Home Security Tips For Easter
The year’s fair zipping by now, and Easter’s round the corner – a holiday that gets locksmiths a bit angsty to be honest. Yes, there might be a day off or two, a bit of extra chocolate, and a decent film on the telly, but on the other hand, as I may have mentioned before, one part of the Easter story doesn’t reflect well on the locksmiths of 2,000 years ago. The whole episode of Jesus escaping from the tomb after his death, with the rock simply being rolled away to allow his exit. I don’t want to cast aspersions on the locksmiths of the day, but if that big stone had been fitted with a decent British Standard, anti-snap lock, things could have been very different indeed, with even the son of God finding it a trickier task than imagined.
To try and redress the balance of this security oversight, today I thought I’d deliver a blog concerning slightly more modern home security. The last thing anyone wants is to return home to discover a burglary has taken place – it is devastating from an emotional point of view, and also from a practical and financial aspect. Whilst it might not quite shake up the world as much as when the women in the New Testament discovered the stone of the tomb rolled away, the impact still can’t be underestimated. In my job I’m well aware that the aftermath of a break in can cause great distress, and that’s why I put so much emphasis on preventative measures that can save a lot of heartache.
I’ll split this into 3 brief approaches. First the steps you can take to stop your house being targeted by a burglar, second how you can help your house withstand any attempt at a break in, and thirdly how you can minimise the impact of any successful burglary should the worst happen.
First up, the best of all three options – how to help prevent any potential burglary attempt before it begins. Obviously, this is the ideal outcome as will result in no damage to doors/windows etc, no loss of property, no dealing with insurance companies, police or, dare I say, locksmiths, and above all, no distress for you, the householder. This approach involves making your house look as unappealing a target as possible to a burglar. Consider what you are advertising by your house and its surroundings. Ensure no expensive items are left on obvious display, easily glimpsed through front windows. If you’ve just bought an expensive gadget – perhaps a TV or laptop, be aware of how you dispose of the packaging – don’t just leave it outside your house for all to see, get it either enclosed in a bin, or take a trip to the tip yourself for disposal. We’re basically trying to do anything we can to prevent a burglar’s attention being caught by potential rich pickings inside your house.
When I talk about what you’re advertising through the appearance of your house, I’m not solely thinking about expensive items. Caution should also be displayed about broadcasting the fact that the house is empty – I’m looking at you Mr “I like to post from beside the pool in Tenerife”. Of course, it’s tempting to show off, I mean share your holiday with others, but it can also attract unwanted attention from neighbourhood thieves who will gather information about which houses are currently empty. If you are going away, an investment in electric timers is very worthwhile, so that lights, radios or even televisions can be activated, making it look as if the house is occupied. The offer of your drive to a friend is also a good step to take – not only will it make it look as if someone’s home, but you might earn some brownie points from your friend too.
The second scenario is when, despite all of our efforts, a burglar still attempts to break in to your property. This is where locks become all-important. Check your locks, or preferably get them checked out by a professional locksmith. Good quality locks are crucial to keeping your home safe, and they should be fitted to all external doors as well as windows. Have a look at your home insurance documents to confirm you are meeting the basic standard they insist upon. However, also remember these are the minimum requirements, not the maximum, and you should try to go beyond the measures listed by your insurers. Locks should be anti-snap and really the best you can afford – remember they could pay you back hundreds of times over if they successfully stop a break-in attempt.
In addition to the above, and it’s almost too obvious to point out but I must – remember to lock your doors! There is no point having the best locks money can buy if they are not used. Ensure you always lock external doors, whether you’re in the house or not, and also keep your house keys on your person or in your sight at all times – if you leave them where they can be quickly pinched, that’s going to be an easy entry for a burglar.
The third part of our defence concerns those unfortunate incidences when someone has managed to break in to your house. This is a horrifying scenario, no glossing over that, but we can still try to minimise the impact of any burglary. Keep in mind that a burglar does not want to be in your house for any longer than needed, as the risk of discovery grows with every passing second. They want to be in and out in a flash, without attracting attention. With this at the forefront of your thoughts, make it as hard as possible for them to be able to accomplish this whilst leaving with high value items. Hide away car keys which are often the prime target for a break in, and keep wallets, cash, handbags etc well out of sight. So many people keep these items by the front door, which is very convenient for when we want to grab them on the way out of the house, but unfortunately it’s convenient for a burglar too – they can grab them and be on their way in seconds.
If you can afford it, investing in a small safe for your house is a good idea. This way you can put high value small items such as jewellery or money out of reach of the burglar. Safes are also useful for storing important documents like passports, or irreplaceable sentimental items. Getting a good quality safe can give these added protection, and ensure the safe is securely fastened to the wall or floor so that the whole safe can’t just be carried away.
I hope I’ve gone some way to making amends for my profession’s oversight regarding the tomb and the rock. Also, be fair, it was 2,000 years ago now! I wish you all a very happy Easter, however you spend it. For advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, call 07990573857