Risky Business - Keeping your home safe

Feeling safe in your own home is a top priority.

You might think it sounds obvious, but there’s a surprising number of people who make unnecessary mistakes when it comes to security.

Lettings Manager Louise Rock has some easy tips on making your home a safer place to be.

Keep your doors locked

It might seem obvious but it’s easy to forget you’ve left a door open if you’ve been busy in that room, then headed elsewhere in the house. It's the same for coming in and out of the home, but that’s also an easy opportunity for thieves to walk straight into your property.

The same applies for when you vacate a property.

“We have a lot of tenants who will move out and just leave the keys on the side with the door open. People don't see it as a security risk when the property is empty of furniture, but there's still valuable goods in there such as the appliances and boiler. It's a quick and easy job for thieves, not to mention the  majority of insurance firms won't pay out if the door has been left unlocked”.

Keep your keys in the door at night

“The Fire Brigade advise leaving your keys in the door so if the worst happens, you aren’t fumbling around in the smoke to unlock the door and get out.

“It also stops burglars being able to spot your keys on the side or in an accessible place and breaking in that way, and makes it much harder for them to pick a lock while the keys are in the other side”.

Keep your windows locked

“This seems like another obvious one, but In the summer it can be tempting to leave them wide open for a cool breeze; unfortunately a lot of thieves will see that as an entry way. If you do have them open, try and have them on safety latches. The same applies for patio doors, we find a lot of occupants in apartments on the second floor (or above) leave these open through warm nights to let the breeze in.

"With the weather due to (finally!) warm up a little, you don't want to leave yourself exposed to a burglary".

Set your alarm

A lot of properties have alarms - but a surprising amount of people don’t ever use them.

“You would be amazed. Nine out of ten of tenants have never set their alarm. It’s an easy thing to get into the habit of doing and adds that extra layer of security. Those with pets can set their alarms for certain zones too i.e. just the upstairs, if they have a cat/dog downstairs”.

Tips for when you're on holiday

Timers on plugs
You can ‘Home Alone’ burglars if you invest in some timers.

“You can get timer plugs now which can change switch items on at set times on different days. Having unpredictable times for lamps can help make it appear there is still someone in the property. Some set their TV or a radio too, so the noise puts thieves of".

Social media
When you go away on holiday, you want to let everyone know - but in doing that, you can basically broadcast that your home is vulnerable. Not to mention some insurance company's don't pay out if they can prove you made it public information that you were away.

“Try not to brag about your holiday on social media until you get back; we know this will most likely go over a lot of heads, but it really is such a huge risk. It won’t be hot dogs or legs, it will be hot dogs for the next six weeks for tea while you pay off your insurance excess if someone does break in!”

Family, friends and neighbours
"Call on your close friends and family to keep an eye on the house, and maybe even stay over a couple of nights while you're away. It always helps to have people coming in and out, to avoid suspsicion that your home might be empty for a longer than normal period of time.

If you are making use of airport parking, it's also an idea to have your neighbours to take advantage of the additional parking spaces. Letting them park on your drive or outside the house while you're away is also a good way of deterring burglars. It's called neighbourhood watch for a reason!"

Finally, always ensure you have valid home insurance. Sometimes the worst situation is unavoidable, and the last thing you need is the extra stress of not being insured. Your landlord will also have buildings insurance as standard (and contents for any items left as part of a furnished option) but it's your responsibility to insure your own belongings.

We highly recommend Let Alliance for all insurance needs. With tenant content insurance starting from as a little as £5.28 per month (for £5000 of cover on a nil-excess basis), it's nothing compared to the re-assurance knowing your home is in safe hands.

Let Alliance 01244 421261

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