- Trim trees and shrubs so that your home, especially its doors and windows, are clearly visible to your neighbours.
- Install solid doors and a good deadlock system on external doors and patio bolts on sliding glass doors.
- Install peephole door viewer on your front door, have a quality security door fitted and use it at all times. A video intercom provides the best security.
- Always lock all outside windows and doors when you go out, even if you are going to be away for 10 minutes.
- Never open the security door to a stranger without first checking their identification and reasons for requiring entry. Ring their employer first if you have any doubts.
- Do not hide spare keys under door mats or flower pots etc.
- Do not give keys to strangers, including trades-people.
- Install window grilles or keyed locks on all windows.
- If you have a lot of jewellery, valuable items or documents, cash or other negotiable items, consider installing a safe and/or an alarm system. Ideally they should be kept in a bank safety deposit box.
- Engrave a security number on cameras, electronic equipment and the like and keep a record of this number and the make, model and serial number of these items.
- Ensure your house number is clearly visible from the street.
- Be cautious about information you give to strangers (eg. that your partner is away or that you live alone).
- Install exterior sensor lighting to act as a deterrent and to allow night time surveillance of the external areas of your home. Make sure it is adjusted so that small animals do not constantly turn it on.
- Lock your garage and garden shed, and secure all ladders and garden tools.
- Never place your name or address on your keyring.
- Never leave notes for people telling them you are out and when you will be back.
- Join the Neighbourhood Watch and/or discuss mutual security arrangements with trusted neighbours.
- When going out leave a light and radio on.
- If going away for a while, cancel milk and newspaper deliveries and have a friend or neighbour collect your mail and mow the lawn.
- Hang old clothes on your clothes line to give your home a lived in look.
Although making your home into an impenetrable stronghold might make you feel secure against theft and intruders, don’t forget that danger can come from inside as well as out. A fire in your home is always going to be disastrous, but if deadlocks and window grilles prevent you from escaping easily, it could be deadly. Make sure that when you install your security you leave yourself an escape path in case of such an emergency. Make sure that all family members know what to do also.
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