10 Ways to Protect Your Home When Normality Returns
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say the majority of the UK public has spent a lot of the last year at home. Health and safety have been at the forefront of our minds – but with many residents working remotely, opportunities for domestic burglary have been thin on the ground, causing rates to decrease.
That said – spending more time at home also makes you more likely to spot things in your neighbourhood that seem suspicious, or unusual. This, combined with the fact that we’ll soon be returning to work or headed out to see friends more often, may make us worry about leaving our houses empty for longer. That’s why we’ve put together this quick list of home security tips, to help you resume your life with peace of mind.
1. Double-check doors & windows.
The more doors and windows your home has, the more potential entry points there are. Before you leave for work or a social engagement, check that every window and door on your property is closed and locked – an open window is a big temptation for opportunists, even if it’s only left open overnight during the summer.
This one is particularly worth remembering as the weather warms up - it’s crucial to make sure you’ve locked the front door before you head out into the garden, as you might not even hear someone entering the property from the yard.
2. Set your alarm.
With so few reasons to leave the house in 2020, it’s possible you’ve fallen out of this particular habit! If your alarm has been lying untouched for a while, give it a once over and see if it needs a service. Whether you opt for an off-the-shelf product or a more comprehensive burglar alarm package, these precautions are moot unless you actually set the alarm each time you leave your property.
Always forgetting whether you’ve set your alarm? With ADT Smart Home, you can remotely check if your alarm has been set, and if it hasn’t, you can set it yourself via your smartphone.
3. Keep valuables out of sight.
This is a simple step that can make a big difference. Before you leave the house (or go to bed), make sure there are no flashy valuables or expensive bits of tech left lying around, especially in any places which are visible from the exterior of your home.
4. Invest in smart bulbs to make it look like someone’s home.
Smart bulbs (and smart plugs) can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi, enabling you to operate them remotely via your phone, even when you’re not home. This makes them a great way to indicate that your house is occupied while you’re on holiday, rather than the predictable routine of a conventional plug-in time switch.
5. Consider a Video Doorbell.
Video doorbells are another great way to make your home more secure. At ADT, you can include a Video Doorbell as an add-on to our ADT Smart Home Alarm or ADT Pet Friendly packages. Our Video Doorbells have built-in motion sensors that detect anyone approaching your home, and send you a notification before they’ve even rung the bell.
You’ll also be able to access live footage from the doorbell camera on the ADT Smart Services app. Plus, there’s two-way talk, so you can see and communicate with whoever’s at your door, whether you’re in the house, or out and about, just by checking your phone.
6. Be mindful on social media.
Tempting as it is to share snaps and statuses while you’re away from home, posting your location on a non-private social media account is a clear signal to potential intruders that the house is empty. Whether you’re at work, the shops, or away for an extended period - don’t let criminals know when your home is vulnerable to intrusion.
7. Forget hiding a key.
We’ve all managed to lock ourselves out at least once, but hiding a key in the vicinity of your home – whether under a flowerpot or above the doorframe – simply isn’t worth the risk. If you must keep a spare outside somewhere, at least keep it in a locked key safe, which requires a code.
8. Keep your shed locked too.
Many people used the lockdown as an opportunity to give the garden a bit of TLC. If you’ve got a shed, greenhouse or summer house on your property, make sure you keep them locked whenever they’re out of use. Don’t leave any valuables like bikes or tools in sight – or better still, keep them somewhere more secure, like the garage.
Side note: it’s especially important to put any ladders or step ladders out of reach, so burglars can’t use them to gain access.
9. Consider Outdoor Security Cameras.
Outdoor security cameras are a great way to protect your home from the outside in, as it gives you greater visibility of your whole property. ADT Pro HD Outdoor Security Cameras provide crisp, clear images, even in low-lit settings, cleverly analysing footage to ensure you only receive relevant alerts. Discerning between animals, vehicles and humans, video analytics can minimise annoying false alarms and notifications automatically.
10. Join your local community group.
Whether it’s neighbourhood watch or a Facebook page for residents in your village, joining a community group is a brilliant way to stay in the loop with events in your local area, and bond with other local residents.
If any crime takes place nearby, you can bet someone will post about it in your local group fairly quickly, so you’ll know when to be extra vigilant, but it’s a good place to share your observations with the neighbours too.
We hope implementing a few of these tips will make you feel more confident leaving home when you head back to the office, or simply out to see your friends.