Under lock and key

Your home should be somewhere you can feel safe and secure. However, burglars are constantly on the lookout for unsecured buildings, empty houses and easy opportunities. Follow these 10 simple steps to secure your home and ensure it isn’t a target for criminals.

Lock your doors 1

It only takes one instance of leaving a door unlocked for a burglar to gain entry to your home. If you need to, keep a note somewhere obvious such as on the fridge or on your bedside table to remind you to lock your doors, during the day as well as the night. If you are out in the back garden, check you have locked your front door. Always use deadlocks, latches or mortice locks if you have them. And remember, the front door isn’t the only one - make sure garages, windows, patio doors and even large pet flaps are secured.

Install an alarm

Having a burglar alarm in your house will give you some peace of mind. These can be audible, which rely on the burglar being deterred by the noise or someone hearing it and coming to investigate. This can be effective if you have neighbours who keep an eye on your property and know what to listen out for. Alarms can also be monitored, where they are connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre which can then contact a key holder. This is a good option if you are often away from home or you may not be able to hear the alarm.

2 Keep keys out of sight Conceal the fact that you’re away

If you’re going on holiday or even just away for a night, leave a few lights on time switches to make it look as though someone is home. You could swap some of your light bulbs for smart bulbs which can be operated via your mobile phone, meaning you can switch them on and off throughout the day, even when you are away. During this time it is useful to have neighbours and family, who can keep an eye on your home for you. Cancel any subscriptions so that mail doesn’t pile up or ask somebody to collect them for you. You can also alert the police that your house is empty, and don’t post online that you are away on holiday, for you never know who might see the information.

14 | Lifein | February | 01380 734376

A bunch of keys hanging on a hook by the door couldn’t be easier for a burglar to run in and grab. Instead keep them in a drawer or a box, out of sight and away from the entrance. Try not to keep all your keys together, either, as this offers a potential intruder access to multiple areas.

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