How to secure your home

How to secure your home

12th Jul, 2016

Holiday season is nearly upon us and whether or not you’re going away this summer, it’s worth reviewing the security of your home. Domestic burglaries increase by 10 per cent and outdoor thefts by up to 40 per cent over the summer months, when burglars take full advantage of unoccupied homes and valuable items left unsupervised in the garden. 

Security specialists Yale are launching their ‘Home & Away’ campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of home security and to provide homeowners with advice on how to protect their property this summer. Visit for more information.

Here are some top tips for securing your property when you’re at home: 

Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re only in the garden. The Home Office says that 56 per cent of burglaries occur in the evening, so it’s best not to leave the windows open when you go to bed. Secure windows with at least one key-operated lock.

External doors should be robust. Make sure that timber doors are secured with a mortice lock and/or night latch that meet British Standard BS3621. Upgrade the cylinder to a British Standard, TS007 Kitemarked model if your door is PVCu or a composite.

Secure bikes by locking them to sturdy hooks fixed to the wall inside a locked shed or garage. Keep ladders and tools stored away; if you leave them outside they could be used to break into your home.

Keep all of the keys, including your car keys, out of sight and nowhere near the letterbox (remember a savvy thief will be able to hook keys through the letterbox). Move valuables so they cannot be seen through the ground floor windows. 

A home safe is a good investment for your peace of mind. Use one that is securely bolted to the floor or wall and is big enough to contain jewellery, small electronic gadgets, important documents and items of sentimental value. 

And here’s how to secure your property when you’re on holiday:

Make your home look like someone is living in it. Use timer switches so that your lights and radio turn on when it goes dark and cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries (you don’t want items stacking up on your doorstep that make it obvious no-one’s in). The Royal Mail offer a ‘Keepsafe’ service, where they will hold onto your post for up to 2 months and you can collect it on your return. Ask a neighbour to open and close your curtains and even park on your driveway, to create the impression your house is inhabited and to deter any prospective burglars.

It’s not advisable to discuss the details of your holiday plans on public social networking sites or to ‘check in’ while your away, unless you are certain your profile is set to private; though even then you can’t count on this information remaining among your friends and family. Instead, wait till you get home to share your photos and memories online. 

60 per cent of burglaries attempted on homes with alarms fail. Consider installing a smart home alarm which will enable you to remotely control your device with a smartphone app. You’ll receive notifications and even images if the alarm goes off while you’re away. 

Forgetting to lock the front door poses a serious risk to the security of your property, but it’s easily done when you’re rushing out the house. If you fit a smart lock, you can check you’ve locked it using a smartphone app. Some smart locks also let guests in using a temporary PIN code, ideal for letting the neighbours have short-term access to water the plants or feed the cat while you’re away. 


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