Many years ago, my husband’s home was not secure. He was broken into and his wallet, computer and even his favourite shirt was stolen. His home was an absolute tip which took him and my mother in law a week to clean up. It was his first home and he was twenty-two. He’s fifty next year, but it’s had a lasting effect upon him.
Having lived with Nick for the last fourteen years, I am well versed in what you need to do to stay safe at home.
Just in case you don’t read on…
- keep your doors locked
- make sure your lock cylinders are Ultion TS007 Sold Secure Diamond https://ultion-lock.co.uk/ultion-locks
- don’t leave your car keys on view
- don’t post pictures of yourself in a bikini while on holiday
Now for the longer version…
Keep your doors locked all the time, even when you are inside
Almost three quarters of all burglaries occur with the intruder coming through an entrance door. If you don’t know the person at the door, don’t answer it. Ideally you need a camera to be able to see who is there and decide if you trust them.
If you are upstairs having a sneaky mid-day bath (that’s my secret treat when Nick and the kids are out for the day) or out in the garden lounging on a dodgy deck-chair or digging up that pesky old rose bush that you’ve been ignoring for two years, lock all your doors.
It is dangerous to assume that just because you are in the house that it is secure. It isn’t safe. In 64% of domestic burglaries someone is at home.
Lock your windows
If a burglar can’t get in through your door, they may try the window. If they are locked it makes it much harder. Breaking the glass is noisy, the last thing they are trying to do is draw attention to themselves. It’s also harder to remove goods, so it’s your handbag or wallet that goes when access is gained through the window. If they have time, they will look for another way out of your home. So if your keys are obvious and they can open the front door, they will pop in through the back window and remove all your goods through your front door.
Install an alarm, CCTV and a doorbell that videos people
My friend Emily has just installed a Ring doorbell. This has the advantage of showing you who is at the door. Brisant-Secure received a video from a homeowner’s Ring doorbell, showing a burglar walking away from the lock once they realised it was Ultion. He was swearing about not being able to get through it. We like those videos a lot. We may not be able to stop these people trying, but we can sure as hell stop them getting in.
There’s been much debate about how effective alarms are. At the end of the day if the alarm is going off the burglar is already inside. However, we will never know how many burglars decide to go next door when they see an alarm box, rather than target your house in the first place. They are a deterrent, but a deterrent worth having.
CCTV gives hours of entertainment. The other day I used it to prove that a parcel hadn’t been delivered when the courier company claimed it had (video footage sent off and parcel re-issued). It can also show you how many cars turned around in your driveway while you were out (an astounding number in our small village). It can even show you what the burglars look like when they try to get through your front door, but fail. They will fail due to your diligence of fitting Three Star Sold Secure Diamond Ultion locks on all your entrance doors.
Don’t tell everyone you are going on holiday!
Be very careful on social media and in your local area about broadcasting that you are going abroad or to the North Norfolk Coast or to wherever. However exciting it is, you need to keep it to yourself. The more people who aware that your home is empty, the more likely it is that it will become a target for attack. Additionally, be careful about sharing photos on social media of you in your bikini on a beach in Barbados. You are letting potential burglars know you are a good twelve hours away from home. It gives them many hours to get in, take all your stuff and get out again! In my case there is the added benefit for all my friends of not seeing my mars-bar hips…
However, do tell your neighbours (as long as you get on with them and they aren’t wearing a balaclava.) They are the best people to be able to keep an eye on your house while you are away and make sure that it is secure.
Be careful where you leave your handbag/wallet
Don’t leave your car keys, phone, wallet, handbag on view next to the window or door – it is just too tempting. There is a ridiculous amount of opportunism in theft and with less policemen on the beat, there is a rise in opportunistic theft.
Install outside lighting and have lamps on a timer
Burglars don’t like lights, especially ones that detect movement and flood the area so you can see what’s going on. For cost effectiveness fitting floodlights is up there will changing all your cylinders.
Also, if you are on holidays, pop a few lamps on a timer. Lights left on all the time are a give-away that you aren’t there.
Burglars don’t like dogs
Burglars don’t like dogs. They bark when there’s someone trying to come into their space. In fact my three dogs go ballistic. There is no way you would be sleeping through that. As an adult, I’ve always had dogs. I didn’t even realise how safe a big well-trained dog made me feel until I was alone in the house last year the night before I went on holiday and the dogs were in kennels. Not only was it eerily quiet, but I obsessively checked all the doors and windows as I knew that my doggy alarm system was on holiday.
Keep your shed secure
Nick and I have a shed at the bottom of the garden full of goodies. I feel confident telling you about it, as it is locked with the Brisant-Secure padlock keyed alike with my Ultion front door key. Burglars love sheds, they are full of goodies that can be sold easily and that people need all the time. http://ultion-lock.co.uk/products/padlocks
So, they are my top tips for keeping your home safe and secure whether you are in bed, in the bath or in Barbados. Louise fitted Ultion locks on her house, read about her experience here. Louise secured her home from burglars just in time…