Four easy things you can do to keep your home safeTop tips for preventing burglaries

11 April 2016

Burglar climbing through window

Making it tougher for burglars

New-build homes will be required to pass a security test under new regulations - but for those of us with older homes, here are four simple tips that will help you to keep your home safe.

All doors and windows in new build houses must be made to a design that has passed security testing as well as complying with British and European security standards, thanks to a new addition to Building Regulations known as Approved Document Q.

While buyers of new homes can be confident their doors and windows will meet the new standard, it’s critical that that existing home owners make sure their properties are just as secure. Check our guide to burglar alarms and home security to help you decide what you might need to consider.

1. Get secure, suitable locks

All doors and windows, especially those that are easily accessible or on the ground floor should have secure, suitable locks that also match any insurance company requirements.  Check the condition of the doors and windows themselves too in case they are they are worn out or cracked. 

A survey by a trustworthy locksmith - the Master Locksmiths Association runs its own approval scheme - can help ensure the current standards are met, but it’s not just toughening up entry points to the home that will deter break-ins.

2. Case your own joint

Dr Steffan George of the Master Locksmiths Association suggests looking at your property as a thief might.  Are there bushes and trees to hide behind or to screen the property?  Are fences and gates in good condition? 

Check out our article on burglar trade secrets, which reveals what burglars themselves say puts them off.  

3. Keep valuables out of sight

It’s just as important to think about what shouldn’t be on show too, so don’t leave valuables, like laptops, in plain view.  Avoid giving clues that the house is empty, so think about having lights on a timer, or leaving a radio on so that it seems someone is home.

4. Get a good-quality burglar alarm system

Other ways of deterring robbers include a working alarm system with an easy to spot alarm box on the outside of a property, or a visible CCTV camera.

If you're thinking about installing an alarm system, check out our review of the best burglar alarm brands, based on a survey of Which? members.

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