Home Security Tips Over Winter
Only 1 in 5 people take extra measures to keep their home safe during winter when the nights are longer. As burglars prefer to operate in darkness and at night, you can help yourself feel more secure by raising this statistic. You can easily pay for security cameras or a burglar alarm, but here are some tips you can implement without their help.
Light bulbs in general are much more energy efficient now and last longer. They are an excellent deterrent to burglars as they remove the chances of anyone sneaking around under cover of darkness. One of the best moves you can take is to install motion-activated lighting with passive infrared (PIR) sensors that will illuminate your drive or side passage. This can help you as well as deter intruders. You can also install dusk till dawn lighting on your drive as an additional measure.
Dummy Alarm Box
For those on a budget, installing fake security is always an option. A dummy alarm box sits at the front of your home and can flash an LED to make it look like the real thing. Paired with security stickers and perhaps fake security cameras, it could be very effective. According to a survey from ADT, 94% of burglars would be put off by the presence of a security alarm or CCTV. However, peace of mind is most assured when actual home security is installed.
Sheds and detached garages are often overlooked when it comes to home security. Tools, ladders and bikes are usually stored in these areas, which can be ripe for easy pickings. These buildings should always be securely locked. If any doors need replacing, this should be done as soon as possible. Ladders are especially important to lock away as they can allow access to upper levels of your home. Garage doors need to be in good nick as well, or this could compromise access, especially if it’s attached to your home.
You should always check the perimeter of your property for any signs of potential easy access. Old gates and broken fencing are never ideal and access gates to private areas should have at least two separate locks. To minimise the chances of anyone hiding in nearby foliage, you can make use of prickly plants. Rear fencing should be 1.8 metres high and can be raised even higher with trellises to prevent anyone scaling them. Loose gravel pathways are ideal around the home as they are difficult to mask footsteps on.
Valuables should be kept out of sight, especially on the ground floor where they can be seen through windows. Invest in a safe if you need one, but make sure it’s never visible. If you’re going out in the evening, you should make your home seem occupied. Use lights on a timer in different rooms (not just the hallway) and put on a radio talk show. If you’re working late, programme these things to come on before you get home.
Secured by Design
Windows, doors and locks come with the Police Preferred Specification standard, known as Secured by Design. These prevent crime by being well designed enough to deter burglars. Roof lights should also meet these standards. Make sure to update your locks and keep windows locked, with the key in a safe place (also not anywhere visible).
To make sure you retain ownership of your possessions, it’s wise to take photographs of them, especially making note of any serial numbers. Use an invisible UV marker pen to write your name and address, so if your objects are recovered, they can be returned to you. You can also register your possessions on Immobilise for free, which is another service the police use to return stolen goods to their rightful owners.