blocker by placing a pole of wood in the slide mechanism, or of course you can invest in something a bit more high tech in the form of smart locks.
2. Let there be light
There’s a reason why the world is full of horror stories of nefarious figures lurking in the shadows — shady spots provide excellent cover for burglars, even in busy towns and cities. Installing motion-detecting floodlights should be one of the first burglary deterrents you invest in for your home. No one wants to be exposed by a big flashlight in the middle of the night, least of all a burglar. Light doesn’t just expose, though, it also provides a signal to prospective burglars that there’s someone at home. Leaving a television on late while you’re not at home will create a strong deterrent for those looking to break in.
3. Invest in CCTV
There’s no way around it — if you’re really serious about protecting your home, a good CCTV system is essential. Co-Operative Insurance’s survey of ex-burglars showed that CCTV was the number one deterrent for a break-in. Not only that, but if, heaven forbid, a break-in does happen, no amount of quick security fixes are going to provide precious video evidence of a break-in like CCTV does, increasing the likelihood that your case will be investigated and the perpetrators found. Combining a quality CCTV system with a powerful alarm will provide even more of a deterrent for would-be burglars, adding an extra layer of protection to your home.
4. Get smart
Investing in smart-home technology will not only allow you to view your home security footage at the touch of a button, but all of those old tricks of deterring burglars, such as leaving lights or other electrical appliances on while you’re on away from your home, can be done remotely. This is not only more convincing to burglars (if a burglar has been eyeing up your property for a few days, constantly switched-on lights may suggest to them that you are indeed on holiday), but saves on electricity too. According to the survey mentioned previously, 89% of panellists said that they would be deterred from entering a smart home — the added perceived technological hurdles make these houses too complicated to risk.
5. Lock down your connections
It’s easy to forget just how much personal information we have on our home computers, not to mention the vast amount of vital tasks we conduct online such as banking, shopping, making payments. In this day and age, where so many tasks are done online, taking network security seriously is as important as keeping your doors locked. Luckily, just using a very strong password for your WiFi network is normally enough to deter most hackers, so this is an easy fix to help keep your information safe.
6. Stash your valuables
Do a quick walk around your house and peek in the windows. Can you see laptops, tablets, phones, home entertainment systems, wallets, cash or keys? If so, you need to take action. Stash away any valuables that can be moved (preferably keep them in a home safe), and in the case of larger equipment, ensure curtains or blinds are drawn so any opportunistic nighttime burglars will be deterred. While you’re at it, ensuring any gardening equipment is safely stored in a locked shed or garage will remove further temptations for a budding burglar.