As England starts on the road towards ending lockdown and easing the social restrictions put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, then more people will be heading out again – which means that home security should be in everyone’s minds as burglars will be on the streets again as well. Follow our tips to ensure your home is secure when you go out.
If all goes according to plan, then by mid-June, social distancing will be a thing of the past and the country will be back to something approaching normal and everyone can go out to their favourite shops, leisure facilities and places of interest again. And, after the best part of a year being cooped up, many people will take the chance and get out and about again.
But that means more homes will be left unattended, which means that burglars will also be on the prowl, looking for easy targets. Here’s how to increase the chances that your home isn’t one of them.
Make sure everything is locked
Before you leave the house, make sure you lock all the doors and windows. This may be home security 101, but it is easy enough to forget. Even if you are only popping out for 10 minutes to the shop, it is important to do this because burglars can only be in your house for seconds to steal something of value.
Also, some burglars are opportunists and will try doors and windows of unoccupied houses on the off chance they are unlocked.
Leave valuables out of sight
Another thing to do before you leave the house is to ensure any valuable items are out of sight. For example, don’t leave laptop computers or tablet devices near to a window, where an opportunist thief can break a window, steal it and be gone again within seconds.
Likewise, don’t leave car keys within sight of the front door or a window. Thieves look out for things like this and, if the keys are within reach will break a window to get them. Some thieves also ‘fish’ for keys – putting a long pole through the letterbox with a hook on the end to get the keys that way – although fitting a letterbox guard can put a stop to that.
While the nights are getting lighter, if you are going out in the evening it is worth considering fitting security lights. Burglars work in the shadows, so anything that illuminates them is going to discourage them. Plus, if you are in, it alerts you to the fact someone is outside. They are also useful when you are returning home as you don’t have to fumble in the darkness looking for the keyhole in your front door.
On a related note, if you work late or night shifts, consider investing in timers, which can switch house lights on and off at pre-set times to give the illusion that somebody is in the house.
Check your door locks
Doors are only as secure as the locks on them. Check your locks – are they fully working and in good condition? Are they fitted properly? An incorrectly fitted lock can be easier to break, especially a cylinder lock. Is the lock of a standard sought by insurance companies? BS3621 is the standard that many insurance companies stipulate locks be fitted to.
If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no’ then it is time to look at upgrading your locks. If you do decide to upgrade your locks, then it is advisable to get a professional locksmith – such as Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester – to install it, as they can ensure it is fitted properly and give a finish that won’t show that a new lock has been fitted.
Review your security
If you are going to be out of your home for the first time in a long while, then it is worth reviewing your home security. How secure are the locks on your doors and windows? Is it worth investing in security cameras/CCTV? Are the locks on the garage or shed in good condition?
If you want to review your security, locksmith businesses are happy to provide security reviews and provide you with impartial advice on any upgrades that may be needed. They can also then fit any new locks or security devices. Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester offer this service – please call one of our friendly team on … for more information.
French windows/patio door security
French windows and patio doors can be a vulnerable point to burglars, but there are ways to make them more secure. For example, you can purchase a patlock, a device that holds the internal door handles in place securely.
In addition, you can install deadbolts at the top and bottom of the doors, which means they are harder to prise open.
Finally, sash jammers are worth considering. These inexpensive devices stop doors from being opened, should the thief manage to pick the lock. The best sash jammers bolt through the frame of the door and can be locked from the outside.
Install a burglar alarm
If you are going to be leaving your home empty for long periods during the day, it is worth considering installing a burglar alarm. There are various types of alarms but basically with all of them, if someone breaks in, an ear-splitting alarm is sounded.
Some alarms will now send an alert to the homeowner via text or smartphone app, while others notify a monitoring centre who will, in turn, contact the police.
Sometimes, just having the alarm box on the outside of the house can be enough to put off would-be opportunist burglars.
How to find out more
While no anti-burglar measures are every 100% effective, if you follow these tips, it should mean the chances of suffering a break-in are minimised.
If you want to know more about home security or want to upgrade the locks on your doors and/or windows, please give Inta-lock Locksmiths a call. Our team cover Leicester and the surrounding area and can provide you with a quote that is competitive with any other locksmiths in the Leicester area.