Making sure your home is as secure as possible can seem daunting, but there are a few simple things everyone can do to improve their domestic security.
Installing a burglar alarm in a visible place is a great way to start, as studies reveal that your home is far less likely to be targeted if you have one.
Joining a Neighbourhood Watch programme is also not only a great way to feel safe, but also to meet people in your area at the same time, providing you with a greater sense of community and security.
Windows and doors
Windows and doors are the entry and exit routes for would-be burglars, and so remember to close and lock them whenever you leave your home, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Windows on ground level and in accessible areas should ideally be made of toughened glass or double-glazed, and should be fitted with good quality locks. It is recommended that all doors should be a minimum of 45mm thick, be fitted with a five-lever mortice deadlock and have a strong frame. A spy hole, door chain and internal cover for the letterbox are also encouraged.
Always try to avoid leaving valuables, home or car keys near these entry points.
Lighting up your home is a useful and simple deterrent. The fitting of an external security light and timer switches for lights inside are simple ways of enhancing home security.
Check for ‘weak spots’ in your garden, like a sagging fence or a weak gate lock, and consider using gravel for pathways (as it’s impossible to walk on it without making a sound!).
Solid wooden garden gates offer easy access for thieves, as they are sturdy and easy to climb. Ornamental iron gates are a far more effective deterrent as they are harder to climb and intruders can be seen through them. If possible, it’s also wise to try to use at least two locks on any gate.
Back gardens are the most vulnerable part of a house, being tucked away and normally out of sight. Fences can offer vital protection. Aim for a two-metre high fence topped with 30 to 45cms of trellising. The trellising can’t support a person’s weight, and so the risk of making a noise or causing physical harm is a great deterrent.
Garden sheds are a popular target, and so should not be overlooked. Aim to secure the door with at least one heavy-duty hasp and closed-shackle padlock, along with coach-bolt fixings through the door and frame.
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