Keeping your house secure will allow you to not only have peace of mind but also to maybe reduce your insurance premium.
Many people think about house security when they are away from their homes, this is not always strictly the case. Homes are broken in to mostly during the night time whether you are home or not so making sure you and your family are secure is paramount.
The good news is that domestic burglary has reduced in recent years, but most recent figures for 2013 show that there were still some 227,280 domestic burglaries in England and Wales.
Quick tips for securing your home
- Start from the front of your house, put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. Look at ways of accessing your property, start with gates and fences and then move in towards the house.
- Fit a motion activated security light.
- Fit approved locks (at least BS3621) to doors and windows and make sure they are locked.
- Mark your most valuable property. Try a ultra-violet pen, or etch on your postcode.
- Always make sure your garages and sheds are secured as you may keep tools and expensive items within them.
What to do when you are out
- Make sure all curtains are closed
- Leave a light on, maybe a timer could be used.
- Cancel any papers or milk for the period you are away.
- Never leave any messages to say you are away.
- Leave a radio on a timer or leave it permanently switched on.
Secure your house with an alarm
There are many different alarms on the market, they fall into two basic categories, remote signalling and audible only.
Remote signalling is the system whereby a private company monitor the system and if the alarm is set off then the police are called. The alarm may or may not make a noise.
Audible only is the most common type of alarm for homes and it relies upon the noise to alert others that there could be a robbery in progress. This type of alarm also disturbs the thief. It relies on someone hearing the noise and then calling the police if they are suspicious.
From an insurance point of view if you are selecting an alarm make sure that it is fitted and maintained by a NACOSS approved supplier. In many cases, insurers will not recognise the alarm otherwise.
- Cycle and bikes - lock cycle to something bulky and have them postcoded .
- Dogs and pets - a dog may be a deterrent, but many times dogs don't bark when a burglar calls when you're not at home. Chances are your dog is a pet and not a guard dog so don't rely on them as your sole means of security.
- Hedge and fences - consider low hedges and fencing at that the front of your property, this will make it more difficult for a thief to approach without being seen.
- Keys - don't leave keys lying around, you don't want to give a thief a getaway car! If they can't open any doors they may be forced to leave big objects behind.