New Year Security Resolutions
Happy New… well I’m a bit tentative about wishing everyone a Happy New Year because I did that last year in 2020 and look how that turned out. But on the basis that lightning can’t strike twice, even though we know it can, I will still send out my best to all my customers for 2021 – fingers crossed that the vaccine brings brighter times ahead.
A new year is often a time to take stock, (by which I don’t mean stealing gravy), and focus on actions we can take for the year ahead. This is no different when it comes to home security, and in that vein, I have put together a few reminders of what we should be reassessing, and changes we can implement in the year to come. Think of them as New Year security resolutions.
First things first, like fans of Jim Morrison and Bill Gates, lets look at the doors and windows. Maybe you see the new year as a time to refresh the look or security of your door and window frames. Be sure that when getting new doors or windows that they meet the relevant standards. I’ve spoken about this at length before, but the British Standard certification is crucial when installing windows and doors. Speak to your installer before going ahead to ensure that they are up to the job – insurance companies will also often insist on a minimum standard, so check your policy about this too.
The doors at the front and back of the house should ideally have a mortice lock, and there should also be locks fitted to windows. I’d recommend all windows are lockable, but at the bare minimum, ensure all on the ground floor level are fitted with locks, as well as any that are easily accessible via a flat garage roof or similar. Don’t forget your outbuildings too, ensuring garages and sheds are locked, with all valuable tools or garden furniture securely housed inside.
Next up, burglar alarms, and this is twofold. First, do consider getting one if you don’t already have one, and secondly if you do have one then please do set it. I know of many break-ins where there has been a burglar alarm but it was not habitually used by the owners and so was not set when the burglary occurred. A good new year resolution could be to make it a new habit to set the alarm every time you leave the house, no matter how short a period you will be away. Yes, 99% of the time, this may be needless, but it’s the 1% we need to focus on – a ringing burglar alarm is still a pretty good deterrent to any intruders.
Similarly, do you have security lights fitted around your house, and more importantly do you use them? I know householders can be worried about external lights being on all night, using up electricity and possibly annoying neighbours, which is why I’d recommend motion-activated models. A sudden burst of light on a prowler, destroying his cover of darkness is often enough to get them quickly moved on, and off to look for another target rather than your house.
Another 2021 resolution could be to keep car keys and valuables out of sight, so that any passing opportunist isn’t tempted by easy pickings. This also goes for cars too – just before Christmas one of my customers had a laptop stolen from their car as they went back into the house for just 20 seconds to lock up. They got back in their car to find the laptop gone, quick as a flash, causing all kinds of unwanted hassle. Thieves can be quicker than we think, so never leave valuables unattended in your car or on display through an accessible window, no matter how short the timeframe.
Now none of us are likely to be jetting off on holiday the next few months what with one thing and another, but should you leave the house for any period of time, do not advertise the fact. This not only means avoiding posting real time photos away from the house on social media, but also the use of timer switches, activating lights, radios etc whilst you’re away. You can even get a neighbour to park on your drive if there is usually a car there – anything to sow the seeds of doubt into the mind of a criminal looking for easy prey in an empty property.
These are just a few reminders around home security – the winter months are often when the crime figures are at their highest with the dark mornings and evenings. And even though it looks like we’ll still be at home more than we’d like to be for the next month or two, it’s important to keep vigilant in order to decrease the chances of the even rockier start to the year that a break-in would cause.
Wishing you all the very best for the new year, please stay safe, and let’s hope for a bit more normality in a few months’ time. As ever, for any assistance with lock or security issues, call me on 07990573857.