Being burgled is a terrible experience, and although it’s not possible to make your home 100% burglar proof, there’s a lot you can do to make it as secure as possible. Here are some basic security tips to help you protect your home – some of which, may be necessary conditions to help you qualify for our home insurance.
1. Front and back doors
Fitting the door that you use to enter and leave your home with a three-point multi-locking system or a mortice deadlock with a minimum of five levers, can add considerable strength to your doors.
Always keep all your access points locked when they're not being used. Make sure your gates, garages and sheds locked, too – burglars will often try access points and move away quickly if they don’t have any luck.
2. Accessible windows
Window locks will help stop opportunists looking for easy access. Fitting all your accessible windows with key-operated window locks, which are always locked when nobody's home, will increase your security. We define ‘accessible’ as any windows that can be reached without a ladder, and have an opening of at least 9 by 9 inches.
3. Patio doors
Patio doors should be securable with a key-operated security lock on all sliding patio doors.
4. Other external doors
All other doors could be fitted with barrel bolts, top and bottom. If a door is partially glazed, you'll need to have key-operated locks fitted.
5. Intruder alarms
Install your alarm in a visible place. With a NACOSS, SSAIB or NSI-approved intruder alarm covered by an annual maintenance contract, you may qualify for extra discounts on your house insurance.
7. Security lighting
Security and other good lighting is a great deterrent and helps to give the impression that someone is at home, even when your house is empty.
Never leave your window or door keys in the lock and keep all keys out of sight. By keeping them on the hall table or in the kitchen, offenders have the chance to not only steal your household belongings, but also make off with your car.
Ask a trusted neighbour, friend or relative to keep a spare set of your keys, and never leave spare keys outside under a flowerpot or in the garage or shed.
Make sure garden tools, ladders or anything else that could be used to break into your home are not left lying around. Garden walls, fencing, trees and shrubs may all help a thief break in without being seen.
Chain-link fencing, trellises and prickly shrubs all help deter burglars.
Make sure your valuables aren’t hidden in obvious places. So, for example, don't store jewellery in your bedroom, spare cash in your bedside table, and don’t leave valuables in a place where they can be easily spotted from an external window. Keep your curtains drawn when it’s dark and at Christmas, resist the temptation to display your presents in the window under the tree.
11. UV pens
Mark your possessions with UV pens, so if the worst happens, they may be easier to recover.
12. Social media
Don’t advertise your absence on social media. You may be excited about your holiday, but so will burglars.
Lastly, make sure your security systems don't block your exit routes in case there's a fire.