As we start the new year (2014) we thought a few common sense suggestions may be welcome in case you are considering reviewing the safety and security of your home.
1. Start by reviewing the exterior of your property to make sure there are no broken windows or access to your property through garages or conservatories. Lock any tools and items such as ladders away
2. Ask a vetted, inspected and qualified locksmith to review your doors and windows (including internal doors to conservatories and garages) to make sure all of your windows and doors have the most appropriate locks, they are in good condition, properly fitted and meet your insurance requirements
3. Opportunist thieves can often approach houses that look like nobody is at home so consider installing a number of light timers around the house so it appears someone is home
4. Dusk to dawn or sensor lighting to the front and back door of your home will deter potential thieves and help you gain entry into your home in the dark
5. Alarms can be very effective but you need to change the code regularly to gain maximum benefit from them
6. Side windows in a house can be smashed to reach keys and gain entry so consider adding reinforced glass or maybe even block up the window. Decorative grilles and bars can also vastly improve the security of a home without being detrimental to the aesthetics
7. Home safes are becoming increasingly popular too, so you may want to consider asking a specialist locksmith to specify and install one
8. You may also want to install top and bottom bolts on French doors or add sash jammers to UPVC doors
9. While you are reviewing your security it is also worth considering when your keys were last replaced, whether past owners or tenants may still have access to your home and whether anyone may have made copies of your keys without your knowledge. If you are worried ask a professional locksmith to change your locks and fit a patented system, whereby keys can only be copied with proof of ownership
10. Consider your own influence on the level of security for your home and make sure you don’t indulge bad habits such as leaving keys in locks or in view that you and your family may have. Simple tips such as always setting alarms, changing codes on a frequent basis and locking any side or back gates can make a substantial difference and deter attack
11. Make sure you source a good quality lock to protect your garden shed and its contents, if you have one.
12. Statistics show that thieves are increasingly breaking into homes to steal car keys so don’t make it easy for them by leaving keys in view