JANUARY is traditionally a time for setting resolutions. As well as signing up to the gym, trying to eat more healthily and setting new goals, the New Year is a good time to get your house in order and check that your security is up to scratch.
Here, Dr Steffan George, development director of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) – the leading trade association for the locksmithing profession – suggests New Year resolutions to keep your home safe.
Resolution one: Carry out a full security check
Before you begin your home security, take some expert advice by asking a professional MLA-approved locksmith to carry out a security assessment.
This will involve inspecting the exterior of your property for any damage to doors or windows, and checking that all locks and any fitted security alarms are working properly and meet your insurance requirements.
An MLA licensed locksmith may carry out this initial check free of charge. To find an MLA locksmith in your area visit www.locksmiths.co.uk
Resolution two: Home maintenance is vital
Any kind of visible disrepair like broken windows will stand out to would-be thieves, and could act as a marker identifying your property as a potential target.
Maintenance is vital as rusted locks and chains, cracked panes of glass, rotten frames and sills are items that opportunistic thieves look out for so it’s essential to perform a thorough maintenance check.
Resolution three: Security investment can pay off
Finances are stretched over Christmas and throughout January, but it is worth remembering that investing in quality security items now may save money in the longer term by preventing a burglary. Dusk-till-dawn lights deter thieves and alert neighbours to any unwelcome activity, whereas indoor light timers effectively give the impression that someone is at home (ensure one is used upstairs).
Make sure that any security features you invest in are of good quality, saving you money in the long-term and increasing the longevity. For a list of security products that have been independently tested to help secure your home, visit: www.soldsecure.com.
Resolution four: Spruce up the exterior of your home
Get out the shears, power saw and trimmer and cut back overgrown hedges, trees and bushes that can provide cover for burglars attempting to gain entry to your home, outbuildings and garden.
Consider using exterior motion sensor lighting to expose anyone lurking around your property. It might even be worth considering gravelling a drive as the noise underfoot attracts attention and could deter intruders.
Resolution five: Don’t make it easy for thieves
Lock any tools and items like ladders, garden tools etc. that can be used to break into a property securely away.
It is also worth considering when your locks were last replaced, where past owners or tenants may still have access to your home and if anyone might have copied keys without your knowledge. If you’re worried, ask a professional locksmith to change your locks.
Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance so don’t hide spare keys under rocks or flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbour.