Apr 18, 2016

How to Keep Your Home Secure


Swag Robber

It’s all very well making sure you shut all the windows and lock the door.

But there’s always going to be a chancer out there keen to show off his or her skills in lock picking, eager to defy you and your not unreasonable expectation that your home really is your castle.

With traditional valuables such as the family jewels and Great Aunt Agatha’s collection of Georgian silver now being joined by all manner of high tech must have items such as plasma TVs and hi-fi systems that do everything bar the Sunday roast, you’re going to need to know that, whether you’re heading on a  world cruise or just popping down to the artisan baker in the village for a loaf of bread made of broccoli and rice, everything and anything that you’ve left in the house is safe, secure and free from covetous eyes and grasping hands.

Surveillance Camera

Get yourself some of these bad boys dotted around.

One way of deterring would be intruders is to install some security cameras in and around your property. These are not only a good visible deterrent but can also, in the event that you do suffer a trespass incident, provide crucial evidence in terms of identifying  intruders. Nothing shatters the case of Johnny Burglar more effectively or decisively as a clip of film being played in the courtroom that clearly shows him at large in your home, garden or any other place where he is not invited.

Outdoor security cameras will constantly monitor any outdoor area you choose. And yes, that is rather akin to stating the obvious. But there can be a lot of them, even on a fairly average sized property. Common placements might include front and rear entrances, driveways and pathways on either side of the property. A lot of cameras, a lot of monitoring and a high cost for installation and maintenance? It depends. Often one camera prominently placed at the front of your property can be enough. It will not only cover a large area, including all front facing doors and windows but provide that very visible deterrent to would be intruders who, having seen one there will be left to wonder how many more there are and if, indeed, they are as visible as this one?

In short, if they think there is a risk of getting caught, then they may not take that risk.

Security cameras can be either wired in or wireless whilst an outdoor one can be placed anywhere or be hidden in a variety of different ways. With a digital recorder and PC or separate monitor, all of the camera feeds can be viewed from a central location in the house and even, if required, hooked up to a remote monitoring service, such as those offered by companies like ADT.

Home Security Camera

These are pretty easy to use - and not too expensive!

In short you can cover as many bases as possible. And if you’ve got one of these in your garage the perceived hassle of getting them fitted will seem like nothing if you wake up one morning and it isn’t there anymore.

Worth thinking about?

You may, of course, think that, as you have a home and contents insurance policy, you don’t need to worry too much about security. And yes, it’d be a shame if someone half inched that hideous piece of crap that Grandma left you in your will, but hey, the insurance will pay.

Ker-CHINGGG! and all that.

Well hold on. It may not always be that simple.

Whenever you take out home insurance, your provider is going to expect you to provide a minimal level of security yourself. And, in this case, ‘minimal’ doesn’t mean you only use your locks for decoration or you always leave the back door open “...as the cat won’t come in otherwise”.

Insurers will expect locks on ALL your exterior doors as well as, in all likelihood, all of your ground floor windows.

Lots Of Locks

Not quite this many locks... but almost.

The type of locks you have is important as well. The more secure they are perceived to be by the insurer, the lower your premium might be as a result.

But no fibbing! Because insurers don’t like it. And neither, if you end up making and receiving a claim on what is later found to be false information, do the courts.

An online survey in 2014 revealed that 12 out of every 100 people who took out home insurance had either guessed or withheld information whilst 4 out of every 100 lied about having an alarm!

Don’t these people realise that the insurers might reasonably expect to see the alarm that they’ve been told is in place when they come round to assess the claim? What are you going to say when they check their information and say, “On your form it states that you have an alarm fitted to your property, where is it?”

“Oh, they nicked that as well” isn’t going to cut the mustard I’m afraid and you may end up in a touch of bother yourself as they will regard you as having made a false claim. At the very least if your home is broken into and the security measures listed on your policy had either not been put into place, were working or even existed at all, then you may end up getting absolutely nothing.

Which means you might end up replacing this.........with this.

As we keep on saying. Think about it.

We’re not here to guide or nanny you. And certainly not to preach to you or patronise you. However, it is a fact that both the value of our homes and that of the contents within them are increasing on almost a daily basis.

Which means that security and insurance in, around and for your home has never been more important.

Another option you might want to consider is having some carefully place security lights near to your home as well as some in the more darker or obscure parts of your garden.

Bright Security Light

You've got to know who's out there!

We’ve all seen the old World War Two movies where the escaping POWs are, inevitably, caught in the blinding glare of an enemy spotlight.

It’s obvious of course. But nothing scares the hell out of someone up to no good on a dark night than a bright light. And if you’ve got an assortment of them to hand attached in and around your property then the local ne’er do wells are likely to give you a wide berth.

Buying and installing some needn’t cost the earth. You can, for example, get them from Homebase. Whilst your local branch of John Law will be more than happy to give you advice on where the best place to fit them might be.

It may not be as fancy an option as the security cameras mentioned earlier. But its effective. And your insurers will like it.

We’ll be looking at some other ways you can improve the security around your property in the next Loft Blinds blog, ways and means inside and outside the home which will all serve to giving you and the things you cherish the most just that little bit more  safe and secure. There is, of course, no absolutely foolproof way of keeping the bad guys away. But you can make it as difficult for them as you possibly can.

And the bad news for them is the ways you can do exactly that are growing all the time.

Good night all.