Tips to upgrade your home security
Upgrade your home security

Protection is everything: Effective ways to upgrade your home security

We all want our home to feel like our safe haven – a place where we can relax and unwind. If someone was to enter that safe space uninvited, it’s a huge invasion of privacy. But there are numerous practical and simple ways that you can safeguard your home, helping to deter unwanted visitors.

With domestic burglary on the rise in some areas and budget cuts putting a greater strain on the police force, it is important for homeowners to prioritise their home security. Burglaries can be not only traumatic but expensive, with The Office for National Statistics putting the average cost of a residential burglary in the UK at over £3,000.

Change the locks for added peace of mind

One of the first things you can do to protect your home is to change the locks. If you have just moved into a new house, it’s advisable to change the locks if you’re not sure who may have had access, for example, builders, estate agents or cleaners.  Your insurance company may also require that you fit new locks in order to be fully compliant.

Another reason that you might need replacement locks is if you’ve been locked out of your house or had your keys stolen. The first thing to do is to call an emergency locksmith: do not attempt to break in yourself as you may end up damaging the door or breaking the lock.  A few suggestions to help avoid future lockouts include having a spare set of keys cut to leave with a trusted neighbour or friend, installing a secure lockbox with a spare key inside, or changing to smart locks or keyless entry systems so you’ll never need worry about forgotten or lost keys again.

Access control systems for ease of monitoring and greater control

Installing an access control system will mean that you can monitor and control who has access to your home, giving you extra peace of mind. With the arrival of automated, digital security technologies, it’s becoming easier than ever to protect your home and family.

CCTV systems can be a strong visual deterrent that let potential intruders know that you take your home security seriously, enabling certain areas of your home, garden or driveway to be watched over 24/7. Early CCTV solutions used analogue TV cameras wired to VHS tape recorders, which were expensive and complicated to install. Today, CCTV systems can be small, battery-powered digital cameras that can be installed almost anywhere and linked to an app on your smart phone. They can turn themselves on when they detect motion and automatically upload clips to the cloud. However, there are privacy regulations about the use of CCTV at private, domestic properties, so make sure you do your research first.

An alarm system is an added deterrent

Home security is all about peace of mind and alarm systems can go a long way to deter burglars. Crime statistics from 2018 suggested that 31% of homes now have a burglar alarm of some sort, while 45% of home owners have increased security because of rising crime, such as a burglary at a neighbour’s house. Just the sight of a burglar alarm can be all it takes to discourage illegal entry and put potential intruders off targeting your property, reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime. Some home insurance companies will also lower your premium if you have additional security devices installed.

Unlike wired burglar alarms which require cables to be surface clipped along walls, floorboards and carpets, wireless alarms are easy to install and uninstall and are therefore a cost-effective option. Each peripheral will require battery changes but some devices only need batteries changing every two years.

Monitored, police response alarms go one step further and will automatically alert the police if an intruder alarm is triggered or a personal attack button is activated. If an intruder alarm is activated when no-one is at home, a nominated key holder who can access the property on your behalf will be informed, ensuring that everything is in order if it has been tripped accidentally, or sorting it out if there has been an unsolicited entry.

Smart technology – the way forward

Smart home alarm systems are becoming increasingly popular and affordable, combining the latest in security and home automation technology. It is possible to manage your home security by combining many of the features of a traditional burglar alarm with the ability to monitor, control and interact with your home from an app on your smartphone or tablet.

Smart locks are also fast becoming a popular form of high security access control. With the rise in smartphone usage, having smart locks fitted in your property is a simple and convenient way to prevent you losing a key, having it stolen, paying out for a lock change and getting replacement keys cut.

The biggest advantage of a smart lock is that you don’t need a physical key and can control access to your home remotely from your phone, to let someone in or send a virtual key to allow access for a set length of time. You never have to worry about locking yourself out again! If you can afford to do so, it is definitely worth investing in a high quality home security system, but only from a trusted brand.

Most smart locks are electronic, which open and close wirelessly using Bluetooth connections. Some smart locks can connect to your home automation system with many including a camera for a photo log of who is trying to access your door. These also have real-time alerts to let you know as soon as someone is trying to gain access. Another useful feature is that many smart locks will notify you if you have forgotten to lock your door so that you can lock it remotely.

If you rent out your property to guests using a rental site such as Airbnb, you want an easy yet secure way for your guests to be able to enter your home. Having a smart, keyless door lock is a popular option as it saves you the hassle of exchanging keys in person, especially if you don’t live nearby, meaning that check-in and check-out processes can be automated.  Modern smart locks have several models available, offering guest modes that allow you to extend lock access privileges to guests for a limited time, such as the length of their stay.

Back to basics: how good is your home security?

There are a multitude of ways to ensure that your home is as secure as possible, with high security locks and technical surveillance monitoring, but there are also many easy, logical and inexpensive steps you can take:

⦿ Don’t just close, but lock doors and windows when you go out (a recent survey  showed that one in four people still leave doors unlocked when they go out!)

⦿ Don’t leave a spare key in a visible or obvious place, such as underneath a plant pot or door mat

⦿ Shut blinds, shutters or curtains at night

⦿ Lock away any ladders and secure your shed or garage

⦿ Use motion activated lighting in dark areas outside your home

⦿ Keep your valuables out of sight

My Key Locksmiths are here to help

My Key Locksmiths have highly skilled, DBS-checked and accredited locksmiths nationwide who can carry out a comprehensive home security survey. They can help you understand the overall safety of your home and identify any vulnerabilities which may need addressing with security upgrade measures. 

Get in touch today on 📞0333-242-3403 to discuss how we can help you better protect your home and provide that all-important peace of mind.