Tips & Advice on how to protect my home
It is human nature to think twice whether or not you had shut and locked the door. As they say your home is your castle. So protecting your home is absolutely paramount. We will explain in great detail certain steps to protect your home whether you are going on vacation or if you have had a recent burglary. The following is split in 3 categories as:
- How to protect my home internally
- How to protect my home Externally
- How to protect my home when on vacation
How to protect my home internally
1. Get a home security system
East London Locksmith presents these useful tips to prevent any burglaries in your home. The home security system comes with lots of features, and a few of them are outdoor motion detectors, that can work as sensors at exterior windows, doors, and the garage door, an outdoor alarm is suitable to prevent other neighbors from intrusion, including security cameras. You can make the best choice for your needs and ensure you go with a popular, credible company. Upon installation, use it regularly. Sometimes, it may not be convenient arming the system whenever you want to leave your home, these criminals know how arduous home owners feel this task is and yard signs or window stickers may not deter warning of home protection. Do everything you can to learn, and let your family know about the security system to reduce false alarms. Otherwise you will be landed with expensive fines and your neighbors could get really pissed.
2. Never hide your spare keys outside or even label your keys
Imagine you lose your labeled keys, you are definitely in trouble, particularly if you have your wallet (with your ID and address) missing with the keys. These crooks even check under mats and other areas you could think of placing your keys, it’s better to leave your spare keys with a trusted neighbor. If otherwise, you can go for a combination lock-box in a discreet area of your home. Also learn the external protection of your home as well.
3. Ensure all windows and doors are always closed and properly locked
Burglars see an open door or exterior window as an opportunity to easily gain access to your home, always ensure they shut and fully locked irrespective of your presence at home or not. Strong window locks are extremely effective and always ensure they are updated when necessary. Criminals know which locks are weak or can be easily broken. Ensure there are deadbolt locks for your exterior doors. Use the vertical bolts and the wooden rod or metal in the track to ensure sliding doors are prevented from being forced opened or doors being taken off the track. Ensure the front door of your home is locked before leaving, even if it’s a short trip. When it’s raining, ensure your doors are locked, including the garage doors as it is unsafe to rely on your automatic garage door for complete security. Criminals don’t have breaks or days off because of weather!
4. When you move to a new place, change the entire locks
Get in touch with the landlord if the property isn’t yours. Even if the old tenant returned the keys, you can’t be too sure there are no copies of those keys, which could have been distributed. Be very smart to avoid strangers gaining access to your locked home.
5. Ensure valuables are secured in a lock-box and home safe
It’s better for your safe to be bolted directly to the ground if not mounted since the majority of burglars will find it easy to take it away, especially small safes. Your pass code should be given only to the person you trust the most, in case of any emergency. It should be hidden from the eyes of anyone, particularly where intruders can access.
6. Ensure windows are reinforced with metal bars or safety glass
This step may look very difficult, but these crooks find it easier to break a small window for easy access. Do your best to make it difficult for them by installing metal bars to make it hard to squeeze through or safety glass.
7. Use privacy film on and around exterior doors and decorative glass
Decorative and stained glass displays look pleasant for any entrance, but they can also serve as a security measure as well. You can use them with privacy film for external view distortion and decrease any chances of alerting a stranger or window shopping to your presence. This is more advantageous for those who live alone or with children that cannot be left alone.
How to protect my home Externally
1. Figure out the weaknesses of your home by taking a walk around it
Meticulously surveying your home from the outside is extremely important to ensure your home is protected. If you discovered your window could be easily pried open, this is the same conclusion a thief will arrive at. Other weak spots can be detected by your local police department to carry out a courtesy home assessment.
During this process, watch out for expensive art, furniture, or electronics that can be spotted effortlessly through the windows. Be sure not to tempt thieves in the best way possible.
2. Ensure walkways and entrances are free of shrubbery
A thief can find it easy to hide there, it’s best to take off any spot he could hide. Even if he tries to make cover to his entry, it would be harder when everywhere is clear. It’s more advisable to plant thorny shrubs close to your windows to make it hard to break in.
3. Construct a fence
Having a fence can prevent undesirable guests away from your property. The most ideal and preferable fencing could be ornamental metal or open chain-link fencing, to ensure your property is secured and to prevent lifting. If you go for solid fences, thieves can climb the fence and you have automatically provided a hiding place for them. But for those who prefer solid fence because of its noise reduction and privacy, ensure the fence has pointed tops or barbed wire on it.
4. Know who your neighbors are
A community that is firmly together is helpful as the possibility of neighbor looking out for one another is higher and they can easily identify a stranger. In fact, your neighbors can be your major asset in the prevention of home crime because they provide extra eyes and external perspective. Additionally, if their work or school schedule is different from yours, they can probably be around when you are not and can alert you of any suspicious event that can possibly occur.
5. Put a neighborhood watch program into consideration
With this, you will know who your neighbors are better, and will be able to develop a priceless commitment and awareness to the prevention of crime in your area. In fact, you can communicate with your local police department concerning getting your group an informal lecture on how to identify a suspicious individual and the necessary things to do if an individual is found loitering around your neighborhood, how to identify a burglary in progress, an auto theft in progress, and what can be done in an emergency case. The local PD will likewise often provide free content on home safety and in some cases provide window stickers and ID cards to show the neighborhood organization you belong to.
6. Cover all windows with curtains, especially basement and garage windows
Blinds or curtains should be used in these areas for protection and privacy. Keeping your outdoor valuables is the best idea, especially if they are always on display!
7. Ensure expensive items such as bikes, cars, and grills are fully packed in the garage
It may appear difficult to get the grill out every time you need it, but this protects it against theft, especially if they have wheels, they could easily sneak it away. If you have to park your cars on the street, ensure it is always locked and parked well.
8. Get motion sensor lighting installed at the entrances of your home
A spotlight will be effective to help identify potential intruders before they touch your windows or doors, the extra lighting around the dark corners and entrances of your home will help give more illumination to every area of your home.
9. Avoid keeping tools, ladders, and toys in your yard
When any of these is spotted by a thief, he could use it to gain access to your house. A home with too many toys littered around could signal there are enough entertainment devices to steal, including laptop, game consoles, or even tablets. Don’t forget to read Home protection when on vacation as well.
10. Discuss more lighting on your street with your neighbour
Usually, burglars prefer performing their operations at night, particularly in dark areas. A well-illuminated community will possibly deter them from your area, or at least, it would be extremely difficult to run away without being detected.
11. Trim trees around high-rise homes
The branches of a tree can give a determined burglar the access to break into your home. Ensure trees and branches are trimmed down, especially if you live on a two-story building, this prevents a cat burglar from thinking of that idea.
12. Work with your neighborhood to ensure it is cleaned up when necessary
It is easier for burglars to assume that a dirty or littered street is due to the nonchalance of those living in the neighborhood; hence no one cares for one another. This becomes a major location for theft. Your local public works department could be contacted to help with the clean-up. This can even create a bond with you and your neighbors, while also making your area more attractive to reside in.
13. Massive reflective numbers should be installed on your mailbox and home
The police find it easier to identify homes with large reflective numbers during emergency cases. Burglars prefer houses with poor identification or address numbers as they would have more time to disappear even if they are caught in their stealing process.
14. Ensure garage doors, gates, and fences are always locked
A quality padlock is extremely valuable for entrances into your home, even if locked at night. In any case, since the majority of family and friends would not bother calling before informing you of their visit, it is essential to leave them locked always. Even your garage door should remain locked always, regardless of being home or not. If you are facing issues with your locks etc, you can get in touch with a locksmith in London to get it fixed as soon as possible.
15. Get your car secured
If parking on the street is the only option you have, ensure it is done in an area will full and proper lighting and do not leave your phones, wallets, satellite radios, and other valuables inside the car. Ensure anything attractive is kept out of view while the doors and windows are firmly locked. Even in the safest neighborhoods, break-ins still occur and with an unlocked car, it becomes even stress-free. Do not leave a spare key anywhere else inside or in the visor, even if you lock the car.
How to protect my home when on vacation
1. Use lights with timers
Some major rooms should use timer on the lights to give thieves the idea someone is around, including your entrances and other outdoor lights. With a bright house, friendly guests are welcomed, but a dark house attracts unwanted strangers.
2. Contact a trusted neighbor to help your make a “lived-in” look
They can help you with delivered packages, newspapers, and mail collections, and even fill your trash cans. When you have lots of newspaper and mail unread, together with empty trash cans, criminals have the idea that no one is in that house and wouldn’t be around anytime soon. Tire tracks will also help when you take a winter getaway, your neighbor can also help with that, including footprints through your doorway. Ensure you get someone to cut your grass during summer vacation and the yard is kept tidy.
A trusted neighbor can also have your spare key for emergency situations, and even to help check your home periodically. A contact number is also essential so that you could be reached when you are away. And endeavor to return the favor when needed. Don’t forget to learn about external protection of your home as well.
3. Ensure your radio is left on and doorbell is turned down
You can use a battery-operated radio; this is really helpful to push thieves away. The doorbell is usually used by burglars to confirm if there’s anyone at home; reducing the doorbell sound together with a loud radio will give the thieves uncertainty of the condition of the house at the time.
4. Check your windows and doors over and over again before leaving
Ensure your home is safe under strong lock for adequate security when you are away. Don’t forget the window blinds and curtains to give the idea that someone is around. Thieves can easily spot a house that shows no one is obviously around.
5. Get your garage door locked and ensure the automatic opener is disconnected
As easy as this looks, people tend to forget to do it. Garage doors may seem hard to force open, people tend to overlook securing them. If you would leave for a long time, it’s better to disconnect the automatic lift and add a simple additional layer of security. If you are facing issues with your locks, consult a locksmith immediately.
6. Don’t be tempted to advertise your journey
People usually feel the urge to announce their trip on social media, this should be prevented. When people have an idea that your house will be empty, you give them an open idea that they can possibly break in. Similarly, ensure a message is not left on your landline answering machine that you are away.
It may be difficult for home invasion and burglary to eliminate our society, but do not let their threats put your daily life in fear. These simple steps will help you secure your home and the likelihood of such break-in will reduce. Moreover, if you need to change the locks of your home to British Standard Locks or other recommended locks that would withstand any breakage, contact us today at R&M Locksmith and we will replace your locks and help with any security suggestions and advice if you want.