Our home should be a safe haven from the uncertainties of the world outside. A place where we can relax. So, when it is invaded or damaged it can be, not unsurprisingly, a particularly traumatic experience.
Just a few hundred pounds invested wisely can make your home less susceptible, protecting your family from unnecessary trauma – or worse.
Here are a few from Duncan Yeardley;
1: Fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your home on each level. The landing ceiling and the hallway are good locations. The garage / kitchen also. The carbon monoxide alarm should be located in a room with a heat source such as a gas or open fire or a central heating boiler. Make sure you properly vent any room with an open fire to reduce build-up of carbon monoxide.
2: If your home is double glazed consider fitting a small hammer or punch near a selected window at ground and first floor so as to allow escape in the event of fire. Double glazed units can be particularly hard to smash in the case of an emergency! A small rope ladder in a wardrobe at first floor might be worth considering, but you need to tell everyone in the home how to use it.
3: Fit window locks and mortice locks to all doors to secure your property from burglary. You can never make your property impregnable but you can make it tougher to break into than your neighbours! Opportunistic thieves will take the path of least resistance.
4: Join the Neighbourhood Watch locally and display stickers in your front and rear windows. Report suspicious behaviour in the locality and generally be ‘a good citizen’.
5: Mark valuable with ‘DNA’ coded liquid and display the logo to notify burglars accordingly. Again, it’s about making the chances of their getting caught higher than they are prepared to risk.
6: Keep curtains to the back garden closed at ground floor during the work day. Of course, if people are in during the day this is better and makes this unnecessary but out of sight is out of mind.
7: Install outdoor lighting to illuminate the garden or dark side passages at night. Best to have these fitted on a timer and have them motion activated. Take care to make the lights unintrusive, especially when illuminated. Careless positioning of excessively bright security lights can really cause friction with your neighbours – so it’s important we all remain considerate to the needs and sensibilities of our neighbours.
8: A couple of carefully placed CCTV cameras can give you surprising control of your home whilst you are away. There are many different makes on the market these days but for just a few hundred pounds you can now have peace of mind. Makes like ARLO offer simple installation of battery operated, wireless cameras that can be set to activate on fixed schedules on a motion-activated basis. They will even send an alarm to your smart phone and record the video footage to ‘the cloud’ for you to refer back to later.
9: Install a secure garden box with combination code outside your home. This will allow delivery people to leave items safely when you are out. You simply leave the combination in the ‘delivery instructions’ when buying an item online.
10: Make sure you’re insured! If the worst does happen, make sure your home and contents are insured for the correct sum. Many people under-insure, only to find that on claiming they are only entitled to a pro rata amount of the sum insured. Shop around every year at renewal, perhaps using a comparison website like confused.com.