How to Keep Your Home Safe & Secure

While the West Country may not have the crime rates associated with big cities across the UK, criminals do still target a worrying number of homes in Devon and Cornwall. If you’ve never been burgled, you might not appreciate the emotional effects it can have, let alone the loss of your valuables and damage to your home. The best way to avoid being burgled is to keep your home secure.

Doors and windows

The most obvious protection for your home is the locking systems. Window locks make a significant difference, as windows are a favourite entry point for burglars. If you have double or triple glazing, it makes the window far harder to break, and if you have decent window locks fitted, your windows become a far less inviting prospect.

Modern doors are designed very much with security in mind and are composed of layers of strong metal with multiple locking points. This makes them almost impossible to break through, and a burglar can’t cleverly unlock the door without a key, so a modern door is the most secure defence for your home. If you’ve got an older door, make sure you have extra bolts, and a deadlock fitted and use them when you lock up at night.

Glass doors such as French windows and conservatory doors can be a weak point, so check whether they’re made of laminated glass, which is harder to break, or double glazed. You can cover glass panels with a film that makes it harder to break, and always double lock UPVC doors. If you install folding door systems, make sure they come with features such as eight-point multi-locking systems, shoot bolts, and security hinges.

Being safety conscious

There are many simple actions you can take to reduce the risk of being burgled, for example:

1. Locking up whenever you’re out of the house, even if you’re only in the garden.
2. Hiding keys out of sight and nowhere near the letterbox.
3. Keep your fences and gates well-maintained.
4. Don’t leave valuables where they can be easily seen from outside.
5. Store anything particularly valuable in a safe or at the bank.
6. Don’t leave tools and ladders around where they could be used to assist a break-in.

You should also look at installing security lighting around the property that comes on if anyone’s around, and don’t forget to secure your garden shed and garage against theft.

Neighbours are a valuable form of defence against theft, and areas with Neighbourhood Watch schemes in place have significantly lower crime rates. Join your local group, and liaise with your neighbours, so you help each other out and mind the property if one of you is away.

You shouldn’t constantly be worrying about the likelihood of being burgled or feel unsafe in your home, and there’s no need to be overly concerned. Just make sure your home is secured as well as it can be, and if a burglar does take a look at your home, they’ll soon move on when they see how well protected it is.