We all like to think we live in a safe neighbourhood, but burglaries do happen. Often, houses are targeted due to bad luck. Other times, criminals scope out homes beforehand as they look for security weaknesses to exploit.
No matter how a burglary has happened, it’s happened because the perpetrator has somehow been able to enter your home. Ramping up your security measures might not make it 100% impossible to break in, but it can considerably slow down the process. This helps deter burglars – research shows the longer it takes to get into your house, the more likely they are to give up. 4 – 5 minutes is generally the cut-off point, after which they decide it’s not worth it.
Remember that security measures aren’t just the physical things you ‘add on’ to your home, like alarm systems. You might have the most state-of-the-art security system there is – but this means nothing if you forget to activate it. Some of the best security measures don’t cost the earth – they simply involve learning new habits, while avoiding those that make your home an easy target. The doormat is not a good place to hide your house key!
Here’s our guide on how to protect your house and keep your family and belongings safe.
Check Your Locks, Hinges, and Door Handles
Security weaknesses can happen almost anywhere in and around the home. The first step we’d recommend is to check your locks are in full working order. Make a habit of doing this every couple of months. Your locks might work now, but with time they can wear down.
Be sure to check locks around windows too – these often go overlooked, yet they can be just as easy to get through as a door. You might want to add additional safety features to other areas around your house, like the garden. Padlocks and combination locks are a great option for securing sheds, gates, storage tubs, and gardening equipment.
Of course, locks will only work as a deterrent if you actually remember to lock up every time you leave the house. This comes as a natural habit to many of us, but when we’re in a rush it can be all too easy to run out of the house – forgetting you’ve left the back door unlocked.
Remember, don’t focus on just the lock itself when looking for any faults. You should also check the area around your locks. If the windowpane around the handle feels weak, it’s easier for a burglar to break the pane entirely – rendering the lock useless at protecting your home anyway. If you do need your locks, hinges, or handles repairing, Cloudy2Clear can help.
Keep The Lights On
Burglars are looking for the easiest target. Most will want to break in as quickly and discreetly as possible, avoiding any additional or unexpected obstacles. They don’t want to break in, only to find the house is full of people – and therefore risk being caught or hurt.
A classic trick is to make your home appear occupied when you’re out. Keep a couple of lights on or play music to make it seem like there’s somebody home. You could go one step further and control your sound system and lighting via a smart home system. These can be connected to your smartphone apps, meaning you can easily adjust what’s going on in your house with the tap of a finger.
As well as this, try to make sure your gardens and any walkways are lit up at night. Burglaries at night are common, since it’s harder for neighbours to notice any unusual events in the dark. Outdoor motion sensor lights are relatively cheap and make effective deterrents, as burglars will likely choose the house in darkness over one that’s well-lit and exposed. These don’t require any high-tech equipment, and if you opt for solar powered lights you won’t need to worry about energy.
Upgrade Your Windows for Security
Certain types of glass and styles of windows can be almost impossible to open from the outside. If you do feel it’s time for a bit of an upgrade, getting your windows replaced can be a great place to start uplifting your home security.
There are hundreds of possible window combinations, each with their own redeeming qualities. But there are just three key things to consider when optimising your windows for security purposes.
Window Design & Frame
Casement windows are known to be the most secure type of frame, since there’s no way to adjust the handle from outside. There’s also no way to force them open with a crowbar. You just need to make sure the window is closed and locked. Unable to enter by manipulating the frame, the only other option is to try to break the glass.
To strengthen the glass so this can’t happen, make sure your windows are double glazed. Double glazing is added as standard on new modern homes, as it insulates so well and can save money on energy bills. With double glazed windows the burglar would have to break through two sheets of glass rather than one – taking even more time and effort.
Type of Glass
The type of glass in your double glazed windows does make a difference. Tempered glass is specially heat treated to resist more force than normal glass. This process involves subjecting the glass to intense heat before quickly cooling it down. This heat vs. cooling action compresses the external surfaces of the glass, making the entire structure tougher to break. As a result, it’s around 4 times stronger than usual glass.
Considering the above, double glazed tempered casement windows make the best combination for a secure home. Impossible to enter from the outside, with double glazed tempered glass that’s highly resistant to breaking.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Let’s address the reason a burglar might target your home in the first place. Many burglaries happen due to perceived opportunity. That is, the burglar thinks – or knows – there is something in your home that is worth stealing.
Keeping your home a bit more private can reduce your chance of being targeted. Hide valuables so they can’t be seen through windows. This is more difficult with larger items like TVs and computers, though you can draw the curtains to keep them out of sight. You could also cover some windows with privacy-enhancing screens or stickers. These are a popular choice for those with street-facing windows or no front garden, as they still let light in while the semi-opaque screen obscures the contents of your home.
You might want to take extra steps to avoid your car getting burgled too. A car can be the most expensive item many people own, yet we regularly leave them out on display. Avoid parking your car in the street and stick to parking in your garage – or on your driveway – if you have one.
Secure Your Home Against Burglars with Cloudy2Clear
Keeping your home safe and secure involves checking everything is working properly. If you take the above steps we’ve mentioned, watch any habits that might make your house a target, and ensure your windows, doors and locks are in top condition – a burglary is much less likely to happen.
At Cloudy2Clear, we’re experts in repairing and replacing door and window mechanisms, double glazing, and more. All our repairs involve replacing only the faulty or worn down elements. That is, we won’t charge you for an entire window frame if only the glass needs replacing.