7 ways to keep your home safe this autumn
Autumn brings with it shorter days and longer, darker nights, creating the perfection conditions for opportunists planning to break into vulnerable properties.
While you can’t prevent a burglary altogether, there are many things you can do to improve the security of your home and to deter thieves from targeting you. So, as those nights start drawing in, heed these seven tips for keeping your home safe this autumn:
1. Light it up
Installing motion-sensor lights outside of your property will discourage burglars from breaking in out of fear that they’ll get caught. The GP Safeguard boasts a bright, energy-efficiency LED light and an adjustable sensor angle; it’s wireless and doesn’t require an electric socket, meaning it can be installed almost anywhere with ease.
2. Set timers
If you’re out for the evening or away for the weekend, set timers on your lights (particularly in the hallway and living room) to give the impression that someone’s home. It’s also worth letting a trusted neighbour know how long you’ll be away for, so they can keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
3. Hide valuables
Don’t lure burglars into your home by leaving expensive valuables in full view, which includes your car keys. And make sure you keep them out of sight during the day and the evening, as burglaries don’t just happen in the dead of the night!
4. Fit a burglar alarm
If you don’t have one already have one, install a good quality burglar alarm, ideally with a prominent outside alarm box and light. The majority of alarms automatically alert the police if they are activated - and if you let your home insurer know, there’s a chance they’ll knock some money off of your premium, too. While you’re at it, you could also think about installing hidden cameras in the main rooms of the house - there are many out there that can be accessed by an app, giving you peace of mind when you’re away from home.
5. Lock doors and windows
You always lock your doors during the day and night, but locking the windows will keep your home extra secure while you’re sleeping. Older windows, in particular, may benefit from shop-bought window locks. If any locks are broken or aren’t very secure, don’t wait until it’s too late to get them replaced.
6. Secure the outside
Assess the outside of your home: are there any gaps where burglars could easily gain access to the property? If so, block them up with a fence or gate. At the same time, give any overgrown hedges or bushes a trim, so that thieves don’t have any hiding spots. Don’t hide keys in ‘secret places’ - instead buy a quality wall-mounted key safe.
7. Work together
If you’re still concerned about your home’s security, get in touch with your local police as they’ll often share some tips and may even be prepared to visit your home. You should also think about joining your area’s Neighbourhood Watch scheme; simply displaying a sticker in your window will alert potential burglars that you and your neighbours are all keeping a close eye on one another's properties.
Finally, think like a burglar! Try and find ways of breaking into your own home (stripy jumper and SWAG bag not essential!) and you’ll soon find the weak spots that you can make secure. Then you can curl up on the sofa this autumn in front of the fire; safe in the knowledge that your home is as protected as possible...