From 2015 we are planning to include a section relating to Home Security in our Building Surveys.
Below is some basic guidance to help improve the security of your home.
1. Fit a burglar alarm
An alarm acts as a major deterrent for thieves, get one fitted as soon as you move in. Look for a NSI or SSAIB certified installer and choose a pin that’s difficult to guess. The alarm should be professionally installed and serviced annually.
2. Speak to your insurer
If you have insurance in place on your existing home call them as soon as you exchange contracts on your new property. As soon as you legally become responsible for the house you should make sure you have the building covered, your insurer will advise you of the best way to arrange this. Both our Building Surveys and HomeBuyer Reports include the current reinstatement cost for insurance purposes. This tells you and your insurer what it would cost to rebuild your home, for example after a serious fire.
3. Get involved with Neighbourhood Watch
Ask the neighbours if there is a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the area or set one up if there isn’t. If you have any specific worries ask for a visit from your local Crime Prevention Officer
4. Blend in
Try not to stand out too much, make sure you get the curtains or blinds up as soon as you can, don’t leave packing boxes full of valuables on display and introduce yourself to the neighbours.
5. Change the locks
If you aren’t 100% sure of who still has keys to the house, get the locks changed. Arrange for them to be changed by a Master Locksmith as soon as you move in so you know exactly who can let themselves in. All mortice locks should be of five lever type. Two or three lever locks provide poor security and should be upgraded. Ensure that there is also a cyclinder (Yale) lock and again it is worth spending money of a good quality lock. Security bolts can be fitted to most doors. Older patio doors often have poor security and may require additional after-market locks. It is very important to ensure that doors can easily be opened in the event of fire.
6. Window locks
Ensure that the windows have satisfactory locking mechnanisms and if not consider fitting after-market locks.
7. Security lights
Fit security lighting to vulnerable parts of the property.
8. Burlar deterents
Consider installing gravelled finishes to paths and drives and spikey bushes such as Berberis, in boundary hedges where unauthorised entry is possible.
9. ID theft
Theft of personal documentation can be more serious than the theft of a television or electronic items. Consider installing a safe to make theft of passports, bank details and other personal information more difficult.
10. Car theft
Most modern vehicles have effective immobilisers and alarms fitted as standard and car thieves are increasingly stealing the keys from within a house inorder to drive away the car. Car keys should therefore be inaccessible concealed from view.
Please follow the links below for more information in relation to home security: