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Six New Year Security Resolutions

10th January 2021

Well, that’s 2020 done and dusted and I think we can all agree what a fabulous year that was. What’s that? Oh yes, apart from that. And the other. And that too. Okay, it could have been better, all in all. I don’t want to jinx 2021 by saying it’ll be better, especially as the first few months look as if they could be very hairy before the vaccine has been fully rolled out, but blimey, let’s hope that by the spring and summer we’re a little bit more back to normal. 

As it’s the New Year, it seems an apt time for resolutions. I’m not hugely into them myself, but always keen to find a new spin for this little bit of writing, I thought I’d come up with some resolutions you can put into practice regarding home security this year. And if you’ve already done most of them, well hey, something to tick off your to do list for 2021 already without having to lift a finger. 

Resolution one concerns the fitting of appropriate doors and windows. This might seem a big one, but definitely needs to be considered should you be looking to replace existing frames, or upgrading to more robust materials. If you’re making an investment in this sort of home improvement, I would urge you to ensure that a) whoever fits them is reputable, and b) that the frames meet (and exceed) current minimum-security standards. These standards need to be enough to satisfy the demands of your house insurance provider, and will give peace of mind that the windows or doors will hold up to at least some attempt at illegal entry. Look for British Standard certification marks, and do a bit of research before deciding which products to get installed – I’d suggest mortice locks on exterior doors, and locks on all accessible windows too. Whilst you’re looking at locks, give your shed or garage a once over too, checking they’re fitted with locks up to the job. 

The next two resolutions are about burglar alarms. If you’ve already got one fitted, you can skip straight to resolution 3. Resolution 2, as you’d expect is to arrange for one to be installed – they are a powerful deterrent, and burglars will often bypass houses where one is obviously fitted, moving on to an easier target. Resolution 3 kicks into action once resolution 3 has been completed, and simply reads “Set the thing!”. Too many times burglaries happen where the alarm has not been set, maybe because the owner was only popping out for a short time and didn’t think it was necessary, or where they’ve simply got out of the routine of setting it. Please do keep resolution 3 in mind and set the alarm every time you leave the house unoccupied, and also at night if possible. Because sod’s law dictates that the one time you forget is the one time you really wish you hadn’t. 

The fourth and fifth resolutions quite closely resemble numbers 2 and 3, except this time relating to external security lights rather than burglar alarms. Number 4 is get them fitted, with number 5 being “Use them!”. I sometimes hear complaints that external lights increase electricity bills, or are distracting when trying to sleep, but if you go for a motion activated model, the electricity usage will be minimal, and they won’t be on all night disturbing you or your neighbours. Motion-activated ones also have the added effect of surprising any would-be intruders who, on finding themselves suddenly illuminated, will often flee for the cover of darkness. 

Resolution 6 pertains to reducing temptation to any passing thieves and is “Keep valuable items out of sight.” This includes car keys too – don’t leave them on display where they can be easily seen from the outside, as it may attract opportunist thieves, eyeing a quick and easy bounty. We can stretch resolution 6 to include cars too – it’s a tempting time of year to go out, start the car engine to de-ice the windscreen and pop back inside the house to lock up or grab your lunch. However, this is all the opportunity a passing thief needs to either make off with the car, or the contents within – a customer of mine recently had his work laptop stolen from his car after leaving it for just 20 seconds whilst he locked the house. Insurance will often not cover instances where items have been left in unlocked cars or in houses where care has not been taken to secure the premises. 

The seventh and final resolution is to do your best to disguise the times when there is no-one at home in your property. Burglars always prefer empty houses, so the more you can do to make them think someone is at home, the less likely it is that they’ll target your house. Holidays are probably out for the first few months of 2021, but when we finally get back to being able to go away, don’t advertise the fact you’re on holiday on social media, and see if you can get someone to come in to clear away the post – always a sign of an empty house. Timer switches can be used to activate lights or televisions, and you can also play the good neighbour and offer one of your neighbours the use of your drive for the time you’re away if it would otherwise be left vacant. 

I’ll leave it at seven resolutions for now – maybe that number will help bring us luck in 2021, anything’s worth a go, isn’t it? All that’s left is to wish you a happy new year again. Please do your best to stay safe, and let’s hope we can get through these bumpy few months and reach brighter times ahead. For any assistance with lock or security issues, call me on 07990573857 for a Rotherham Locksmith.

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