Here at the AA, we believe home security should be a top priority. Whether you are just after buying a home or you are looking to add extra security measures, we have put together a list of our top 10 home security tips.
Lock your windows
You’d be surprised how many people close their windows but forget to lock them! So, ensure you have proper locks on your windows and purchase some window sensors or security film for extra safety. Have any defective or faulty locks replaced immediately. Ensure that any high value items, such as a TV or laptops, cannot be seen through the window by any passers-by. (Also, consider adding these items to your content insurance.)
Secure the doors
Another simple tip but one that is often overlooked is locking your doors. Before you go to bed or leave the house, make sure all entry points in your house are locked, including the doors. Inspect your doors and ensure the frames and hinges are strong, and that post slots aren’t too big for someone to reach in and unlock the door. As well as the windows, have any defective or faulty locks on your doors replaced immediately. Keep your keys out of sight and avoid keeping them near the door or near the post slot where they could be easily reached. You could also install a video doorbell and a bolt for extra security.
Set up a security system
Speaking of extra security, why not install a strong security system whether it is DIY or professional. There are lots of home security options out there that are suitable for all budget types. Install a visible burglar alarm! Not only will this help protect your home, the presence of a burglar alarm will also act as a deterrent and make potential burglars think twice about attempting to enter your home. Put away your gardening equipment. This isn’t about keeping the area outside your home tidy but instead ensuring you’re not making the burglar’s life easier. Garden tools can be used to break a window or force entry to your home, so it’s important not to leave these strewn across the garden. Similarly, keep any valuable tools stored somewhere secure or they could be picked up by an opportunistic passer-by.
Lights, lights, lights
Install a timer to turn your lights off and on at varying intervals when you are leaving your home unattended for a significant period of time. This will help give the illusion that someone is at home and may scare off any potential intruders. Keeping the outside of your home well-lit can act as a deterrent to potential burglars as it will make it more difficult for them to enter the property without being noticed.
What about the Wi-Fi
Think about your Wi-Fi! It is a gateway to your personal and financial information. If your home security system is connected to the Wi-Fi, then you will need to take extra measures to ensure you are safe from burglars. If your router is wireless, then add a strong password for protection. Rename and hide your home network, use a firewall and install antivirus and anti-malware protection.
You can get security cameras that are part of a complete home security system, or you can use cameras that work on their own. Try connecting the cameras to your mobile to optimise protection, so you can keep an eye on your home in real time while you are away or at work. Ensure you also install night vision, motion detection, two-way-talk and weatherproof casing (if they are outdoor cameras).
Purchase a safe
It’s important to hide your valuables. Many of us are conscious of keeping smaller, high-value items (such as a watch or jewellery) hidden away, but it might be a good idea to purchase a safe to ensure maximum security.
Secure your garage too
If burglars can’t access your home, they might turn their attention to the garage. Make sure to get in to a habit of locking all doors and windows in your garage. Cover the windows to block out any visibility of what’s inside, and secure your garage with extra locks. It is a good idea to also install a driveway alarm.
Protect against fire
Protect your home by installing fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace old ones if necessary. Ensure fire extinguishers are working properly, and buy new ones if needed. As we head in to winter, you might be lighting more fires at home so make sure the chimney is clean before doing so. Here’s how to reduce the risk of fire in your home this winter.
When you are away
If you are planning on going on holidays or you’re leaving your house unoccupied for a period of time, then there are some home security measure you will need to consider. Be careful when sharing your holiday plans outside of close friends and family, especially on social media! This could cause burglars to find out when you will be away. Before you leave, check the batteries in your alarms, cancel all deliveries as the uncollected packages could easily be taken and make sure your house looks occupied at all times.