8 Top Tips for how to stay protected and feel safe at home
The very idea of someone breaking in to your home, invading your privacy and taking valuable or sentimental items can bring a great deal of worry and stress.
And whilst alarms and CCTV can be a strong deterrent in many cases, thieves are becoming more sophisticated. They might be watching your movements, learning your routine and getting to know the best time and means to enter. As has been seen in some affluent areas, they may be prepared to use violence and physical restraints to get what they want.
There are several things you can do to help prevent your home becoming a target of burglary. Take a look at our Top Tips and check whether there is anything more you could be doing to protect your family, assets and yourself:
1. Outside spaces.
You should ensure your driveway and/or patio areas are well-lit using security lighting and making sure you replace bulbs when required. Trim plants and trees regularly as, when overgrown, they can become a hideout for thieves. Ensure you keep tools, stepladders and garbage bins away from the house, as these could be used to help gain entry.
2. Minimize online sharing.
It’s always tempting to post your holiday snaps to social media. But such photos should be kept offline, especially whilst you are still abroad. It is always ambiguous as to who is able to view your online activity and if it is clear you are abroad, this presents an ideal opportunity for thieves to target your home. Similarly, you should think twice about posting images of expensive assets online: a new car, for example, or your sparkly engagement ring. This is just an advert for thieves, signalling that you have items worth stealing.
3. Always appear home.
Use a wi-fi enabled doorbell with Smartphone access so you can see and speak to visitors remotely, giving the impression you are home even when you are not. Set lights and TVs on timer, or use smart technology from your phone, when the house is vacant to give the impression of activity within the house and collect your mail daily or have your neighbor help you out. Uncollected mail and newspapers are a clear indication of a vacant home.
4. Secure your smart gadgets.
Cover webcams, regularly change passwords and install updates. If you have a Smart TV, check your privacy settings. Switch off your TV and modem at the mains when you are not using them – this also saves electricity. Don’t connect your TV to the internet unless necessary. These measures are to avoid people spying on you at home and to prevent your habits and data being unknowingly analyzed.
5. Restrict access to valuables.
If you have high-value items or items of great sentimental value, you might consider using finger print or bio-metric access for specific rooms. Hide car keys and jewellery in a high-quality safe and ensure all windows are locked by default.
6. Beware of scams.
Don’t open door to anyone claiming to be in an emergency. Other scams could be someone claiming their dog got onto your property; they are offering a service; or you have a gas leak. Always call the company directly from your own phone to verify any claims from unexpected visitors.
7. Know your neighbors.
Look out for unusual activity by neighbors’ houses as well as your own. And why not collaborate with a 1st Class Protection mobile patrol to deter criminals from targeting your community. If a criminal knows there is a security patrol working in that area and may arrive at any time, they are more likely to seek a softer target.
8. Use active deterrents.
Dogs are noisy and can be threatening. Or you could employ a Kings Unique Security Guard. Then there will always be someone present who is trained to deter thieves and protect you and your loved ones.