Remember the basics: lock your doors
Most burglars are opportunists who take advantage of someone who simply omits to lock his door. A thief can be in and out in seconds. Even if you are only stepping out of your home for a short while, it pays to lock your doors and windows.
Three locking points are thrice as good
An external door with just a single lock provides a relatively easy point of entry for burglars to break in. Tripling that number makes it much harder for a burglar to get into your home. Few burglars will take the time to try to pick three locks, which also provides stronger security against forced entry. The most secure locks for external doors are mortise locks, which you can find at your local DIY Store.
Forget high walls and solid fencing; think trellises or chain link fencing
It is partly true that high walls and solid fencing are necessary home security tools. However, they also pose a hazard to your safety and the items in your home, because they allow burglars to break in without being seen. It is not that hard for a burglar to scale a wall or fence, and once he has done so, he can act with impunity, knowing that he is safely out of sight of neighbours or passers-by. Trellises or chain link fencing are much better alternatives to a solid wall or fence.
Keep keys out of sight and out of mind
When you lock your windows and doors from the inside, don’t leave the key in the lock. A visible key is a tempting target and a burglar will often try to reach it by knocking it out of the lock onto the floor, or by breaking a window. Then it is a simple matter to use the key to let himself in. And don’t forget the garage: make sure that your garage and car keys are out of sight and out of reach.
Neighbourhood Watch and other security programs are a home security essential
Be a part of the neighbourhood watch and any other scheme that your neighbourhood has. It pays to have extra pairs of eyes watching over your property whilst you help others do the same.
Bright lights and visible burglar alarms deter thieves
Few burglars are bold enough to enter a well-lit home. Your doorways and sheltered areas of your house and garden should have good security lighting. Also make your burglar alarms visible in order to deter burglars. Be a good neighbour and ensure your lights and burglar alarms do not disturb others. The Department of the Environment recommends that an alarm should automatically turn off after twenty minutes.
Radios and lights keep you present even when away
Use your radio and house lights to give the impression you are at home any time you are away. This is especially important when you are going out for a prolonged period.
Spy-holes let you know who is at the door
Know who is at the door before opening it. A spy-hole fitted in your external door lets you see when an unfamiliar or suspicious person is at the door.
Door chains are good home security tools
Have your doors fitted with door chains. Door chains are a useful precaution when talking to a person you are not familiar with, since it ensures that you only have to open the door a little way. The chain prevents an unwanted visitor from forcing his way past you and you makes it easier to close the door if the person acts suspiciously.
Ensure your door and window frames are in good condition
Weak door and window frames can be easily forced. Check them regularly – at least once a year – to ensure they are in the best possible condition.
Mark your property
Do something that distinguishes the items you own and allows you to easily identify them. Writing your postcode on an item can help police restore stolen property to you. If you are concerned about the appearance of the item, you can use an invisible ink marker that can be seen only in ultraviolet light.
Don’t give burglars the tools to break in: keep ladders and other tools safely stored
Ladders and other tools that could be used by burglars to enter your property should be safely stored. Preferably keep them in a safe, locked location where they can’t be seen.
Don’t let burglars get a peek
Draw your curtains or window blinds at night. This helps prevent a prospective burglar from seeing where you are and what you are doing. It also stops him from seeing your valuable property and making a note that your home is worth a visit when you are out.
Use window locks to prevent people from getting in
Use window locks, especially on older windows or if you do not have double glazing.
Don’t advertise that you are on holiday
Before you go on any long trip, stop the post, milk, newspapers and any other deliveries that might pile up on your doorstep, letting everyone know you are away.
Dan Muston is driven by a genuine concern for your safety and that of your family. He has over ten years of professional experience of locksmithing and security systems installation in
Arizona, California, Florida, and
invites you to contact him by email at email@example.com. New York