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Our homes are a retreat, a place to escape from the stresses of the world and to feel safe with our loved ones.
Ensuring the property is secure should always be a priority.
While crime isn't something we should overestimate, it makes sense to do all we can to protect the place where we live.
Home security is best achieved through using a variety of different measures that combine to make intruding an unappealing prospect for criminals.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to help improve the overall security of your home.
The majority of burglaries are committed by opportunist criminals at the weakest point in the home's security.
In most cases, this tends to be at the rear of the property, with French doors particularly vulnerable.
You can instantly improve the security of patio doors by adding a 'patlock'.
These are easy to use, ratchet-operated locks that go over doors’ internal handles, making it impossible to open even if the door locking mechanism is compromised.
Make sure all of your windows and doors have secure locks, and remember to use them!
Security cameras have come down in price over the past couple of decades.
What was once an expensive, unrealistic option for most people is now smart, discreet, and affordable.
Easy-to-use smart cameras can be viewed from anywhere via a smartphone, laptop or desktop computer.
They can include features such as motion-triggered recording, infrared night cameras and two-way audio communication.
Opportunist criminals hate exterior lighting.
Anything that illuminates the drive or garden, removing dark corners, reduces your chances of being burgled.
Most criminals operate under the cover of darkness, and so bright, efficient, motion-activated lighting around your property is enough to prompt would-be intruders to run for cover.
A well-proven and effective way of deterring criminals is a security alarm system.
A visible installation is a tried and trusted way of keeping criminals at bay.
Whether you opt for a simple solution, or choose 24-hour monitoring, a security alarm is one of the easiest ways to enhance the overall security of your property.
There's nothing an opportunist criminal likes more than a collapsed or rotten section of fencing.
Regularly check the state of yours, and make sure it's high enough to make it difficult to scale.
Trellis panels can be attached to the top of fences or walls.
They increase the overall height of your fences, while allowing you to grow climbers.
Growing spiky, climbing roses up your fences can put off opportunist thieves, and they also look attractive.
Burglars hate automated gates.
They shield vehicles, the home, and any children or pets that may be in the garden, deterring criminal and nuisance access to your driveway.
A gate should ideally be at the same height as the surrounding fence, and it should be high enough to mean that it can't be easily scaled.
Electric, automated gates take security to the next level.
No one will be able to manually push the gates easily, and a variety of locking mechanisms are available that make a criminal's task even more difficult.
Intercom and video-entry systems can be installed alongside the gates to give you extra piece of mind.
Available in a range of styles and finishes, automatic driveway gates look great while enhancing security at the same time.
They have also long since ceased to be something only within reach of the wealthy, and in recent years an increasing number of property owners have had them installed as the price has gradually become more affordable.
Sheds and garages are often easy targets for criminals.
While the main property may have a range of security measures to prevent forced access, the same can't usually be said for outbuildings.
This is despite them often containing expensive tools and other equipment which can be rich pickings for thieves.
Consider fitting proper locks, and perhaps even an alarm, to your buildings’ doors.
Poorly-secured outbuildings can often attract criminals to your property, making an intrusion into your home more likely.
If your car spends its time on the driveway rather than in a garage, then it will be more attractive to prospective criminals.
The optimum choice for keeping a car on the driveway safe is automated gates.
If you don't have electric gates, an alternative might be a security post or a bollard.
These can be locked into place, and can be retracted or removed when you want to move your car. They act as both a physical barrier to deter potential thieves.
If you're out in the evenings, or away from home for any length of time, then your home is more vulnerable.
A house on a street that's in complete darkness will be more attractive to a criminal than a neighbouring home with the lights on.
You can deter opportunist burglars by using timers on plugs to turn lights and radios on and off. Lights can also be controlled by a smartphone app even if you're hundreds of miles from home.
It's not just the fencing or gates in a garden that can enhance your home's overall security.
What you plant, and the materials you use, can also make a difference.
Dense hedges and spiky shrubs deter opportunist thieves.
If you have the space, rambling roses can make a wall or fence practically impossible to scale.
Other shrubs such as Osmanthus, Berberis and Pyracantha can give potential criminals a nasty surprise because of their serrated leaves or long, sharp, needle-like thorns.
Gravel on footpaths and drives can also give you an audible warning of approaching footsteps.
To find out more about how electric gates can make your property more secure get in touch with the experienced team at LinkCare.
Call us on 01895 232 626 or email info@LinkCare.net