Your home is your safe space, your haven. But is it really all that safe? With all your belongings and loved ones inside, it’s vital to ensure that your home security is up to scratch. That’s why we’ve put together the Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Home Secure.
The Importance of Home Security
In 2022 alone there were over 266,000 burglaries in England and Wales. This means that, on average, there were roughly 729 homes burgled across the UK every day!
Becoming the victim of a burglary can be extremely traumatic for those involved. Firstly, there’s the financial costs you’ll need to spend to replace lost items and fix any damages to your property. There’s also the emotional loss that comes from losing sentimental items that can’t be replaced.
On top of this, there’s an emotional impact that stems from having your personal space violated by an outsider – a feeling that can leave you scared in your own home for years to come!
Unfortunately, anyone is at risk as most burglars are just opportunistic thieves trying their luck to make a bit of money. They might notice a particularly valuable item through a window, or spot a back door left open and try their chances.
But, while any home is a potential target, there are a number of things you can do to help deter these criminals and increase the security of your home at the same time.
As experienced locksmiths, we like to think of ourselves as home security specialists. We know what it takes to keep your home safe, so we’ve put together a list of tips, tricks and advice you can apply to increase your home security.
Your doors, both front and back, are essentially your first line of defence against burglars and intruders. If they aren’t secure, then neither is your property.
Make sure that you keep your doors locked at all times – even when you’re at home! But make sure that everyone indoors knows exactly where the keys are kept in case of emergency.
External doors should meet the PAS 24 British Standard; a standard of testing designed to measure the security performance of doorsets and windows in the UK to ensure they can withstand burglary attempts.
Not sure if your doors meet these safety standards? Get in touch with your local locksmith today and they’ll be able to tell you if it passes the minimum requirements or not.
If you need any tips and strategies on how to increase external security. Take a look at at our guide on patio door security here.
If you replace your property’s external doors, make sure that you purchase doors that pass the PAS 24 Standard and are approved by your insurance provider.
There are also additions like spy holes and security chains that can be implemented to further increase the security of your front door and therefore your whole property. You may be able to fit these yourself if you have the necessary tools, if not your local locksmith will be able to fit them for you in no time.
The hinges on your door can become a weak point over time, undermining the overall security of the entire door. We recommend checking that your door hinges are sturdy and secured in place with long, strong screws.
For an added level of security, you can also add hinge bolts that help to reinforce the hinge side of the door against extreme force.
If your door hinges are no longer secure, you can replace them rather easily yourself. Simply order a replacement door hinge and screw it in place – job done!
Make sure that your hinges are installed on the inside of the door to prevent access from the outside.
While a door handle won’t necessarily add to the security of your door, a poor-quality handle can certainly negatively impact your door’s overall security.
If you’re looking to replace your door handle, we strongly recommend purchasing a uPVC Door Handle that is TS007 2-Star Approved, has the BSI British Standard Kitemark and is Police Approved – just like our selection of uPVC Door Handles!
When it comes to door locks, it’s essential to use locks that have been approved by locksmiths – at the end of the day, we’re the experts!
We recommend using a five-lever mortise deadlock or euro cylinder for all external doors, as long as they’re approved to the BS 3621 Standard. You can easily tell if your locks fit this standard by checking for the BSI Kitemark on the faceplate of the lock. You’ll see the distinct heart-shaped marking with the standard number written below it when you open the door.
BS 3621 Door Locks are rigorously tested against common burglary techniques such as drilling and picking, plus you can rest assured knowing that they’re compliant with your home insurance policy as this is often the bare minimum standard required.
We stock a wide selection of uPVC Door Locks, Composite Door Locks and High-Security Cylinders so you can upgrade your door locks to a more secure option with ease. We highly recommend investing in a euro cylinder with a 3-star rating, like an Ultion Cylinder, as these are able to withstand drilling, picking, bumping, snapping and plug extractions.
As well as these, we also stock Patio Door Locks, so you can Increase Your Patio Door Security too.
Accidentally leaving your windows open is one of the most common causes of burglary across the UK. Window Restrictors are the perfect solution; they allow you to open your windows wide enough to ventilate your property while successfully preventing the window from being opened wide enough for someone to climb through.
You should also make sure that you lock all downstairs windows and any that are easy to reach, i.e. next to a flat roof. Also, don’t keep the keys in the window locks – keep them out of site with your other keys.
Additional Security Tips
As well as your doors and windows, there are plenty of other steps you can take to increase the overall security of your home, including:
- Burglar Alarms – The presence of a security system is usually enough to deter burglars from viewing your home as a viable target
- Outside Lights – Motion-sensor lighting is a great way to discourage burglars from your property
- CCTV – CCTV is becoming increasingly affordable and is another great deterrent to help protect your home
Many locksmiths also offer home security checks to offer bespoke advice and recommendations for increasing your property’s security!