For almost all of us, a house is the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. Not only is it the centre of family life and a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s also a financial asset that, in all likelihood, you expect to grow in value.
With all that in mind, it stands to reason that you’d want to protect it.
Once the process of buying a house is complete and the boxes are unpacked, the excitement of the adventure that awaits means the practical security of your new home is probably not at the very top of your list of priorities.
In fact, it may be that you’ve been in your home for a while but haven’t yet got around to considering the security measures you might take to protect it.
Along with the common sense things you can do, like locking away tools and ladders, there are also some things you can do to improve the physical security of your house without turning it into Fort Knox. Those recommended by national police website include:
Changing the locks when you move home.
From cleaners to tradesmen, it’s impossible to know who might already have spare keys to your house, so having new locks and keys removes any possibility of someone simply being able to unlock your front door whilst you’re out. At the very least, install additional deadlocks.
Make sure all accessible windows are fitted with working locks.
According to www.police.uk, in the majority of break-ins that happen in the UK, access to the house was gained through either a door or window. And of course, it goes without saying that once you have locks on your windows and doors, use them every time you go out.
Improve lighting, especially around doors and windows.
The fact is, would-be intruders would prefer not to be seen breaking in, so being able to melt into shadows while they go about their work makes some houses more attractive than others. Making sure you have good lighting, including motion-sensor lighting, is a good preventative step.
Install a burglar alarm.
These are an obvious deterrent, but if you have one fitted make sure that whoever fits it ensures the wiring for it isn’t accessible. And if it malfunctions and keeps going off, get it repaired immediately – and then let your neighbours know it’s been fixed. A persistently faulty alarm is more likely to be ignored.
The one deterrent that some homeowners don’t consider is security cameras. Although this can be common in shared apartment blocks and smaller contained housing communities, it can also be used on single private homes.
Eoin Clarke, the managing director of Wandsworth security company CCTV Camera London, says: “Although a CCTV system can’t stop crime full-stop, it does act as a deterrent, and where a crime is committed it can be the difference between the police being able to identify the offender and recover stolen property.
“We have a client in Chelsea, for example, where there has been a burglary or car theft after the CCTV has been installed and the cameras have picked up the criminal’s face and vehicle registration.”
Eoin adds that security camera systems are available for a range of budgets, placing them in reach of many homeowners. But he added: “When choosing a supplier, it’s important to make sure they are experienced and understand the privacy regulations that govern the installation of cameras.”
And of course, most insurance companies now factor home security into the premiums they offer, so taking sensible measures may also offer a cost saving as well as giving you a certain amount of peace of mind.
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More information about CCTV security for the home can be found here.
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