Play it safe

Homeowners looking to move will usually consider the safety and security of a neighbourhood above many other factors. In the light of this, Anthony Neary of safe.co.uk discusses the importance of specifying home security in new builds.

UK Crime Statistics show homes in urban environments such as Manchester, Leeds and London are the most likely to be targeted by burglars. Data like this is widely available, and it’s vital it is considered when specifying developments in such areas. Home security systems can be easily factored into build plans, and can make all the difference when homeowners come to choose which development they wish to live in.

Flats

Having well thought-out security measures in place will mitigate many of the worries that tenants may have regarding shared buildings and communal areas in apartment developments.

Things to consider from the offset include the design of the property itself. Are there any ‘blind spots’ around the building that could become compromised? What security will be installed around the perimeter of the building and communal areas to protect against unwanted entry? CCTV and alarm systems installed prominently on buildings have been proven to deter burglars, by letting them know the area is monitored 24/7.

Ensuring internal doors are designed with quality, fireproof material is a must. They should be fitted with a deadlock and a night latch alongside a security chain to provide an extra layer of security for individual properties. External doors that provide entry to the building should be fitted with either keypad or fob entry systems, compatible with video intercom so tenants can see who’s trying to gain access.

CCTV fitted in communal areas will provide further peace of mind for tenants and deter potential burglars. Some external doors, when designed poorly, can fail to close automatically and become stuck on the latch, leaving the entrance vulnerable. Ensure that main entrance doors are appropriately designed and weighted to shut on their own.

Housing developments

Something that might appeal more to homeowners than tenants who are renting a flat is the question of the security measures that are installed within the home itself. Homeowners will take this into account when looking for a new house to settle in for the next few years.

Smart alarms are a great option for future proofing the security of a property. They can be connected with as many as 20 components, giving the homeowner peace of mind that their house is fully protected. Many smart alarms will notify the user if an alarm is triggered, capturing images and video of the intruder, and sending the footage to their smartphone. Some systems even allow the user to remotely turn on and off household appliances via a power switch, giving them ‘complete control’ over their home.

On private properties it’s important to be mindful when pointing CCTV towards other areas such as neighbouring properties or the road, as by doing so, you’ll need to comply with the Data Protection Act.

Alongside having CCTV and alarm systems to deter and monitor unwanted activity, there are options for smart locks that negate the need for traditional keys. This provides complete flexibility for the homeowner, allowing them to grant access to whoever requires it and track who comes and goes, all via an app.

Smart security

Smart technology is becoming increasingly prominent in everyday life, with some systems able to ‘learn’ habits and trends in user behaviour. This is likely to become so advanced in the next couple of years that connected systems will soon be able to recognise faces, learn regular movements and adapt notifications to alert users of changes in normal activity.

Added value

Not only can installing home security systems make a property more desirable to the buyer, it can also increase the value of the build. Homes that come readily equipped will grant a higher asking price compared to other homes in the area that don’t have such additions.

It’s one thing considering traditional security systems like CCTV, but going above and beyond to consider smart technology that provides homeowners with a choice as to how they want to run their home will dramatically increase the desirability of the build.

Having comprehensive security systems in place will also attract house buyers that are looking for low insurance premiums, as home insurance companies look fondly on properties that are suitably secured.

Anthony Neary is managing director of safe.co.uk