Home security advice for winter
Well hello there, and a belated Happy New Year to you all. Hope you had a good festive period and are now all geared up for whatever 2017 may bring. Going by how 2016 went, fasten your seatbelts - it could be quite the bumpy ride.
Nothing quite says it's a new year like the resolutions we make on the 1st of January. I trust that your pledge to go to the gym more/eat healthily/give up smoking/stop watching reality TV/be more awesome (delete as applicable) promises are still going strong and will continue to do so all the way through to December. Though actually, I don't mind too much if your pledge to go to the gym falls by the wayside - selfishly I prefer the health club when it's quiet as then I get first choice of the exercise machines.
In this spirit of resolving to do the right thing/change our ways, I thought I'd put together a quick list of ten resolutions every home owner should make for the New Year to improve the security of their home. Don't worry, they're a hell of a lot easier to achieve than learning a new language or training for a marathon in the Sahara, I promise. Now, repeat after me.
1. I will install (or improve) the locks on my shed or garage
The dark winter months provide plenty of cover for burglars to try their luck at breaking in to garden sheds and outbuildings, many of which have very lax security. Make sure yours isn't one of them.
2. I will walk round the outside of my property, inspecting for weak spots
Take 5 minutes to look round and pay particular attention to door and window frames that may be rotten or worn away, providing easy access for housebreakers.
3. I will call my local, friendly, qualified locksmith to review my security arrangements
That means me, by the way (had to get in there!). Seriously though, when were your locks last inspected? Are they in a good enough condition and do they meet the specification required by your home insurance cover? If they've not been replaced for a long time, you may find that they will need updating.
4. I will look at my own behaviour as a home owner
A few resolutions in one here, as a) you should promise never to leave your keys in the door or on view easily accessible to opportunistic thieves, b) remember to always set your alarm when you leave the house, and c) to ensure all exterior doors are locked.
5. I will make it appear as if I'm at home when I'm away
Easily done if you install a couple of light timers to come on at random times in the evening. You can also offer your neighbour the use of your drive if you're planning on being away for long periods.
6. I will consider a CCTV system
Whereas this used to be a huge investment, the prices of these systems have plummeted in recent times with the cheaper technology on offer. A couple of well placed cameras linked remotely to your PC/laptop or mobile can be a real deterrent.
7. I will definitely get a house alarm fitted this year
I'm assuming most of you will have done this, but if not, DO IT IN 2017! It's one of the best investments you can make to keep your property secure.
8. I will invest in a home safe for valuables
Don't leave cash, jewellery, passports etc out on display in your house. Get a good quality safe to keep these items secure. Importantly, ensure the safe is not itself easily portable, otherwise you're just conveniently packaging all your valuables up in a box for a burglar to carry away with then.
9. I will bulk up security on the patio doors
Do you have any French doors on your property? If so, get locks or bolts fitted at the top and bottom of each of them for extra security should the main lock be snapped or breached.
10. I will be the bearer of light!
Exterior lighting is a real help in the winter months to deter thieves who love the cover of darkness. The added benefit of external lighting is of course that it helps you find your own way to your property in the dark evenings too.
So, ten home security resolutions there that, if you put into practice, will hopefully lead to a burglary-free 2017 with no break-in dramas. I can't promise there will be no security dramas at all - Trump's in the White House, after all, but at least we can say we've done our part to keep our homes as secure as possible. Wishing you again a happy and successful 2017
For advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, call 01266 399 067 or 07990573857.