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Winter home security advice

15th January 2017

So here we are again. It's 2017 (Happy New Year to you all, by the way), a time for new beginnings, new hopes and dreams; and frankly,  another chance for me to crowbar the mention of current events into a blog about home security.  I'll do it as seamlessly as possible though - you'll hardly notice it, honestly. 

A glance across the pond - that's the Atlantic, by the way, not the pond in Thorne or something - is something of a nervous one right now. In a few days there will be a new President installed in the White House as the Americans say goodbye to their first black President and hello to their first orange President. It certainly seems as if we're living in uncertain and divided times. 

But hang on, you don't come here to read about the state of the world. You might be wondering when the subject will change from that of the US President to that of home security. Don't worry, it's coming, and you'll be amazed at the seamlessness with which it occurs.

You see, when Trump becomes President he will take an Oath of Affirmation as part of the inauguration, stating that "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." This got me thinking (get ready) about the oaths and pledges the rest of us could take, at a much less high profile level of course. And so...(this is it, right here) I put together a set of 10 pledges each of us could take as home owners to improve the security of our properties during  the winter months. 

Your home security pledges

Phew, that was a slog to get there. But here we go.. 

1. I pledge to faithfully install (or improve) the locks on my shed or garage - Outbuildings traditionally have les s secure locks than our houses and provide an easy target for burglars. Fitting a decent lock to your shed or garage will massively decrease the chances of a quick break-in.

2. I do solemnly swear I will walk round the outside of my property, inspecting for weak spots - Carry out a visual inspection of your property, checking any easy access points, and assessing the condition of door and window frames. Any that are rotten can be easily broken. 

3. I pledge to call my local locksmith to uphold my security arrangements -  Get a friendly, qualified, good-looking and modest locksmith (me, for goodness sake!) in to review your security. They will be able to tell you if your locks are in good condition and if they would meet the specification of your home insurance provider in case of a claim. 

4. I solemnly swear to improve my own behaviour as a home owner - Do you ever leave your keys in view or in the door, perhaps you pop out "for 5 minutes" without locking the door, or just can't be bothered to set the house alarm.  You can have as sophisticated home security as it's possible to have, but if it's let down by your own forgetfulness or neglect, it will all be for nothing. 

5. I pledge to make it appear as if I'm at home when I'm away - a few electric timers will do the trick - getting them to activate at random times when you're out is enough to fool an opportunistic burglar. 

6. I solemnly swear that I will consider a CCTV system  - No longer the domain of the rich and famous, these have come down vastly in price in the last decade or so. Install a couple of cameras connected up to your TV or laptop, and you've got a real deterrent as well as evidence if the worst does happen. 

7. I pledge to definitely get a house alarm fitted this year - Have you still not got one? Do! Stop reading this blog this very minute and start your research. A house alarm is vital. 

8. I solemnly swear I will invest in a home safe for valuables - don't leave your portable valuables out on display or in unlocked jewellery drawers. Instead, invest in a good quality safe in which to keep these items under lock and key. However, make sure the safe is bolted down to the floor or against a wall so it can't just be carried out!  

9. I pledge to bulk up security on the patio doors - Fit locks or bolts to the top and bottom of any French doors on your property for extra security. This way, if the main lock is snapped, you have a secondary measure to deter the intruder. 

10. I solemnly swear to be the bearer of light! - No, I've not gone all religious, I'm talking about exterior lighting - it's a real boon in winter, taking away the cover of darkness from potential burglars. 

Okay, they weren't quite presidential oaths, but if you can abide by them for 2017, the chances of your home being a target for thieves will be greatly reduced. So no matter what else goes on in the world in 2017, that'll be one less worry on a domestic level.  Again, I wish you a happy and secure 2017.

For advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, call 01709 711 055 or 07990573857.

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