Nearly a third (28%) of UK homeowners take no security precautions at home, leaving themselves vulnerable to break-ins.
October 1st marks the start of National Home Security Month (NHSM), designed to raise awareness of the importance of keeping your property secure.
Each week of NHSM has a different focus, with week one looking at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding home security. For example, many people assume that burglary is mainly confined to low income areas, when according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the area with the highest number of burglaries in the UK is affluent Henley-in-Arden.
Week two looks at the importance of making sure your front door is safe. Research by comparison website MoneySuperMarket found that 74% of burglars break in through the front door, but composite doors and smart locking mechanisms can make them much more difficult to get into.
The focus in week three is on using technology, information and community to fight back against the threat of burglars. Residents in areas which are covered by Neighbourhood Watch can expect to experience 11% fewer crimes, so if you’re not a member of your local scheme, it makes sense to sign up, or start your own if there isn’t one.
Week four looks at smart security and how having a connected home can deter thieves. Smart door locks not only protect your home, but are also more convenient, as you’ll no longer need keys to unlock your front door.
Finally, to coincide with the clocks changing, week five of NHSM looks at steps you can take to keep your home safe once darker nights return. Burglaries increase by as much as 25% in the autumn and winter months, so you’ll need to be extra vigilant during these periods.
Tips to improve home security
There are lots of things homeowners can do to improve their home security. Here are some top tips:
1. Get an alarm
If you haven’t already got one, consider installing an alarm. These are not only a deterrent to burglars, but some insurers may also lower the cost of your home insurance.
2. Lock any outbuildings
If you have a shed or garage, make sure it’s kept securely locked and that no tools which a burglar might be able to use to gain access to your property are kept on display.
3. Fit security lighting
Installing outside lights with sensors which turn on when anyone is near your property will make it much harder for burglars to gain entry to your property undetected. If you’re going to be away from home for a few days, you may want to plug timers onto your lamps so that they turn on at regular intervals, making it look as though someone is there.
4. Don’t broadcast your movements
Social media has made it much easier for people to know when we’re away on holiday, so don’t put up any snaps until you’re back from your break. Make sure your security settings are private too, so that people you don’t know can’t see what you’re up to.
5. Lock up
Always lock your doors and windows every time you go out, even if you’re only going to be away from home for a few minutes. Check whether any of your locks need updating too – if you think they do, get advice from a qualified locksmith who can talk you through the most secure options.
How safe is YOUR home?