With daylight saving time coming into force, we have the evenings getting darker earlier. This is, unfortunately, the season where burglaries are more frequent because burglars are able to get away with much more under cover of darkness.
This is the best time, therefore, to get your house burglar-proofed. Here are my top tips for making sure that you keep your house safe in winter.
Install a security alarm
Home alarm systems are definitely a deterrent for thieves. Most burglars tend to look for houses that don’t have alarms as they know that they are not likely to get caught. House alarms nowadays are more sophisticated and comprise of cameras and sirens. Some house alarms can be set to directly call the police. Most times, of course, the siren is more than enough to put the thieves off.
Stickers placed on doors to show that the house is protected by an alarm or a sign that mentions ‘Beware of dog’ help to put burglars off track.
Secure doors and windows
When you leave your home, make sure to secure doors and windows. Give the job to someone in the family when you are all leaving together so that way it is always done. Get into the habit of locking doors and windows and use a key for the windows when you are away on vacation.
Draw blinds in the evening
Once the outdoors is dark, draw your curtains and blinds. When you are in a lighted room, you can’t see clearly into the darkness but people outside have a much better view and can clearly look into your house.
Don’t leave valuables within plain sight
You may have a lot of antiques and precious things in your home but try and not leave them within plain sight of a window. Do not keep anything of value on a window sill as it will attract burglars.
Smart home appliances/lighting
Getting a smart light system may be of great help. With being able to access your lighting while away, you can deter thieves and you can also have the added benefit of having your home ready for you when you get back. With smart home appliances like Nest, you can even regulate your home temperature and get the house cozy and warm at the end of a long day at work.
Install a peephole/door viewer
A peephole helps to identify who is outside the door. You need to be able to see who is at the door and quite often can even ask for an identity card if you have any doubts. Do not open the doors late at night without knowing who it is you’re opening the door to.
Without a security alarm, you can even decide to even get just some home cameras so you can see what is happening in your home at all times. Webcams can provide you with a live feed as to what is happening in your home at all times. Some even provide video footage that can help to identify burglars if your home is burglarized.
Secure patio doors as they are normally the most accessible to thieves. Install a special patio lock if necessary. Thieves normally gain access via the back garden as they are more easily under cover. Double doors are recommended.
Secure your main door
Even with security alarms, you should make sure that your main door has a deadbolt and that the area around it is reinforced. It’s easy to kick in a door at the area of the bolt so if this is secure, it is less easy for thieves to enter your home.
Eliminate hiding places
High shrubs and trees give thieves access to hiding places so take care of your garden and shrubs near your entry areas. Make sure shrubs are cut back. Also, take care to always have shed doors locked so no one can hide in them and take you by surprise.
Front door /Patio lighting
Make sure that you have lighting at the front and patio doors. Light sensors are a great idea so that they come on automatically when someone is at the front door. Same with patio lights. Sensor lights are great as they help save energy and only come on where is movement.
Keep an eye out for any unusual activity around the home
Most burglars don’t just thieve at a whim. They tend to stake out a home they want to burgle. Keep an eye out for suspicious cars on the street. Make sure to always ask for ID when people come to the door from electric companies/gas companies. Try and remember names of salespersons who come to the door and ask for a business card/ ID cards.
Be aware of your surroundings
Be aware of your surroundings when you are entering your home, especially late at night. Always have your door keys ready so you can enter immediately. Check out your surroundings to see that there is no one hanging around to take you by surprise.