Think security

No matter how many security features you have in your home, it will be vulnerable to burglars if you don’t make sure you use them - so ask yourself a few simple questions…


Home security questions

Q. What should I do if I am going to be away from home?

A: Set a timer to turn your interior lights on and off

Burglars look for signs that a house is empty - and having no lights on at night, or lights on all day is a sure signal to them that nobody is home. Use a timer or daylight sensor to make your lights go on and off at random times, and you will confuse the burglar into thinking someone is there.

Q: Who should I tell if I’m going on holiday?

A: Only tell people you trust - don’t tell everybody!

If you tell everyone on Facebook that you are going on holiday, you are inviting burglars to break in while you are away. You should only tell family, neighbours and people you really trust. They can help keep an eye on your home - but without giving a burglar an open invite to break in!

Q: What else should I do before going on holiday?

A: Get the post office to hold your mail - or ask a friend/relative to pick it up

A mailbox stuffed with  letters is a sure sign for burglars that someone is away - so ask the post office to hold your mail for you, or better still ask a neighbour to collect it for you. While they are there collecting mail, they can also make sure you have some garbage in your bin and take care of any other deliveries that might show you are away.

Q: When is it safe to leave my door unlocked?

A: Never!

Burglars are opportunists, so if they find any open door they may try to steal something. get into the habit of always keeping your door locked - it stops opportunist burglars and helps to keep you and your family safe.

Q: What should I do if I’m just going out for a few hours:

A: Lock your doors and windows - every time!

Even if you are only going out for an hour, it’s best to lock your doors and windows every time. Don’t be tempted to leave them open - that’s one of the first things opportunist burglars look for.

Q: When should I set my alarm?

A: Every time you leave your house and at night

An alarm is still the best way to deter burglars - it makes their life much more difficult. Try get into the habit of setting your alarm whenever you leave home - even if it’s only for a few minutes. That will also get you into the habit of deactivating it as soon as you get in - which means fewer false alarms to annoy neighbours and make them less likely to check everything is OK if the alarm goes off.

With most alarms, you can also set the alarm while you are in bed - meaning if someone does break in while you are asleep you will be warned.

Q: What locks should I have on my front door?

A: Double deadbolt locks with keys and thumbturns

Deadbolt locks are the best way to secure your front door, and provide the best protection against a forced attack. With a deadbolt the bolt itself is held in place by  a spring - so it is held in place and can only be opened by operating the lock.

Q: Do I need a door viewer on my front door?

A: Yes - ideally a digital door viewer

Yale Digital Door Viewers display an image of the person who visits your door, providing a safe way to identify visitors and potential bogus callers before opening your door. With our premium model you can even record and store a photograph of the visitor complete with date and timestamp.

Q: How will I get back in if I get locked out of my house?

A: Call a locksmith (or a friend)!

Don’t be tempted to leave a spare key in a hiding place in case you lock yourself out. A burglar will know where to look to find your key - and even if you think you’ve hidden it really well they will probably have seen it before . The only safe way to have a spare key is to leave it with someone you trust - but if you can’t do that and you lock yourself out - just call a locksmith.

Q: What else can I do to secure my home?

A: Make friends with your neighbours and make sure the burglar has nowhere to hide, and complete our Home security improvements checklist.

If a burglar can hide outside your home they can check your security at their own pace and wait for the best time to break in. Outside lights and a clear, well trimmed garden give them fewer places to hide and means someone is more likely to see them loitering.

Making friends with your neighbours means you can keep an eye on each other’s homes and take in each other’s mail when they are on holiday. A trusted neighbour is also a great place to keep a spare key - and someone to call the police if they see something suspicious.

And finally, go through our Home security improvements checklist and make sure your home is as secure as it can be.