As we head towards the time of year when the clocks go back (1am on 31st October to be precise!) and the nights become darker earlier, it seems a prudent time to review our home security. In this article, we give some tips and advice on keeping yourself and your home safe and secure this Autumn.
If you leave your home for work early in the morning and come back later in the evening, it’s likely that you will always be coming and going in darkness. Security lighting positioned around your property will not only allow you to see any potential trip hazards on the path but choosing lighting with a motion-sensor feature will give a would-be intruder a problem – no cover of darkness to hide under!
B&Q have a great range of home security lighting and there are options to suit almost every budget.
A home in total darkness during the darker evenings is a sure-fire way to indicate that no-one is home! Short of leaving the lights on all day and wasting electricity, how can you create the impression that someone is home? Simple, set your lights to come on with timers! These clever devices allow you to set times of the day and night for the lights in your home to come on and off, not only creating the impression that someone is home but meaning that you have a cheerful welcome when you arrive home too. For a hassle free solution, take a look at this wireless light switch timer from Screwfix, it fits over an existing light switch and does not require you to access and adjust the wiring.
If you are tech savvy you can use your Home Assistant, with Smart Plugs and Bulbs to accomplish the same thing with the added benefit of being able to control everything from your phone no matter where you are.
Putting a radio or the television on a timer is a great way to create usual household noise and sounds to fool those who might be lurking outside with nefarious intent.
Now is a good time to check that all your lighting is in good working order and replace any dead bulbs. Remember to check the batteries in your torches and place them in an accessible place just in case there is a power outage.
Cold Callers and Keys
When the doorbell goes and you aren’t expecting visitors, it’s wise to carry out some basic safety checks before opening the door. Do not answer the door to anyone after dark if you are not expecting a visitor. Consider having a door viewer fitted so that you can see who is outside before you open the door and also a security chain, so that you can open the door partially to check identification documents. Smart doorbells can be very useful when it comes to home security because you can see, hear and converse with the caller, all without going near or opening the front door.
The Crime Prevention website gives some very sound advice on dealing with cold callers to your home and what to check and look out for when presented with identity documents.
Keeping the doors and windows of your home locked and keys and valuable items out of sight and reach (cat flaps and letterboxes can all be used to access keys if they are hung near the door). When it comes to keys, spare keys are safest with a trusted neighbour or nearby family member, rather than under the mat – burglars know all the hiding places, even the ones you’ve not even thought of!
Pruning your shrubs and bushes which have become overgrown is an Autumnal job that is not only good for the garden but good for security too. An overgrown bush, especially near a window can be the ideal cover for an intruder to hide. It might feel like a pain to have to put away ladders and garden tools after finishing jobs outdoors but nowhere near as painful as finding out that a burglar has used them to access your property. Lock all such items away in the garage or shed, remembering to lock the garage or shed behind you!
We hope you have found this advice useful for protecting your home and property this Autumn. Further useful advice about home safety and security can be found here on the Crimestoppers website.