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Home security best practices

Even in the safest, most peaceful residential areas, break-ins can be a problem. As well as investing in a comprehensive, integrated security system, homeowners should always follow best practices when it comes to securing their properties. In this post, we take a look at the small changes you can make to better prevent break-ins.

Don’t telegraph your movements

One of the quickest ways to attract intruders and burglars is to advertise the fact that you’re not home. People commit this sin in a variety of ways. It is a bad idea to repeatedly post about the holiday you’re about to go on, or the fact that you’re going to be away next weekend. Even if your privacy settings are configured properly—and many of us fail to do so—you can never be 100% sure who is reading your posts.

If you are planning on being away from home for a week or two, let a trusted neighbour know so that they can keep an eye on things while you’re gone. They don’t have to maintain constant vigilance, but they can take steps like parking their car in your driveway or mowing the lawn (if it’s spring or summer). An unkempt lawn or garden is a signal to thieves that a property might be empty.

Prepare your property

It’s obviously impossible for you to be in your home at all times. However, going out doesn’t have to mean leaving your home vulnerable. Think about your property and how an intruder might gain entry. If you have a tree next to your home, consider pruning its branches away so it can’t be used to facilitate a break-in attempt.

Always lock away hardware like garden equipment—studies have shown criminals regularly use items already on-site to help them break into a property. On a similar note, make sure the locks on your windows and doors are actually locked. It’s a waste to install a strong set of windows and then forget to turn the key.

Timers are a good investment for anyone, regardless of holidays. A thief can ‘case’ a property well in advance and gain an insight into the inhabitants’ movements. By setting your lights on a timer you can create the illusion that someone is home. This is also true of outdoor lights, if you haven’t already acquired some motion-activated security lighting. Most burglars have no interest in being confronted by a homeowner and will be deterred by a well-lit, active property.

Invest in a deterrent

According to the latest government statistics, burglary is at historic lows, in part thanks to the wider adoption of home security systems. Visible signs of a security system in place act as an effective deterrent to would-be intruders, particularly technology like CCTV cameras and intruder alarm boxes. High-quality security gates and motion sensors have also helped to bring the number of break-ins down, but this all comes with an important caveat. In essence, if you install a security system you need to be diligent in using it.