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10 Top Tips for Home Security and Deterring Burglars

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jan 21, 2023
5 minutes read
  • Which home security tip puts burglars off the most
  • Learn how to secure your home
  • Home security tips for when you’re away

When it comes to deterring burglars, it’s useful to go with tried and tested methods that people have been implementing for years. Even though home security systems exist, there are other ways you can learn how to secure your home. We’ve compiled a list of ten home security tips that will help you on your way to protecting your home and prized possessions.

Some of the tips are obvious, while others are more concerned with the digital age. As a bonus form of home security advice, when going on holiday, avoid posting about your plans on social media, and don’t check in at destinations when away. This is a simple enough way to advertise your home as being unoccupied and an easy target. If you wait until you come back to put anything online, you’ll save yourself a headache.

A dog perches on a sofa and looks out the window

Spare Key Placement

Although they are useful in emergency situations, having a spare key in a cliché hiding spot, like underneath a flower pot, mat or other easily guessable location, will do you no favours in terms of home security. Instead, leave it with a trusted neighbour or friend. If this is inconvenient, consider using a key safe. A little caution and forward thinking will pay off in the long run.

Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Ground floor windows are in prime position for potential burglars to eye up what’s on offer. Net curtains are typically a thing of the past, which would easily obscure their vision. This is how to secure your home without putting up net curtains. You can either make sure that any easily transportable valuables you have are hidden from sight or you can make use of blinds, which can be closed or set to an angle that prevents probing eyes. Remember, for home security, keep your keys, money and tablets away from view.

Use Home Automation

Smart security camera

Indoor home security systems really protect your home and give you the option to customise how they work. For instance, you can fit contact point sensors to your windows that will trigger the alarm to sound if they’re broken. You can also use motion sensors to start an indoor camera recording that’s pointed at the front door. With smart home security systems, you have complete control over how it functions, usually from your smartphone. So when you’re away from home, you still have eyes where you need them.

Read more about all types of security system in our complete guide.

Tidy Gardening

An unkempt garden can create a perfect opportunity for a burglar to hide, so keeping front hedges and walls under a metre high gives them nowhere to conceal themselves. A tidy garden that’s well cared for gives the impression that you haven’t been out of your property for a while. Additionally, you can make use of spiky plants in back garden hedges and on top of trellises to really add another layer of home security.

Install a Visible Alarm System

One of the best deterrents is to have an alarm installed that’s visible from the outside. This is usually in the form of a box that sits at the front of your home. It comes with the company’s name on the front and a flashing light to let potential burglars know that it is set. In terms of home security, it’s a sure sign that you have your place protected, even when you’re not in.

Install CCTV

Home Security Tips

CCTV cameras are another perfect example of home security in action. What’s more, 46% of burglars are put off by the presence of security cameras. Compared to a burglar alarm, which came out at 71%, CCTV isn’t rated as highly on the list of deterrents, but it is an additional element that you can have in your home security roster so you know how to secure your home.

Curious to know more? Check out our article on the best security cameras.

Make Use of Outdoor Lighting

According to the same survey from Which?, 21% of burglars are put off by outdoor lights or lights on sensors. If you’re looking to fully protect your home, you can make use of exterior security lighting, which comes on via sensor over nighttime hours if any movement is detected. As burglars operate in the darkness, making sure they’re in plain sight is a good home security tip, especially if any cameras you have don’t record in night vision.

Useful Electronics

Back on the subject of indoor home security, a presence, real or not, can be enough to deter a burglar. Over half are put off by people in the property. A home that’s unoccupied, though, can be easy to identify. If you’re going to be away for stretches at a time, whether in the darker days of winter or for dinner in the evening, make use of timers to switch on lights, radios and TVs to get your home to at least appear occupied. Time lights to switch on, not just in the landing and hallway, but in different rooms, at different times. Similarly, put the radio on a talk show and make use of the TV at different hours.

Give the Dog a Bone

Dog Bowl

Perhaps one of the oldest forms of home security available, the trusted hound is one of the most reliable. The bark of a dog is a deterrent all its own, no matter the size of animal it comes from. As a way of attracting the attention of others, burglars would rather not risk it. Almost as useful is a dog warning sign, even if you don’t have a canine. The real thing, however, cannot be beaten, with larger breeds posing more of a deterrent than smaller ones. After all, 71% of burglars are put off by the presence of a dog in the home.

Secure Doors and Windows

It may sound simple enough, but according to a recent survey from John Lewis Home Insurance, almost 60% of UK residents never lock their downstairs windows. Even more don’t bother locking their upstairs windows either. To rectify this home security error, always be sure to lock your doors and windows when they’re not in use. You should, however, make sure the keys are always in reach, should you need them in case of a fire.

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