It’s certainly lovely weather we’re having! Weekends and evenings out in the garden, having fun with family and friends and watching the kids enjoy the outdoor life for a change.
Of course you’ll have all your windows open to try and keep it cool inside, especially at night when it can be difficult to sleep in the heat. Sadly, this is precisely the time of year when opportunistic break-ins increase. An open window at the front of the house and everyone out in the back garden; a bedroom window above a flat roof extension left open through the night; a patio door ajar while you take a shower upstairs. All of these could spell an invitation for an unwanted intruder to seize an opportunity to gain access to your home.
No doubt you take great care to secure your property when you are going away on your holidays, but at this time of year, you also need to be extra vigilant when you are actually at home.
Summer Home Security Tips
Here are ten tips for keeping your property secure whilst you sit back, relax and enjoy the summer:
- If you exit a downstairs room, close the windows and doors. An open window or door to an empty room is a real temptation for an intruder. If you live in a ground floor flat or bungalow, never leave windows or doors to unoccupied rooms open.
- If you’re out in the back garden you may not hear an intruder attempting to gain entry at the front of the house, so make sure it’s secure. Regularly check that any guests haven’t left front or side doors open as they’ve been in and out, and close the front windows upstairs and down.
- If you’re out in the back garden at night, keep lights on at the front of the house so it looks like people are in.
- Make sure all doors back and front are securely locked before you go to bed.
- Never leave keys in window or door locks or on display nearby. Store them somewhere discreet.
- If your bedroom is above a flat roof, close the windows and ensure any windows in unoccupied rooms are closed through the night. If you don’t like the thought of sleeping in the heat without the window open, consider a window restrictor or sash stop which will allow you to keep the window open, but lock it into place so that it cannot be opened further.
- Even if it’s parked on your drive, don’t leave any windows or sunroofs open in your car.
- Lock away tools and garden equipment once you’ve finished using them as intruders will often look for such things to help them gain access to a property. Fit locks to any sheds or outhouses – and use them.
- Keep back and side gates locked and ensure any fencing is sturdy and in good condition. Make sure to repair any broken fence panels without delay.
- To really boost your peace of mind, consider various security methods such as intruder alarms, CCTV and motion sensor lights.
Home Security and Insurance
We always make a point of explaining to anyone taking out home contents insurance that they need to ensure the insurance provider’s security requirements are met. You’ll usually find these under ‘endorsements’ in your policy pack. It’s important to read through these to ensure you meet at least the minimum requirements, otherwise you could find yourself facing an issue if you need to make a claim. It’s also a good idea to check because you may be entitled to a discount off your premium if you meet certain security requirements.
It’s really important to remember though, that meeting the minimum requirements for insurance, and making your home secure enough to prevent a break-in, are two very different things.
There are some very innovative security products on the market now and products are being developed all the time in response to the new ways that opportunistic burglars are finding to enter a home. Innovations such as anti-slip latches that prevent cards being used to ease open a door latch; high security cylinders that prevent the unauthorised copying of keys and letter box cowls that prevent intruders reaching through the letterbox to the internal door handle are just some of them.
If you’d like to discuss any concerns you have over home security and your insurance policy, we’re here to help so don’t hesitate to get in touch. Meantime, enjoy the wonderful summer – and keep your home secure!