Everyone should feel safe in their own home - it’s a right that every person should have, but whether you live alone or with somebody else, you may not feel completely safe all the time. Luckily, you may be able to improve this feeling or get rid of the worry altogether by increasing the security in and around your home. As well as increasing security, you may want to consider taking out home insurance so that the building and its contents are covered. This type of cover is a necessity if you have a mortgage and can alleviate worry if something were to happen at home.
Below, you can find some helpful statistics and information around home security and how you can improve it.
It’s so important to check that your doors and windows are locked when you’re not in, particularly as around 67% of burglars enter homes through a door, whether this is the front or back one.. You should also ensure that your doors are of good quality so that they cannot easily be opened with a crowbar and that other precautions are in place, such as a chain, to make it more difficult for someone to enter in this way.
It’s a common misconception that burglars are more likely to break in at night, but typically, most burglaries actually happen during the day. This may be because they know people are more likely to be out than during the evening or at night. A burglar might test your front door to see if it’s open and, if it is, they could quickly steal car keys or a piece of jewellery even when you’re at home. So whether you’re in the house, the garden or out and about, ensure that your external doors are locked.
You may even wish to consider window and door alarms. These are usually triggered if someone tries to open a door or window while the house alarm is on.
Having an alarm could put your mind at ease and may even deter burglars. These devices can sense movement and for this reason are generally installed so that the sensors monitor any potential entry points, such as a back door.
As nearly half of burglaries are spur of the moment, a thief might decide not to target your home if they can see you have a house alarm. The boxes that are fitted on the outside of your home can work as an excellent deterrent.
Hiding your valuables could decrease the risk of your home being broken into. As previously mentioned, the majority of burglaries are spur of the moment, so car keys that are visible from the window, for instance, could make your house more of a target. You should keep valuables, such as electronic devices and jewellery, hidden from sight at all times. Similarly, devices such as sat-navs or dash cams that may live in the car should either be brought into the house or stashed in the glove compartment. Keys should be kept away from the front door.
A house alarm is good at alerting relevant people to a potential problem in your home, however security cameras can provide visuals as to what’s happening outside your home, whether you’re there or not. Most modern systems can link to your mobile phone so you can be alerted to unusual activity or just check the feed as and when you need to. Around 60 per cent of convicted burglars said, if a home had a strong security presence, they would avoid it.
Cameras can also allow you to keep an eye on who’s coming and going. If you live alone, you may be more wary about answering the door to strangers. If you’ve pre-arranged an appointment, such as with a handyman, this is fine and you should let them in, however you should always ask to see an ID card for proof of identity. Where possible, you could arrange for a neighbour or family member to be there with you, too. But cameras give you the added bonus of being able to see who's at the door so you can make the choice around whether to answer it or not.
If you want to give the appearance that someone is at home, or that perhaps there are more people in than there really are, consider installing light timers. They’re relatively cheap to get hold of and any lamp with a manual switch can be plugged into the timer. You simply programme the light to come on and go off at different times. This is especially handy when you won’t be at home. You can use as many as you want to give the appearance that someone is wandering into different rooms of the house.
These small changes could make a big difference to the security of your home and how safe you feel. You don’t need to implement all of them - one or two may suffice - but they could protect your home and the belongings in it.
A fire in the home is something many of us never consider a possibility in our own house, especially If you are cautious with cooking and electricals, and maintain a working smoke alarm. However, how often do we consider helping our neighbours to be fire safe too?
There’s lots to think about when buying a home, but buildings insurance is really important if you don’t want a house sale to fall through.
It’s not uncommon for people to double up on their insurance by accident. For instance, your car insurance may come with breakdown cover included, but you might also be paying for a separate breakdown policy, not realising that it comes with your insurance. If you do have two insurance policies, read on to find out whether you can claim on them both.