It’s one of the less well-known downsides of climate change. Traditionally, winter’s chill keeps burglars and other criminals at home, but less snow and warmer temperatures mean homeowners now need to think on their feet.
There’s no need to panic. We’ve put together our top home security tips for the winter months. Ready? Let’s dive in.
How do you keep your house safe in the winter?
We recommend taking as broad an approach as possible. Consider your property and garden as possible targets for thieves and look at each methodically to identify potential weak points.
Here are areas we think you should focus on:
Fit solid door and window locks
It’s worth investing in secure locks for your windows and doors as the most basic security measure to prevent prospective burglars.
Pay attention to French doors or sliding glass doors. It’s surprising how many homeowners forget to lock them, leaving criminals free to break in.
If your front door, back or garage doors have seen better days, now’s the ideal time to replace them with stronger versions with digital locks as an extra security measure.
The most important of our winter home security tips is: make sure you lock doors and windows.
Install time-switch lights
Drawn curtains can hint a property is empty, potentially signalling to criminals it’s safe to break in. Asking a neighbour to open and draw curtains can be a smart move, but what about lights?
Giving the impression there’s someone at home when you’re out is enough to discourage burglars – especially in the cold weather. Installing a few timer switches in several rooms will do just that.
Organise your garden
Can you see all of your garden, or are there lots of little dark corners where someone could hide?
One of our most commonly handed out home security tips is advising property owners to clear their gardens as much as possible. Burglars hate having nowhere to hide.
If your gates or garage have a keypad entry system, be sure to change the entry password regularly.
Avoid hiding keys, use us
It looks good in a film but hiding a spare key in pots, under doormats or above door frames isn’t a good idea, and your smart place to hide keys may not be so secure.
As part of our winter home security tips, we recommend using our Key Holding & Alarm Response service. It allows you to manage and monitor access and use of your own key simply and securely.
Getting a neighbour to turn lights on and off inside your home is one thing, but what about outside?
Installing exterior lights that detect movement is a terrific idea because they are an excellent addition to every home security system.
Not only can they discourage entry, they can also alert residents of potentially suspicious activity.
What are three ways you can keep your home safe from intruders?
Thinking about crime prevention and keeping your home secure can be intimidating, but don’t panic. Here are our top three ways you can achieve your aim:
1. Sign up for our residential patrol routes
Our highly visible security patrols monitor your property 24/7, 365 days a year, checking vulnerable areas such as doors and windows.
Proforce1 Security staff are expertly trained, DBS-checked and vetted. They are all equipped with the latest GPS tracking equipment and CCTV live-streaming to our control rooms.
They report any suspicious activity, such as unauthorised persons or vehicles near or around your home in real-time.
2. Install a robust security alarm system
Today’s security systems cater for a wide range of budgets, requirements and properties, and many include all the features a homeowner needs to feel secure.
The average burglar alarm makes a loud noise to alert residents and is a genuinely successful deterrent against home burglaries.
Alarms draw attention but if you can capture a criminal’s face on video devices, so much the better. Make sure your security alarm system includes CCTV, and that the recording cameras are working throughout the winter period.
Combine the recording camera with flood lights and our patrols, and suddenly the security shield around your home’s perimeter increases to impressive effect.
3. Carry out a security and safety check of fencing and walls
The fence around your property is its first line of defence. If it’s poorly maintained and not covered by recording cameras, programmed to send footage to your mobile phone, it’s not doing its job.
Take a walk all around to make sure there are no weak spots, such as holes or cracks. Check for ways someone could climb over, and make sure no plants provide a place to lurk.
What should I keep at home for protection?
Once you’ve signed up to our patrols and installed a security system, there are a few minor improvements you can make that will also keep your home secure during the winter months.
Fit security bars
Nobody likes the thought of being a prisoner in their own home, but if your ground windows are vulnerable to criminals, adding security bars could be the most sensible security protocol.
You can increase the safety level even further by adding flood lights activated by movement, creating a truly effective deterrent.
Use a safe for valuables
Many home burglaries are the result of opportunist thieves trying their luck. It’s the work of seconds for them to sweep your valuables into a pocket or bag, exiting as quickly as they entered.
Instead, invest in a small house safe, and tuck it away at the back of a cupboard. If you own heirloom jewellery that’s rarely worn, it’s wise to keep it in a safety deposit box away from home.
Install a digital door viewer
Not all criminals are sneaky and operate in the dark. Some are brazen and will even knock on your door, hoping to steal money or valuables while posing as someone else.
Even a vigilant homeowner who locks doors can’t determine whether a caller is genuine or not, but fitting a digital door viewer can help you ID visitors.
There is a wide range available to suit all budgets, but all provide very clear pictures.
How do you protect your house when you’re away?
If you’ve put all the measures we’ve suggested in place, you can jet off to foreign parts during winter, knowing your property is protected by our security patrols and the technology installed.
We can even take care of your home while you’re away: feeding your pets, picking up any post or parcels, watering your plants, granting contractor/tradesmen access to your property and even putting out the bins.
Our visible presence means when homeowners return, everything is just as they left it.
Sign up for our patrols today
To discuss signing up for our regular patrols, or join one that’s already running in your area, you can call us on 020 8275 1023.