“An Englishman’s home is his castle” as the old age saying goes; and protecting this “castle” has long been a priority. Dating back as far as the 17th century, it became a legal precept that no-one was allowed to enter a person’s home, whatever its size, without invitation. A clear indication that over centuries, people have been prey to unwelcome ‘visitors’ gaining access purely with a view to personal gain from the treasured possessions and belongings of others.
Gone are the days of moats, portcullises, crossbows and boiling tar as a great deterrent to determined intruders. But, with the prevalence of burglaries across the country high, any homeowner should be concerned, particularly at the high end of the market, with professional crooks typically targeting those homes where they see most gain.
This is where it is imperative that you take all the steps necessary to protect not only your property and possessions, but also your loved ones from break-ins by both professional and opportunistic thieves.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at some measures you can take to keep unwelcome “guests” at bay.
Tips for Protecting a High Value Home:
A front door is your first point of access and any would-be burglar will have weighed it up. In fact, they may well already have knocked on your door to ascertain whether or not you are in! And if they have, they will almost certainly have worked out how robust it is. So be sure that your front door is strong and secure, and take advice from a trusted locksmith as to what sort of lock to have fitted to make it difficult to break in. Some older locks can easily be opened within seconds by any experienced crook. Five lever mortise locks are often a favoured option with many property owners at the high end of the market also adding a bar for greater strength.
Attaching a ‘post catcher’ directly behind the letter box prevents a wily burglar from reaching through the letter box to open a door from the inside, should the key be in the door. It also prevents tell-tale build-up of post of the floor advertising the fact you are currently away, and the house is unoccupied. And a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ sticker readily visible from the outside will tell your ‘guest’ that neighbours may be looking out for them already.
Whilst we all struggle at times to locate our car keys and for sake of ease frequently leave them on a shelf or hook near the front door, find somewhere else to put them. There’s nothing a burglar likes more than a swift entry and exit with keys to your prized automobile now in their grasp! And how easy a get-away is that!
Believe it or not, most intruders gain access through an already open window on a property even though expensive security systems may be installed. Thieves are notoriously opportunistic, so just do NOT give them that opportunity. Whilst we all like fresh air to permeate our homes on warm summer days, we must be vigilant: if you are in your back garden, be sure windows and doors at the front are shut. And similarly, vice-versa. Lock windows every time you leave the house and be sure to double lock any UVPC door (i.e. lift the handle and then turn the key).
Burglar alarms and security lighting
A burglar alarm is an immediate visual deterrent to any would-be intruder, particularly one that looks maintained and fully functioning. It is rarely, however, sufficient in itself to put off the determined thief so be sure to have it backed up with security lighting as well as motion sensor lights that readily detect visitors. Security lights are particularly important if your premises are surrounded by trees, high walls or fences, as each of these can provide ready cover for any intruder as they stealthily make their move.
Consider, too, having a CCTV system installed if you really want to go all out to protect your property. Do however ensure that you activate and switch on all systems, particularly if you are going to be away for some time. And don’t forget to notify your alarm system administrator of any protracted absences planned.
Make your house look occupied
If a prospective intruder thinks the house may be occupied, they are likely to stay away. Timer switches can be invaluable in this regard as they can be set to switch on lights and maybe a radio at intervals during the day and evening, thus emulating occupation. If you have a friendly and trusted neighbour, consider asking them to pop in on an ad hoc basis to pull and draw some of your curtains.
Outside access points
Whilst you’ve worked hard on securing the front of your house, do not forget other access points such as side gates and access from the rear. Make sure side gates are equally as secure as the front, keep high hedges cut back to improve natural surveillance from your neighbours and ensure perimeter fences and walls are in good condition so that breaking onto your land is difficult.
And do not forget your garage in the process. Even if it isn’t a direct access point to your property itself, chances are that it houses a whole host of valuable possessions such as bikes, lawnmowers, garden implements and expensive tools. Be sure to security mark them and make it as difficult as possible for any thief to benefit financially from selling on any treasured possession of yours.
Learn More with Sovereign Fire and Security
We hope the above has been of some help in instructing how best to protect your property and possessions. At Sovereign Fire and Security, we have over three decades of experience both at home and abroad in bringing state of the art fire, life, safety and security systems to our clients.
To learn more, get in touch with our expert team today.