10 things you can do to make your home safer

Property damage caused during a break-in is the third highest type of insurance claim we receive. Every winter we see a steep rise in the number of break-ins that occur, and the general trend year-on-year is on the up. The majority of claims originate in London and other large UK cities, but properties in rural areas can also be at risk. 

Burglars have been breaking into houses for as long as people have been living in them. And while there are new technologies that can make our homes safer, many of the most effective deterrents involve simple common sense – such as keeping your garden gate locked and keeping valuables out of view. 

No safety measure is 100 per cent effective. If someone really wants to get into your house, they can probably find a way to do so. However, the more precautions you take, the more effort will be required to break in and the greater the risk of being caught – eventually, the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze. 

Homes with zero safety measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those without. With that in mind, here are ten ways landlords can keep their properties safe from intrusion. It may be worth including these along with the tenancy agreement, contracts and inventory to help your tenants keep the property secure once they move in.

 

1. Install quality doors and windows

The majority of criminals break into a property through doors and windows. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to provide secure fittings.

Doors with large glass panels are particularly risky as the glass can be smashed and climbed through. They also make it easy to peer inside. Frosted glass is stronger and prevents thieves from seeing in.

All windows should be fitted with locks that can be operated from the inside, particularly on the ground and first floor. It’s also important to remind your tenants to make sure they close and lock any windows when they’re going out, especially in the summer when windows are often left open throughout the day.

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2. Fit a burglar alarm system

Home alarm systems can be activated when you’re going out and disabled using a code when you return. Anyone that tries to enter without the code will get a nasty surprise.

They can also be configured to notify the local police force when the alarm is tripped. Setting aside the functionality, they’re also an effective deterrent.

Burglar alarms tend to be bulky and are usually fitted in plain view on the front and back of your property. Any burglar that sees them will likely think twice before continuing. Visual alarm systems that combine a sonic alarm with a visual deterrent such as flashing lights are thought to be particularly effective.

3. Keep your garden secure

A locked gate may be easy to climb over but it’s hard to do so without drawing unwanted attention. If someone’s having to clamber into your garden, they’re probably not supposed to be there. 

Sheds and garages are full of tools, vehicles and other valuables – some of which can be used to gain access to your home

Any doors which can’t be locked using a key should be secured using a bulky padlock and all keys should be kept in the house.

Landlords should work with their tenants to make sure they understand the potential risks and how to keep their garden secure.