Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Secure your home this summer

It’s nearly that time of year again when the sun is shining and the lighter evenings mean I can sit out in the garden, take the kids to the park, and trawl travel blogs for holiday inspiration.

But it’s not just us that enjoy the warmer weather with domestic burglaries increasing by 10% over the spring and summer months, as burglars ramp up activity, taking advantage of unoccupied homes and expensive items left out in the garden.

With this in mind, the security experts at Yale have compiled a list of their top tips for securing your home while away this summer.

* Ensure external timber doors are secured with a mortice lock and/or nightlatch that meet British Standard BS3621. If you have a PVCu or composite door, consider upgrading the cylinder to a British Standard, TS007 Kitemarked model.

* When sitting outside or away for the weekend, protect smaller valuable items within a home safe. Yale recommends using a safe that is securely bolted to the floor or wall and is big enough to contain expensive jewellery, small electronic gadgets, important documents and gift receipts, as well as items of sentimental value.

* Traditional security devices such as home alarms and CCTV systems can act as an excellent visual deterrent with figures revealing that 60% of burglaries attempted on homes with alarm systems fail. Additionally, modern devices, such as those in the Yale Smart Living range, allow homeowners to remotely control the products via their smartphones, receiving notifications, emails and even images if the system is triggered.

* Make it appear as though someone is home; for instance, leaving a car on the driveway or investing in lights on a timer to make them come on at certain times. Yale’s SmartHome Alarm features a clever power switch accessory, which allows lights, appliances and other electrical items to be operated using your smartphone!

* Don’t let post pile up at your door, signalling to thieves that no one is home. Take advantage of the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ scheme. The team at Royal Mail will hold onto your letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re safely home again.

* Perhaps the most obvious home security concern is remembering if you’ve locked the front door. Now with smart locks such as Yale’s Keyfree and Keyless you can check this remotely using the free smartphone app. Some smart locks also have the added benefit of being able to let guests in using a temporary PIN code. This is ideal for granting short-term access to your parents or neighbours who can water the plants or check on the pets for you.

* Finally, ‘checking in’ at holiday locations on social media or posting photos can be risky, letting potential criminals know you’re away and offering an open invitation. Take the time to check your settings or wait until you’re home to post online.

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