Our top ten home security tips

Your home is your sanctuary, somewhere to feel safe. If you’re thinking about going away or just looking to add some extra security measures, here are our top home security tips.

cameras home security tips
It might seem obvious, but many people don’t have security cameras

Home Security Tip 1 – Install security cameras

For any questions about home security, you can reach our team ‘HERE’

This might seem like an obvious choice for number one on our list! However, many people still do not have any security cameras installed in their homes. It’s easier now than ever with Smart technology that doesn’t cost the earth to install or run. Smart security cameras come with apps to monitor your home from wherever you are. They work with whatever devices you use – smartphone, computer or tablet. You can even get Smart camera doorbells now, allowing you to see and speak to people at your door remotely. This means that even if you’re home you can decide who to let in before you answer. Many of these cameras have motion detectors and recording. They’re a must-have.

Home Security Tip 2 – Garden security lights

Another classic security measure that’s easy to install in your garden or driveway. Motion-activated security lights can help you and your loved ones see and move safely in the dark, but will also deter any intruders with a sudden burst of light. They can be installed in your front and back garden or anywhere where there is access to the property. You don’t even need to wire them in. Some are solar-powered, and some can be plugged into standard sockets. Our Handyperson team can advise on the best type for you.

Tip 3 – Make sure your gates and fences are up to scratch

Making sure your fences are good quality and in good condition is of paramount importance. Any holes, gaps or other damage can allow intruders to gain access or get a good look at your property before entering. Not to mention that fallen fences are easy for someone to climb over. Once your fences are fixed up, consider having some extensions to the top, such as trellis panels. They can also be attached to walls for some extra height, as well as having climbing plants growing up them as an extra deterrent.

Gates should also be well maintained and easy to lock with bolts or padlocks. Check the hinges as well as the condition of the wood or metal frame. if you have a rear gate that adjoins the fencing, make sure the door is at the same height as the fence itself. Ideally you should secure this gate with two different locks so that it can’t be forced open.

strong iron garden gate home security
A gate as high as your bushes and fences will heighten security

Home Security Tip 4 – Keysafes – a secure key storage solution

Keysafes are surprisingly a very safe way to store your keys, outdoors as well as indoors. We only supply the Supra C500, which is one of only a few models that are recommended by the police. If you’re buying your own, make sure you do your homework and find out just how secure it is. We’ll still happily install it for you. Your keysafe will be mounted to the wall in a discreet location, with a cover to hide the combination lock. The Supra C500 is reinforced so that it cannot be broken into. In an emergency they can be a lifesaver – but only give out the code to the emergency services or people you trust.

Tip 5 – Lock down your shed and outdoor buildings

Tools in your shed can be desirable to would-be thieves, so make sure that you have decent locks on your shed door. Even if some of the items aren’t very valuable, remember that they could be used to aid someone breaking into your home. You can lock away tools inside units in the shed or secure things like ladders to posts, racks and walls by using a padlock and chain. For larger sheds and outdoor buildings, you might consider window locks or bars.

rusted shed padlock home security
Rusted old shed bolts and padlocks present a security risk

Tip 6 – Graveled paths and driveways – a surprising deterrent

Keep your gravel paths and drives topped up with gravel – the noise from someone walking on it can alert you to their presence. You’ll need to be sure that there’s enough gravel remaining on the top layer so that it makes as loud a noise as possible under feet. You can also put gravel around plants and shrubs so that there’s nothing for someone to hide behind in the garden without making some noise.

garden gravel home security
Gravel – it’s great for making noise! The more topped up the better

Home Security Tip 7 – Door and window locks, front and rear

Most burglars will try to enter via the rear of the property. This is because it is generally a more vulnerable point. It’s more likely to be neglected and isn’t near the street where someone might see or hear. You should make sure that forced entry into your home is very difficult. You could put a chain or bolt on wooden rear or side doors. For French doors, you can install a patlock, which fits on the internal side handles. A patlock is as much a visual deterrent as a barrier to breaking in and succeeds at both. It releases quickly with no need for a code or key.

Tip 8 – Prickly or thorny plants can also deter burglars

You don’t always need fancy gizmos and gadgets to make your home secure. Certain plants can be very effective at deterring burglars, such as prickly pyracantha or gorse bushes. Dense shrubs and evergreens can be a physical barrier, especially coupled with gravel around them to make noise if someone is pushing against them. Thorny climbers can be grown up trellises and fences to make them much more difficult to climb.

Just remember not to let them overgrow! Not only could they be hazardous to you or any family or guests, but overgrown and overhanging plants and shrubs can block entrances. They also provide the opportunity for unwanted guests to hide behind or underneath them.

Holly garden prickly prickle bush berries
Holly bushes – not just for Christmas! Those prickly leaves will deter any would-be burglars

Tip 9 – Curtains and blinds are still a top home security measure

A curtain or blind might not seem like a substantial security measure, but they help to keep people from seeing into your home from outside. If someone was looking for quick access into your home, an open window is a much less attractive option with noisy blinds to contend with. When windows are covered with a blind or curtain it’s also much harder for someone to know if there is anyone inside the house.

Standard curtains are fine, but a net curtain also adds an extra layer of privacy. A handyperson can easily install one for you, as well as sort out any curtain poles that might be coming away from the wall. Many people opt for blinds nowadays. Depending on the type they can be a very stylish addition to your home. Remote operated electric blinds have come down in price in the last few years, making them more accessible to more homeowners regardless of their income and ability.

stylish security blinds living room home security
Stylish blinds can add a lot to a home, and not just in terms of extra privacy

Home Security Tip 10 – Be smart when you’re going on holiday

It should go without saying, but make sure all doors and windows are locked, including your shed. If you’ve got a security alarm then definitely set it before you leave. It’s important to cancel deliveries coming to your home, particularly if you have milk or papers delivered. You might ask a friend or neighbour to come around now and then to pick up your mail or any parcels. This also makes it look like someone is still at the house. You could even ask your neighbour to use your driveway a few times during the week. Your lights can also be put on timers to come on at night.

It’s a good idea to think about getting a safe to store away any of your valuables. You might also take photographs of your valuables and mark them with your postcode and house number. This will help the police to identify and potentially recover your items if they are stolen. Photos also help if you are making an insurance claim.

Perhaps most importantly though – try not to share that you’re on holiday on social media. If your posts and profile are public then you are advertising that you are on holiday! So save the snaps for when you return safely.

Ask us for advice

If there’s any aspect of home security that you need some help with or advice on, contact our Customer Service team for an obligation-free chat. We Care about your security.






    6 ways to make your bathroom disabled friendly

    Lately, it has become more popular to make your bathroom disabled friendly or more accessible earlier in life rather than later.

    But making your bathroom disabled-friendly doesn’t mean that it’ll look clinical. There are many modern fixtures and fittings that can maximise independence and safety whilst looking stylish. We have experience in designing and installing accessible bathrooms for people living with:

    • Dementia
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Neuromuscular disease
    • Arthritis
    • Stroke
    • Visual impairments/blindness
    • Reduced mobility

    A personal assessment from an Occupational Therapist (OT) can help identify adaptations that will meet your current and future health needs. However, we can also offer you simple advice on specialist equipment and fixtures to increase your comfort and independence in your bathroom. Here are our top 6 ways for you to make bathing a safer experience, now and in the future.

    1. Install a level access shower

    A level access shower is a type of shower that doesn’t have a step or lip before you enter the showering area. So people with all levels of mobility can enter the shower without fear of tripping. This makes it suitable for children, older people or wheelchair users.

    This is possibly the single biggest adaptation that you can make to your bathroom to make it safer. It gives you easier access to the shower in a self-contained area for showering. You can have full height shower screens to stop the water from splashing to other areas. Carers can easily assist with bathing if necessary, or the screens can have a frosted effect for full privacy.

    disabled friendly bathroom wheelchair user
    Our number one disabled bathroom tip – install a level access shower!

    2. Install grab rails in key locations

    Grab rails are the next most impactful thing you can install in your bathroom to make it disabled-friendly. This is because they allow you to hold onto something for stability, avoiding falls and injuries when bathing. They are also very quick and easy to install.

    Most grab rails are made from tough moulded plastic or stainless steel. They can be positioned next to the toilet, in the shower, or on and near to the bath. This gives you something to hold on to when making any difficult movements or when you need help with balancing. Wheelchair users can even use them to help with transferring onto a toilet or bath/shower board.

    grab rails disabled friendly bathroom
    Grab rails come in all shapes and sizes

    3. Non-slip flooring or anti-slip mats

    Slip-resistant flooring offers extra safety, especially if you have a level access shower. All of our showers come with a slip-resistant floor for your peace of mind. However, if you have a regular shower or bath it’s worth investing in high-quality anti-slip mats.

    Poor quality mats that aren’t secured properly can be just as much of a falls risk as not having a mat at all. That’s why we recommend only thick rubber mats from a trusted retailer. Thick rubber will almost always have great traction, especially if the mat surface is ribbed or dotted. Thicker mats are also less likely to have their corners turn up, which is also a trip hazard.

    disabled older person bath mat
    Make sure you buy a high-quality bath or shower mat

    4. Add stools, boards and seats to aid bathing

    A walk-in shower might make it easier to bathe, but if you’re able to stand you may still find it hard to stand for long periods of time. A hot shower can be fatiguing. Couple this with balance issues and a wet room or walk-in shower is no longer a safe option.

    That’s where stools and seats come in. A shower stool is much easier and more comfortable to sit on than sitting on the floor. These stools are made of hard reinforced plastic, with strong suction pads or rubber ferrules on their feet to keep them in place. They have slats or that allow the water to flow through and drain away.

    You can also have a seat fixed to the wall that drops down and folds up. This keeps things flexible, depending on who is using the shower. If you have a bathtub still then you can use a small shower stool or buy a bath/shower board that sits on top of the bath.

    There are slatted seats to suit baths or showers

    5. Motion sensing lighting

    Automatic lighting can be a blessing, particularly at night or when there is minimal light coming into the bathroom from windows. Motion-activated lights mean that you don’t need to worry about locating a light switch or pull cord in the dark. They are also very energy efficient, given that they turn themselves off when they aren’t in use.

    Many older people will use the bathroom during the night, so it’s always important to make sure that the hallways leading to the bathroom are well illuminated. This will make any potential trip hazards clearly visible.

    6. Thermostatic showers with easy-to-use controls

    A thermostatic shower guarantees a safer shower by keeping a stable temperature for the duration of your shower. There aren’t any sudden changes to the temperature because of someone turning on a tap or flushing the toilet elsewhere in the property. There’s no danger of the shower user being scolded by very hot water. They are a major feature of the dementia-friendly wet rooms we install.

    It’s also wise to make sure the shower is equipped with easy-to-use controls. For some people a one-button shower is appropriate, but also for others keeping the controls familiar will avoid any accidents or confusion. There are remote buttons and Smart functions available for carers and loved ones to keep control over the shower for those that can’t operate it themselves.

    thermostatic shower disabled friendly bathroom
    Thermostatic showers coupled with simple controls mean extra safety

    Improve your bathroom and transform your life!

    The bathroom will always present difficulties for some older people or those living with a disability. However, some thoughtful and clever changes can transform the way that you bathe. Loved ones and carers will have the peace of mind that comes with these extra safety measures. But most importantly, you can remain independent in your own home for longer.

    Some of our suggestions are easier to implement than others. If you need any advice at all, just remember that we’re here to help you in whatever way we can.