How secure is your home?? Is it something you’ve asked yourself? Do you know how to improve your home security?

Unfortunately the reality is that a large percentage of us will be a victim of a burglary or theft from our homes or businesses. Depending on where you live will increase the possibility of this happening but even in the remotest of areas thefts from properties and burglaries occur.

Improving the security of your home or business really follows the same principles and process in doing the best you can to deter the criminal fraternity.

Achieving the best possible security does have a cost and only you can decide what that should be, based on a number of factors?

  • Where you live and the crime rate in that area?
  • Who lives in the property with you?
  • The type of property?
  • The contents of the property?

These maybe some of the questions that help you decide?

If money is no object then you could have a really big wall around your house with 24 hour security teams patrolling with the best surveillance systems and technology, but I’m sure for the vast majority of us we couldn’t afford that and actually don’t need it.

It’s important to understand how and why a thief or burglar would ‘target’ your home or business and this falls into two main areas.

  1. Opportunity
  2. Planned

The opportunist Thief will travel around looking for certain indentifying features on a property that will arouse their interest. The obvious will of course be an open window or door for example. They want the easy target, quickly in quickly out with whatever is readily available to take.

The Thief that plans their target may do so for a number of reasons? A more affluent area, they have information that the contents of the property have value, a high end vehicle of value is on the property or even they know the property will be vacant. There could be a number of deciding factors that will make your property stand out. Obviously part of the planning would be to have the necessary equipment to complete the job.

Whether planned or opportunist the thief doesn’t want to get caught and wants to be in and out as quick as possible! So you want the security of your home or business to shout out “I’M NOT AN EASY TARGET!!”

This can’t be done by simply doing one thing like fitting an alarm! For the best results it has to be a package.

If you think of the security of your home or business like a hurdle race and each hurdle the thief comes to is a part of your security, the more hurdles in the race, the harder and longer the race and the more chance they’ll be put off from entering the race and if they do, actually completing the race decreases and the possibility of getting caught increases!

The first hurdle would be when they are looking for a prospective property. If you have a property where the amount of hurdles in the race can be seen and there are a lot of them, then the chances are they’ll be put off. So if a Thief looks and see’s a locked gate to get onto the property, clear line of site to the property with no large hedges to conceal them from the outside, an alarm, CCTV cameras, External lighting, Beware of the dog signs, security bollard to prevent vehicles leaving or entering then already you’ve made a clear statement, “I’M NOT GOING TO MAKE THIS EASY FOR YOU!!”.

Some criminals are more daring and brazen so will cross a few hurdles for a closer look and maybe “test” some elements of the security to see if you’re bluffing. Technology can assist in this, with CCTV that has motion detectors and can send notifications to your phone so you can call the police or even activate speakers where you can tell the Thief you’ve called the police. Alarms are available that do the same. This is where it’s important the external lighting is well placed and works.

If a thief has come this far then we are now reliant on the physical security of your windows and doors. Locks on any side gates or back gates. Locks on all external buildings, sheds, garages and store cupboards. Possibly the most important part of the package, the locks on the doors and windows to your home. Surprisingly even at this hurdle thieves are able to quickly identify common weaknesses in door locks and handles as well as window locks and handles and force entry into the property. There are a growing number of products on the market that can prevent these forms of attacks on locks and handles, as well as other after markets products that can be fitted to give further security to the doors and windows. Yes they can and do smash glass but this comes with a risk of both injury which would leave DNA and the noise alerting neighbours.

A good knowledgeable local Locksmith will be able to explain to you the difference in the security standards, features and ratings of all locks and handles as well as advice on any aftermarket products. Using a local Locksmith would mean that they’ve possibly been called to any attempted or actual break-ins and would know the method used thereby being able to give advice on a product to prevent it happening to you.

At All Things Locks a site survey and assessment of locks on your windows and doors is free even if there’s no recommendations for improvements or upgrades on any window or door locks and handles.

The cost of making the improvements to the security of your home may mean you can’t do it all in one go but there are some additional steps you can take that cost either very little or nothing at all.

If you are fortunate enough to have a good relationship with your neighbours they will be another set of eyes and ears when you are not home and vice versa. If you’re not particularly friendly with your neighbours a simple good morning and introduction can set the path for future relationships, chances are they probably know more about you than you realise and would be able to recognise anything out of the ordinary. Having trusted neighbours watching your home when you’re on holiday, taking in parcels and collecting the mail off the porch mat is peace of mind as well as helping keep your home safe.

Social Media
Facebook is a great way of letting your friends and family know what’s happening in you and your families’ lives. If you haven’t taken the right precautions you could be letting a lot of others know that you’re on holiday, you’ve just bought a new designer puppy, a new designer watch or a nice new car! Not all the people reading it may have the same motive. It’s even been suggested that some insurance companies have refused a claim of a break in because it was posted on social media the property was vacant for two weeks.

What’s on Display
It’s amazing what you can find out by looking through a window quickly. Yes you can see the new TV but what else? All the car keys are kept in a bowl on the kitchen table, the calendar on the wall that tells me what everyone is doing for the next month all of which is very helpful to a thief. The same can be said for garages. When you open the garage to get the lawn mower out the door is left up for all to see what other valuables you have.

Remove any tall bushes or trees that can act as a screen to stop others seeing someone break into your house. If bushes form borders or are decorative against fence panels, consider using bushes that have thorns where possible. Make sure fence panels can’t be lifted up or removed.

These are only a few suggestions that you can use to hopefully prevent you from becoming a victim.

Best wishes.

All Things Locks

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