Even the most crime-conscious of us could do more to protect our property, so here are some home security tips you might have overlooked, any one of which could mean the difference between arriving back to your home sweet home, or discovering you have been robbed.
1. Window Locks
You wouldn’t go out without locking your door, but what about your windows? Very few of us consistently lock all the windows in the house before we go out.
While you’re at home, you might not want them locked, as it could prevent your escape from a fire; but especially if you are going away for a few days or even a week or more, engaging those locks is a sensible step.
2. New Keys
Who has keys to your property? You probably have a few sets of your own, but are there more copies out there? Previous tenants, perhaps, or the previous owner if you bought your house?
Unless you changed the locks when you moved in – including the back door, of course – someone out there might have the ability to access your home when you’re not there, so have a serious think about just how many copies of your keys might be out there somewhere.
3. The Lights Are On…
…but is anybody home? Making your house appear occupied can deter thieves, but it’s harder than it sounds.
Putting lights on timer switches is one of the most commonly suggested home security tips, but it really can help; you will have to decide whether to leave your curtains and blinds open, closed or partway between the two to give the best impression that somebody is home.
4. Good Neighbours
There is another alternative though, and that is to have a neighbour come round and ‘open up’ in the mornings – just throw open the front curtains so it appears the house is occupied.
Good neighbours can also take a quick look around and make sure there are no leaks or suspicious signs, and if you promise to do the same in return next time they are away, it’s a totally fair deal.
5. Outward Signs
Finally, don’t leave outward signs that nobody is home, such as notes pinned or taped to the front door – and don’t leave a spare key in an obvious hiding place.
The exception to this rule is if you make use of a security system to say ‘nobody is home, but don’t even try it’.
Bright motion-sensitive floodlights, particularly at the rear of your property, and an activated alarm box on the front wall to show your interior sensors are switched on, can all help to send the message that ‘this property is protected’, and persuade would-be thieves to go elsewhere instead.