The number one deterrent for burglars is secure locks on your windows and doors; if you’ve got these areas covered, it will be extremely difficult for a would-be thief to break into your home.
However, once you’ve got top quality window and door locks installed, you should still pay attention to your security as there are some other tips and tricks you can use to help reduce the likelihood of an attempted break-in.
Here are a few ideas to help keep your home safe and secure.
Don’t neglect the landscaping
If your home is surrounded with attractive plants, shrubs and greenery, it’s particularly important to make sure that you don’t let them become too overgrown.
A house which is shrouded with overhanging plants and branches provides lots of places for intruders to hide. This could leave you vulnerable to being ambushed either on your way in or out, or simply provide a good hiding place for burglars to break into your home at their leisure, undetected by passers-by.
Keeping your lawn well-trimmed and cut is also a good idea but for a different reason. If your garden appears unkempt and not well cared for, you could easily give the impression that you’re either on holiday or simply away from home a lot. Both will appear very tempting to burglars who are looking for a house to try their luck on.
Protect sliding windows and doors
Although you might have excellent locks, it’s possible to add a little extra protection to windows and doors which slide open.
Take a wooden dowel or a metal bar which fits into the track when the door or window is closed. Once it’s in place, it’s impossible to open the door or window, even if it’s unlocked. This simple measure which costs virtually nothing will provide some extra security to any vulnerable spots.
Replacing your windows is certainly not a cheap option but when the time comes, try to buy the best you can afford, rather than cheap and cheerful.
Double glazed and toughened glass are much more difficult to break, and will be an extra incentive for burglars to walk on past your house.
Fool opportunistic thieves
If you’re out for the evening or away on holiday, the lack of light within can be a sign that the property is empty.
Leaving lights or lamps on is an option, but even more realistic is a little gadget that imitates the flickering glow of the TV. It doesn’t use any more energy than a night light and works on a timer, providing passers-by with the impression that someone is home and watching the box.
Clean up flyers
No-one likes getting junk mail but don’t be tempted to ignore it and leave it on the porch, or sticking out of your post box.
A well-known strategy of burglars is to plant a flyer and then return a few days later to see if it’s moved. If it’s still in situ, your house could be targeted because burglars may assume you’re away on holiday. If you actually are on holiday, ask a neighbour to clear your letterbox and your porch area regularly to remove any clues to your absence.
Burglars generally aren’t keen on houses which are well lit up and exposed, so investing in some lighting for your outside areas, preferably those which are either motion sensitive or on a timer will really add some extra protection.
If you’re worried about the unnecessary use of energy you can opt for fluorescent bulbs which will keep the costs low.
Making your home appear as unattractive to burglars as possible will help your property avoid becoming a target. The appearance of a busy household where someone is always home, with no dark recesses for a burglar to hide will help to keep you safe and secure. And of course, the secure locks which you already have on your windows and doors will provide that much-needed protection and peace of mind so you can sleep easy in your bed at night.