Figures released by the Office for National Statistics have revealed that crime is on the rise across England and Wales. Across 2016 and 2017, police-recorded crime increased by ten per cent. This has led many homeowners to look for ways to beef up their security measures in case of burglary or theft from their property – are you considering doing the same?
Installing home security features will often get you a discount on your home insurance, so you can think of it as an investment in more ways than one. So here, Dakota Murphey shares seven cheap and easy changes you can make to your home security.
#1 Install gate locks
Many homeowners have something of a blind spot in their home security in the form of the gate to their garden. It is not unusual for properties to have garden gates that have no form of security at all – anyone can open them and gain access to the garden. This might not seem like something you need to be too concerned about, but remember that giving a burglar more potential access points to your property only makes their job easier.
The truth is it is very easy to get gate locks installed – large suppliers like Signet Locks offer a huge variety of products including everything from heavy duty padlocks to bolt-on locks. These are inexpensive and can be fitted to almost any kind of garden gate.
#2 Motion sensing lights
Another simple addition to your home that can make a surprising amount of difference is the motion sensor light. Thieves and criminals like to work with the cover of darkness, and usually something as simple as a light will be enough to put them off completely. It is a relatively painless DIY job to install one of these products too.
#3 Video doorbell
It is very common for thieves to ring the doorbell before they attempt to burgle the house, just to check whether someone is home. If you are out and no-one answers it can show the potential burglar that this is an easy target. To avoid this problem you can buy a smart doorbell with video streaming technologies. The doorbell connects to your phone so if you are out you can answer the doorbell and get a video recording of whoever has pressed it.
#4 Replace damaged windows
There is a recurring theme when it comes to the biggest weaknesses in your home security – thieves are looking for easy targets. No criminal is setting out to give themselves a hard time; they want somewhere with easy access that they can get in and out of as quickly as possible. When you are aware of that it shows you how important it is ensure that your home looks secure. Just the appearance of strong security is enough to deter that vast majority of thieves.
So one of the most important things you can do is to replace any damaged windows. Windows are a natural entry point for criminal and if they are in bad condition and could be easily broken or removed, you are presenting an easy target.
Of course you home is most at risk when you are not there. So when you go on holiday it is a good idea to invest in timers and other devices that simulate the appearance of a home that is being lived in. Burglars will almost always scout out their target beforehand, so if you’ve got a timer that turns lights on and off at appropriate times, this can be enough to scare them away.
#6 Be careful with keys
Many homeowners leave keys out in the open or worse, keep a spare key ‘hidden’ somewhere just outside the door. You can bet that any burglar will quickly scout all the obvious areas for spare keys before they try any other means of gaining entry. Don’t make it easy for them – keep your keys in a smarter place.
#7 Secure your shed
Finally, don’t forget that you garden shed is a part of your property and needs to be kept secure too. If your shed contains expensive DIY equipment and other tools it can be another popular place for a burglar to take from. Invest in locks for your shed to keep it secure.