Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Home Security Doesn't Have to be a Hassle!

When it comes to home security, if you've never been burgled it's easy to think 'it will never happen to me.'  However, an estimated 3.7 billion burglaries take place each year in the US, and they happen to people from all walks of life, rich or poor, so it really is something to be aware of as a homeowner. If you're looking to up your home security, here are some ideas.

Focus on Windows and Doors
The windows and doors in your home are the weakest links when it comes to burglars since these will be their points of entry. For this reason, good quality models are essential. Older wooden window frames can easily be jimmied and broken into (not to mention are draughty and generally out of date) so if you're due new windows and doors then purchase new ones with security as well as energy efficiency in mind. If you're not able to completely replace your windows, one thing you can do is look into a company like window tinting now. Not only will this prevent burglars from being able to see inside, but the film will prevent anyone being able to smash a window and enter since it will keep everything together and create a barrier. However, with all that being said, even the world's best windows and doors won’t be any good if you leave them left open. In fact, most burglars enter through an unlocked door or window so don't overlook this simple line of defense.

Upgrade Your Locks
Even if you're not in a position to buy brand new doors, you can still upgrade your locks. Having an additional deadlock installed is a smart move, as these can only be opened by turning the key in the cylinder. This means if you have a glass window pane in your door a burglar can't simply smash it, reach in and unlock it from the other side.

Invest in CCTV
CCTV acts as a deterrent against burglars, as well as a way to get them convicted if a crime does happen. Most burglars are opportunistic, and they will target houses that they think are easy since they don't want to get caught. Therefore, just having CCTV  installed is often enough to put them off. Display stickers showing that you have CCTV as a warning, and make sure all cameras are mounted in a place that they can't be damaged or covered over. If you choose a system that backs up your footage to the cloud, it prevents a burglar getting in and simply stealing the hard copy of the footage. You will want something with a clear picture, police and courts won't accept grainy video so if you do want a successful prosecution this is essential- make sure it has clear night vision too. Some newer CCTV systems will allow you to stream the footage to your smartphone, so you can keep tabs on your property wherever you are.

Have a House Alarm Installed
A house alarm is by far one of the most effective ways to protect against burglars.  Most will not stick around to clear out your possessions with this going off, so even if a determined burglar does get inside this is likely to send them packing. Again, stickers displaying that you have an alarm can act as a deterrent and put them off trying in the first place.

Utilize Smart Home
Smart home technology has really taken off, and investing in it is one of the best things you can do from a home security point of view. You can turn lights on and off remotely, giving the appearance that someone is home. If you're running late at work and it's getting dark, you can pop on the lights right from your phone. You could invest in a smart doorbell which has motion sensors, these send an alert to your smartphone if they are activated allowing you to see who is at your door. It is the ideal way to monitor your home while you’re not there.

Invest in an Automatic Curtain Closer
Another cool piece of tech which can help you to keep your home safe is an automatic curtain rail. These can be programmed to a timer, some even have dusk/ dawn detectors based on light levels and will open automatically. This means if you're away on vacation or ever have to leave your home overnight, the curtains will open and close as they need to and give the appearance of your property being occupied. While most burglars are opportunistic, some will scope out houses first, if yours looks empty it's likely to be a target. The simple use of an automatic curtain rail, especially with timed lighting or smart lighting turning lamps on and off it will throw burglars well off the mark.

Try a TV Simulator
An alternative to using a TV on a timer switch would be to use a simulator- these will use much less energy. They come on automatically when it gets dark, there’s no wires or plugs so is completely hassle-free. They display flickering patterns of random light which mimic a real TV, but without the need to leave on energy consuming appliances. Especially when used in conjunction with other security measures it can be a really handy device, and could even be the difference between someone walking past your property or someone deciding it looks empty and trying to try and break in.

Dont Neglect The Garden
Often, burglars will use items from your own garden to break into your home. For this reason, tools, ladders and anything else that can make a burglar's life easier should be locked up securely in a shed or garage. You should make sure that shrubs and bushes are no taller than waist height, that way burglars don't have any cover when they're trying to get into your windows or doors. Install a floodlight too; that way they don't have the cover of darkness and that is likely to put many burglars off.

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