Don’t get us wrong – having an alarm is a fantastic start. We would love it if every home in the UK had an alarm system installed as standard, as soon as they were built. This would make the whole of the UK safer, and make the criminals have to think twice before they break into any home.
But sadly that’s not the case, and so having an alarm installed in your home tends to be something you have to seek out. Which might be why there were 356,017 reported Burglaries in England last year alone. Some of those homes will have had no security system in place at all, while others will have had a simple alarm system. This is evidence enough for us to say confidently that just an alarm won’t cut it – you need more if you want your home to be secure. Aside from burglar alarms, there are a range of ways you can make your home safer, some of which we wanted to share with you today.
The first thing you should do is take some basic steps to make your home less attractive to burglars. This doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. It’s as simple as:
- Installing a gravel driveway or pathways around your garden, as this is a great deterrent for burglars who don’t want to alert occupants as they approach.
- Keep hedges trimmed so that your house isn’t hidden.
- Defensive gardening – like planting shrubs with thorns around the borders of your home.
- Install strong gates and fences with locks at all access points
- Don’t leave valuable items in windows that are visible from the street.
- Use padlocks on shed doors (and fit them with a small, battery powered alarm).
These basic steps can go a long way to deter opportunistic burglars from targeting your home.
Secure Windows and Doors
Again, a basic security measure, but one that a surprising number of people forget about. Don’t leave your windows or doors unlocked anywhere in the house, especially when you’re not home, or in bed. Any easily accessible windows and doors should be double glazed and laminated, as this is harder to break. Doors should be fitted with PAS 24 certified door sets, without glass if possible, and with a chain or latch on the door for added security. Of course you might not be able to control some of these things, but you can install some of the smaller upgrades, and these alone can make a big difference.
Now for outdoor security systems. One of the most cost-effective options is motion sensitive outdoor security lights. These bright lights are set off by movement, and a good way to make sure a burglar is more visible, and less likely to continue towards your home. These are generally best positioned at the front and rear of the house – but make sure you direct them downwards so that they aren’t pointing directly into your neighbours windows, and so that the light doesn’t shine into the eyes of drivers if your home is on a road.
You can also play some neat tricks with indoor lights. The idea is to make sure that a burglar things there are people in the house – even when they aren’t. An occupied house isn’t a very attractive prospect for theft. Timers that turn lights, TVs and radios on or off around the house can cost as little as £5, and allow you to create the illusion that you’re home.
Visible & Monitored Burglar Alarms
If you don’t have an alarm system, then we strongly recommend you invest in one. These are one of the biggest deterrents for burglars, and have proven very effective in ensuring that property is passed over. Once you have one installed, make sure that the ‘bell boxes’ are visible on your property. Some brands may look like an eyesore, but the more obvious they are, the better they work!
We also recommend you have a monitored alarm, particularly if you have a lot of valuables in your home, or you live in a higher crime area. Monitored alarms are alarms that do more than just sound a siren if they are triggered. They are connected to a central station, so that someone is alerted when the alarm is tripped, no matter where they are. This can be the keyholder, or they can be programmed to alert a security company, or even the police automatically. With these systems you can also play a pre-recorded message when triggered, so that you can, for example, inform intruders that they are on CCTV, and the police are on their way. These systems are much more effective as a deterrent is all else has failed – as they will let burglars know they have been caught and encourage them to leave quickly.
Finally, we also recommend CCTV cameras. These are not only the next step in deterrent (since no burglar wants to be caught on camera), but they also act as a great way to ensure you have proof of the intrusion. This can be useful for insurance purposes, or for finding and prosecuting the person responsible. CCTV for the home comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from the more common ‘Ring’ doorbell style, to wireless security cameras or full CCTV systems. We talked in one of our previous blogs about the rules around domestic CCTV, and you can read more about this here.
At Securifix, we are always happy to give advice on the best way to protect your home. We offer a wide range of security solutions designed to keep you and your family safe and secure, and ensure no burglars even target your property, let alone try to break in. If you would like to find out more about our homes security solutions, please just get in touch with a member of our team today