home-security-pngWith the shorter days creeping in and colder weather on its way, we seek shelter in the safe haven of our homes. But have you ever wondered how secure your home really is?

October is typically the hottest month for burglaries to occur, and has been officially marked National Home Security Awareness Month. So, to mark the launch of this national event, let’s take a look at how we can keep our homes safe and secure.

Being in the property industry,  we come across all different types of homes, those in estates, busy roads, privately tucked away, and those isolated in the countryside. Each home has evidently been loved, with much investment gone into its embellishment, which has undoubtedly posed a scenic backdrop to many fond and joyful family occasions. Many of you will have gone to the efforts of refreshing paintwork, and tidying up the garden to present your home at its best before arranging a valuation. But aside from the aesthetic improvements, how much thought have you put into the security systems? A secure home, like a secure neighbourhood, can make for an appealing property.

home-securityWith the advances of today’s technology, there are many smart security options available to us, including home CCTV systems, security lights and burglar alarms; wireless systems make an innovative addition to this list. The sleek and savvy technology allows us to monitor our homes from wherever we are, by simply using a phone app, effectively giving us more control and peace of mind. There are so many options available at the moment, which we could quite easily invest significant sums of money in to. Not all attempted burglaries are successful, which goes to prove, it is equally important and impactful, to ‘think smart’ as we enter and leave our homes.

Burglars are not always creatures of the night and can at times be opportunists. Did you know, over a million burglaries are attempted across the UK each year. It is hard to believe that 73% of burglars gain entry through our doors, typically, taking just 60 seconds to enter our homes. We don’t wish to startle you, but these statistics do highlight the determination of burglars and how quick they can work to get to their target. It is therefore important we are one step ahead of them and remain in good habits to protect our homes and families. Here are some simple tactics that we can all use to be knowledgeable and aware, whilst preventing where possible. 

Research your Neighbourhood

Exploring statistics about your neighbourhood, or potential neighbourhood, is so simple to do nowadays. Most of the property search engines offer information on the neighbourhood in addition to school performances. So, if you have not already bought your home, it may be something to bear in mind. If on the other hand, you are already occupying your long-term home, it could be worthwhile finding out about Neighbourhood Watch schemes. This could present you with a great opportunity to get more involved in your community and active in defence.

door-1089638_1920Check your Locks

Sounds simple, but there are many different types of locks available at the moment. Ensuring your windows and doors are secured by sturdy locking systems will make it one step harder for burglars to gain entry. Deadlocks and deadlatches are the recommended locking systems.

Hinges

Believe it or not, some door hinges are on the outside of your property. This can be found more so in apartments, or rental accommodation, but is something to be cautious of, as thieves could take aim at these to gain entry. If you can’t replace the door, use setscrews to secure the hinges, by simply drilling the screw through the middle of the hinge, be mindful if you are in rented accommodation that you should seek the landlord’s permission prior to making any changes.

Strike Plates

Examine the strike plates on your door locks. This is the metal plate on your door frame, which can quickly get worn out.

Secure Your Belongingspearl-necklace-914424_1920

This goes without saying really, but store your valuables in a safe place. Be cautious of storing items in a secure place after using them, thieves need to act fast so if it takes them longer to find valuables they may just move on. Some valuables can carry more than a financial value to you, so if you want further peace of mind, try investing in a secure deposit vault bank or alternatively a safe which can be bolted down to the flooring.

Hiding Spaces

Burglars can at times be opportunists, seeking out hiding spaces where they can wait for the right chance. Don’t make it easy for them. Keep plants neat and trim, and try to avoid any tall plants or shrubbery near your windows.

Smart Arrangement

Think about how you arrange your furnishings within your home. Burglars need to climb down or onto furnishings if entering from a window, so try not to place furnishings near a window.

Lighting winter-215318_1920

Bright lighting means greater exposure, which is not ideal for burglars. Bright outdoor lights to the front and back of your home will ensure a potential intruder is made visible. Motion sensor lights could prove great for internal use, and could also be a sensible investment for energy saving.

Door Stop Alarm

A doorstop intruder alarm is a standalone pressure activated alarm with a built in siren. No wiring is needed for this, which is designed to alert you of a forced entry. Most come with a switch so could be easily used as a basic door stop during the day, and be switched on at night, to make you aware of any motions around the home.

Raise the Alarm

Thieves tend to go where the pickings are easiest, so indicating the mere existence of an alarm system can sometimes be enough to dissuade them. If you don’t want to invest in an expensive alarm system, try placing alarm system decals on a few windows or the front door to indicate the presence of an alarm system.

 

We hope these tips and simple guidance will help you and your family stay safe this winter. If you are looking to get your home on the market or are seeking some expert advice, please get in touch with your local branch:

Ash Vale – ashvale@mackenziesmith.co.uk  – 01252 353030

Farnborough – farnborough@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01252 375999

Fleet – fleet@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01252 812121

Hook – hook@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01256 764666

Hartley Wintney – hartleywintney@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01252 844015