With the coming of a new year, most people make all kinds of resolutions. For 2015, it may be worth thinking about being more security conscious, particularly where your home is concerned. The belongings in your home may mean a lot to you and your family, but to a burglar, they are just a means of making easy and quick cash. Remember that an intruder can strike at any time during the night or day.

It is therefore important for home owners to think about how they can ensure that their property appears as if it is occupied even when they are far away for one reason or another. They should also make sure there aren’t external hiding places near the home where anyone could hide. Homeowners then need to ask themselves the following questions as a way of trying to minimize the chances of burglars breaking into their properties.

1. Are the doors and windows closed and locked, even when not easily accessible?

Most intruders are opportunists, meaning they love it when you make their easier for them by not for instance closing and locking your doors or windows. Three out of ten burglary incidents occur due to doors or windows being left unlocked or open.

2. Is it obvious when I’m away from my home or on holiday?

An obvious sign that you are not home is to always have shut curtains or lots of unopened post. Make sure to have someone pick the posts and shut the curtains when you are away.

3. Do you have doors and windows with visible locks?

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Visible locks are a sure sign that you are not home. The solution to this is having locks that do not show when locked.

4. Are the lights off all the time?

Lights that are left on at all times make it look like you are away even when you are not.

5. Do you have high hedges or walls around your house?

High walls and hedges around a property offer intruders protection from being seen when they break at your place.

6. Is your spare key easily visible?

An easy to see or find spare key, for example one that is placed above the ledge on the door, or underneath a plant pot is a sure invitation for burglars to invade your house whether you are around or away.

7. Is accessing your home noisy for a burglar?

A noisy driveway or pathway is a good home intrusion deterrent.

8. How secure is your garage or shed and what do you keep in there?

Your garage or shed should always be kept locked with good quality security locks or padlocks. This ensures that what is kept in there can’t help an intruder break into your home.

9. Are there any ladders lying around your compound that can be used by burglars to gain entry into your house?

Ladders and all other equipments that can be used to help climb into a place should be kept locked where they are supposed to be store – a secure shed or store in this regard.

Extra security measures

Though some people use extra security to secure their properties, most don’t. Those who do have additional locks fitted to their doors and windows, with some using door chains. Apart from having extra locks or door chains fitted, the following security boosters are also advisable:

• Hinge bolts: These are designed mainly for outward opening wooden hinged doors. They provide extra protection against forcing the door open through the hinges. They automatically engage when the door is closed.

• Letterbox cage or guard: They are designed to prevent key fishing or an intruder using props such as fishing rod or coat hanger to hook items on the inside of the door.

• Security lights: Lights that automatically go on and off are a great burglary deterrent in any property. They are best installed in the garden, front and back sections of the home,

• Key safe: This is a secure box where a person can securely and safely store extra keys without having to hide them or rely on friends or neighbors to look after them.

• Upgrading the locks: Locks on sheds, garages, windows and even doors need to be upgraded with better types and that are harder to master.

• Mortice bolts: These are better suited for back and side doors. They are also appropriate for French doors. They are normally fitted to the bottom and top of the doors and are not visible from the outside.

It is a good idea to call in an experienced locksmith when having additional security fitted into your home. This locksmith will be able to perform a home security and insurance compliance check on your property. He will also be more than happy to help you with your home security upgrading process, assuring your peace of mind, this year and many more to come!

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