Chances are, the last time you discussed “safety”, it was part of a conversation involving your online security. Alternatively, it may have been about your personal safety, when out alone. What about keeping your home secure? Today I’m sharing some tips and ideas to help you stay safe.
Keeping Your Home Secure
We live in a 3 storey house. It’s an unusual layout, and while the kids sleep on the top floor, hubby and I are on the ground floor. If I am honest, sleeping on the ground floor leaves me uneasy. Our bedroom window is the only one on the ground floor, which is accessible without scaling an 8 foot fence. Of course, we have 2 boxer dogs, so anyone with half a brain cell would steer clear of our home anyway. Read on for some other ways of keeping your home secure.
Lock All Your Windows
It sounds so obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people leave their windows open in the Summer when they are out. Our windows all have two catches. The first one is closed tight, while the other is open a crack. This is to allow a breeze through, while still being locked securely.
Direct Response Burglar Alarm
I asked several friends recently if they had antivirus software on their laptops, to prevent their online bank account. Of course, they all said yes. When I asked the same friends if they had a home alarm system with direct response, they all said no. Admittedly, we fall into this group too. Although, we’ve been considering an upgrade for a while now.
When did you last go outside to check on a neighbour’s property when their burglar alarm went off? We live on a fairly new housing estate, and a different alarm goes off at least 3 times a day, every day. Some are people leaving their windows open and the wind blowing the curtains. Others are pets accidentally tripping the sensors. Not to mention the car alarms which are set off almost hourly by the local cats jumping all over them.
I can’t remember the last time I went outside to check on a neighbour after hearing an alarm – It must be at least 6 years. Direct Response systems alert a call centre when your alarm is triggered. The systems vary but some record audio, take photos and log each household member’s comings and goings via their smart key.
Leave A Light On
If you’re going out, leave a light on! Alternatively, set your smart lights to switch on when it gets dark. Technology has come a long way since those automatic timers my parents used to use back when I was a kid! If you are planning to be away for an extended period of time, a property guardian could be a more viable option.
Secure The Garden Gates and Garage
Chances are, you have at least one garden gate. We are in the minority here – we don’t have one. Our front door opens onto a communal carpark and our back garden is enclosed. This is both a blessing and a curse. We love that it’s so secure for the kids and dogs – Nobody is getting in or out of our back garden unless they scale a 10 foot fence! It does mean our bins have to be stored at the front though, which is an eyesore in my opinion.
I’d recommend a high quality lock for your seat garden gate. If potential burglars can see this area, they can spot items of value. Additionally, I’d make sure your front gate is visible from your ground floor front window – that way nobody can hide there or sneak in while you’re at home.
Upgrade Your Locks
Our front door has a Mortice lock, but not a Yale (or nightlatch) lock. I’ve been nagging hubby for ages to add one of those. Additionally, when we moved house, I called our locksmiths to arrange for the exterior locks to be changed. Call me paranoid, but I didn’t like the thought of the previous owner having a set of keys. Hence why fast, online key cutting is so helpful to get this process wrapped up quickly.
When you’ve got children, it’s all too easy for accidents to happen and the lock to be forgotten. As a child, I was terrible for forgetting to turn the key when I got home from school. If you’re worried about this, adding a night latch will add some extra security and peace of mind.
If your home has a garage, make sure its secure at all times. Doubly so if there’s a door off the garage, which leads directly into your home. If your garage does have one of these, I’d put a decent lock onto it, so it can be locked from the house side. This will form an extra barrier of security, as garages are so often left unlocked by accident.
Secure The Kids Bikes
If your kids have expensive bikes and other outdoor toys, make sure they are secure. Often, thieves will follow children home and if the bike is just propped against a wall or tucked round the back of the house, it’s easy pickings. If they are stored in a garden shed, add adding a combination lock is a convenient and secure option. The kids won’t need to remember the key, but their toys will still be secure inside.
Finally, if these tips on keeping your home secure have been useful, check out more of my home and lifestyle content here.