With the official end to the British Summer time just around the corner, so too are the inevitable long dark nights. Then going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark will be the normal routine for many of us, as well as spending more time curled up in the warmth of our homes in the evenings. This is the time of year when i start looking and making lists, both at work and home, of all the jobs that need doing before the winter weather arrives. So before the darkness it upon us (and we are switching our lights on before 4pm) not only is it a great time to review home maintenance but most importantly, it is good to think about home security. After all, no one wants to come home after a hard day at work to discover they’ve had some uninvited visitors in their home searching through all their private belongings.
So to keep our homes safe and secure during the winter months here are some great general window and door related security tips.
- A really obvious one but one that makes burglar’s lives much easier is people who leave keys in locks. Please just do not do it. It is far safer to keep keys in a safe place that is not near a door or entrance way and that cannot be viewed from a window or door.
- Another simple one – Close and lock all windows and doors when you leave the house. Many of us are guilty of popping out without checking this. An opportunist burglar may try several homes before finding one door that is unlocked. No one wants it to be their house!
- All windows whether they be upstairs or downstairs should ideally be fitted with at least one key operated lock. Most modern windows will come with a handle locking system. Some insurance companies specify that all accessible windows have to be fitted with a locking security device so its good to double check your policy.
- It sounds really obvious but window and door frame maintenance will increase property security. By ensuring that windows and doors are strong and secure it will prevent easy forced entrance inside. Rotten timber window frames can be repaired or replaced and low maintenance UPVc windows can be maintained and upgraded.
- Spare keys should never be left in a hiding place around your property such as under a doormat, in a flowerpot or inside the letterbox.
- Prevent intruders at the back and sides of your home by using strong, high, fencing with trellis on top.
- Gates should be secured with a mortice lock. If you have a gate that is bolted it is a good idea to add a padlock to it to prevent the bolt from being opened.
- Door chains and door spy holes are great for viewing who is at the door without actually opening the door. Door bars are also another consideration for added security.
- Door locks can be replaced and upgraded to anti snap cylinders.
- Glass can be upgraded to toughened or laminate if your home is susceptible to vandalism.
- Where extra security is required window and door grilles and bars can be installed.
- Window restrictors are more to stop people falling out of windows than to stop access into the home. We always recommend these as a good safety measure if you have small children and animals in the home.
- It is always a good idea when moving into a new house that you automatically get the locks changed. This avoids any concerns about who may have some spare keys for your property.
Even if you have had a new front door or back door installed recently please do not assume that you have the highest level of security locking system. Most UPVC and composite doors operate with a multipoint locking system, which utilises a lock cylinder, but you would need to request to your window installer (when placing your order) that you would like to upgrade to an anti snap lock. However, upgrading the lock at a later date is an option for alot of doors.