Five home security tips to keep you and your family safe

If you are concerned about your home security, you aren’t alone. Many homeowners are looking for ways of making their homes more secure, whilst also ensuring that their families and possessions are kept safe. The good news is that home security is easier than you might think.

Below are five simple home security tips that any homeowner can use to make their property and household safer.

Deterrents Work

There are many misunderstandings when it comes to home security. One of the most common misconceptions is that home security is all about preventing someone from accessing your home. In other words, most people turn to reinforced doors and windows or other similar measures to make their homes physically more robust.

But it can be far more effective to invest in deterrents instead. Deterrents include measures such as motion lights or signs around your property indicating that there is CCTV in operation. An opportunistic burglar who notices these signs may well choose to leave your property alone. On the other hand, without these deterrents in place, they might be willing to take a chance and try to break-in.

Most would-be burglars who find themselves illuminated by bright motion lights and looking straight into the lens of a security camera will usually turn tail and run away.

An Alarm Is Essential

Burglar alarms are such a basic measure that some people overlook them entirely. Far too many homeowners give up on the idea of a burglar alarm entirely because they can’t work out how to shut it up when it doesn’t stop making a noise. But it is hard to overstate just how essential burglar alarms are. They are one of the most cost-effective security measures available.

Most burglar alarms use motion-activated sensors. However, there are also burglar alarms designed to be fitted to windows and doors that will trigger if they detect motion or pressure. Obviously, the more money you are willing to spend, the more sophisticated the burglar alarm you can buy. However, you don’t need to spend a great deal to find an effective burglar alarm.

As long as you can get into the habit of setting the alarm every time you leave your home, it will provide a valuable last line of defence. Anyone who makes it past your other security measures and enters your home will find themselves greeted by a loud and disconcerting noise.

Invest In A Robust Lock

Most of us never give a second thought to the lock on our homes. Whatever lock is on there when we move in is the one that we stick with. However, installing a strong and sturdy lock is one of the most effective measures you can take to prevent break-ins.

Experienced burglars know which locks are easily picked. Having a weak lock on your front door can serve as an invitation to some nefarious types.

Deadbolts are considered the most secure type of lock. In the UK, if you have uPVC external doors, an SS312 Diamond approved lock or at a lock marked with a TS007 3 Star kitemark are very secure.

If you’re not sure what type of lock you have or whether it is secure enough, ask a professional locksmith in your area for advice. They can also then assist you if you ever need to change your locks.  Many professional locksmiths, such as Lower Costing Locksmiths who are based in Bristol, also offer an emergency 24/7 service in the event that you need someone local to come and resolve the issue immediately. This example company can be at your property within just 30 minutes of your call; saving you a significant amount of stress. Locksmiths like this aren’t just for gaining access to a door when you find yourself locked out, they can also help you with keeping other people out.

Secure Your Windows Properly

Windows are the most common entry point for burglars. A window left ajar is just asking for trouble and it provides opportunist burglars with an obvious entry point into your home. Securing your windows with locks when you are not at home will go a long way to making your home a bit more challenging to break into.

As with your front door, choosing a strong lock for your windows will improve their security. However, in practice, few burglars are going to try to pick the lock on a window.

uPVC windows usually come fitted with five-point locking systems, but you can also purchase locks for wooden windows such as old-fashioned sash windows, which will make them more secure. It’s advisable to fit locks to ground floor windows – higher windows naturally provide more security. With that said, you shouldn’t leave a window open just because it is located on the first or second floor. There are plenty of burglars willing to climb up your drainpipe to access a window, even if a fall could potentially be fatal.

If you are particularly concerned about burglars accessing your home through a window, you may wish to invest in security bars and grills. These are not only effective at preventing unwanted entry; they are also good deterrents.

You might also want to invest in smash-proof glass or security screens for sliding doors on the ground floor. Sliding patio doors are another common weak point that burglars regularly exploit by snapping the lock with a screwdriver and forcing their way in. The cheapest way of preventing a break-in via your patio doors is by placing a blocking bar in the bottom track, to stop the door being opened.

Keep Valuables Out Of Sight

By now, most people are wise to the dangers of leaving their valuables out in the open in a parked vehicle. However, many people fail to apply the same reasoning to valuables in their homes. There are numerous reasons why it’s a good idea to keep your valuables out of sight. We aren’t just talking about keeping your valuables away from the view of someone passing by on the street, although this is a good idea.

Valuables, such as TV sets and desktop computers, are virtually impossible to disguise. But there are plenty of smaller valuables that many of us keep around our homes that we could easily place out of sight. Hiding your valuables, even if you only put them in an out-of-sight drawer, can prevent burglars from finding them. A burglar who breaks into your home wants to grab as much as possible and get out as quickly as they can. If there is a burglar alarm blaring, they are far less likely to take the time to rifle through every drawer they can find.

Try to get into the habit of putting expensive electronic and valuable jewellery in drawers and cupboards when you leave your home. If you want to be certain that your most treasured possessions are going to stay safe, invest in a home safe. Even if the safe can easily be carried away, thieves will find it difficult to gain access, making it more likely that they just leave it behind.

Making your home more secure and keeping intruders out has never been easier. While the tools and techniques utilised by burglars have become more sophisticated, appropriate defences have also become much more affordable and accessible. Many of the most effective steps you can take to improve your home security are simple things that shouldn’t cost you a penny. However, if you are serious about security, consider investing in visible security cameras and motion lights, both of which are very powerful deterrents.