Everyone wants to feel safe in their homes. In fact, a key part of creating a nice home is providing a space where you and your loved ones feel protected and secure. If you are someone who has been busy transforming your home into a dream living space, kitting it out with luxurious features and comforts like luxury domestic lifts, then it would be crazy to not keep things secure. Intrusions and robberies are a sad fact of life and while, hopefully, you will never have to experience one, preparing for the worst will give you the peace of mind you need. In this article, we provide a handful of options that will keep your home safe.
Lock your windows when not at home
Laura Martin, from the blog MissLJBeauty, is a former police officer, and she has shared with us some of her tips for keeping your home safe. One thing she recommends is something very simple but important to remember: “I recommend never leaving your windows or door unlocked when you are leaving your home. This might seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people do not check their windows are locked before leaving their homes.”
Join a neighbourhood watch
Being a part of a community can be very helpful for safety and peace of mind. With that in mind, Laura, who also runs the lifestyle blog Spilling Life Tea, recommends joining a neighbourhood watch scheme: “Joining neighbourhood watch schemes is very helpful. It is always nice to know someone is one the lookout when you are not in. Many neighbourhood watch groups are online. Which means it is easy to pop a message on to alert neighbour that you will be out for a period of time.”
Have a dog
Another of Laura’s tips involves getting yourself a dog. Not only are they wonderful companions but they can be a very helpful deterrent to burglars: “This one might seem strange, but intruders very rarely enter houses or building with dogs inside. They are an added risk to them being discovered. The intruder will not know that your ‘fur babies’ are more likely to like them and show them the biscuit barrel.”
Set-up an alarm system
One of the first things you should do is set up a reliable alarm system. The simple act of being alerted when someone enters your home is very assuring. Knowing that an alarm will go off if someone does try to break in while you are asleep or out for the evening, will mean that you and the police can be quickly alerted. However, simply installing an alarm isn’t enough, it would be much better if the robber never tried to enter in the first place. Therefore, it’s important to advertise to criminals that your house has a security system.
Christy, from the travel blog Ordinary Traveler, shares how helpful this can be for creating a safe home: “Having a security system will most definitely deter burglars, so advertise it! Post stickers near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door, as well as side doors off your garage.”
Be a clever gardener
It isn’t just alarms and tech that can keep your home safe. Did you know that by being a clever gardener and growing the right types of bushes in the right places you can help to deter thieves? This is the advice shared with us by Kellie of the lifestyle blog Prize Warriors: “Avid gardeners will be happy to know that their skills can be used to help keep their home safe! Holly bushes provide a stunning feature for your home during the winter. But did you know, their thorny leaves present a great natural deterrent for home invaders? By planting these bushes, or similarly thorny shrubbery directly under your windows, you’re adding a similar deterrent as barbed wire would. But obviously, in a much prettier way!”
Add automatic outdoor lights
Burglars rely on not being seen so it’s our job to make things as hard as possible for them. Many criminals will be put off immediately if lights automatically come on outside your home when triggered by movement. Not only this but having a well-lit front and back entrance will help you and your family feel safer as well when entering the home at night and showcase that your house is a bad target for any evildoers. Outdoor lights with motion sensors are easy to install and pretty cost-effective so don’t delay in fixing one to the wall of your home.
Try a door entry system
Having a door entry system set up at home can be a comforting and convenient alternative to traditional locks. They come in all shapes and sizes, often allowing you to enter a door with a keypad. This way, you are in no danger if you lose a key as anyone who wishes to enter will need to know the code. If you can remember a simple series of digits, this could be the way to go. You can set one up on your front or back door and even on important rooms inside the house to protect jewellery and valuables.
There are even smart door-entry systems like this one from Nuki. It works by linking up to your smartphone, opening automatically when you approach. It can also be unlocked with a fob, keypad, or by logging into your Nuki web account. The team at Nuki spoke to us about what makes their Smart Lock so helpful:
“In everyday life, a digital key is often even more secure than a common mechanical key. If the key is stolen or lost, the only secure solution is to replace the entire locking cylinder. With a Nuki Smart Lock, this measure is no longer necessary. If the smartphone, which acts as a digital key, is lost, the corresponding access authorisation can be immediately deleted from the app at the touch of a button. This means that no unauthorized persons have access.
“Also you have the option to check the status of your door wherever you are and see all locking processes transparently in the activity log so that you can keep an eye on everything even when you are on the move. Last but not least, you receive push notifications on your smartphone immediately, for example, if the door is open or unlocked.”
Install surveillance cameras
Another important component of any home security system is installing surveillance cameras. Not only will criminals be put off from approaching your home if they see them but if the worst should happen, you will have it all on tape to take to the authorities. These days you can even have the live footage of your security cameras sent straight to the phone via the camera’s app. So, if you are away and want to check up on the house, you can do so remotely.
Helen, from the family blog Blogging Beautiful, has set up a pair of cameras at her home and highly recommends doing so: “These can be a real asset to your property, especially infrared ones that pick up motion at night and ones that can be accessed while away. We have two cameras on our house and looking over our cars, we can access these while away from the house using a Wi-Fi connection and they really do offer reassurance.”
Utilise smart home technology
Many of us enjoy the perks of smart technology at home, allowing us to activate music and entertainment systems through voice activation. Smart technology can also help with your security in combination with your security cameras and lights. For example, you could have a system in place which allows you to have your lights automatically turn on inside your home at random times – perfect for if you are away and want to ward off burglars. This is something that ex-police officer Laura from MissLJBeauty recommends:
“If you are leaving your home for a long period of time. I would recommend having your lights on timers. This is an inexpensive way to make people think there is someone within your home when you are in fact away.”
Also, if you have access to your security camera from your phone, you could even decide to turn on the living room light if you see someone suspicious approach your home.
With something like ADT’s Smart Home, you can receive alerts when your video cameras are activated, remotely set your alarm system in case you forgot before leaving, answer your doorbell remotely if you are away. The system even includes a back-up GPRS in case your Wi-Fi goes down, meaning you will still be online and protected.
Tips for keeping your home safe and secure
- Lock your windows when not at home
- Join a neighbourhood watch
- Have a dog
- Set-up an alarm system
- Be a clever gardener
- Add automatic outdoor lights
- Try a door entry system
- Install surveillance cameras
- Utilise smart home technology
With a little investment, there are lots of ways you can keep your home as safe as possible. While there are no guarantees, there is little reason not to take advantage of some of the suggestions above, giving you the confidence to relax when at home and away.
Before we come to an end, Laura Martin shares some final advice, reminding people the importance of reporting suspicious activity: “As an ex-police officer, I would also like to say if you see something strange report it. You would not believe the number of times someone has actually noticed something strange in their neighbourhood and may actually have witnessed an intruder scooping out their next target or housebreaking in action.
“If you do see something strange there is no harm in noting down the date and time and if possible, the registration of any vehicles. You would not believe how this can help with any convictions. If you are concerned, call 101, that is what the police are there for. I know a lot of people don’t want to bother the police, but I promise they are a friendly bunch that are there to help you.”
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