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Home > ADVICE AND TIPS (FAQS) > Home Security Advice – Top 18 Quick Tips
Our Home Security guide tells you 18 quick tips on how to best keep your home secure, such as improving door & window lock security, how sash jammers work to how a poorly fitted lock can lead to break-ins.
The main security advice for your home is to speak to a local MLA licensed locksmith with regards to the security products that you have fitted to your doors and windows.
In terms of some general security tips then we’d suggest the following:-
Ask a locksmith to review your door and window security (including internal doors to conservatories and garages) to make sure all windows and doors have the most appropriate locks:
Concerned about lock snapping? Read our guide here
The lock below has been fitted incorrectly and this leaves the lock vulnerable to attack and therefore the property at risk.
A euro cylinder lock that has been poorly fitted and at risk of being snapped
Do your front and back door have Anti-snap locks fitted? They can protect your euro lock cylinder from being a victim of lock snapping.
Although you must make sure you have the correct size and lock standard fitted to be truly anti-snap.
How a Anti Snap locks prevents a burglary
Price: The cost of an anti-snap lock is from around £50 excluding fitting.
Consider upgrading your door handles, read our best uPVC door handle guide for more about the standard of door handle to fit along with the benefits and costs.
Have your home locks upgrading to BS3621, a standard which most insurance companies require your locks be fitted to.
To check you have BS3621 locks fitted click here our guide also tells you the pros and cons of these type of locks.
This lock conforms to BS3621
BS3621 is a British Standard where locks are tested against common burglar techniques such as drilling and picking.
Locks that can be upgraded to this include Mortice Locks, Night Latches ( Yale Locks ) and Rim Cylinder locks.
If you live in a block of flats or apartment the standard BS8621 is recommended which allows anyone to exit in an emergency without needing a key.
Please see our types of door lock guide here if your confused about what door lock you have.
You may also want to install top and bottom bolts on French doors or add sash jammers to UPVC doors or windows.
Our expert guide to sash jammers here will tell you everything you need to know.
A Sash jammer on a UPVC Door – fitted by Cusworth Master Locksmiths
Price: Sash Jammers are relatively cheap, expect to pay from around £10 for a sash jammer.
Before adding additional security any French doors should have the following standard of lock and/or handles fitted:
If you have French or patio doors you may want to consider adding a Patlock which ensures the door cannot be opened by holding the internal handles in place.
The Patlock is a Neighbourhood Watch recommended security device.
Improve your Patio and French Door Security
A Patlock prevents the external handles from working even if the lock is snapped and the burglar tries to open your french doors.
The benefits are:
Price: The cost of a patlock for your french or patio doors is from around £50.
Sees who’s at your Door before you open it with a digital door viewer.
The advantages of a digital door viewer and common features on most viewers are:
Ideal for apartments and flats where you can find out who’s at the front door and remotely allow them access.
Maybe of use to the elderly who can converse with visitors without having to leave the comfort of their living room for example.
Another way to check who is at your door before opening is by fitting a door chain.
There are now door chains available for uPVC and composite doors which are very simple to fit and not expensive, they can prevent distraction burglaries.
Door Chains for UPVC Door can prevent intruders
We recommend making sure your door chain is “Police Approved” which means the chain is accredited by Secured By Design.
Price: The cost of purchasing a Police Approved door chain may be from around £20 but you may want to consider getting it professionally fitted.
Please read our most secure door chain guide here.
Adding a letterbox guard (letterplate) can help prevent letterbox fishing where criminals try to remove your house keys through your letterbox.
A Letterbox guard can stop thieves ‘fishing’ for keys
We recommend that any letterbox guard is approved to TS008 standard.
Price – Letterbox guards that are accredited to TS008 can cost from around £30 to purchase, excluding fitting.
Side windows in a house can be smashed to reach keys and gain entry so consider adding reinforced glass or maybe even block up the window.
Security Grilles can be fitted to domestic Homes
Decorative grilles and bars can also vastly improve the security of a home without being detrimental to the aesthetics.
Types – There are various types of security grilles from fixed to collapsible.
Difficulty to fit – We recommend get fitted by an expert
Benefits– ideal way to add extra security and stop people breaking a window and being able to gain entry through it.
A remote CCTV system is an effective way to keep a watchful eye on your property while you’re not there.
The only thing worth highlighting is that you shouldn’t confront any intruders you see via your remotely accessible security and should simply notify the police.
For guaranteed police response you will require a professionally installed and monitored alarm system
Installing a Burglar alarm can be very effective but you need to change the code regularly to gain maximum benefit from them
Regularly change your alarm code
Please read this guide on the type of burglar alarms from Which
Dusk to dawn or sensor lighting to the front and back door of your home will deter potential thieves and help you gain entry into your home in the dark.
Outdoor lighting is recommend to also deter off potential keyless car theft theives, paired with outdoor CCTV cameras.
How easy to fit – we’d recommend they are fitted by a professional locksmith.
Benefits – helps keep areas light when motion is sensed. Burglars don’t like the light as they don’t want to be seen. They also help you when you get home in the dark.
LED Sensor Lights are a great security addition – Image provided by AuraGlow
BONUS TIP: Ensure you place a light timer upstairs in your property, which are covered next.
Consider installing a number of light timers around the house so it appears someone is home, as opportunist thieves can often approach houses that look like nobody is at home
Light Timers to deter burglars
Easy to fit – Light Timers are usually easy fit as they simply plug into power socket without any need for complications installations.
Benefits – can make it seem like the property is occupied
Home safes are becoming increasingly popular too, so you may want to consider asking a specialist locksmith to specify and install a security safe.
Fireproof safes are available so you can store important documents such as a passport, drivers license and digital media.
A home safe can protect your personal valuables
Rating of safe – A locksmith can advise on the rating of safe you need as well.
Ensure you purchase the correct rating of safe and ensure it’s professionally fitted as this will dictate the amount of cash/jewellery covered by your insurance company.
Insurance Approved Safes
Look for the AIS or Sold Secure Safe Logo
Look for independent approval such as the AIS logo or Sold Secure approval when purchasing a safe, as this usually automatically means the safe is insurance approved.
Please reading this guide on safe ratings explained for more help.
While you are reviewing your security it is also worth considering when your keys were last replaced.
Do past owners or tenants may still have access to your home? and has anyone may had copies of your keys made without your knowledge.
So you only have one key for your front and back door locks consider having your locks keyed alike, this means if you ever lose your keys you will only have to replace one key.
Prevent anyone from copying your keys by fitting a patented system, this means keys can only be copied with proof of ownership.
What a Patented Key looks like | Image from Mul-T-Lock
If you are worried ask a professional locksmith to change your locks.
Make sure you source a good quality lock to protect your garden shed and its contents if you have one.
Use a Sold Secure approved padlock, that is independently tested against numerous criteria, to prevent break-ins.
Protect your shed with a padlock – image courtesy of ABUS
A shed shackle can prevent items from being stolen during break-ins on wooden sheds.
a shed shackle
Chain the items you want to keep safe (e.g. power tools or bikes) to the shed shackle to keep them safe (using a Sold Secure approved chain and padlock)
Start by reviewing the exterior of your property to make sure there are no broken windows or access to your property through garages or conservatories.
Lock any tools and items such as ladders away.
We recommend viewing our home security visual guide which has been recommended by Neighbourhood Watch in the past.
Statistics show that thieves are increasingly breaking into homes to steal car keys so don’t make it easy for them by leaving keys in view
Don’t leave your car keys on view
If you have lost your car keys we recommend the cheapest and fastest way is to use the services of an auto locksmith.
Read our article on Keyless car theft here if you have a keyless entry car
Consider your own influence on the level of security for your home and make sure you don’t indulge bad habits such as leaving keys in locks or in view that you and your family may have.
Remember to take your key out of the lock
Take a note of the number of your nearest MLA licensed locksmith by visiting the find a locksmith section of this site, and put the number on your mobile phone.
All MLA Approved locksmiths are:
The Approved Company Logo to look out for when using an MLA Locksmith
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being locked out of the house someone will be able to help you get in out of the cold as soon as possible.
Using an MLA approved locksmith ensures that locks and security equipment are fitted correctly and safely in accordance with current standards and regulation.
More details on domestic security guidelines can be found in the MLA’s Minimum Security Guidelines, a document that was started by the Association of British insurers but then taken over by the MLA and continuously kept up to date.
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