Many homeowners worry that their house or flat isn't secure enough. The following article is packed full of useful home security advice, so you can relax knowing that your home and possessions are protected.
Check doors and windows
Look at your home through a burglar's eyes. How easy would it be to break in? Start by securing your doors and windows.
- Choose sturdy doors
Make sure all of your exterior doors are solid and at least 44mm thick. Glass panelling on exterior doors can be vulnerable, so ensure your door is fitted with strong, laminated glass.
- Lock your windows
Keep upstairs and downstairs windows closed and locked when you're not at home, as burglars could attempt to gain access through even the smallest spaces.
If you're not expecting any guests, make thorough checks before inviting callers into your home.
- Ask for ID
Even if you're expecting a visitor, always check their identification carefully and only open your door if you're absolutely certain it's safe to do so.
- Peep holes
If you have a peep hole in your front door, make sure you use it to identify callers before inviting them into your home.
- Close the door behind you
If you live in an apartment complex, be careful when leaving your building. Avoid holding doors open for people waiting to come into the building when you're on your way out.
Secure your valuables
Make it as difficult as possible for burglars to steal your belongings, even if they do gain access to your home.
- Invest in a safe
Consider purchasing a safe for your home, in which you can securely store valuable items and important documentation.
- Mark valuable items
You can use an ultraviolet pen to mark items of value, such as televisions and DVD players, with your postcode and house number. This will help police to identify your property more easily if it's stolen. You can also engrave your details onto your belongings but this may lower their value.
When you're going on holiday
Take some time to think about household security before you go on holiday, so you can relax and enjoy yourself while you're away.
- Lock up carefully
Before you leave, lock all doors and windows and set your burglar alarm (if you have one). Remember to secure all outbuildings, such as sheds and garages, and make sure that any gardening equipment is locked away.
- Remove small valuable items
If possible, remove smaller valuable items, such as jewellery, from your home and leave them with a friend or relative while you're away. Try to make sure that larger valuable items (like televisions) can't easily be seen through windows.
- Don't tell people you're going away
Tell as few people as possible that you're going on holiday. Ask a friend, relative or trusted neighbour to move your post and make use of timer switches for lamps and radios to make your home look lived in.
- Be careful with your luggage
Avoid writing your address on your luggage label, as potential thieves will know you're not at home. Instead, use just your name and mobile number.
Keep your car secure
Most vehicle crime is opportunistic, so don't leave anything in your car that could tempt potential thieves. Here's some handy security advice for motorists.
- Empty your vehicle
Remove satellite navigation systems, CDs, handbags and even sat nav mounts from your car. If you ever need to leave items in your car, hide them from view as much as possible.
- Use a car alarm or steering lock
If your car has an alarm fitted, use it whenever possible. If you don't have a car alarm, invest in a steering lock. Although steering locks mightn't stop thieves breaking into your car, they are an obvious deterrent and will let potential thieves know that you are security-minded.
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