Home Security Improvements
Planning an extension or a home renovation is a great time to consider what home security measures you have in place. Burglars are generally looking for an easy target so the more obstacles you can put in the way, the less chance you’ll have of being targeted. In today’s article, we’ll look at the types of improvements worth considering to make your home as safe and secure as possible.
Choose PAS 24 Windows and Doors
This ensures that your windows and doors have been tested by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and meet the minimum security standards by complying with PAS 24:2016 ‘Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows in the UK. Doorsets and windows intended to offer a level of security suitable for dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk.’
Checking PAS 24 Certification
Some manufacturers buy the profiles that make up the doors and frames from profile manufacturers. The profile company will have had the doorsets tested and certified but the PAS 24 Certification needs to come from the actual manufacturer. Before you buy, check that the door manufacturing company can provide a certification document that covers the doors that you want to purchase. Then when you receive the documentation, check that it doesn’t show a different companies name on the certificate. For more information and to check if a manufacturer is certificated to produce PAS 24 doorsets, go to The Crime Prevention Website.
Improve Gates & Fencing
Gates should be securely constructed and fitted so that the hinges and locking mechanisms are on the inside of the property. Remember, if you can reach over your gate to undo a bolt, it’s very easy for a burglar to do the same! Ensure that your fencing is in good condition and consider adding trellis panels to the top of fences/walls/gates. Trellis won’t support the weight of an intruder and increases the risk of them being injured or discovered if they try to climb over it. It also helps to make it more difficult for potential thieves to scope out the area.
Movement Activated Lighting
Movement activated floodlights are a great deterrent and are also useful when you’re moving around your property at night. Consider installing them at the front and/or back of your home and make sure that they are difficult to reach and tamper with so that burglars can’t easily remove the bulbs.
Install A Visible Burglar Alarm
There are many types of alarm systems and the best alarm for your home depends on your budget, level of security required, sensor type, alarm response and personal preference.
Types of alarms include:
- Bells-only alarm – makes a noise but doesn’t contact anyone
- Dialler burglar alarm – automatically dials a nominated phone number when the alarm is triggered
- Smart home security system – sends notifications via an app on your smartphone/tablet
- Monitoring contract – paying an external security company to take action/call the police if the alarm is triggered
For more information, which.co.uk has a great article about burglar alarms – Click Here to read more
Store Spare Keys Safely
Don’t risk leaving spare keys under flower pots, false rocks etc in the front garden – especially if they’re being used regularly. If required, invest in a secure key safe and install it in a discreet location so it’s as difficult as possible for anyone else to see the combination code being entered.
Secure Outdoor Buildings
Even if you think there’s nothing of value in your shed, consider whether the tools that you have stored in it could be used to break into your home. Where possible, secure ladders, garden spades (can be used to force open doors and windows) etc and install sturdy padlocks to protect your shed, garage or outbuilding.
House & Car Keys
Avoid leaving keys on a hook or in a bowl by the door – make sure they can’t be easily reached by someone using a device through the letterbox or the gap that a door chain allows.
Keep expensive items out of site – they can increase the chance that your home will be targeted and also give the impression that you’re a wealthy household and therefore more likely to have other valuable items worth stealing.
A home safe is an impractical idea for items that you want to access regularly such as jewellery, watches, cash etc. If the safe is visible, it suggests that there’s something valuable inside – if it’s not bolted to the floor, the thief will generally just steal the safe and work out how to open it later. If it is bolted to the floor, unless the safe is very expensive, the thief will probably be able to pry the safe open using something like a crowbar.
If you do feel that you need an accessible safe, make sure it’s hidden away – under a false floor, wall etc. but be aware that squeaky floorboards and framed pictures/art are obvious places to check if a thief knows that there’s a hidden safe in your house!
Empty homes are more likely to be targeted by thieves, so it’s a good idea to make your home look like it’s occupied while you’re out.
Installing a smart home hub and connected appliances means that you can control things such as the lightning, heating and electronic devices remotely by smartphone or computer.
You can set up profiles so that the same actions happen at set times every day – the lights/TV/radio turn on/off. If you have a smart curtains/blinds device, you can set the curtains/blinds to open/close etc.
In addition to leaving these tasks ‘active’ whilst you’re away, you can also control elements individually to give the impression that you’re at home.
Nowadays, most home security cameras are smart devices and can be easily set up externally and/or internally.
External cameras typically connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network to allow you to view live video footage of activities occurring outside of your house. They’ll also send an alert to your phone when someone or something is out there, record video of the event and depending on the camera features, let you talk to whoever is on your property.
The easiest external cameras to install are battery-powered, Wi-Fi cameras as they don’t require any wires/cables. They tend to use rechargeable batteries that can be easily removed for charging and can work with a wireless range extender if you don’t have a good WiFi signal outside.
Internal cameras tend to be mains operated and often contain features and/or use AI powered person detection so that it’s not triggered every time a family member or pet moves past it. Different modes let you customise when the camera records/sends alerts and some security cameras even contain features like temperature sensors so that they can recognise if there’s a fire and send an alert.
If you already have a smart home system in place, remember to check that the security camera is compatible.
IP (Ingress Protection) Rating
Any outdoor camera should carry an IP (Ingress Protection) rating. Most outdoor security cameras have an IP66 rating, which means they offer complete protection from dust ingress and can handle water jets from any direction, but shouldn’t be immersed in water. They’re typically safe from rain, snow, heat, and cold.
Security cameras should have a fairly high resolution so that you can recognise what it is that the camera’s looking at. Choose a camera that captures at least 720p. 1080p is the most popular resolution and offers more detail without lagging and requiring lots of storage space.
As always, be very careful with the amount of information that you’re sharing on social media. Of course, it’s nice to be able to post live updates of your holiday but bear in mind that you’re also announcing that your home might be empty.
If you have any questions about planning an extension or a home renovation and improving your home security, or just questions about creating your dream home in general, go ahead and book a free call below with Yoop.
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