Simple Ways to Improve Your Home’s Security

house-at-nightNobody likes to consider the possibility that their home is at risk. Particularly if you live in a nice neighborhood, you might feel comfortable leaving your door unlocked whilst you're in the house or deciding not to set the burglar alarm when you go out to the shops. However, it's a well-known fact that criminals are opportunists. Very rarely do burglars plan an attack for weeks or months in advance. Most of the time, they're simply trying their luck.

There's a saying about burglars; it's not what they take, it's what they leave behind. You can replace the TV. You might struggle to pay for all of the gadgets that you've lost, but no doubt the hardest thing that you'll deal with is the emotional impact - the sense of loss, the anger and the fear that the burglars will return. In fact, it's common for people to move house after a burglary simply because they no longer feel safe in their own home. So, here are 4 things that you can do to make your home safer in the hope of deterring criminals:

Install Gates and Railings

Protect your property with railings and gates that add an extra level of security, making it harder for the burglar to break in. Used properly, gates and railings can put a burglar off before he or she has even managed to get to your front door. Tall gates that are hard to climb are the best deterrent, and they should be strong enough that the burglar can't cut through them. You might also want to consider a gate with spikes on top, so that it's a little harder to climb.

Spikes on top of your gate might not look particularly welcoming, but it's certainly possible to create a bespoke design that doesn't make your house look like the Addams Family residence.

Get a Monitored Alarm System

Monitored alarm systems typically include a monthly maintenance charge. Yet, they're a lot more secure than a traditional burglar alarm. For your money, you get peace of mind. If your alarm is activated, someone will contact you to check that you're aware. If your alarm is going off and you're not the one fumbling for the security code that you keep at the bottom of your handbag then you'll be able to phone the police for a fast response.

A standard alarm might be enough to scare an intruder away, but the likelihood is that a determined criminal will continue as though it's not there. After all, how often do you check a neighbor property when you hear their burglar alarm? More often than not, neighbors simply get annoyed at the sound and wait for it to turn off on its own.

Add ‘Beware of the Dog' Signs

Even if your dog is a small puppy that wouldn't hurt a fly, a ‘Beware of the Dog' sign can act as a deterrent. A burglar doesn't know how big your dog is or how likely it is to want to defend your property, and they might avoid the risk if they're worried about being attacked by a snarling hound.

Of course, you don't need a dog at all! The sign is just there to place a seed of doubt into a burglar's mind. It offers even more security if, when you answer the door to a stranger, you tell them to wait outside whilst you go and secure the dog. You never know who's trying to scout out your home, and you can't always trust the electricity meter reader or the double glazing salesman, so if you make everyone think that you're locking a dog away then they'll create a mental impression of a big, powerful dog that needs to be secured. Just make sure that if you're not actually securing a dog, you at least move away from the front door so that your visitor can't still see you!

Add Automated Outdoor Lights

Automated lights can alert you to someone on your property, but they're mostly installed as another deterrent. If someone's broken into your back garden and is looking for a way into your home, then a light suddenly switching on is likely to make them panic. A more experienced burglar might stick around to see where the light is coming from, but a troublesome teenager might think twice about waiting to see if they've been caught!

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Securing your home doesn't have to be expensive, though the more you're able to spend the more you can expect your home to be protected. If a simple ‘Beware of the Dog' sign is all that you can manage, then you can purchase one for £1. If you're able to buy a monitored alarm or a brand new gate then your home will be harder to access, whether you're in it or not.

Written by Kidal and published at LeraBlog on behalf of London Gates and Railings.

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