January 30, 2018
Property gossip August 2016

Our home is our castle, as the adage goes – but that’s not always the case. Because a castle – or rather a fortress – is somewhere we regard as being secure and impervious to invaders. And yet between April and June last year, there were 44,363 residential burglary cases recorded by police forces across England and Wales according to national statistics.

It’s a sobering thought. And it should certainly galvanise us into making sure our homes are as secure as they can be. The good news is it’s not difficult – nor expensive – to keep our private possessions secure. Here’s some of the best ways to do that:

Buy a burglar alarm
Yes, this method is as old as the hills, but there’s a reason for that – it works (or rather deters thieves from breaking-in).

There are at least four types of proven alarms on the market at the moment. They vary in price, of course, as well as method. The most basic is a ‘bell’ type alarm which rings the minute it’s ‘tripped’ and if you’re not in the house at the time then hopefully a neighbour hears it – or it’s enough of a fright to make the intruder run.

A step up from this is an alarm monitor where you’ll be notified by text or phone if the wire is tripped and can then call the police. The third – and most sophisticated alarm – is one which is linked to your local police station. This is the most expensive to purchase but insurance companies love it so it should bring down your home insurance costs (which is a big bonus in itself).

Let a lock do the work

If you’ve a lock on your front door then make sure it’s a good one. For storm doors on old properties – or any main door for that matter – a five bar mortice deadlock is a ‘must.’ A less expensive rim lock is good if it’s combined with a door chain and peephole so you can check who is at the door from inside (if you happen to be home at the time). Just make sure that any lock you buy has a BSI kitemark on it to verify its authenticity – and effectiveness!

Catch that thief on camera…

These days it’s not expensive to buy a camera for your home security. A number of smart cameras mean that you can not only view your home from a remote location via your phone, but that there will be a recording of what you’ve viewed too – whether internally or externally.

More miscellaneous means
Gravel as a pathway and underneath your window is a great deterrent – if you’re in the house at the time you can always hear that crunch of footsteps and get calling the police.

Have waist-high greenery surrounding your property, but keep it low so you too can see what’s going on and – more importantly – so can your neighbours when you’re not at home and there’s someone doing hurdles on the hedges.

Timer switches for lights which can be switched on when you’re not at home are a brilliant invention and we’re convinced, have saved thousands of homes from being broken into…

Kids and teenagers do it with their bikes all the time – and the reason for that is because it works – mark your valuables with a UV pen so that if they show up at some future auction they’ll be registered as yours and hopefully they’ll be returned!

The above list is a handful of what we consider to be some of the most useful home safety tips but, of course, it isn’t exhaustive. Definitely worth considering though…