Everyone Should Try These Things to Keep Their Home Safe and Secure

Lock doors and windows:†Keep doors and windows locked when youíre out Ė even if youíre just popping next door for a few minutes.

Many burglaries are opportunistic, so donít make it easy for the criminals. And keep keys out of sight, so a would-be burglar canít reach them through a letterbox or cat-flap or by breaking a window. And donít hide a spare key under the doormat or a plant pot Ė thatís exactly where a thief would look.

Join a neighbourhood watch:†These schemes can deter burglars from operating in a certain area simply by the fact they exist.

And itís comforting to know neighbours are keeping an eye open for each other. If thereís no scheme in your area, consider setting one up Ė contact your local police station, theyíll be happy to advise.

Use lights: You can fit timer switches to turn your lights on and off so it looks like youíre in (there are also apps that allow you to control lighting remotely).

And security lights that are triggered when people approach your property can also deter burglars, as well as providing welcome illumination when you return home after dark.

Fit an alarm:†Many home insurance policies will give you a discount on your premium if you fit a burglar alarm. Some devices will transmit pictures from your property to your internet device.

Donít advertise: Keep valuables away from view if you can, and donít leave car keys where they can be Ďfishedí through the letterbox.

If you buy a big-ticket item such as a computer or home entertainment system, dispose of the boxes out of sight rather than leave them standing next to your bin.

Donít broadcast your absence: Donít tell the world that your home will be empty via social media sites Ė posting an image of yourself on the beach might look cool, but youíre effectively telling everyone your house is currently unoccupied.

While youíre away, get a friend or neighbour to tidy leaflets and junk away from your letterbox.

Secure your garage: Make sure you lock your garage, if you have one Ė especially if it also has a door into the house proper. And fit a lock to any sheds or other outbuildings to protect gardening and DIY equipment.

Record what youíve got: Take photos of your valuables so itís easier to claim on your insurance. You can also use special marker pens to put your house number and postcode onto items so that they can be identified and traced back to you if recovered.

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