If you have ever been burgled, you know how violating it can feel. Not only is there the financial loss of the items taken to deal with, as well as the cost of making good the damage, but also the fact that someone was able to enter your sanctuary, the place where you and your family should feel safest, can haunt you for years afterwards. We all know we should improve our home security, but at times when cash is tight, that’s often easier said than done.
So, here are some quick and cheap home security tips to make sure your home is secure and to make it difficult for thieves to get in.
Make Sure You Meet British Standard BS3621
What do you do when the insurance company asks if the locks in your home meet the BS3621 standard? Just hit ‘yes’ and hope? Well, most people probably do the same. However, you should check that they do meet it for your own peace of mind.
Locks that meet BS3621 have been put through rigorous tests to prove that they can withstand a range of common burglary attacks. And we know that, if a burglar’s first attempts at entry fail, they will most likely give up with your property and try their luck elsewhere. Unless they know for sure that you’re storing the Queen’s Crown Jewels in your downstairs bathroom, they are unlikely to persist and risk being caught. They’ll just move on.
Check that your locks meet the standard and, although it doesn’t provide a 100% guarantee that you won’t be burgled, it makes entry attempts more difficult, which is often enough. Also, you can answer the insurance company truthfully and not be left with a voided policy that means you have to cover all the costs of a break-in.
Secure Your Letterbox
Although Hollywood is always showcasing new, inventive and highly technical methods of criminality, the truth is that for the common-or-garden burglar, it is often the old school tactics that work the best.
A pole with a hook through the letterbox is perfect for snatching car keys. But it is preventable. You can buy a letter box guard that fits onto the back of your letter box for as little as £30, protecting you from this illicit take on Hook-a-Duck.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
This may seem like teaching your grandma to suck eggs, but so many people don’t even consider it. If a burglar can see that you have a laptop, tablet, the Crown Jewels or any other other valuables worth nicking, they are more likely to break in because they know it will be worth it. And how would they know you have these items? Because you left them out for all to see.
Hide them away from sight and the burglar has a tough decision to make about whether taking the risk of breaking into your property is worth it for the potential bounty. When they can’t see any valuables, they might decide not to take a shot in case you have nothing that they would want to take. It decreases the likelihood that they would choose your property.
Lock Your Outbuildings
Many criminals do not take their own tools when they head out to commit their crimes. Firstly, it can prove to be a heavy load. Secondly, if they are stopped with these items in their possession, it could be incriminating.
This means that they may be looking in your outbuildings, such as garages and sheds, to find the tools they will use to break into your home. If they are locked and tough to access, you have made their life more difficult and you might prevent them from trying to enter your home.
Check that your outbuildings have locks and that you actually lock them when you are not using them.
Other Home Security Tips
Obviously, there are other steps you can take to improve your home security. If you have some spare cash to spend, burglar alarm systems, video doorbells, smart locks and other technological solutions will help protect your property. However, these simple home security tips should help if you are feeling the pinch in the cost of living crisis.
What is your top home security tip? Share it in the Comments.