When it comes to home security, many people still think that simply locking their doors and closing their windows is enough. Unfortunately, a determined burglar will not let this stop them, and you run the risk of losing your valuables and having your personal space violated.
Here are our top recommendations for great value products to improve your home security.
An alarm serves two security purposes. It can deter would-be burglars from even trying to get in because it typically has a highly visible alarm box and/or signage in place. And if the intruder still tries to get in, it triggers the alarm and alerts neighbours and passers-by that your home is being broken into.
Modern versions of the home alarm can also send messages to your phone or email to let you know that the alarm is going off. If you also have cameras you can then view live footage to assess what is happening and call emergency services as appropriate.
It can be easy to forget to secure your outbuildings (sheds, external storage, even garages) against unwanted intruders. Unfortunately, these areas can often house expensive equipment – making them prime targets for burglars.
Use high security padlocks to make sure that sheds and garages are not easy to break into – good quality models cannot easily be broken, picked or cut and will deter all but the most determined burglars. They are more expensive than the standard type of padlock you might find in the supermarket or pound shop, but it’s money well spent when you compare it to the potential loss of all your gardening equipment, your bicycles or your car.
Cameras also offer a visual deterrent to the criminal, and help the police to identify and potentially track down the vandal or burglar. Make sure to install your cameras where they get a good view of any points of access to your property and ensure that they are out of reach, so the burglar cannot simply disconnect them or obscure their view.
Top quality cameras will be able to record in any lighting conditions, and should record to a secured hard drive (if you leave the hard drive recorder in an open, easy to access place a burglar can simply steal that too) as well as stream to browsers and smart phones/tablets.
Think about the best conditions for a burglar – they want to go about their business out of the view of any potential witnesses. Counteract this by installing external lighting to make your premises as unattractive to criminals as possible. Use motion sensors to ensure that any activity is picked up and highlighted, and to reduce the power costs associated with keeping the lights on.
Inside your property you can use lights to great effect. If you are away overnight, be sure to use timers or smart lighting to give the impression that the property is occupied – often this is enough to deter a burglar, as they don’t want to escalate from theft to assault and they don’t want to run the risk of meeting a particularly hostile resident.