How can I protect my home from burglars?

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How can you protect your home from burglars aside from getting a burglar alarm system and a guard dog?

Well there are a number of ways to ensure your home will not be a burglars next target particularly around this time of year, the holiday season.

Following these simple steps will give you peace of mind every time you leave your house and/or go to bed.

1. Check all windows and doors have fully functioning locks.  If they do not work, replace them:

Front Door:

Install a 5 Lever Mortice lock:

ERA Fortress British Standard 3621 5 Lever Maximum Security Sashlocks are recommended for External timber and composite doors. The BS 3621 standard is recognised as giving the maximum protection for home and commercial use, approved by Insurance companies and the Police. The laminated steel Deadbolt helps to prevent hacksaw attacks. The Deadbolt has a 20mm throw for greater security. Hardened steel plates on the casing prevent drill attacks. The 5 Lever mechanism is designed to prevent lock picking. The Latchbolt can be easily reversed for left or right handed doors. ERA Fortress Sashlocks are ideal for use in new doors or upgrading security from 2 and 3 lever door locks. Sashlocks are for use with door handles. The lock is operated from either side of the via a key. ERA Locks have been providing high quality home and business security products for over 150 years. ERA is one of the UK’s most recognised Lock brands providing you with the peace of mind that your property and possesions are locked up safe and sound. ERA Locks are approved by Insurance companies. The extensive range of products includes, Nightlatches, Mortice Locks, Window Locks, Cylinders, UPVC and Composite door locks, Digital Door Locks & Wordlock Padlocks.  Click here for prices.

Install a maximum security Night Latch:

Yale’s maximum security BS1 nightlatches are British Standard approved to ensure the highest level of security for timber external doors. They are Kitemarked to BS 3621:2007 and are recommended by insurance companies. These security nightlatches have been approved by the Police “Secured by Design” initiative. The Yale lock is key-operated from the outside and both key- and lever-handle-operated from the inside with the internal handle being lockable for increased security. The latch automatically deadlocks on closing the door and the snib function enables the latch to be held back. The lock uses a 6-pin high performance cylinder, and has a 20 mm bolt which is anti-carding. It also has a 15 year guarantee. The BS1 night latches have a 60 mm backset–this is the measurement from the edge of the door to the centre of the keyhole. Locks with a 40 mm backset are normally used where there is restricted space, such as on a glass panelled door. This Yale PBS1CH has a hardened case and cylinder both finished in polished chrome. It comes supplied with two keys and has a maximum security rating.  Click here for prices.

UPVC Patio or French doors:

  • Install a multi-point locking system if the doors do not have this already.
  • Install a top and bottom lock or a central rail key operated lock.
  • Wooden Patio or french doors:
    • Install a top and bottom lock or a central rail key operated lock.
    • When installing a lock to a wooden door, it should be fitted 90 degrees to the grain of the wood to avoid splitting if subjected to pressure.
  • Windows:
    • All windows should be fitted with key operated locks particularly those windows at ground or basement level.
  • Garage:
    • Install a garage Lock for the front of the garage door.  This also gives a good visual deterrent.

2. Install a visual Burglar Alarm:

Yale HSA6200 Wireless Alarm Kit:
No matter how well your property is secured with locks, an alarm system will add peace of mind and an additional level of protection to your home. Many people are put off by the high cost of some alarm systems, and the mess associated with installation. Yale, the brand leader in home security has introduced this cost-effective home security alarm, which offers a complete alarm solution for your home, and external buildings such as garages and sheds. The Standard Alarm is a basic keypad operated system ideal for a flat, terraced, or semi-detached home. The keypad enables you to set or unset the alarm via an access code. The system is pre-set with a 20 second exit/entry period and will allow the entire property to be either armed or disarmed.  Click here for prices.

Yale Smart Home Alarm Kit:

The Yale Smart Home Alarm Kit is a home alarm system built with you in mind. Control your Yale home alarm system via the Yale Home app, putting you firmly in control anytime, anywhere.
You can now arm, disarm and view the status of your alarm via your smartphone, so there’s no need to worry if you forget to set your alarm.
For the ultimate peace of mind, The Yale Home app will notify you if any changes are made to your system, or if the alarm sounds when activity is detected. When using a PIR Image Camera, you can also view activity inside your home to make sure everything is just as you left it.  To upgrade your Smart Home Alarm into a full Yale smart security system you can add new security devices to the Yale Home app, such as Smart Door Locks, CCTV and Home View cameras, there’s even the option to operate home appliances remotely using the Yale Power Switch.  Once connected the Yale Home app provides quick links to other Yale apps, including the CCTV and the Home View camera app, to check what is happening at home when you’re away. The app also gives you the option to unlock your door to friends and family, by simply fitting a Yale module to your smart door lock.  Click here for prices.

3. Install good outside lighting.

Motion sensor halogen outdoor security lights (pack of 2):

Deter intruders with the Smartwares ES120/2 Security Light. The double floodlights with motion detector turn on automatically when someone approaches. The halogen bulbs are replaceable and the sensor can be set to your own preferences. The floodlights produces a bright light as soon as someone enters the detection area. With an IP44 protection rating this light is suitable for outdoor use.  The replaceable halogen bulbs are 120 W and produce 2250 lumens, this can be compared with the light output of an incandescent light bulb with approximately 200 W. The light has a colour temperature of 2900 K, which gives a warm white light.  You can set the light so it shines for a long duration in order to deter intruders or set it to shine for a short duration so your doorway is illuminated. By adjusting the 2 dials you can set the daylight sensitivity and the lighting duration from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. This way you can set the light exactly to your own preferences.  Measures 185 x 310 mm.  On the Smartwares ES120/2 Security Light you receive 24 months warranty.  Click here for prices.

This stylish, wall mounted, up/down outdoor light has a stunning, modern stainless steel flush cylinder design and is ideal for lighting gardens, paths, garages, patios, courtyards, decorative porches and driveways. As well as being IP44 outdoor weatherproof rated, this external light also features a practical integrated PIR motion detector – providing extra security for the home and giving peace of mind. The wall-mounted outdoor flush light comes in a sturdy and weatherproof durable stainless steel design and emits bright light from both the top and bottom. This robust, illuminating external light is IP44 Rated and is fully certified for outdoor installation.  Click here for prices.

The Smartwares RX1010-38R-S Wall light gives your façade, fence or wall a sleek modern look. The light with motion sensor makes sure the light only turns on when necessary. The IP44 protection rating allows you to use the wall light outdoor.  You can set the light so it shines for a long or short duration in order to deter intruders or so as you can always find your keyhole when returning home in the dark. By adjusting the 3 dials you can set the sensitivity of the 115° sensor to a maximum of 9 metres, the lighting duration from 5 seconds to 8 minutes and the daylight sensitivity from 10 to 20,000 lux. This way you can set the light exactly to your own preferences. The light does not include a light bulb and is equipped with an E27 fitting that is suitable for light bulbs up to 20 W.  This way you can choose the light intensity and temperature yourself by using the light bulb with the spec you prefer in the fitting. The outdoor light comes with an instruction manual and mounting materials and has an IP44 protection rating which means it is weatherproof.  Measures: 395 x 75 x 125 mm and comes with 24 months warranty.  Click here for prices.

4. Purchase a light switch timer and connect it to a light source, to ensure your home appears occupied.

Incredibly easy to set up and use timer sockets which is why they have a 4 star reviews.  Compact, economic, energy saving and can help to deter intruders. These are adjustable for 24 hours with 15 minute minimum intervals and are also approved to BS1363.  These sockets are CE Approved with a rating of 13A, 3200W.  The beauty of these is that they can be used multiple times a day.  Click here for prices.

Control electronics from anywhere using your tablet or smartphone with the TP-Link smart Wi-Fi plug. You can turn devices on/off, check status, create schedules and set timers using the Kasa app. Gain peace of mind by checking on your devices remotely and always coming home to a well-lit house. Use away-mode to make it look like you are home when you travel and have lights turn on/off at set times to conserve energy and save on your next bill. Add voice control to any electronic device by pairing with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With IFTTT, you can also create personalised Applets that trigger automatic actions on your smart plug.  Click here for prices.

5. Keep Ladders and tools out of sight.

6. Place bikes inside the shed or garage.  If this is not possible, lock them to an immovable object.

7. Keep side gates locked and fences in good repair

8. Keep hedges trimmed around your property.

This cordless hedge cutter removes the hassle of untangling and the risk of cutting through the cable. It weighs 2.6 kg and has an ergonomic design which enables you to cut in any position with minimal effort. The AHS 50-20 LI also has an integrated sawing function for cutting thick and stubborn branches, a blade tip protector to avoid wear and tear of the blade when working close to walls, fences or paths, and Quick-Cut technology that ensures the sharp cut in one clean sweep of your hedge.  Click here for prices.

9. Close and lock all doors and windows before you leave your home, make a mental note to check this every time to you leave.

  • Do not leave keys near the front door.
  • Ensure your valuables are not in plain view.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself when you come and go (i.e. don’t shout back at your partner when leaving the house, “see you at the garage in 10 minutes” etc).

10. Purchase an outdoor time lapse camera.

The Brinno TLC200 PRO will record for months on its 4 AA batteries, while saving your Time Lapse Video to the SD Card. No stitching thousands of frames together in post processing. Built with a HDR (High Dynamic Range) image sensor making the creation of high quality time lapse videos a snap, even in low light situations where other cameras miss details. Simple to use, simply stunning results.  This time lapse camera will instantly produce high quality videos which are compressed into smaller files making playback on smart phones.  With a TLC200 Pro’s CS-mount interface, you can always choose a suitable lens for your needs.  Turn your TLC200 PRO into a Construction Camera with world record class, long term battery life of 40 days while taking a photo every 5 minutes at the Daylight Scene setting.  The timer function allows you to program when the camera will wake up and begin recording and when it will shut off. You now have complete control without needing to be there to turn the camera on.  Set it forget it.  Field of view: 112°, rotates, vertical rotating direction, angle of rotation: 120°, closest focusing distance: 0.4 m, fixed aperture: 2 mm, lens can be changed.  Click here for prices.

11. Do not share the fact you are going on holiday on social media.

If you are in the UK, click here for a great burglar alarm guide compiled by Which?

If you are in the USA, click here for a great review site of the biggest names in home security.