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National Home Security Month – Week 1: Hints & Tips

A round up of our best advice

National Home Security Month kicks off this week. Each week in October will have a different theme and the first of those is Hints & Tips for Home Security. As an official supporter we will be sharing our own posts in line with these themes and we start today with a round-up of our best general tips and advice about home security:

⇒ Keep sheds and garages locked. Not only could items be stolen, burglars could use tools and ladders to break in

 Insecure break-ins – via an unlocked door or window – account for 30% of burglaries. Make sure you lock up, even when home

 Always set your burglar alarm when you go out even if just for a few hours. Failure to do so could invalidate insurance

⇒ Burglar alarm not working? Don’t put off getting it in full working order with a service – you never know when you might need it

 It’s nice to open out patio doors to let some fresh air in but take care that intruders can’t access the garden and sneak in

Don’t ‘check in’ on social media when out or away on holiday. You are openly declaring that your house is empty

⇒ Kids in and out of the garden? Make sure they understand the importance of security including closing gates and doors

⇒ Consider installing anti-snap Euro cylinder locks to give your home extra protection

 Keep doors locked even if just popping to a neighbour’s. Sneak in thieves only need a few minutes to access your property

 Some burglar alarms can be linked to a camera system so you can check in visually if the alarm is triggered when away

⇒ Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home when away from home. Obvious activity will deter a would-be intruder

 Join or start a Neighbourhood Watch group to maintain security in the community

⇒ Some burglar alarms can be set up to text you if the alarm is triggered. Could give you peace of mind when at work or away from home for longer periods

 Keep front doors locked when sat in the garden or upstairs. An intruder could be in and out without you noticing

 Use smart systems or timers to control lights and open/close curtains when away to make the house look occupied when away

 Lock up valuables in a safe so even if someone accessed the property, they would not be able to take them

 Don’t leave notes for the milkman/postman that you’re not home. Opportunist burglars can also read!

 Hide spare car and house keys (preferably in a safe) as thieves who gain access once may also return at a later date

 Educate teenagers/young adults about not announcing your absence on social media. This can make your home vulnerable

 Look out for odd chalk marks around your property; they could indicate your home is being targeted for a break in

 Dogs can be targeted for theft. Make sure they’re secure when out in the garden

 Nights get dark earlier once the clocks go back. Close curtains to make sure your valuables are not on display

 If you have an alarm, use it! Many don’t set it due to inconvenience, pets or are unsure how to operate it

 9 out of 10 burglars are deterred by an alarm or CCTV cameras and won’t attempt to break in. Consider installing them

 Using a ‘safe place’ for parcel deliveries while out? How safe is it really in a garden/outhouse? Better to re-deliver

 Gravel drives, ‘beware of dog’ signs, burglar alarms, lights and CCTV cameras will all put a would-be intruder off

 Just lighting up your house will deter burglars. Security lighting at the front and the back is a good idea

 Away from home? Get your alarm or CCTV linked to your mobile phone so you can keep an eye on things while away

 Burglaries are actually more common during the day. Don’t leave doors unlocked even if you are in. Set the alarm if out

 If you have animals you can still use a burglar alarm – just have pet sensors installed that won’t be activated by cats and dogs

 Don’t allow strangers into your home unless you are expecting them or they have ID that can be verified. Burglars will often pose as tradespeople or other valid callers to gain access

 Make sure other entrances to your home are secure when you answer the door as burglars can employ distraction methods to sneak in

 Make sure you keep your burglar alarm maintained properly through regular services so that it always works at its best

We’re also answering home security questions throughout October, so please feel free to ask anything you’re not sure about, and we’ll be donating £2 for every service and £10 for every installation to Victim Support.

Next week’s theme is Lock it Up – how to get the best security from the locks on your house.