1. Install an Alarm System
Even if it doesn't get activated, the physical presence of an alarm on your building could be enough of a deterrent for thieves. According to a survey carried out by London's Metropolitan Police, ex-burglars agreed that they would be much less likely to burgle a property if it had a well-maintained and fitted burglar alarm system.
The level of alert that such a system provides ranges; from bell-only, where the alarm emits a loud noise; dialler or smart-home systems, which call or send an in-app alert to a nominated person; right through to monitored systems, where a company takes action or calls the police on your behalf when the alarm goes off.
2. Install Outdoor Security Lighting
The fear of darkness is innate, and it's natural to feel uneasy when you cannot see your surroundings. Give yourself peace of mind by lighting up your landscape for visible reassurance of what is, or isn't, going on outside.
A fully lit garden ensures there are no dark corners or hiding places for intruders to lurk. You can even put your lighting system on a timer for hassle-free security and choose solar powered options to save energy and money.
3. Master Your Fence Height and Manage Your Boundaries
Despite what you might think, high and foreboding fencing is not always the best way to discourage unwelcome visitors. A tall barrier at the front of your property could provide valuable street-side cover for intruders.
The best method is to have low fencing in your front garden, to allow for full visibility. High fencing or walls will serve you well at the back of your property, and planting spiky, thorned, or prickly and dense bushes will act as a second barrier to anyone attempting to climb over. This defensive planting technique also works well under windows, or any other easily accessible entry points.
A gravel driveway also makes it harder for intruders to go undetected, so keep it well topped up and any visitors will unwittingly make themselves announced through the sound of their footfall.
A simple yet often forgotten tip is always keep your side gates locked.
4. Upgrade Your Locks
Ever wanted to enter your front door by fingerprint scanner? Yeah, me too.
There's a whole world of Bluetooth enabled, voice activated, videorecording, touchscreen wielding smart locks out there that will make accessing your home very twenty first century.
If you're not all that into gadgets, fear not, there are still plenty of low-tech alternatives which will do the job. Make sure any damaged locks are repaired, and any old locks are updated. This will ensure any previous tenants or strangers with spare keys can't let themselves in, unannounced.
5. Home Automation
To keep up with the times, many people are opting to upgrade to a "smart home". This gives you control over your property even when you are not physically there. You can use remote and scheduled light controls, which is especially useful when you're on holiday, to give the impression that your property is still occupied.
A two-way doorbell allows you to communicate with people on your doorstep, and many doorbells offer live video feeds directly to your phone or tablet so you can see who you are dealing with.
Other features include instant notifications triggered by motion detectors, smoke alarms, Co2 alarms and more. The real-time alerts allow you to act fast when you need to, leaving no nasty surprises when you arrive home after a trip away.
6. Secure Your Home Wi-fi Network
Your home Wi-Fi network is a gateway to your personal and financial information. If a hacker is able to access this, it can quickly escalate from a matter of privacy to security, especially in the modern day and age where our smart gadgets and home systems are all interlinked.
Digital intruders could gain access not just to files and accounts, but to your physical residence through cyber-attacks.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to combat this. You should use strong passwords which are changed regularly, and only share the information with those you trust.
Make sure to rename your Wi-Fi network, as the given username and password and generic and can often be found easily by those who are savvy online. You should also hide the network, use encryption, turn off WPS (except when pairing new devices), use a VPN, and firewalls for optimum protection.
7. Install CCTV
It might seem extreme to some, but there's few better ways to catch a perpetrator red-handed than to have a legitimate image of them committing the crime. You'll need to consider weather conditions, coverage angles, and powering options amongst other things when going down this route.
Many cameras offer cloud storage for a limited number of days, but there are also options for you to store the footage locally if you prefer.
With plenty of affordable options, time lapse recording, and even facial recognition, this is one investment that will help you sleep sounder at night.
You can opt for all the above options or mix and match depending on your needs. Whether you’re looking for simple comfort in the knowledge that your home and its content is protected, or you want to create a high-tech modern fortress; considering these 7 points will set you on the road to achieve your goal.