When it comes to home security, there’s no such thing as being too careful.
According to the Office of National Statistics, from April 2017 to March 2018, 14% of all domestic burglaries in Wales and England involved an unlocked door and 7% involved an open window, while 4% saw entry with an actual key.
Even more concerning, the front door was used as the point of entry for 52% of these incidents. Meanwhile, 25% of all burglaries also occurred while the occupants were home and completely unaware that they were being burgled.
Such statistics point to the glaringly obvious – Britain needs to be more careful when it comes to home security. Luckily, there are a few common home security mistakes you can easily remedy to increase your home safety dramatically.
Home Security Mistakes
As the old sayings go, prevention is better than a cure and defence is the best form of attack. Keep your home safe from break-ins by avoiding the most common home security mistakes prevalent across the UK.
Hiding a Key Outside
A classic security mistake, the old “key under the mat” trick is so predictably careless that it’s been habitually lampooned in pop culture, appearing in everything from Back to the Future to SpongeBob SquarePants.
Similar spots like under a plant put or beneath a bin are just as predictable for would-be burglars, leaving your home wide open for unwanted visitors.
Leaving your key outside is like setting your phone pin as your date of birth. While it might not be as careless as keeping it open, it’s far from fool-proof and doesn’t take a criminal mastermind to get in.
If your valuables are highly visible from the outside, it can leave a passing opportunist salivating like a dog in a butcher’s window.
From jewellery and watches to car keys and mobile phones, leaving items in direct view of the window is asking for trouble, particularly if your house directly backs on to a busy street.
While it’s easy to say “don’t leave your valuable in full-view”, realistically anyone can slip up from time to time. As such, it’s a good idea to invest in blinds or even net curtains.
To further limit the possibility of your prized possessions being swiped, never leave an open window unattended.
While it may seem obvious, a dark house with no lighting is ironically a glaring beacon to burglars that the house is empty…unless you happen to have photophobia and simply hate lights.
If you’re going to be out of the house for a short period of time – such as the evening or overnight – leaving a light on is an instant remedy that can work wonders. It’s literally as easy as flicking a switch.
Meanwhile, if you’re going away on holiday and are going to be leaving your house vacant for several days, installing light timers can be a wise and affordable solution. Some don’t even require programming for added ease.
A lack of lighting externally can also provide burglars with the perfect cover to enter a property undetected. Invest in motion sensor security lights to highlight any intruders before they make their move.
Whether it’s an overflowing letterbox of backlogged junk mail or a growing stock of deliveries in the porch, external build-ups clearly in plain view of passers-by make it blatantly obvious the occupants are away for a prolonged period of time.
Even something simple like leaving your bins at the bottom of the drive for collection can be a dead giveaway. If possible, cancel any deliveries and/or arrange for a neighbour, friend or family member to stop by and collect/clear up any obvious signs of inhabitancy.
A build-up of milk on your doorstep used to be another tell-tale sign of a lengthy getaway. While this has somewhat fallen by the wayside with the decline of milk deliveries, it’s been naturally replaced by a fitting 21st century substitute…
Social Media Declarations
Many of us will be guilty of this next entry but it doesn’t make it any less foolish from a security point of view. Announcing your holiday plans on social media is like putting a big neon “OPEN” sign on your front door.
Letting the social media world know your house is vacant for a week isn’t smart. While we’d all like to think that our friends are honest, law-abiding citizens, truthfully, many of us will be connected to people online we know in passing or barely know at all.
If you have hundreds of Facebook friends, ask yourself how many of those can you really count as genuine friends? Realistically, many will be acquaintances, while some may even be relative unknowns.
Worse still, a bit of digging through your timeline can often uncover an address with relative ease. For example, we’ve all seen those “new home” posts of house keys: if the accompanying photo is of the house or street itself, they can provide a lot more info than you would like.
If you really want to keep your home safe and sound, it could be well worth investing in some additional safety options. At IDS Security, we offer a variety of home security measures that are specifically designed to keep your home and its contents as safe as possible.
From surveillance cameras and burglar alarms to access controls and fire protection systems, we run the gamut of security technology to provide you with something money can’t buy – peace of mind.
For more details on our security systems and home protection technology, why not get in touch today? Call now on 029 20 753 251 or drop us a line using the link below.