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Keeping our homes secure should be a priority.
Whatever the size of your home, or budget for security measures, there is a range of practical steps you can take to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of crime.
While we might think that crime is conducted by syndicates of highly intelligent and resourceful masterminds, the reality is more mundane.
The overwhelming number of burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves.
Some of them will be serial offenders who have developed their ‘craft’ over many years, while others will be people without a criminal record who spot an opportunity.
There are some easy, cost-effective ways to make sure that your home isn’t inviting to both types.
You might think that no burglar would merely just walk through the front or back door.
Well, they do.
In fact, it’s probably the most common way that intruders gain access to your home.
Some thieves merely move along streets of houses checking front doors to discover if one has been left unlocked.
If they find a locked one, or it is clear people are inside, they move on to the next one.
Make sure your doors are locked, even if you’re home.
If you have a large property and are perhaps working or relaxing in one room, it’s possible for a thief to go unnoticed in another part of the house.
Secondly, make sure your doors and their locks are up to the job.
Check the hinges, locks, and frames.
Are they secure? It only takes a minute for a burglar to kick in a door.
Hire a local locksmith to take a look at your doors, and consider if it might be time to replace older wooden ones with more secure and sturdy alternatives.
As with doors, so it is with windows.
After unlocked doors, the next most popular way into a property for an intruder is through an unlocked window.
Even if you think your window opening is small, you should never underestimate the ability of a burglar to get inside.
Never leave windows open when you go out, and make sure that all your windows can be locked.
Older windows can be fitted with extra locking systems to prevent them from being opened.
Patio doors present an extra opportunity for criminals.
Until recently, many were incredibly easy to break into.
Improved locking systems for modern designs have been developed to address some of these weak points, but it’s worth having your existing doors looked at by a locksmith.
Top and bottom deadbolts can make them more difficult to prise open, and the simple addition of an adjustable ‘Patlock’ that goes over the internal handles and makes them impossible to move, is a cheap but effective solution.
Talk to any career burglar turned honest citizen, and they’ll tell you that one of their most hated sights when trying to commit a crime was a CCTV camera.
Once these surveillance systems were the preserve of larger properties, commercial premises, and the high street.
These days they’re much more accessible.
Simple CCTV systems can be connected to a laptop, allowing you to keep an eye on what’s happening in and around your home.
Should the worst happen, and you end up a victim of crime, then they can provide valuable evidence when it comes to identifying a criminal and securing a successful prosecution.
An alternative to a CCTV system is a ‘smart doorbell’.
These compact devices act like a regular doorbell, but they also record video of whoever is standing at the door.
This acts as a strong deterrent to a burglar, not only in terms of them trying to break in through the door but from making any attempt on the property at all.
Remember, most burglars will begin with the front door, and many of them will be repeat offenders whose identity is already known to the police.
Burglar alarms are not a foolproof measure when it comes to keeping intruders at bay, but they can play an important part in your home security.
The presence of a box on your house can be a deterrent in itself, but most criminals these days know how to tell a fake alarm from a real one.
The most secure alarm systems are those monitored by a security company, but these may be less popular with many homeowners due to the costs involved.
When it comes to improving home security, few things are as effective as automated gates. They provide a physical barrier that will send an opportunist off to look for easier pickings.
The added advantage of automated gates is that no one will be able to manually push them open easily, and a variety of locking mechanisms are available that make a criminal's task even harder.
Unlike manual gates, electric gates are normally closed so they provide the extra deterrent.
Intercom and video-entry systems can be installed alongside the gates to allow you to see and talk to whoever is trying to get in.
Automated gates are more affordable than most people think.
Even when professional installation is included, the overall price easily repays itself in terms of adding value, security and kerb appeal to your property.
Linkcare works with a network of qualified UK installers, to give you secure, automated gates for your home.
Our expert team is on hand if you need further advice so please do not hesitate to get in touch.