by Lea Emery on 11th October 2018
It's National Home Security Month, which means that there's no better time to take a look around your home. Many of us want to improve the safety of our house or flat, but don't necessarily know where to start. But it's worth taking the time to improve your home security because everybody wants to feel safe in their living space — in fact, it's the place you want to feel the safest. Sometimes a few simple measures can help put your mind at ease. Home security doesn't have to be expensive, time-consuming, or intimidating; modern technology has made security so much more accessible.
So, in honour of National Home Security Month, here's how to make your home safer. From getting rid of that fake key rock (it's way too obvious - sorry) to installing a camera doorbell, there are so many tricks you can try. Here's where to start.
Firstly, there are some very basic issues of home security that are often overlooked. Thirty-three per cent of burglars enter through the front door, so check your door to make sure that it's as secure as possible. Then, look around for other basics that help make your home more accessible. For example, is your ladder left out often? Are there any lights outside your home or is it total darkness (a burglars best friend)? Do you have a "hidden key" that isn't so hidden? Look for anything that's going to help someone access your home.
While you're doing a check of the basics, it's worth talking to anyone else who lives in your house or your building. Making sure that everyone's on the same page about little things, like double locking the door and shutting the windows before bed, are often overlooked — but can make a big difference.
One of the biggest risks to your home is when you're not there, but there are easy steps you can take to make your home looked lived in even when it's not. Many people aren't aware of the Royal Mail's Keepsafe service — you can let them know that you're going on holiday and they'll hold your mail for you, so it's not gathering up on the doormat. Putting your lights or curtains on a timer can help make it look like someone's home, as can leaving the hallway light on, asking your neighbours to take your bin to the curb, or even just leaving a radio playing. And of course, locking up securely is key.
Many of us feel like home security systems sound great, but are way out of our budget — luckily, this is no longer the case. Nest, Adobe, ADT — some of the best security brands out there make affordable security systems, whether you're looking for just an alarm, for remote surveillance, or having more advanced alarms that can call emergency services when triggered. Don't assume that a security system is over the top or out of your budget, instead do a little research or talk to a home security company about a system that can meet your needs.
If you live in rented accommodation or just a small flat, taking a smaller step like a video doorbell can be a great step. They're available at lots of different price points and allow you to see who's coming and going — plus, an obvious camera can help ward off any savvy criminals who know better than to be caught on film. Even motion-sensing lights, which are cheap and easy to install, can be a big turn-off for potential burglars.
Although this idea is slightly more debated, some people support the idea of faking it until you make it. That is, if you can't afford any gadgetry, choose the cheaper option of fake security stickers and cameras, that give the illusion of security without the price tag. Now, there are a lot of pros and cons to consider — like the fact that more experienced criminals probably won't be fooled — but for some people, it's a good quick-fix option. Do your research and decide.
Home security is something that many of us know we should take care of, but never get around to. But National Home Security Month is the perfect opportunity to finally take care of those loose ends. Whether you're a flat-renter or a homeowner, with a big budget or a tight one, there are some steps you can take to make you and your home safer.
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