Top 10 ways to improve home security

Top 10 ways to improve home security

Burglary statistics don’t make the most pleasant bed-time reading, but they give great insight into how we can make our homes more secure. That’s why we recently carried out a study of the tens of thousands of burglaries that occurred in England, Scotland and Wales in 2013.

And if you think burglars have to get crafty and creative to break into properties these days, you’re in for something of a shock – more than half gain entrance simply by using the door.

Access, it seems, can be frighteningly easily for intruders – so here are some top tips to improve your home security:

Upgrade your locks

56% of last year’s burglaries saw the perpetrators gaining access via a door. In more than half of these cases, the door or lock was simply forced – something that becomes a whole lot harder if you upgrade your locks to TS 007 three-star, BS 3621 or BS 8621 standards.

Three-star TS 007 locks, are designed (and proven) to withstand intruders’ efforts to damage them by bumping or snapping; substantially reducing the chance of break ins occurring using these methods, whilst BS 3621 and BS 8621 standard locks provide the level of security for external doors expected by most British insurers; making them a favourable choice when changing your locks.

Be bright

Security lighting is a great addition to your property, and a significant deterrent to any potential burglar. Choose between motion sensor systems, which illuminate when they detect movement near your home, or dusk-til-dawn lights that stay on right through the night.

Ditch the cat flap

Bringing a whole new meaning to ‘cat burglar’, 1% of all burglaries last year were initiated via a pet flap. Burglars can use the flaps to access keys left on the inside of the door, or, in the case of larger dog flaps, even send a tiny young accomplice into the property through the gap.

If you’ve inherited a property with an animal flap, and have no use for it, replace the door. If you do need the pet flap, consider investing in a smart system that only allows access when it recognises your animal’s microchip.

Protect your patio doors

Sliding patio doors can appeal to a burglar, as they are often fitted with aesthetics, rather than security, in mind. To bolster safety here, consider Yale’s Doormaster range – a robust, multipoint lock system that runs the whole height of the door. Alternatively, why not upgrade your multipoint locking system to one that complies with TS 007 standards?

Don’t leave your doors exposed

In the case of a forced door it may not always be the lock that gives way to allow entry, but may in fact be the door frame itself. In order to decrease the risk of this occurring, consider the implementation of a frame reinforcer; strengthening the area around the striking plate of your lock, an addition such as this can make all the difference in your first line of defence against unwanted intrusion.

And that’s not all; when it comes to gaining entry through your door the use of force is not their only method.

If your door opens outwards you may be at risk of hinge attack. This refers to when a burglar is able to simply lift the door off its hinges, allowing them easy entry to the property. To prevent this from happening you may wish to add hinge bolts to your doors. These will provide additional protection, ensuring your door remains securely in place, regardless of whether the hinges are targeted with forceful methods.

Raise the alarm

Fitting an intruder alarm is an obvious step in combating crime, but to maximise its impact, position the control panel carefully. Should an intruder gain access via the door (which, as we’ve seen, is very common) the alarm may not be tripped – in which case the alarm will only sound if they fail to disable the panel in time. Hiding it somewhere can help.

Take care with your keys

We’ve already mentioned how a key left in the lock can cause problems – and that’s the case whether you have a cat flap or not. Never leave them anywhere close to the door, as a seasoned burglar could quite easily hook them with a piece of wire through the letterbox.

Don’t give burglars a leg up

An open bedroom or bathroom window provides an easy point of access for burglars – especially if you give them a helping hand in scaling the heights of your property. Never build a shed or low structure underneath a window, and definitely make sure you store ladders away from prying eyes.

Additionally, why not add a restrictor to your windows for extra security? Reducing the amount that they can be opened; the use of a restrictor can prevent an intruder from being able to gain easy access to your home.

Guard the garage

Even if your vehicle has an ultra-modern immobilisation system, it’s vital to guard your garage properly – especially if there’s an internal door into the house. Only a small percentage of last year’s burglaries involved access via the garage, but the figures are on the rise. If you would like to find out more about how best to improve the security of your garage, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Protect your possessions

Protecting your property isn’t just about keeping people out – it’s about keeping your valuables safe in the event that somebody does ever enter against your wishes. To that end, home safes are becoming more and more popular as the perfect place to store money, jewellery and important documents when you’re away from home for a while.

Choose one with a high ‘cash rating’ – an indication of the maximum amount of money you should keep in it, and consequently a guideline as to the safe’s level of security.

Need more advice on home security for your doors and windows? Give us a call on 0121 418 3415 or drop into our Birmingham showroom and we’ll be happy to help.

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