Burglars have been breaking into homes for as long as we can remember, and it’s safe to say that they will continue to do so.
According to statistics, there were over 402,000 cases of reported burglaries in England and Wales in 2019/20, around half of which were cases of domestic household burglaries.
What can be done to make homes safer? What home security measures can be taken to deter burglars and intruders?
Although there is no way to stop burglars from targeting your home, there certainly are ways to deter them from breaking in and causing harm to you and your family.
While numerous modern technologies can be used to make your home safe and secure, some of the best home security measures involve basic common sense, such as keeping the doors and windows locked and putting valuables away from plain view.
SECURE THE DOORS AND WINDOWS
Doors and windows are the most common entry points for burglars with around 67% of them breaking in through the front door.
What comes as a surprise is that quite a few of them don’t even have to “break in” and find that the doors and windows are left unlocked.
The first step towards making your home safer and more secure is to always lock the doors and windows, and not just when you are out but also when you are inside the house.
You must inspect all your exterior doors and windows to check for vulnerabilities and reinforce them using good quality locking mechanisms and use strong and sturdy materials such as wood, composite, and uPVC for the door and window frames.
Some of the best front door locks include deadbolts, mortice locks, rim locks, lever locks, and anti-snap Euro cylinder locks.
If you are moving into a new house, the first thing that you must do is change the locks to ensure that no one, other than you and the people you have given access to your home, is allowed to enter.
This is a necessary preventive measure that all new homeowners must take since there is no way of knowing how many spare keys are out there for the existing locks and who has access to them.
You may also take this opportunity to upgrade to better and more advanced smart keyless locks that eliminate the need for keys and, instead, use a variety of other authentication methods, such as access cards, codes, fobs, biometrics, and mobile phones to grant or deny access into your home.
Smart keyless entry systems allow for better access control and management as compared to the traditional lock and key system and also allow you to track who entered your house and when.
LIGHT IT UP
Criminals hate being in the spotlight. Why? Because it brings attention to them and increases their chances of getting caught.
Now that you know one of their weaknesses, you can use it to keep thieves, burglars, intruders, and vandals away from your home.
Lighting up the front and back of your home will not only make burglars wary about targeting your house but also eliminate any hiding places and blind spots that could potentially be used by them.
You may use motion-activated lights that turn on as soon as someone steps foot under them and put outdoor lights on a timer that can also be controlled remotely via a mobile phone.
Burglars prefer targeting houses that are empty since it makes it easier for them to break in unnoticed, which is why so many cases are reported during the holidays and when people are travelling.
Light timers can be particularly useful in such instances and may give the illusion of the house being inhabited, even when it is not, making the empty house less likely to be targeted and broken into.
DON’T FORGET THE GARDEN AND GARAGE
Securing your garden from unauthorised access could reinforce your external home security and help secure your entire property against break-ins and burglaries.
Gardens, themselves, are also lucrative targets for theft since people like to keep high-value items such as gardening equipment, bikes, barbeques, and expensive foliage in their gardens – all of which are of great interest to burglars.
Garages are another popular entry point among burglars who, if they are unable to break in through the main doors and windows, try their luck with the garage that most likely has expensive tools, equipment, and cars inside, along with a possible entry point into the main house.
Therefore, if you wish to keep your home safe, you must not forget the garden and garage and give them just as much importance security-wise as you would your main living area.
Burglars are smarter than you would think and put in time and effort into planning a burglary. Most of them are known to “case a house” where they closely monitor the property and its occupants for information that might be of value to them, such as understanding the layout of the house and figuring out the homeowners’ routine.
You must be vigilant of certain suspicious activities and keep an eye out for signs that might indicate your home being cased, and potentially targeted, for a crime.
If there is an unknown vehicle parked on the street, and you know that it doesn’t belong to any residents or visitors, it could indicate someone watching your property, especially if you see someone sitting inside it.
Strangers walking around the neighbourhood and fake salespeople knocking on doors pretending to offer services are two other signs to look out for.
Check out our detailed guide on how to know if a burglar is watching your house and what makes certain houses easier targets.
HIDE YOUR VALUABLES – INVEST IN A SECURITY SAFE
If you have a nice car, park it safely in your garage. If you have expensive jewellery, keep it locked up in a security safe. If you have recently purchased an expensive gadget, don’t leave the empty box by the street.
Hiding your valuables is one of the most basic forms of security because if it doesn’t seem like you have items of value to steal, it may not put your house on the burglars’ radar.
Simple actions such as not leaving valuable items near the doors or windows where passers-by may easily see them can deter burglars because they can’t see anything worth stealing.
This includes items inside the house, the garage, the garden, and any other place you feel may attract unwanted attention.
Keep everything securely locked away and use curtains or blinds to conceal the inside of your house from plain view. It may also make it more difficult for stalkers to tell if someone is home or not.
Investing in a security safe may be one of the smartest decisions that you can take security-wise because even if a burglar manages to break in, they are not going to find most items of value that they are after.
While it is not possible to lock away your television and other larger expensive electronics, you can use security safes to lock away cash, jewellery, guns, and important documents such as birth certificates and bank statements.
There are many types of home security safes to choose from and they do not just provide protection against burglaries but also against fires and floods, and help lower home insurance premiums as well.
DO NOT OVERSHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
These days, it is very common to use social media to post about your day-to-day life, and in doing so, some people may overshare resulting in their private information falling into the wrong hands.
Tech-savvy burglars use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find valuable information that they can use to target you and your house.
What’s surprising is that due to the excess of information available online, some burglars don’t even have to physically stalk their victims. They can simply log online and stalk anyone they wish to, without them ever knowing!
Therefore, be careful about what you post online, especially personal details such as addresses and daily routines, since they can be used against you, and nothing feels worse than knowing you enabled someone to cause you harm.
Also, as difficult as it may sound, resist the urge to announce your vacation on Facebook and Instagram, and always wait for after you are back to post pictures since you wouldn’t want to tempt a potential burglar with the guarantee of an unoccupied home.
GET A DOG
Not that you would need a lot of convincing to get a dog, but they are one of the oldest (and cutest) burglary deterrents out there.
Burglars just want to get in and out very quickly without drawing any attention, but a dog won’t let that happen, making them incredibly effective in keeping your home safe from intrusions.
If something unusual is going on outside of your house or there is a stranger at the door, a dog will let you know by barking. They can also be trained to act a certain way and pick up on intrusions and suspicious activities.
Security dogs never let their guard down and their quick reaction, coupled with strong territorial instincts, are enough to scare away potential intruders into trying to break into a house with a dog.
SET UP AN ALARM SYSTEM
A home security system such as a visible burglar alarm may not only deter criminals from targeting your home but may also scare away those that attempt to do so.
They work using a series of sensors, such as door and window sensors, vibration detectors, and passive infrared (PIR) detectors, to pick up on intrusions and sound a loud alarm, sometimes also accompanied by flashing lights, to attract attention towards the intruders and scare them away.
The best type of sensors for your home security may be chosen depending on the area of installation and the type of intrusion that needs to be detected.
Simple bells-only burglar alarms make a loud noise and depend on someone nearby to respond to it, dialler alarms contact the homeowners and other nominated individuals in the event of an alarm trigger, and monitored burglar alarms are professionally monitored and the relevant authorities are notified by trained individuals at the Alarm Receiving Centre after having the alarm verified.
You may also invest in smart burglar alarms that integrate with other smart home devices and send push notifications to your phone whenever an intrusion is detected.
To make sure that your burglar alarms remain an effective deterrent against burglaries and intrusions, make sure they are regularly maintained and checked for faults and defects.
To prevent a clever thief from disabling your alarm system, you must conceal the wiring and, if you have a monitored alarm where the police will be alerted when it goes off, make sure it is made obvious and advertised by putting up signs and window stickers.
ADD CCTV CAMERAS
How many times have you heard about criminals being foiled thanks to CCTV cameras and recorded footage? Probably, a lot.
CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras are one of the most effective security systems available in the market today that not only deter criminals but also help with getting justice if you have been wronged.
They are becoming a common sight with millions of homeowners around the world trusting them for constant surveillance of the properties.
The fear of being recorded on camera and getting identified and caught is what keeps criminals away from homes under CCTV surveillance, and which is why you must invest in home security cameras as well.
They must be placed on all the at-risk locations such as the main doors and windows, including the front, side, and back doors, the front and backyard, the garage and garden, and the shed and garden office.
Placement of the cameras is key to their effectiveness, which is why careful thought must be given to where and how they must be placed, and what exactly they must record.
There are many types of CCTV cameras to choose from for home security, and whichever ones you choose, there are certain features that you must look for, such as motion detection, mobile notifications, remote monitoring, night vision, wi-fi capabilities, two-way communication, local or cloud storage, and weather-proof and tamper-proof casing for outdoor use.
There are certain home CCTV laws and legal requirements that you must comply with to ensure that the systems are used properly and not infringing on anyone’s privacy.
If the CCTV cameras are recording footage within the boundary of your home, the data protection laws do not apply to you.
However, if you wish to record areas outside of your private property, you will have to comply with the laws and guidelines laid out by the GDPR and DPA, since the inability to do so may subject you to appropriate legal action by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
CONSULT WITH A PROFESSIONAL SECURITY COMPANY
At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services.
We are experts in the field of home security and can recommend the best security solutions to make your home safe from all kinds of threats.
We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.
We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems that include:
We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.
We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain the security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and vulnerabilities.
We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.
We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our leading security experts right away!