We all have the right to feel safe and secure in our own homes. Of course, the risk of break-in exists, but thankfully there is a wide range of measures you can take to deter and prevent burglars from breaking in.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with a list of solutions to making your property safer and more secure, which will not only achieve those initial goals but hopefully leave you with more peace of mind. Let’s dive in!
We’ve broken this article down into two primary sections. We’ll first explore keeping your home secure and then discuss how to keep it safe (e.g., reducing fire risks).
Get Good Locks And Use Them Well
The very first step to good home security is to ensure you lock everything before you and any other household occupants go to bed.
Make it standard protocol for everyone on the property to check windows and doors are locked up before hitting the hay, especially those more commonly left unlocked throughout the day (e.g., the back door). Although when it comes to locking windows, be sure to leave the key nearby in case of a fire emergency!
Maybe leave the key safely on the window ledge inside, that is, unless you have kids or pets who might try and put it in their mouth. Otherwise, find a safe, secure and very close location to the window so you can grab the key if you ever have to escape via the window in question and be sure everyone in the property knows exactly where it is without any doubts.
A Good Alarm System
If you don’t currently have one or your existing alarm system is rudimentary or old/worn down, you should consider investing in a modern, hi-tech alarm system.
For example, smart alarm systems can combine internal sirens, external sirens, motion sensors and smart device connectivity to provide enhanced 2020s-level security.
Some of the best smart alarms include:
- Yale IA-320 Sync (5-piece) Alarm System
- Arlo Ultra 2, 3 Camera Kit
- SimpliSafe Essentials Package
- Ring Alarm 5-Piece Kit
Door And Window Security
We also recommend you consider how secure your doors and windows are. Starting with windows, you may want to consider more secure locks (e.g., keyed locks). However, the glass pane is also a key consideration.
On the one hand, tempered glass offers 4x the strength of ordinary glass, so it may be worth your consideration. Moreover, double- and triple-glazing can also make windows more secure, as well as offer thermal and acoustic insulation.
As for your access doors (i.e., those that can be accessed from the outside of the property), look for particularly secure doors. For instance, a secure front door will have the British Standard or BSI Kitemark and PAS 24 accreditations as well as ‘Secured By Design’.
Ultimately, while it’s best to make all access points secure, the easier access points (e.g., downstairs windows) should be prioritised over those that are less likely to be accessed, such as upstairs windows. If you have the budget to secure all windows, then go for it. Otherwise, prioritise downstairs windows and your back and front doors.
Security cameras can not only capture footage of suspicious activity (e.g., someone loitering outside your home and looking directly at it in the middle of the night) but deter burglars.
Deterrence alone is a big consideration, as it’s not simply about preventing active attempts at break-ins. Prevention is better than the cure, and ideally, suitable measures taken can deter potential intruders from even considering your home a target in the first place.
There exists a wide range of security cameras, including wired and modern wireless CCTV. If you don’t have the budget, even a realistic fake security camera could be enough to deter criminals.
While keeping your home safe from external threats is essential, minimising any domestic safety hazards is also critical. After all, you may be shocked to learn that 6,000 people die due to household accidents each year in the UK!
One of the biggest potential safety hazards in the average home comes down to electrical components and wiring.
You should have PAT testing performed on your electrics by a qualified electrician at least every five years. The same applies to having an Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR.
These are not necessarily legal requirements so long as you are not a landlord or have a house in multiple occupations, with the exception of Northern Ireland, where an EICR is needed to sell a property. However, you are still obliged to ensure your electrics are safe.
For your own safety, you should have an EICR and PAT testing undertaken as soon as possible if you have any concerns about your home’s electrical safety.
Moreover, if your fuse board is old and worn down or you have any other concerns, you should look into having it replaced. Fuse board upgrade costs tend to fall in the range of several hundred pounds.
In most cases, a fuse board will require replacing every ten years but should be replaced or at least repaired ASAP if you have any concerns about its functionality or safety. Never take any chances when it comes to electrical safety, as a single household electrocution can be fatal.
Other Safety Criteria
Aside from electrical safety, here are other steps/tips to take into account to stay safe at home:
- Turn Off Electrics/Plugs – Turn off all suitable electrics/plugs at night with a few obvious exceptions, such as your fridge.
- Reducing Trips and Falls – Minimize tripping and falling hazards wherever possible. This is important in any home, but especially for those who are in their 60s or older. After all, the number one cause of death due to household accidents for those over-65s comes from falls alone, and sadly the mortality rate of over-65s dying due to falls has been on the rise since 2015. So, if we can take steps together as communities, we can reverse this trend and make our homes safer across the country.
- More Caution All Round – Simply being more cautious around the home, in general, can minimise the risk of domestic accidents, whether it be through making it a standard practice in your home to never walk away from food that’s cooking or always ensuring pets and little ones are far away from the hob when boiling food. Little steps here and there can add up to making your home a safer place!