The ideal home security system will depend on the style of your property. This article is to guide you on where you may have security weaknesses and advise on some possible solutions.
Surprisingly flats are a great target for burglaries. There is a misconception that as the building is heavily populated it is safer but this is not the case. With a large footfall of people and a lack of relationship with the occupants, it is hard to know who is a resident and who is not.
This is the easiest to access and the most vulnerable.
- Windows are usually easily accessible.
- Once access has been gained to the stair, most flat front doors are tucked away allowing time to break-in.
Second floor and above
- Access via the front door is still an issue.
- The stair is often empty during working hours allowing time at the flat front door.
Protect with an alarm and CCTV.
Top floor or penthouse
- These require the same security measures as the second floor.
- Be aware of the balcony and access from the flats to the side or above and below.
Protect with a burglar alarm covering the patio doors as well as the front door, with a security camera at each door.
Some advice for all types of flats
- Plants can be used to hide entrances and to make things difficult to climb.
- Keep bikes out of the communal areas and locked in a bike store. Perhaps install a decoy camera in the bike store.
- Make sure door entry systems are functional and if you don’t have one we can install one as this is the first line of security before getting into the stair.
- Keep postal timers as short a time as possible or provide the postman with a key.
- Any deliveries that are made when you are not in shouldn’t be left at the door advertising this fact. Ask a neighbour to be your alternate delivery option in this case or request for items to be taken back to the post office/depot.
Semi detached / terraced houses
If you get on well with your neighbours and look out for each other your home security will be much improved. If you live in terraced housing or a semi-detached house then consider the following:
- Do you know your neighbours?
- Do they know when you are on holiday or visa versa?
- Create a neighbourhood watch scheme with your local neighbours or create a WhatsApp or Facebook group to post on and keep everyone updated with what’s going on in the street.
- Are there communal gardens/areas that are easily accessed and lead to your garden?
- Plants, trees and bushes act as privacy but can also hide a burglar that is at your door or windows, allowing them time to break in. Keep these below head height.
- Any low extensions or flat roofs? Think about how accessible these can be. Window sensors on windows next to flat roofs are suggested.
- Bikes in the garage or tools? Roof racks advertise a bike nearby. Also, people can be followed back from popular bike routes such as the Pentland Hills or Glentress. Remove your bike racks from your car and lock all bikes inside a locked garage.
- Access via communal lanes? Can a gate be fitted with a lock creating more time and distance between the public areas and you/your neighbour’s property?
A burglar alarm and home CCTV can help with all the above. These add another layer of protection and stop the opportunistic burglar, creating more time needed to enter the property. Perhaps, you and your neighbours can share the cost of a communal CCTV system to protect the whole street?
- Could you put up a fence with bushes at the other side, some rose bushes or holly bushes/trees?
- Garages are sometimes detached from the property; make sure the same applies to the above.
- Locks secure and used! Add a separate alarm or additional detectors on the garage. Has the garage got an internal door to the house? Is it kept locked and alarmed?
- Patio doors are another weak point. A bar or additional lock makes things harder to open.
- Keep gardens well tended to and rubbish removed. This makes the house look lived in and looked after.
- Low-level extensions or outbuildings that could be used to gain entry to an upper window?
- Is your property in the town/country? A remote property may need monitoring with additional police response or CCTV.
- Do you have neighbours close to you?
- Do you have a driveway that is open/hidden/covered by trees? Think about cutting these back like mentioned earlier to allow people to see what’s going on.
- Is there a field or public path near/next to your property? Ease of access and being remote make things easy for a burglar with all the time they need along with no neighbours to worry about any noise.
- Is there street-lighting or do you need additional security lighting?
- Is your car parked in a driveway? If away on holiday and there is no car present this could advertise the fact you are away.
At Safe Simple Secure, we can offer security solutions for all properties whatever the size. Depending on where you live there are different challenges to secure your property. Please contact us for a no obligation quotation and to review and advise on how we can protect and secure your home and your family.