There is little doubt that good locks and a burglar alarm are the ultimate deterrent when it comes to keeping burglars out of your home. After all, the not-so-nice fact is that you are usually simply trying to make your property less attractive than those of your neighbours when it comes down to the choices that a thief has to make before breaking in.
But, in an age where everyone has cottoned on to basic home security, what can you do to further reduce your choices of being a victim of crime in your home? Common sense of course plays a part, which means closing your downstairs windows and ensuring the back door is locked at night, even when the mercury doesn’t show much sign of shifting below the midday high. Your insurer will usually insist on these measures anyway, but doing a final check before you go to bed is always a good idea.
Thinking like a burglar can also help. Look at your home and work out where you would break in if you had to (or even where you have when you have lost a key). But beware of installing fences and hedges. These can help in places where needed, but they can also make a great screen for burglars as they break in.
Advances in affordable technology have been great for homeowners, with items like webcams and CCTV cameras now being something that you can hook up to your home computer system. This means that you can have a quick and easy way to see who is at the door, as well as a way to keep your home safe when you are away.
Security companies have also come up with smartphone apps that allow you to virtually monitor your home or even turn your laptop into a motion sensor camera. There are even devices that update the concept of simply leaving the hall light on or putting lights on a timer when you go out, allowing you to turn lights or TVs on and off, or even change the brightness and colour of lighting.
If you are planning to move home in the near future then you should be aware that the ‘location, location, location’ mantra also applies to security. If you are wondering why that house on the corner plot is cheap then you may want to look at how easy it is to hop over the back fence. Ask owners and neighbours about crime in the area, as well as checking out the area on the national crime maps via postcode. If your potential new home has been burgled twice in the last year then you may think twice about taking it.
Of course, the ultimate deterrent for burglars is a large, vocal dog. But if you don’t have one then you may find that a window sticker saying ‘I live here’ that features a vicious looking brute may be a very cheap way to make your home just that little bit more secure.