How secure is your home?

  • Published on: 26 June 2018
  • By: Paula
How secure is your home?

When you renew your home insurance do you take the opportunity to review your home security?  

Over the year ending December 2017 there was a 9% rise in Police recorded burglary offences.  With many of us taking holidays over the summer, leaving our homes unoccupied, is it time we take a look at how secure our homes really are?

Take a look at the following:

1. Outside
Do you leave garden tools, bikes or children’s toys in the garden or on your drive?  Leaving these in clear sight for anyone passing by is encouraging an opportunistic thief.

Make sure you have some good security lighting covering your driveway and patio areas.  When the lights come on they can deter thieves.

Keep your trees, hedges and tall plants trimmed so there are no hiding places.

2. Neighbours
So many people these days don’t know their neighbours, especially those who live in big cities and are out at work all day.  However, neighbourhood watch schemes can provide an excellent local support network and dramatically reduce the risk of a break in.  

3. Look Occupied
If your home looks occupied, even when you’re away on holiday, there is less chance you’ll be targeted.

Ask your neighbours to help; removing post from the letter box or parking on your drive can stop it being so obvious that you’re away.  But there are also some technologies that will help, from a simple timer for lights to a smart door-bell with a camera that allows you to see who is there and answer from your smart phone.

4. Alarms & CCTV
Have you got a burglar alarm or considered home CCTV systems?  They can be an excellent deterrent, even some of the dummy alarms or CCTV cameras are worth exploring as an inexpensive alternative.  

5. Access Points
Windows and doors are the obvious things to review.  How secure are your door locks, do you even have window locks? And do you use them?  The chances are that your home insurance isn’t valid if you tell them you have window locks then leave them unlocked.

6. Visible Valuables & Keys
Leaving items such as laptops or jewellery on view through a window is as good as inviting a burglar in.  If they can see things within easy access, the chances are they won’t have any difficulty gaining entry.

It isn’t only valuables you need to be careful of leaving in clear sight.  That calendar you have handing on the wall shows exactly when you’re not going to be home and gives thieves a timetable of opportunities.

Door keys and car keys…. Storing them all on a rack might make you feel smug and organised, but you’re also making it easy for a burglar.  Everything in one place saves time!  And if you label them as well….

7. Scams
Be careful of unexpected callers.  One tactic is the distraction burglary where someone will knock at your front door and keep you talking while another person goes round the back and breaks in, especially easy if your back door is unlocked!

There are others, so just beware and try to stay informed about scams happening in your local area.

8. Smart Gadgets
The growth in smart gadgets, TV’s, heating, kettle, personal assistants; anything that uses Wi-Fi to operate has increased the opportunity for thieves to hack into your systems, spy on you, steal important documents and access online bank accounts.  It’s important to get specific online security advice and at a minimum keep changing your passwords, including (or especially) your Wi-Fi code. 

9. Documents
Documents left lying around can be as valuable to thieves as jewellery and cash.  The right information can be sold on and used to create new identities.  With paperwork we often don’t even keep it inside.  Putting old bank statements or letters with personal details into the recycling bin is not secure.  Get a shredder and shred everything first.

10. Online Sharing
If you post your holiday plans on Facebook, add some photos of a new car or jewellery, you’re offering thieves an opportunity and a reason to break in.  Think carefully before you show off to your ‘online’ friends next time.

If you feel you need some additional security support, we can provide Security Guards, Mobile Patrols, CCTV Monitoring and Keyholding & Alarm Response.  Get in touch for a quote.