Simply installing a home alarm system doesn’t automatically mean that you should ignore security in your home.
While alarm systems act as a deterrent to potential burglars, other measures should be followed to ensure the safety of you and your belongings. Here are some useful tips to secure your home, your family and your belongings.
It is important to be vigilant if going on holidays, especially if your home is unoccupied. Get a neighbour or friend to regularly check on your property, switching lights on and off. It’s a good idea to leave a car parked in the driveway. Summertime is one of the most common times for burglaries with windows left open on those balmy summer days (not that we get too many of those). Don’t be despondent. Be aware! It’s also a good idea to cancel all deliveries, such as newspapers and get a neighbour to pick up your post.
- A good test is to lock yourself out of the house and try to get back in (without a key). If you can do it, then there is no doubt that a professional or even an unprofessional burglar will be able to also.
- Dogs act as a great deterrent to burglars. While security is not a good enough reason to get a dog, if you actually like dogs it is always an option.
- Install lights in all outside entrances. You could consider sensor lighting but make sure it’s not the type that switches on every time someone walks by your house. It can be annoying and have no impact if it is always switching on and off.
- If you are out and about in the evening time, always leave a light or two on to make it look like someone is home. An unlit house with no car in the driveway is an open invitation to thieves. It’s also a good idea to leave the radio on.
- When you buy new appliances such as a flat screen TV, dispose of the packaging carefully. Don’t leave the box outside your house. You may as well put up a "rob me" sign.
- Close all curtains when your holiday home is unoccupied. If you are away, then get a friend or neighbour to do this each evening.
- Don’t leave any valuables such as cash or jewellery lying around or hidden in obvious places. Make sure they are securely stored. Always take photos of valuable jewellery for insurance purposes. Ensure you have adequate insurance cover for valuables.
- Use of gravel on your driveway or pathways to your property can act as a deterrent to burglars. Always keep hedges and shrubbery well clipped as they can act as a hiding place for burglars.
- Try to stay on good terms with your neighbours as they are more likely to look out for you and your property. You should also give a spare key to a trusted neighbour rather than “hiding” it under the doormat or a potted plant in the garden.
- Ensure that all doors and windows have strong locks. This is especially important for patio doors, which are notoriously easy for burglars to access.
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