door lockNow that summer is here many of us will be sitting out in the garden, taking the children to the park and trawling travel blogs for holiday inspiration; but it’s important not to overlook home security, as it may not just be you, who will take advantage of the warmer weather.

During the summer months, domestic burglaries and outdoor thefts are at a higher level, as burglars ramp up activity, taking advantage of unoccupied homes and expensive items left out in the garden.

As a result, we would like to remind you of the importance of home security and offer some tips and advice on how to protect your property this summer.

When you are at home

Look at the locks on your doors, could they be improved, do you use a mortice lock and/or nightlatch, do your locks meet British Standard or are they Kitemarked.

Be wary of leaving windows open on a warm night when you go to bed. Windows should be secured with at least one appropriate, key-operated lock.

Protect smaller, more expensive valuables in a home safe, maybe one that is securely bolted to the floor or wall and is big enough to contain expensive jewellery, small electronic gadgets, important documents and items of sentimental value.

When you’re away from home

You can now get Smart home alarms which allow you to remotely control devices via your smartphones, receiving notifications, emails and even images if the system is triggered while you’re away.

Make it appear as though someone is home by leaving a car on the driveway or investing in security lighting and there are even apps to control your lighting from your Smartphone.

Don’t let post pile up at your door, signalling to thieves that no one is home. Take advantage of the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ scheme, where they will hold onto your letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re safely home again.

‘Checking in’ at holiday locations on social media or posting photos can be risky, letting potential criminals know you’re away. Take the time to check your settings or wait until you’re home to post online.

The basics

Other points to consider include

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install a visual burglar alarm
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Ensure rear fencing is in good repair
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows

For further information on all of this, you can visit the Police UK’s website here.