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

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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.