No matter what country or area you live in, securing your home and belongings to prevent theft should always be a priority. Obviously burglary is more prevalent in some areas than others, but don’t let the fact that you live in a quaint little country village relax your view on home security. Whether you live in a country known for its high crime rate, such as South Africa, or a peaceful little village in rural France, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. There are a number of measures you can take to secure your home; I’ve listed my top 5 here:
- Secure your windows – Make sure that all of your windows, particularly those on the ground floor, are fitted with locks that meet the relevant recommended security standards. The local police should be able to advise you on the recommended standards, Double glazed windows are more secure than single pane windows as they’re harder to break, and if you can, opt for laminated or security glass which is stronger and harder for a potential burglar to smash.
- Secure your doors – Ensure that all door locks meet the required security standards. It’s recommended that doors should be fitted with a deadlock as this makes them much more secure. If you can afford to replace your wooden or hollow-frame doors then go for something like a Rockdoor for example, or any other solid type of door that is virtually impossible to kick down. For added security, maybe consider having a security door fitted in addition to your existing door. The addition of door chains and peep holes will mean that you can see who is there before choosing to let them in.
- Fit a burglar alarm – Make sure that it is obvious to any potential intruders that you have an alarm system. The external bell box should be clearly visible on your property, and make sure any signs and stickers warning of your alarm system are clearly displayed for all to see. It’s advisable to pay for regular maintenance of your alarm system to ensure it’s in good working order; and where possible have your alarm monitored, by the police or a private company, so that you receive a phone call if the alarm goes off.
- Pay attention to detail – There are lots of little things you can do to deter burglars that you may not have thought of:
- Keep trees and hedges trimmed so that your home is not hidden from view.
- Plant shrubs and plants with thorns, such as holly, around the border of your home and under windows.
- Keep tools, ladders etc locked away in a good quality, secure shed or garage – if a burglar can see them, he can use them!
- Install security lights to ensure your home and gardens are well lit. Potential burglars like dark areas to skulk around in, so ensure you don’t give them any shadows to sneak about in.
- Use lace curtains or blinds to obscure the view through your windows; don’t leave your valuables on display.
- Don’t leave your handbag lying in the hallway with your keys, phone, purse etc in, take it up to bed with you at night.
- Get to know your neighbours and look out for each other’s properties!
- Install a CCTV system – If you’ve tried some of the simpler measures and still don’t feel safe and secure enough in your home, then installing a CCTV system is a good idea. In some countries, crime is almost inevitable. For example many people install CCTV cameras in South Africa as the country is well known for being a crime hotspot. Having a CCTV camera installed can act as a deterrent if potential intruders know it’s there. And if it doesn’t work as a deterrent then you have the peace of mind that your CCTV camera will capture the evidence for you to present to the police if the worst does happen.
By improving your home security through the installation of better windows and doors, a maintained and monitored burglar alarm, paying attention to detail, and installing a CCTV camera system you get peace of mind for you and your family that your property and belongings are safe.
As well as improving your home security and your own peace of mind, taking some or all of the above measures can also have the added bonus of reducing your risk factor when looking for home insurance. More insurers will be willing to offer you quotes and you’re likely to get lower premiums for better cover, which again will increase your feeling of security and peace of mind!