9 Simple Steps To A More Secure Home This Christmas
The Christmas period leaves homeowners particularly vulnerable as the stakes get higher for potential thieves. Here are 9 simple ways to increase your home security without buying a full security system and dealing with monitoring costs.
Similarly to the faithful old “beware of the dog” signs, CCTV warning signs will make any potential thief at least think twice.
This trick may ward off opportunistic criminals, but is unlikely to work on more experienced burglars, who know where to look to determine if you really do have a camera system installed
A range of CCTV signs can be purchased here for as little as 99p each
We recommend placing CCTV signs as far away from the house as possible, where the thief makes first contact with your property, hopefully preventing them from getting close enough to have a proper look around.
Driveway pillars, gates, or failing that in high visibility windows with closed blinds are good places to install signs and stickers.
A quick & easy solution for those who want to get going almost instantly is to fit a wireless alarm such as the Kasp EMS6102.
This unit runs off 4x C batteries and operates instantly on startup. If you’re in a particular rush or don’t have any DIY skills to speak of, you could simply prop this device against the wall (providing it has a clear view of the entryway you wish to monitor), switch it on when you need it, and let it do it’s job. When it’s active PIR sensor detects movement, the unit triggers an incredibly loud 130db alarm sounder, and activates an emergency light, sure to startle any thief and alert your neighbors.
This unit includes a burglar deterrent window sticker, and can be set to 3 different functions for your ideal solution. This unit is ideal for garages and less used entryways, just ensure you check the batteries before going away for an extended period.
Don’t leave keys in obvious places
This might seem obvious, but it’s free, and one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is not to do the thieves job for them.
Leaving keys under doormats, in fake rocks, or under wheelie bins are all tropes that burglars have come to expect.
Do you have a dog? Burglars hate dogs, especially loud ones, and won’t be likely to approach a dog that may or may not be aggressive.
Try leaving your spare key stuck to the inside roof of the dog house with a Stikk pad, or failing that, keep a spare key in a magnetized lock box under your car. Most burglaries occur when you aren’t home, so it makes sense to keep your keys ‘with you’ while you’re gone.
With vehicle theft approaching an all time low in the UK, this makes for a sensible alternative.
When protecting your home from thieves, the main thing to avoid is an obvious routine.
If you can’t return home intermittently throughout the day, keep thieves second guessing. dedicated thieves will often watch or inspect a property beforehand, so creating light and sound are valuable ways to deter criminals by way of creating the illusion of life in the house at random times.
This works especially well if you do not live alone, as the drawback of this method is if you live alone and commute with a car, absence of a car indicates your absence, and if the burglar has watched your home prior to acting, this may not fool them.
Fake alarm systems
Nothing says “back off” to a burglar like a formidable alarm system.
Unfortunately some cannot afford a full alarm system for their home, but companies such as Zexum supply sophisticated dummy bell boxes which can be easily fitted to give the impression of a full alarm system, including strobe, sounder, tamper protection, and blinking LEDs,
when in reality the unit is just plugged into a standard socket and fed through a soffit vent.
You can read *our article on installing these bellboxes* or view the product here for more information.
Robotic Cameras & Lights
Now for something that will really spook out a burglar. products such as the ESP Guardcam or the Nightwatcher do an outstanding job at covering all the basics in one unit. (These units have varying features, so make sure to look at the differences before you make a decision if interested)
These camera/floodlight units are about aren’t at all subtle, and for once that’s a good thing. Fitted with infrared sensors, these units detect motion and on detection activate a strong floodlight and depending on the model, an audible warning, videos or stills of the event, projection to a tablet monitor, or even turning to follow the robber as they move.
These units are becoming more and more popular as an instant upgrade or base for home security systems, and depending on where you mount them they can be difficult to tamper with.
These cameras do verge on the pricey side relative to other options on this list, but for versatility
We feel they are well worth the extra spend.
With a rise in what are called ‘distraction robberies’ wherein a false utility worker, law enforcement officer etc lures you from your home while an accomplice slips in to lift your valuables, an intercom is a formidable barrier in which to verify the credentials of any stranger who comes to your door without exposing your home.
Intercom systems have the advantage of being expandable modular solutions, so once you’ve set up a base adding parts as you need or can afford them is a simple and fast procedure.
Similarly to the last entry, intercoms can be slightly out of the comfort zone of some buyers. However, they do make an excellent gift for an elderly relative, in terms of convenience as well as security.
Close your blinds
Some of these steps will fall apart if the burglar gets brave and close enough to inspect your property if they can see mysterious lights and radios turning on and off with nobody controlling them, so make sure you close blinds and curtains where possible to restrict the robber’s ability to see where you are (or aren’t).
Be social media conscious
Holidays are exciting, and if you’re going away to visit friends and family for the holiday period it might be difficult to keep quiet about it, but be aware that more criminals are checking social media accounts to confirm when their targets are away during holiday periods.
Avoid location tagging or holiday announcements and photos until you get home, or beat them at their own game and upload tagged photos taken from home while you’re gone. Combine this with step 4 for a truly sneaky solution.
About Michael Richmond
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