Burglar warning: ‘Inexpensive’ ways to protect your home as winter approaches

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Installing good home security can help to deter burglars and homes with simple security measures in place are five times less likely to be burgled, according to police.co.uk. It is important to protect the home in the winter, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

Swinton Insurance has developed home security tips to help Britons protect their homes as the nights draw in.

The experts said: “Installing a burglar alarm could act as a deterrent to thieves, and there are several different types to choose from, including bells only, wireless and monitored alarms. Choose the right one for your needs, and remember to change up the code every now and again for extra peace of mind.

“Bells only alarms are the most common type of burglar alarm, and often the cheapest. They simply create a loud noise to scare away crooks, and warn your neighbours.

“Wireless alarms use individual sensors throughout the home that communicate wirelessly to the central control panel, typically using radio frequency technology. These are the most popular type of alarm by far, as they’re relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and can be taken to a new home if you move house.

“One thing to note is that wireless systems can be vulnerable to interference, a bit like Wi-Fi routers or mobile phones, which can result in them responding unpredictably, such as triggering a false alarm. However, these instances tend to be rare.”

As well as alarms, having secure locks across the property can help protect it.

These include digital locks, smart locks and window locks.

The experts said: “A digital lock features a keypad, and is accessible by entering a four-digit code, rather than by using a key. Digital locks are good for properties with a shared main entrance, such as flats and apartments, and are also common on business premises.

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“A smart lock works by connecting your smartphone or a special key fob via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Smart locks include a number of features designed to meet your individual needs, such as ability to give virtual keys to friends or family, which only allow access at certain times of day. You also won’t have to carry keys around with you.

“If you’re considering getting a smart lock, bear in mind that Wi-Fi locks in particular can be vulnerable to hacking as they’re always connected to the internet, so make sure your connection is secure before installation.”

After doors, windows are a burglar’s next port of call as it provides easy access to a property.

Although it might be obvious, ensuring and checking windows are locked when leaving the home as well as going to sleep is one step in protecting your home.

The experts said: “Locks that secure the actual window frames together rather than locks that only secure the handle are recommended, as they make it harder for thieves to force the window open. Sash windows can be fitted with specialist locks and sash stops.

“Depending on the size and style of your windows, you might even want to install more than one lock. Ground-floor windows are particularly vulnerable, so think about planting some prickly bushes below them, as an extra deterrent.”

However, installing an alarm and fitting new windows or locks can be pricey and there are other ways to deter a thief.

This includes installing security lights which are “relatively inexpensive”.

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The experts added: “A relatively inexpensive way to help prevent a break-in is to illuminate any obvious hiding spots outside your home. Security lights will help to deter burglars and alert neighbours that someone is trying to break in.

“Timer switches are also really useful. Programming your lights to turn on when you’re out of the house will give the impression that someone’s home and make any thieves think twice about trying to enter.”

Some of the best ways to keep the home safe is to keep valuables out of sight and becoming friendly with neighbours.

This way, neighbours can keep an eye on each other’s homes.

The experts said: “You could even go one step further and join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.”

In the lead up to Christmas, it is especially important to protect the home and be mindful about home security.

“Be careful about where you store your Christmas shopping in the run up to the big day,” said the experts.

Hiding gifts away from windows is considered to be one top tip to help protect the home.

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