At BluSkills we take a holistic approach to security, with home security forming a substantial piece in the overall security picture. It is not just about securing possessions but most importantly about protecting yourself and your family.
Residential security is a large subject and there can be many influencing factors as to how you may become a victim of crime at your home.
Here we will look solely at deterring theft from your home and highlight a few simple measures you can use to help keep your home off the radar.
To the average person burglary is thought of as an opportunistic crime, however research conducted by security company ADT revealed:
- Burglars displayed professional attitudes to burglary
- Operated in teams, with team sizes of 2-3 being optimal
- Burglars may watch properties for up to 24 hrs or longer
- 72% confirmed they watched a property before breaking in
- Would observe the property from nearby bushes
ADT have made a short video which highlights some of their findings, well worth a watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYllEQB7X2A
So what can we do to make our homes less appealing to burglars?
In my opinion this is a very powerful and much underused tool in securing the home. A close knit and observant community will create a difficult environment for potential burglars and criminals to operate in. Many eyes noticing, engaging and reporting suspicious vehicles, people or behaviour can far outweigh the impact you can have alone. Communities can come together in person, via social media, messaging groups or by a neighbourhood watch scheme. Remember that crime rates in your neighbourhood can affect the value and desirability of your home too so it’s in everyone best interest to engage.
Know your area and the crime within it. The Police now offer a crime mapping service on the internet which lets you search by postcode.
Control access to the premises and to your home. Lock side or back gates that give access to the rear of your property and to your back garden. Keep your Windows and doors locked even when in the house or your garden. Cheap locks can be easily snapped or bumped so check if they are carrying the recommended kitemarks. Ensure your shed is locked, these are often a target due to weak security and an out of sight location. Bushes can provide excellent cover for observation areas. Bushes should preferably be of a dense thorny nature. Ensure trees and branches don’t offer easy access to upper floor windows and doors.
Lighting can be a strong deterrent to a burglar. Well sighted security lighting to the outside of your property will restrict a burglars ability to move around unnoticed. Internal lights on timers or smart sockets controlled via your smart phone will give the impression of an occupied home. Leaving the same light on for prolonged periods can easily have the opposite effect and flag an unoccupied home.
Keep high value and appealing items out of sight. Use curtains at night to prevent those outside looking in to your home. It’s easy to observe from the dark outside in.
An up to date alarm system with a visible alarm box is a good deterrent especially if monitored. Critically they should fit in with your lifestyle and be easy to use. If you have dogs for example and the dogs trigger the alarm every time you set it, then you will inevitably not set your alarm. As well as deterring a potential burglar CCTV can capture good imagery of suspicious activity, perhaps someone conducting recce of your property. As per the community piece this imagery can also be distributed to your neighbours or Police to make them aware.
Dense thorny bushes restrict observation areas and make it very difficult to move through. There are a number of animals which are territorial and provide a good audible deterrent such as dogs and even geese which can be aggressive and very vocal.
Finally, procedure. Get in to the habit of thinking security, create a procedure for leaving your home and get everyone in your home to agree to it. Every time you leave your home ensure your windows are closed and locked, high value items out of sight, set your alarm and lock your doors. It only takes that once leaving the window open or not setting the alarm to provide someone with an opportunity, especially if they’re observing.
BluSkills deliver residential and commercial security risk assessments and guidance. We assess your current security situation, identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities then produce detailed reports with guidance focussed on procedural measures which can be complemented with technical security measures. If you want to find out more about how we can help you then get in touch with us here.