Protecting our home and loved ones is a top priority for all of us, but at Christmas time this becomes even more important as the crime rates rise. With more for thieves to steal and more opportunities for them to do so, it’s crucial that we protect ourselves and don’t become a statistic. Here are practical steps you can take to enhance your home security this holiday season.
- Invest in CCTV
CCTV cameras can be purchased really cheaply these days, and give you a way to keep tabs on your property even when you’re not home. Motion detection cameras that can be installed around the outside of your home, indoor cameras and things like Ring Doorbell can all give you peace of mind. You could go with a professional, fully fitted CCTV setup if you have the budget. But if not, these kinds of cameras positioned correctly can be really effective.
- Check your Burglar Alarm
Do you have a burglar alarm but rarely use it? It’s worth giving it a check over, making sure you know the code and that the battery works so you can use it over the festive period. Set it every time you leave the house, and even set it downstairs when you go to bed at night.
- Light it Up
Motion activated flood lights can deter burglars by eliminating their cover of darkness. Motion activated lights around the entrances of your home can expose potential intruders, making them less likely to attempt a break in.
- Change Your Landscaping
Maintaining low hedges and shrubs can help to eliminate hiding spots, making it obvious to others on the street if potentially dodgy characters are lurking around your home. Materials like pebbles on your front path can make it difficult for burglars to move silently. This can give a nice effect to the front of your home and put an extra barrier there to put off burglars.
- Put Your Tools Away:
Many burglars use tools found in victims’ own gardens, sheds, or garages to gain entry to their homes- so don’t make it easy for them! Always secure your tools as well as things like ladders in a shed or garage with a heavy duty padlock.
- Stay Informed About Your Neighbourhood
Keep yourself informed about the security situation in your neighbourhood. Joining or forming a neighbourhood watch group can be a way for you all to keep tabs on each other, many groups have these on Facebook and are easy to find. If you work together as a community you’ll make it harder for thieves.
- Be Mindful of Social Media:
Most of us use and love social media- it’s a great way to stay in contact with loved ones. And over the holiday season when we’re visiting and spending time with friends and family, chances are some pictures and updates will make their way onto your timeline. However, it’s important to be careful about what and when you post, avoid oversharing and letting potential criminals know when you won’t be home. You might have a private friends list but you can never be too careful so just exercise caution. Never share plans of when you’ll be leaving the house, and if you share updates wait until you’re back home to post pictures and things.
- Install Reinforcement Measures
Consider reinforcing entry points like garden gates, garages and sheds with deadbolt locks- ask a locksmith for advice about the best ones to choose. With windows, get a security film. These additional layers of protection can make it more difficult for burglars to gain access.
- Use Smart Lighting
Smart home devices are really accessible these days and aren’t too expensive. If you purchase a few smart bulbs you can set them to a timed schedule or switch them on and off manually when you’re not at home. This can give the impression that someone is in and put off any thieves keeping and eye on your house. If you’re ever away overnight this is particularly useful. Lights left on or off all night will look very obvious to a burglar scoping out the property.
- Add Signs
Add signs showing that your house has an alarm and CCTV. These don’t need to be huge, just somewhere visible. Burglars are opportunistic, even if they suspect that you don’t have these things they’re less likely to take a chance on your home if there’s a possibility that you do.