How to secure your home from the outside

How to secure your home from the outside

We all associate our home with the feeling of safety and security, and a break-in can involve losing far more than a few material possessions. While the number of burglaries in the UK has steadily fallen over the past few years, it still remains one of most common crimes.

According to the police, homes with no security measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those that have basic security measures in place1, highlighting that burglars are often opportunists. Fortunately, there are a number of precautions you can take in order to secure your home from the outside and make it as unappealing as possible to potential burglars.

Securing the outside of your home and garden

Protecting our homes from the outside needn’t involve digging a moat or building siege-worthy walls; putting a few simple security measures in place and adopting good habits should be enough to deter the average petty thief. We speak to Lucie Banham, Director of leading security company Banham Group, to gain her expert view on how to protect your home from the outside.

Carry out a perimeter check and identify any weak spots

Put yourself in a burglar’s shoes and walk around the perimeter of your home. Do you notice any weak spots where a thief could gain easy access, such as windows that can be forced open? The likelihood is that if you can spot these, thieves will be able to do the same.

Secure the perimeter

Building a tall fence, if you don’t have one already, is not only an effective deterrent to anyone wanting to break-in, but could also prevent burglars from window shopping. Install timber trellis on top of your fence for added security, as trellis is quite weak and if an intruder were to try and climb it, it would collapse.

Install an alarm

Lucie suggests that “having a bell box on the front and back of your house, installed by a reputable NSI gold standard security installer acts as a great deterrent to most burglars. Burglars can often spot a dummy bell box or DIY system and will know that they can break in without any likely interruption from the police.”

Install motion sensor lighting

Motion sensor lighting is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways of securing your property. Burglars certainly don’t want to be put in the spotlight, and will find it considerably more difficult to go about their business in plain sight.

Install a CCTV camera

CCTV cameras are one of the most efficient ways to protect the exterior of your home. Lucie highlights that “thieves and vandals do not want to have their images taken as evidence and with a professionally installed CCTV system, you will have high quality footage to rely on, if required.”

Trim shrubbery

Large, untrimmed bushes and trees provide the perfect hiding spot. Occasionally trimming shrubbery will make it more difficult for thieves to hide and may reduce the chances of them attempting to break-in in the first place.

Keep items burglars can use to break-in out of sight

“Tools like ladders and wrenches left outside your property may be used by buglers to force entry” says Lucie. It’s worth keeping them in your garage or shed, and locking this with a strong, steel padlock.

Befriend your neighbours

A nosy neighbour isn’t always the most welcome of sights, but this could be an advantage when it comes to keeping your property safe. In fact, research indicates that the Neighbourhood Watch scheme is effective in reducing crime in four out of five cases (79%)2. “We always encourage homeowners to be in touch with their local Neighbourhood Watch schemes, especially if they plan to be away from their homes for long periods of time,” says Lucie, “having an extra pair of eyes on your home when you’re away is a valuable form of security.”

Securing your shed

Sheds and outbuildings are sometimes overlooked in terms of home security, but a recent survey found that the contents of the average shed are valued at £5673. However, as well as being valuable in themselves, these items could also help burglars gain entry to your home, so it’s important to make sure that your shed is as secure as possible.

Assess its condition

First of all, it’s crucial that you assess the condition of your shed. Is the wood rotting? Is the roof sturdy? Little benefit will come from installing locks if the structure itself is rotting and falling apart. A little shed maintenance, such as painting and making sure the roof is secure, can go a long way in terms of security.

Invest in heavy-duty locks

This may seem obvious, but investing in a strong, heavy-duty lock or padlock is the simplest and most effective solution to securing your shed. However, remember to not go over the top, as this suggests there's something of value stored in your shed.

Take pictures and use permanent marking on any valuable items

Make sure you always mark any valuable property with your name and address – whether this be with a UV pen, paint or even by scratching it in. You can even register some items for free at Immobilise, which could help you retrieve them if they are stolen. It’s also advisable to take pictures, as this will not only help you make a claim following a theft, but may also help identify your property if it’s recovered.

Make sure you’re covered

The security of your outbuildings and garden is now up to scratch, but it’s always worth having that extra piece of mind. Aviva household policies cover contents in outbuildings, and garages up to £2,500, as well garden contents up to £1,5004.

How to secure your home from the inside

Protecting our homes from the inside doesn't have to be complicated and expensive - just a few security measures and adopting some good habits could be all you need.

Continue reading

How to start a neighbourhood watch group

Nosy neighbours poking their faces through the window regularly? Their nosiness does more to protect local neighbourhoods from criminal activity than you may think.

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Additional Sources

[1]www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/
[2]www.ourwatch.org.uk/uploads/general/Measuring_NHW_-_Views_of_Effectiveness_(2009)_Richard_Slatter.pdf
[3]www.pressreader.com/uk/the-herald/20170603/283223033100943
[4]www.aviva.co.uk/home/overview-of-benefits.html

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