Apr 5 2019

Keep your home and belongings safe and secure

Whether you are at home or away on holiday, the safety and security of your home is of the utmost importance. By having some basic security measures in place, you can have some peace of mind and not fall victim to this horrible crime.

Imagine coming home to your place of peace after a long day at work and finding out you have been burgled. It is one of the worst feelings in the world to experience and the wave of emotions that come over you at that point brings you to the point of complete agony. Hurt, angry, sad and incredibly vulnerable and violated that your personal space has been invaded. Looking around, you see the house has been tipped upside-down, as these money-hungry thugs looked for something valuable to grab. You also wonder how they have managed to get in as all the doors were locked and all the windows are closed. As you frantically dial 111, it still hasn’t fully processed that your treasured items have either been taken or are badly damaged.

Cash, jewellery, electronics, food and alcohol rate quite high on the list of items to be taken. Bigger items are much harder to disguise but in saying that, some burglars have the convenience of bringing a vehicle along with them, on standby to take the haul and speed off once the job is done. Now comes the unbearable task of picking up the pieces and salvaging all that you can. Moving forward can be an emotional rollercoaster of a ride.

Start by securing outside

Installing sensor light

Start from the outside of your home and work your way inside and identify areas that could make you a possible target. Get some feedback from friends and family as to how they approach home security or have a look at recommendations from professionals to help safeguard your home and its contents.

Installing some motion-sensored lights on the front and back entrances of your home is a great start. These will detect any movement from a distance and shine bright for a set period of time. This can work as a great deterrent in scaring away intruders. Think about dark spots around the house and unseen areas from the street. If you have the budget for it, you could consider setting up security cameras at certain points around the areas of your home that need some extra protection. You could even consider installing a house alarm, that can cover all areas of your home should a breaking occur and will automatically send an alert to the authorities. There are some nifty gadgets you can purchase instore or online. A bit of research on reviews or word of mouth will work wonders for your home security in the long run.

Have a look at the hedges or trees that surround your home. Always keep these as neat and tidy as possible as these can be used as a hiding place or as a means of gaining access inside. Make sure any windows are clear of anything that has become overgrown and messy. With that being said, lock away any tools or equipment that can be used to break down the door or windows. Burglars are incredibly cunning and will use all means necessary to get inside and take what they want. Don’t make it easy for them. If at all possible, lock up your garage which could have something they can use to get inside.

Consider the items that are stored outside – vehicles, bikes, scooters and other expensive equipment. Make sure these are locked away in the garage or somewhere safe when not in use. Purchasing a high-quality lock for these items will make them very difficult to take in a hurry and if the burglar doesn’t have the right tools at hand, they are likely to give up and opt for something else that is much easier to take and run away with. When it comes to your vehicle, make sure to keep it locked with no valuables in sight. This includes putting away extra change you have floating around or equipment kept in the back. You don’t want to wake up the next day to find a smashed window and all your belongings taken with no regard for the mess and this unnerving situation you now find yourself in.

Securing access points

Secure window

Looking inside the home, windows can be viewed as the weakest entry point into the house. Ensure that the locks on the doors and windows are in good working condition – anything that is weak and left untouched is a recipe for disaster. Think about installing additional locks to the sides of the windows. You could also amp up the security by fitting in window security screens or applying a protective film on the glass making it unbreakable from the outside. You could also apply this same protective film to doors that have glass near the lock.

Hide temptations

Ensure that all valuables are kept out of sight. If you don’t have access to a security safe, think about areas of the home where you could safely store your valuables. If at all possible, keep all highly valuable items locked away in a bolted-down security safe. Be very careful when selecting an area of your home to put this in and ensure that a professional is used to install this item.

There are many tips and tricks that can help, some examples include installing a cabinet which can be placed behind some artwork or photo frame, or creating a hidey hole underneath the stairs. Another clever trick is purchasing a trick set of books – it looks like a standard set of books from the outside, but inside there’s a secret compartment to hold your valuables. You could also think about purchasing furniture that has storage compartments or doing a bit of DIY to your current set of furniture to create some hidden storage space inside.

Protecting your belongings while on holiday

Back packed for holiday

When you are planning a holiday or an extended period of time away from the house, it is always a good idea to build a good relationship with your neighbours or call on the help of family or friends, who will be able to assist while you are away. This will include clearing your mailbox and the doorways, checking the outside of the house and if necessary, allowing access inside to ensure everything is ok. You could get a bit creative and use tv’s and timers to your advantage. The aim is to make it look like there’s some activity going on in and around the house and can act as a deterrent to a possible invasion. I would suggest not to publish any material on social media that will give an indication of your travels and enjoying some time away, as you might come back to a nasty surprise! Leave the posting of you travels for when you return to the comforts of your own home.

In the event of a burglary

Despite doing everything you can to prevent a burglary, if someone wants to get into your property, they will certainly find a way. It is very important to have contents or home insurance in place to safeguard yourself in a situation where a break in occurs. The last thing you want to do is fork out any additional money to replace these items.

One suggestion to help reclaiming stolen goods is to mark your valuables with an invisible pen, containing ID details, such as driver’s license number or a contact phone number. This makes it easy to identify a stolen item and will likely be returned to its rightful owner if discovered.