Home security should always be at the top of your to do list. It ensures the security and safety of your family and home. It also lessens the chances of a break-in. Here we have the top 10 easy tips that you should undertake to secure your home. Some of these steps should be a part of your daily routine. Others need a bit more attention to start with and then maintenance along the way. So let’s get started on what you should be looking out for.
1. Door security
The door is usually the first thing that burglars try to break through to get inside. Therefore it’s the first point of defence and as such, you should invest time and money in this. But what to look for? Check your door lock hardware is not loose onto your door. You shouldn't have any trouble getting the key in the lock either. If you do, get it changed. Most older doors likely have short screws on strike plates and hinges (on average around 30mm). So replace these with longer ones, we recommend at least 75mm.
Don’t forget security for sliding doors
One type of door that often gets left out when it comes to secure your home is the sliding door. Most sliding doors have generic cheap door locks. Change this to trusted and well-known brands such as Whitco or Lockwood. These will stand the test of time and heavy use. Choose one that not only has the knob lock but also operates with a key, giving it that added lock strength. Next, look to install a floor bolt for your sliding door. This provides added strength to the door against forced entry. Alternatively, you can look to place a dowel rod in the track to prevent any movement too.
2. House keys
Did you change the keys to your home when you moved in? No? Get this done ASAP. Whether you’re renting or have purchased a home, chances are your keys are not the only set floating around. Any number of people can access your home at any time. The best solution is to use a Master Locksmith to either change the locks on your door or have them rekeyed. Now you’ll be the only ones with your set of keys. Whilst you're at it, if you have different keys for doors around the house, consider getting them keyed alike.
3. Secure the spare key
Nobody likes to be locked out of the home. It’s certainly not intentional. But if this situation happens to you, there are two options. One, hire a Master Locksmith and get them to unlock your home for you. Or two, getting your spare key from a locked and secure key storage box. This key storage box doesn’t have to be fancy. All you need to do is install it on a solid surface (i.e. wall), whilst keeping it out of view at the same time. Then set up pin access and store away your spare key. Done! You never have to worry about getting locked out again.
4. Window security
Check that you have keyed window locks. But what's the point of window locks? It keeps intruders out who look for an easy way in. (Think of those scenes where an intruder quietly slides the window open in one of those thriller movies.) Although it may not necessarily deter theft from occurring, it will delay in their attempt to quietly get in. To further delay their attempts, window restrictors come in handy too. Therefore the windows can’t open past a certain point, which is usually the size of a grapefruit or two. Plus it also provides the added bonus of ensuring young children don't get stuck in one either.
5. Sensor outdoor lights
Already have sensor outdoor lights installed? Give them a good clean from dust and cobwebs. Check that it is pointing in the space where you need it. Don’t have one? Get one installed asap. They are one of the easiest ways to secure your home. Sensor outdoor lights provide a clear view of the world outside your door. Most importantly, they light up as people approach your home. Which in itself deters potential burglars as they’ll be visible in the light.
6. Garage door
Always lock your garage door, whether it's with a key or a garage remote. But don’t leave the key or remote in your vehicle. Instead, keep it on your keychain with your other keys or in your handbag/backpack. If your garage remote is too bulky, then invest in a smaller remote that works with your garage.
7. Get a safe
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well the security is, they will be persistent to find a way in. Protect your most valuable possessions in a safe. Look for one that is fire resistant or theft-resistant depending upon your concern. For added strength bolt the safe to the floor, making it harder to remove. It's best to get the professionals to install it for you.
8. Add security cameras
Adding cameras to secure your home is a no brainer. There are plenty of cameras to choose from. From the wire-free cameras, such as the Reolink battery operated cameras. These cameras are great at capturing motion events and are DIY friendly. Or the hardwired camera systems which capture footage 24/7, but require a professional to install them.
9. Don’t advertise valuables
Break down packaging for your new gear (whether it’s bulky or not) and place it at the bottom of your recycling bin. Another tip is to not leave your wallet and keys in plain sight. Rather, find a drawer that you can leave them in and change this location on a regular basis. Do you have something shiny and expensive that can be seen from the street? Find another location for it or get some sheer curtains that block the view but still let in the light. Whilst we’re talking about valuables, take an inventory of what you have. The list should include serial numbers, model type and receipts. For those rare items, take photos instead.
10. Going away?
If you’re planning a getaway, there’s a couple of quick things you should do. First, have your mail stopped or get a trusted family, friend or neighbour to pick up the mail for you. Second, don’t advertise that you are going away. Avoid posting holiday snaps on social media until you get back. You never know who can view your posts. Third, always make it look like you’re at home even though you’re not. This means, installing timed or smart lights inside and even having the TV turn on and off to make some noise. Or get a trusted family member or friend to spent a couple of nights in your home.