Home security definition
Home security is defined as both the security hardware placed on a property as well as personal security practices.
Security hardware may include: doors, locks, lighting, motion detectors, alarm systems, and security camera systems.
Personal security involves practices such as: making sure doors are locked, alarms are activated, windows are closed, extra keys are not hidden outside, and owning a dog.
Why is home security an issue in the UK?
Since the dawn of time, there are humans out there who steal and thieve in order to gain. In modern times, this is no different. There are some shocking statistics in the UK currently, that sheds light on the severity of the issue.
There were 296,150 burglaries in the UK from March 2019 – March 2020. A burglary takes place every 106 seconds in the UK, which equates to 817 houses broken into daily. In total, £181 million is stolen from homes in London every year, with 58% of those happening while the residents were at home. The statistics are scary, but unsurprising, considering 77% of people with at least a basic home security system are not burgled.
This blog shall outline the best ways in which you can prevent home intruders with home security essentials, such as smart home security, to best protect your home.
Solutions for improving home security
Visible burglar alarm
If you have a burglar alarm system, make sure the external sounder is clearly visible on the exterior of your property, as it communicates to potential intruders that you have an alarm. Burglar alarms are the first line of defense for many property owners and serve as a visual deterrent before an attempted break in.
When fitting a lock to a window or door, use the strongest screws available, not necessarily the ones supplied. The UK set a British Standard for screws that can help you to quality check, to check if they fit, look for a ‘British Standard BS7950’ mark.
Ensure that your doors and door frames are solid, at least 4.4cm thick and hung with 10cm hinges. Wooden doors can be strengthened with steel strips that fit to the frame and around the lock of the door. Glass panels are also less secure, but can be fitted with laminated glass or plastic glazing film as a means of providing extra protection. Fitting a chain or latch to the door improves your security further. It is advised that you get a door with a viewer, as it enables you to check who’s there before letting them in.
There are a few things that you can do to improve the fortification and protection of your windows. For one, make sure you don’t leave windows open or unlocked anywhere in the house when you are leaving your property. Make sure easily accessible windows are fitted with double glazing. Laminated glass or plastic glazing film is harder to break, so consider this for easily accessible windows. When replacing your windows, make sure they are in-line with the British standard 7950 or PAS 24. It is advised that you get locks that secure the window to the frame, as opposed to ones that just secure the handle.
Outdoor lights, either ones that you can switch on manually, or those that turn on in response to motion, are a good way to ensure a burglar is more visible, which will help you to deter home introducers, whilst also ensuring that your security cameras can capture them in full detail. Make sure they are facing downwards so as to not annoy neighbors and distract drivers if your home is located near a road.
For indoor lighting, it is key to deter intruders by creating an impression that people are in the house, even when you’re not. Timers can be bought to turn lights on and off around the home.
CCTV and wireless home security cameras
CCTV installation and wireless home security cameras both contribute highly to deterring home invaders. Some differentiate in function and may be specialized to record outside or inside the house depending on your personal preference.
The ones we offer at Countrywide Security are Full 1080p HD cameras and can be operated remotely – ensuring that you are able to capture and record every detail possible; allowing you to find and capture a perpetrator should you need to.
Burglar-proof your garden
Often overlooked, there are things you can do even in your garden as a means of preventing a burglary. One way to do this, is to input gravel around your home, as it makes it harder for burglars to approach without alerting the resident. Secondly, it is advised that you make sure your hedges are trimmed back so that your property is not hidden from view. Some plants can act as defensive weapons, such as plant shrubs with thorns, as they prevent burglars from being able to hide in them.
Make sure you put in strong gates and fences around your borders with 40-45cm of open-ended trellising at the top, as if robbers were to attempt to jump the fence, then they would most likely break the fence, which will be heard.
Finally, if you’ve been buying valuable items, make sure to not leave the packaging out for an extended period of time, as it may attract the wrong attention, as well as giving clues towards the value of your possessions.
Fire alarms, smoke alarms and carbon dioxide monitors
As well as installing burglar alarms, and complying with all of the aforementioned security measures, it is wise to consider installing a fire alarm and carbon monoxide monitor too, as it ensures you are protected from other hazards. It is worth noting, that as beneficial as it is to make sure your home is as secure as possible, you need to make sure this doesn’t prevent you from being able to escape or be rescued in an emergency such as a fire.
Nowadays, it is just as common for a person to be robbed online as it is to be robbed in person. In order to combat this, it is important that you keep all of your information out of sight. Don’t leave letters or bills with lots of personal information just lying about. And keep important documents, such as passports hidden away as much as possible.
As well as information inside your home, it is important to also be mindful of your online presence, including social media accounts.
Benefits of improving home security
- Protect valuables
- Deter crime
- Remote access to your home
- Lowers home insurance
- Notifies fire/gas issues
- Monitor children at home
- Improve electricity management
- Peace of mind
1. Protects valuables
It’s quite common to know of someone who has lost jewelry, electronics, or other high-value items due to a home invasion. The misfortune is compounded when the item stolen has sentimental value or is an irreplaceable family heirloom. While a home safe can help to protect irreplaceable items – a home security system has an alarm that can scare off many potential thieves, and can notify the local authorities if someone does attempt to break in.
2. Deters crime
A study conducted by Rutgers in 2009 discovered that as the number of home security systems in an area increased, the number of residential robberies in that area decreased – even for the people who didn’t own a security system in such areas. Having a smart home security system, not only protects you personally, but helps to deter crime and create a safer neighborhood for everyone involved.
3. Allows remote access to your home
Modern alarm systems, such as our Ajax alarms, now allow you to remotely monitor what’s happening in your home, even when you’re not there – simply by checking your phone.
With the Ajax app, you’re able to arm and disarm your wireless alarm system from a distance. There’s a virtual panic button, so that there is a notification on google maps, and people can come to the rescue. A notification tab will help you to keep a log of what has happened in your house and when, as well as providing you with instant alerts if something was to seem suspicious. As the Ajax alarm system is ‘smart’ operated, you are able to get detailed device information, such as battery levels, room temperature and settings. The app and security system are regularly updating their services, providing you with new functions and facilities on a constant basis.
4. Lowers homeowner’s insurance
Although you may need to pay a monthly fee for monitoring services, having the system in your home can lower your homeowner’s insurance by up to 20%. That, coupled with instant access to police and emergency responders makes an intruder alarm system a worthy investment.
5. Notifies you of fire or gas problems
It is recommended that homeowners invest in installing a fire alarm that also detects carbon monoxide. At Countrywide Security, we provide fire alarms that allow for 24 hours of monitoring and fire brigade response. Our Ajax smart alarm system will send you notifications if there is any smoke detected, as well as sounding the alarm, allowing you peace of mind when you are out of your property. Not only this, but smoke is detected, then Ajax alarms will cut the electric circuit in your house, to further limit the damage caused.
6. Helps keep tabs on kids
Another fantastic application of a smart home security automation – is that you can use Ajax’s app to watch what’s happening in your home via video doorbells or other security cameras. This means you get to know who your teens are inviting over for parties while you’re away. If you have electronic door locks, then you can remotely unlock them to let your kids in after school, so that they don’t have to worry about carrying / losing their key to the house.
7. Improves electricity management
Many security companies, such as the Ajax alarm systems we provide, offer top quality home products such as smart locks, video doorbells, smart thermostats, smart socket controllers, smart relays, and smart light switches as part of their system. They give the user ultimate external control, as from their app they may control their thermostat, or turn off a plug if they think they’ve left a curling iron on. This feature also works as a great tool to turn lights on and off while on vacation, to give intruders the appearance that someone is home.
8. Makes room for peace of mind
The sense of security and comfort you will gain with a burglar alarm installation, is the greatest benefit that these devices provide. As well as being safe, the confidence of feeling safe will help you to lead a more productive, healthy, and focused life.
As highlighted above, there is a huge concern for home break-ins across the UK in contemporary society – with over 817 houses broken into daily. That being said, 77% of people with at least a basic level home security system managed to avoid being robbed. This indicates that there are solutions out there to help protect you and your home. There are a variety of tips and tricks that can be followed in aid of this, that we have mentioned throughout this blog. It is advised that you consult a professional for your burglar alarm installation and other security measures, as they can ensure that you are getting effective equipment, that adheres to the UK’s safety regulations. For more information of how we can help you with your security concerns, either contact us directly, or visit our website.