NATIONAL HOME SECURITY MONTH

Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds even in the past 10-years, but security and especially home security, is about identifying and applying simple and cost effective measures. This ultimately will help reduce and even eliminate your chance of being burgled. As we are all aware on the 26th of October 2015 the clocks will be going back and the days will be getting shorter and the nights longer. Subsequently burglary and crime increases significantly by at least 20%.

So how can you identify any potential week or blind spots in your home security so you do not become a statistic and do not have to deal with the loss of technology and valuables or even irreplaceable personal items?

Well, you need to take a long hard look at all aspect of your property and ask yourself how, as things stand, would a burglar be assisted and aided with the way things are at the moment. You would be surprised to know that many thefts are done purely on opportunity. For example widows left open or keys left in doors. Basically this has to stop, life can be busy but there really is no excuse for simple mistakes like this.

Once these have been eliminated, you need to walk around your whole property, garden, driveway any sheds etc. If we start with the rear garden if possible depending where in a row of houses yours is situated. You can plant thorny bushes or something similar – this reduces the access to the rear but the front of the property needs to be kept clear of high bushes, as this will aid in masking a burglary of the property. Sheds, garden tools and ladders – these are all potential tools that can be used to gain entry to your property. Are they locked away in a shed with a secure lock or alarm or in the case of ladders chained to a secure locking point?

Movement reactive lights are always good to have on the rear and front of property. Remember light is one of the enemies of a burglar, the less they are in it the better for them. Noise is also something they really try to avoid. Gravel in the driveway is a good deterrent as it can alert you to any movement. You must take into account that one deterrent is rarely effective enough, as houses, flats and pretty much all properties are different. It is essential you take the time to evaluate your own personal circumstances.

Once you have assessed the outside venerable points you need to look at your property inside. Windows, main doors and all access points can all be vulnerable. Have all your widows got lockable locks on them or if you want to leave windows open are they restricted to being opened fully? Has your front and rear main doors got BS3621 insurance rated locks on. Glass is fantastic but can be smashed to access properties; you can now get toughened glass, which can reduce this greatly.

Wireless alarms which offer the same security as a wired alarm but at a significantly reduced cost, aid in protecting entry points and offer a deterrent, while also having the option of being connected to a call centre which links your alarm via a phone line so they can monitor your house if you are away. Timers on your lights and television switch times and can give the illusion that you are in when really you are away. Also make sure if you are away for some time that post is cleared from the bottom of the door, a good option is to get a lockable letterbox, which can take several weeks of letters without overflowing.

Close circuit television is, as we all know, a major part of life in the UK at this time but is pointless if it is not monitored regularly and fitted in the correct positions by professional installers using the correct cameras and lighting as well as recording methods. All house keys and car fobs must be kept well away from the front door preferably around an internal corner and out of sight and reach if someone is looking through the letterbox.

The more you reduce the options for the potential of burglary the less the chance you have of being burgled. Lastly if by any chance a thief gains entry to your property get yourself a safe that is secured to an integral mount like a joist or a load bearing wall – NOT left in the bottom of a wardrobe unsecured, as it will be taken. Remember passports and bank details are now as valuable as gold, precious stones and watches.

Home security is not about spending vast amounts of money – getting all the latest technology and thinking it will all be all right. It is about common sense and recognising week points and doing something about it with the aid of technology. Keep safe so you can get on with the more important things in life.

Written by Jeremy Heyworth
02-10-15