Lots of us are guilty of leaving home security languishing at the bottom of our to-do list. It’s only when something piques our interest – perhaps a burglary locally or a news article, that makes you wonder whether there’s something more that you could do to secure your home. We’ve put together the top 5 security mistakes you need to stop making in order to feel instantly safer at home.

You Don’t Secure the Door

Leave no door unlocked. Most burglaries occur because of an unlocked door. While thieves do plan and analyse, they are also opportunists, and no thief is going to let an unlocked door pass them by. It’s therefore really important to make sure that your doors and windows are locked, even when you’re in the house or garden.

Even when the door is locked, if a burglar wants to break in, they have ways and means of forcing it. However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent your front door being forced, or at least making it difficult so the burglars are deterred.

  1. The first step to a more secure door is a British Standard kitemarked lock. Most insurance providers want this kind of lock on external doors anyway, so you may already have one.
  2. As well as a mortice lock, you will need a night latch. A night latch will make sure the door is locked every time you close it, and when combined with a mortice lock, it will provide you with an excellent standard of door security.
  3. When it comes to the door itself, avoid one with glass in it as a burglar can easily break the glass and gain access. If you already have a door with glass, then reinforce it with laminate, which will prevent it from shattering.

You Leave Valuables in View

Attracting attention? Leaving your expensive laptop on the sofa overnight is a sure-fire way to attract the attention of unsavoury characters. A burglar will take a look to see if there’s anything worth stealing before they break in, so make sure that your valuables are out of sight.

Install a safe. Go one step further and store your valuable items in a safe. If a burglar were to get in, it means that they have to both find the safe and get into it to steal your belongings – something that most burglars aren’t willing or able to do.

You Open the Door to Strangers

Who are you letting in? Some burglaries take place because the burglars are invited in. Thieves pretend that they are from the “water board” or have come to read the metre, etc. and gain access to your home that way.

Confirm who they are. Try to avoid answering the door to anyone you’re not expecting, or install a peephole. Ask for ID or contact the organisation they say they are from (but not on a number they give you) to validate their identity. Anyone genuine won’t mind you checking.

Your Home Looks Empty

Does your house look empty or neglected? Of course, for your own happiness you want your home to look neat, tidy and attractive. You also don’t want your home to look empty or neglected for the burglar’s sake – they will be looking for properties that aren’t manicured, because they present an easy break-in opportunity.

Set the light timers. If you’re going away, simple things like leaving lights on timers will make your home look occupied. Make sure you have a trusted friend or family member to check in on the house, ensuring that post doesn’t pile up and your plants don’t die – these are easy clues that burglars look out for.

You Haven’t Installed CCTV

Caught red handed. When it comes to deterrents, there aren’t many options that work as well as CCTV. Placed in plain sight, a burglar will see the system and will be more likely to decide against a break-in. If they go ahead, then the footage could be used as a resource to help catch the thief and as evidence to convict.

How many of these mistakes are you making? For more advice, talk to us on Twitter with @TalkWithSafe

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