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You have just moved into your new home, finally unpacked and settled in. You might feel like all the work is over, but home security is an important factor that shouldn’t be overlooked as you get used to your new home and neighbourhood.
Of course, as incredible as home security gadgets can be, not everyone can afford state-of-the-art equipment – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a secure home!
It’s important to note that statistically, there has been an overall decline in burglaries over the years. That being said, they still happen, and we don’t want you to become part of a statistic, so here's a few affordable ways to improve your home security.
Before you can think about installing new security measures, first you need to identify any weaknesses in or around your new home; the way to do this is to think like a burglar. When and how would you get into the house unnoticed?
Most burglaries tend to occur on week days while people are at work, so usually between 10 am and 5 pm, when the house is empty. Burglars target homes that appear to be wealthy, so if you have just moved into a big house with an expensive car parked in front, you may be at more risk.
Furthermore, a house that is secluded or blocked from view by trees, fences or shrubbery is ideal for burglars as there is less risk of them being seen trying to break in.
If your new home has a shed or garage where you keep your tools, remember to keep them locked away out of sight. Not only are gardening tools extremely expensive, but they can be used to break into your home. A ladder, for example, could help a burglar climb through a window left open on the second floor.
This is incredibly obvious, but people forget how quickly burglaries can take place – remember to lock your door even if you’re just going down the street for a few minutes, or if you’re spending the day in the garden.
Once you move into your new house, you should change the locks to any doors and windows – you don’t know who the previous owners could have given their spare keys to, so having a fresh set will give you peace of mind.
Windows left unlocked or open for any amount of time you aren’t in the house are the easiest point of access for burglars. No matter how short a time you are leaving the house for, always make sure your windows are closed and locked.
In our article about avoiding burglary during a house move, we also give advice on deadlocks and the types of doors and windows to get fitted to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose.
Burglars usually aim to take whatever is in easy reach, so avoid leaving your expensive phones, laptops, watches or jewellery out in the open. Don’t hide them in the usual, more obvious hiding places under the bed or in a chest of drawers. Try and be more creative and make it as difficult as possible for them to find your valuables.
Avoid hiding your spare keys outside your house under flower pots or door mats, as burglars know all the popular places and will probably find them after a few moments of looking around.
Along with this, be careful about who you give your spare keys to. Only give them to people you fully trust. Even then, you can’t always control the situations they find themselves in which could end with them losing your keys, so it’s always a bit of a risk.
A well-lit home carries less risk of being broken into, so make sure the exterior is fully-lit with motion detectors. If there is anyone lurking around your house when they aren’t supposed to be, they will be visible and put off trying.
When you’re away, it’s a good idea to keep a light on in one of your rooms, or use manual and digital timers to come on at specific times so it looks like there’s someone home.
Going on holiday is always exciting, but try and refrain from announcing it on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It tells burglars you’re going to be out of the house for a period of time and turns your new home into a target.
If you are going aware for an extended amount of time, try and stop newspaper or mail delivery, so it doesn’t pile up and become obvious that you’re away. If you don’t want to cancel your deliveries, you could always ask your neighbours to pick them up for you. This is where getting along with your neighbours comes in handy!
You could always ask your neighbours to park their car in your driveway to make it look like you’re home.
As we previously mentioned, tall trees and thick branches and shrubs can often block the view to your house, allowing burglars to go unseen.
Keeping surrounding trees and hedges well-trimmed and neat will prevent burglars hiding and make them easier to spot.
When you settle into your new home, it’s important to maintain you home security to ensure all your valuables are safe and protected. Crime rates have steadily been declining, but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend thousands of pounds on top-of-the-line security technology. It’s possible to keep your property safe by just following our easy and affordable tips, from spotting and strengthening any weak points in and around your home, to asking your neighbours for help while you’re away.
If you have any affordable tips that you think we’ve missed out, send us your ideas to @comparemymove.