How secure is your home?
With the holiday window on the horizon, you may be looking forward to packing up and heading off for a well-deserved break! Leaving your vacant home behind is a risk you take, as unfortunately intruders can strike at any time. Vacant homes, of course offer even more appeal.
It is essential that you keep your home as secure as possible in a bid to combat what is a highly stressful and traumatic experience. By taking some time to security check your home and by making a few vital changes could really make all the difference.
Alarms may see obvious but you would be surprised with how many homes either don’t have one installed or have one but don’t bother to use it. You could choose to securely link your alarm to a staffed remote monitoring service or the Gardaí, who will contact you or a chosen key holder to let you know if there is a problem. Panic buttons are also worth installing for when you are actually in the home and maybe hear a disturbance.
Get with it - get digital!
CCTV can range from a wired system plugging straight into a monitor, to a wireless system, where images can be transmitted using digital technology. A protocol CCTV allows cameras to send images to your computer router which in turn can give you access to footage of your property via the internet or from your smartphone.
Top tips for securing your home
- Avoid obvious signs that no one is at home by perhaps having a trusted key holder to ensure bins are put in and out, post and junk mail are picked up, lighting is turned on and off and blinds and curtains are opened and closed.
- Individual window locks provide added security.
- Reinforced glass may be a good idea on less exposed ground floor windows.
- Sliding glass doors and double doors are regular break-in points so installing multi-bolt locks are highly recommended.
- Entry gates should be closed or better still locked.
- Door locks, one is not enough – you need at least two and use them.
- Your letter box should have a cage fitted to avoid “fishing” for keys.
- Keys hidden under door mats, rocks or plant pots should be avoided.
- Motion sensor lighting will alert you or neighbours to movement outside.
- Hedges and foliage can act as a great hiding place so get these trimmed.
- Ladders, garden furniture and wheelie bins should be put away as these can be used to climb to open windows.
- Tools left out could be used to smash a window or gain door entry.
- Secure documents should be hidden in the attic or locked in a filing cabinet.
- Lock your car turning your wheels into the curb and locking the wheel.
- Outhouses and sheds should be locked.
- Valuables should never be left on display.
- Guard dogs still prove a vital deterrent when it comes to home security. Some dogs will at least alert you to activity while others will go all out to protect your home.
- Social media is not the place to share your airport or holiday selfies as you never know who might use this valuable piece of information.
Neighbourhood watch is in fact a great platform to keep you informed of unusual activity in your area. A simple Facebook or WhatApp private group set up between neighbours is a great way to communicate and plan ahead for your vacant home.
An Garda Síochána have a simple home security survey to determine how well your home is secured against burglary, why not give it a go! The link for this survey is http://www.garda.ie/Documents/User/CP%20Info%20Sheet%20-%20HS1%20-%20Checklist%20Challenge.pdf
Don’t allow burglars to steal your peace of mind and your possessions. if you dedicate some time and effort into securing your home, hopefully this may prevent a break-in or at least make it as difficult as possible for them - now there's an incentive!
Best of luck securing your home, from The Placelift Team